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Bjorn Hagstrom




Location: Höör, Skane
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PostPosted: Tue 01 May, 2018 6:49 am    Post subject: Customizing a standard off-the-shelf pollaxe         Reply with quote

Hi all,
Wanted to share with you a project I'm currently working on. I have bought one of the low end off the shelf pollaxes, that is sold by various dealers. I think I got mine from:

https://battlemerchant.com/images/product_images/popup_images/1816413200b_mordaxt_pollaxe_mittelalter.jpg

I like it, but thought that with some work, I could make it a little more interesting! It feels a little bit too heavy and overbuilt, especually on the slim handle. So the things I plan to do with it is to replace the haft, add a couple of langets and reshape the head.

First things first, here is the head with planned cuts (Note how the size of the axeblade really reduces the effective lenght of the spike):



Here taken down into it's parts:

There is nothing quite as sad as a one man conga-line...
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Bjorn Hagstrom




Location: Höör, Skane
Joined: 25 Oct 2007
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Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 335

PostPosted: Tue 01 May, 2018 7:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Then comes the new haft. I have some 2" Ash board lying around, so that will do nice!



A very helpful friend of mine cut some 2mm sheet steel strips for langets


And also the original ones need to be ground down a bit:


There is nothing quite as sad as a one man conga-line...
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Bjorn Hagstrom




Location: Höör, Skane
Joined: 25 Oct 2007
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Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 335

PostPosted: Tue 01 May, 2018 7:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So next step is to do some inletting for the langets, so out comes the chisels!



After lots of work, and numerous fittings we have something that starts to look nice



Test fit with new and original langets on:


There is nothing quite as sad as a one man conga-line...
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Bjorn Hagstrom




Location: Höör, Skane
Joined: 25 Oct 2007
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Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 335

PostPosted: Tue 01 May, 2018 8:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I also decided to replace the original steel washers with new ones in brass I made out of upholstery nails. (The original steel ones are nice but some where roughly ground and uneven. Plus I used half of them for riveting straps to a shield, so no longer available anyway)



So now the handle roughly sanded, with inlet langets on all four sides looks like this:


And I can turn my attention to grinding and polishing the head to shape!

There is nothing quite as sad as a one man conga-line...
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Arne G.





Joined: 31 Jul 2014

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PostPosted: Tue 01 May, 2018 9:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beautiful work - I look forward to seeing the final result!
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Michael B.
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Location: Chugiak, AK
Joined: 18 Oct 2007

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PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2018 9:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

upholstery nail rivets! Brilliant! I like how this is coming together.
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Michael Bergstrom
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Bjorn Hagstrom




Location: Höör, Skane
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Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 335

PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2018 9:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael B. wrote:
upholstery nail rivets! Brilliant! I like how this is coming together.


Thanks! I'm quite pleased with how they work out. Drilling them out for the rivet is tricky, so I discard about every second one at the moment. But the upside is that they are cheap and come in packs of 50 so the waste is acceptable.

There is nothing quite as sad as a one man conga-line...
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Bjorn Hagstrom




Location: Höör, Skane
Joined: 25 Oct 2007
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Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 335

PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2018 1:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I hade time to do some more grinding and profiling of the head today:



I still need to round the edge off some more, also I'm considering taking some more material off the hammer head end..but we will see. Also I have shaved off a couple of mm material of the top face, since the bracket with the spike was not flush with the hammer, but seated a bit low.



I have good progress, after shaping it is in need of some polishing, but I have a buffing wheel set up on a bench grinder, so that should not be that hard. Then I can do the final assembly, hopefully by the end of the weekend.

There is nothing quite as sad as a one man conga-line...


Last edited by Bjorn Hagstrom on Sun 06 May, 2018 1:09 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Peter Rieder




Location: Munich
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PostPosted: Fri 04 May, 2018 2:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I love these kinds of threads! But are the last two pictures not showing up only for me, or do others have the same problem?
A loaf that tries to twist its own fate is not a loaf at all but is, in fact, a pretzel.

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Bjorn Hagstrom




Location: Höör, Skane
Joined: 25 Oct 2007
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Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 335

PostPosted: Fri 04 May, 2018 3:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Rieder wrote:
I love these kinds of threads! But are the last two pictures not showing up only for me, or do others have the same problem?


