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Ismael Torres




Location: México
Joined: 20 Jun 2009

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov, 2016 9:19 pm    Post subject: Medieval War Billhook.         Reply with quote

Hieveryone.

I joined the forum several years ago, It has helped me a lot to learn but I have almost had no activity.

Recently i tried to forge a reproduction of a short-handle war billhook from the “Les Coutumes de Toulouse”, a French manuscript from late XIII Century.

I used an old spring of low-carbon steel and oak wood.















Is not exactly like the illustrations taking account that are somewhat abstract, it measures 83cm and weighs 1.08kg.

thanks for watching!

NEC SPE NEC METV


Last edited by Ismael Torres on Mon 14 Nov, 2016 8:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Mon 14 Nov, 2016 1:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice work, good to see some of the less fancy and more common early medieval weapons about.
Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Mon 14 Nov, 2016 4:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well I think you did a fine job! I like the rough forged look, and I think the shape of your blade looks even better than the original artwork. You got the handle dead-on perfect! Good job....keep it up!!! Big Grin ...........McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Tom DR





Joined: 22 Nov 2016

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2016 4:34 pm    Post subject: Bill         Reply with quote

That's a very nice weapon.

I wonder is the same process that turned the two-handed axe into the pollaxe and halberd turned these sorts of weapons into the bills, welch hooks and roncas of the 15th century onwards.
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Likes: 31 pages

Posts: 677

PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2016 5:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey I really like this. I'm a fan of polearms and I think this smaller one is great. Nice finish!
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Ismael Torres




Location: México
Joined: 20 Jun 2009

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue 29 Nov, 2016 11:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks all!

Tom: It is curious that we no longer see weapons of similar length, I do not think these short bills do evolved more, there were always curved cutting tools with different handle lengths, the longest were used for pruning and to be good against chivalry and maybe continued evolve to complex typologies. Possibly this is a transition:


NEC SPE NEC METV
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Wed 30 Nov, 2016 6:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ismael Torres wrote:
Thanks all!

Tom: It is curious that we no longer see weapons of similar length, I do not think these short bills do evolved more, there were always curved cutting tools with different handle lengths, the longest were used for pruning and to be good against chivalry and maybe continued evolve to complex typologies. Possibly this is a transition:



Well, it may well be an accurate drawing of the length of a relatively short Bill, or it could just be that the artist was constrained by the space he had to show the Bill and also the Spear that looks rather short unless it's supposed to be a javelin. Exclamation Question

The Knights/Men-At -Arms also seem to be leaning back at a very unnatural and uncomfortable angle as if the artist was trying to squeeze too tall elements in his composition, the spear is also at an angle to maximize the length of the spear in the square space of the artwork ..... Wink Big Grin

Short tool Bills did have varying lengths for different uses and a short/medium length Bill has advantages in close fighting, so all I'm saying is that period art where't photographs and artists took " Artistic License " or where following some traditional ways to scale elements in their drawings.

Oh, Ismael, your Bill looks really nice and the tip seems very robust and not likely to easily bend at the tip if used with a lot of force against maille ..... It might not be effective against plate armour but might be able to do some damage against maille.

Against armour one does try to strike where there is no armour or at the weaker points between plates if one can.

The period where your Bill would likely be used was mostly during the time when maille was still the primary protection and before plate armour gave fuller coverage ......

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Wed 30 Nov, 2016 6:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, In the first artwork shown it's obvious that the Bill is meant to have a short handle, my comments above are only about the the last illustration where the length of the Bill could be longer than shown due to the available space.

What is also debatable is that in the first drawing there seems to be some lines that suggest some sort of fuller on the concave side where you interpreted as being the side with the edge: It is possible that the weapon was a heavy chopper with the edge being on the convex side ?

I can see short Bills and/or short choppers being portrayed in the drawing ? Confused

I see no reason why both types might not have been used in period, but it's hard to be 100% sure with the period artwork.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Wed 30 Nov, 2016 9:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For actual hand-to-hand combat, I personally wouldn't want one much longer than the one in the bottom photo. It seems to me that with extra length comes extra time to make your move. Yes, one would be able to deliver a hard, solid chop....but it would take more time to deliver. The short hafted version would be deadly close up just by weight and force alone. I can see it getting through mail relatively easy with a good downward chop....unless you already have a spear or sword blade in your gut. I can see a weapon such as this being called on after an initial pike/long spear charge. But.....this is all just me.....McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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