Hopefully works now, have shuffled around images on google a bit, sorry Blush

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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

Posts: 492

PostPosted: Sat 05 May, 2018 2:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bjorn Hagstrom wrote:
Peter Rieder wrote:
I love these kinds of threads! But are the last two pictures not showing up only for me, or do others have the same problem?


Hopefully works now, have shuffled around images on google a bit, sorry Blush


Hi Bjorn,

Looks like a great start. The second set of images is still not working Wink

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Bjorn Hagstrom




Location: Höör, Skane
Joined: 25 Oct 2007
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Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 335

PostPosted: Sun 06 May, 2018 12:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, hopefully I can get these last images working..because I have some progress to report Happy

I took some material off the poll to slim the profile (check bottom curve vs the top) As well as some more forming of the edge of the axe bit.


And as an intermission: I have also purchased a warhammer (for a later project) I will steal the side-spikes from this one and add to the pollaxe


So now I only have one last rivet to attach..

There is nothing quite as sad as a one man conga-line...
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Bjorn Hagstrom




Location: Höör, Skane
Joined: 25 Oct 2007
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Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 335

PostPosted: Sun 06 May, 2018 12:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So I did the final assembly, gave the haft a good coat of linseed oil, and now I have this:



To recap, this was the starting point:



And now:


As a whole I'm satisified with the outcome. I have a few lessons learned for the next time. I was originally aiming for a more octagonal handle, but misjudged dimensions and how deep to inlet the langets. I had a dream of a rondel also, but that will have to wait for next time.

But as I mentioned already, I have another warhammer that will be up next for a makeover, so will hopefully have better success with that.

There is nothing quite as sad as a one man conga-line...
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Bjorn Hagstrom




Location: Höör, Skane
Joined: 25 Oct 2007
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Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 335

PostPosted: Sat 12 Jan, 2019 11:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have now got around to make another hammer project. Some years ago I got hold of the classic "german warhammer" of Muesum Replicas. It had been laying around in my shop, "patinating", but I decided to use it as a testbed to see if I could make an ocatgonal handle with four langets, in preparation for a more serious reproduction project I am planning.

So I started with this:


So I decided to narrow down the langets to around 10mm width, and cut two more langets of the same width out of 2mm sheet steel. Then it would fit into the facets of an octagonal handle that would still fit the width of the hammer head.

So a good length of ash, a hand plane and some chiseling later I got a handle. The octagon shape is not super-even, but I do not really mind, The head looks a little rough after cleaning up the rust, and this is more of an experiment than a show-piece. So I will be content with a beaten up finish :-)



To be continued...

There is nothing quite as sad as a one man conga-line...
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Bjorn Hagstrom




Location: Höör, Skane
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Jan, 2019 12:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So got a little further today, first inlet and riveted the front and back langets:



And angle grinder applied to the langets of the hammer head:



Next will be assembly of the head to the haft

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Kai Lawson




Location: Madison, WI
Joined: 26 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Jan, 2019 5:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I really like watching these projects, and this one looks so clean, even as an experiment. Thank you for sharing great the step by step photos! It helps me to plan my own polearms, and watching others make things is also awesome!
"And they crossed swords."
--William Goldman, alias S. Morgenstern
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James Rogers





Joined: 31 May 2010

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PostPosted: Mon 14 Jan, 2019 4:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great work! What's the final pollaxe weigh?
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Bjorn Hagstrom




Location: Höör, Skane
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PostPosted: Mon 14 Jan, 2019 9:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James Rogers wrote:
Great work! What's the final pollaxe weigh?


The pollaxe ended up at 2.1 kg (4 pounds 10 ounces)

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Bjorn Hagstrom




Location: Höör, Skane
Joined: 25 Oct 2007
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Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 335

PostPosted: Tue 15 Jan, 2019 8:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So I have assempled the entire hammer now, and I'm pretty pleased with the outcome, I learned a couple of lessons that will definitely help with my next project!





It is very hard to get a good picture of it, so here is link to a (very) short movieclip:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/po3sQRn1EJSrVKD27

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Antal László




Location: Lymington, Hampshire, UK
Joined: 16 Sep 2006
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Posts: 105

PostPosted: Tue 22 Jan, 2019 1:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That looks brilliant! Both the original project and the secondary too! I personally like the beaten up look. What is the more serious project you mentioned earlier?
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