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Alex Mac





Joined: 17 Mar 2007

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat 28 Apr, 2007 2:57 am    Post subject: Qualities of wood in weapon shafts and hilts.         Reply with quote

Hi Guys.

Sorry if this has come up before, I was wondering what qualities and types of wood people use for re-enactment weapons? Not only for the haft of pole arms but also in the grips of swords.

Alex.
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Nathan Beal





Joined: 02 Apr 2006

Posts: 68

PostPosted: Sat 28 Apr, 2007 3:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My polearm shafts (be they axes, spears or bills) are ash, preferably coppiced but sawn lumber shaped with a plane is ok (kil dried is not ideal). Finished with a couple of layers of boiled linseed oil.

For sword grips, i'm less fussy but ideally a good solid bit of oak.

HTH
N.

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Geoff Wood




Location: UK
Joined: 31 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Sat 28 Apr, 2007 3:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Each to his own, but though i have an oak grip on a bronze sword, I'm not sure I'd use oak for steel weapons,given the acidity of the wood. The oak I have access to eats steel nails or screws.
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Sat 28 Apr, 2007 10:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm curious as to why kiln dried lumber would not be ideal?
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Michael Douglas





Joined: 03 Feb 2007

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PostPosted: Mon 30 Apr, 2007 11:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kiln dried can be superb, it's the quality of the wood that matters rather than the seasoning in my experience.
I must have shafted scores of spears and axes using ash over the last fifteen years from both coppiced and sawn/split timber.
Most of the coppiced shafts are too weak for sturdy stuff like boarspears or pollaxes, but great for small-diameter spears which can spring to the side under impact.

Box is superb for sword grips. Oak is sometimes a bit splitty, sometimes not.
Beech is great. Hornbeam. Tight burr-elm. Yew is beautiful but a bad bit will split.
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Mon 30 Apr, 2007 1:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Douglas wrote:
Kiln dried can be superb, it's the quality of the wood that matters rather than the seasoning in my experience.


That has been my experience as well, but was wondering if the above poster perhaps knew of some "gotcha" that I did not.

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Nathan Beal





Joined: 02 Apr 2006

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PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2007 11:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm generally of the impression that kiln dried is a little more prone to shattering than a more gently dried piece of the same quality (from people who really know thier woods).

Certainly from my current range of suppliers if i get something that has had chance to season for a while it is probably significantly better wood in the first place, the kiln dried is not always as nice.

Nowt wrong with it but i prefer something air dried if i can get hold of it (and don't mind paying a bit of a premium). But if i had a toss up between kiln dried ash and anything else it would be the ash every time.

Beware of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Thu 03 May, 2007 12:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great! Thanks for the clarification!
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Matthew D





Joined: 29 Apr 2007

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PostPosted: Sun 06 May, 2007 8:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Don't forget hickory it is very strong and looks great
Kiln dried wood is just as good as air dried IF it is allowed to come the moisture level of the local area before you seal it. We have had this discussion several times on one of the boards I frequent dealing with bows. IF a wood can stand up to becoming a bow, it would do well as other things like the hilt of a sword.
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Peter Bosman




Location: Andalucia
Joined: 22 May 2006

Posts: 598

PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2007 12:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Qualities of wood in weapon shafts and hilts.         Reply with quote

Alex Mac wrote:
I was wondering what qualities and types of wood people use for re-enactment weapons?

Depending on who or what you are re-enacting in lets say 14th century warfare between crusaders and mamluks it would be ash or bamboo for a spear/lance.
The difference is like black & white and dictates the differing ways the things can be used by either party.

Peter
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John H.





Joined: 27 Aug 2006

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PostPosted: Sun 13 May, 2007 2:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm [fairly] new here, so forgive me if this is a stupid (or already extensively-covered) question, but what about cedar?

Native Americans made use of this wood for a multitude of different items, but would there be any drawbacks to using it in shafts & handles & what-not?

Thanks,
John
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Sun 13 May, 2007 8:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

John H. wrote:
I'm [fairly] new here, so forgive me if this is a stupid (or already extensively-covered) question, but what about cedar?

Native Americans made use of this wood for a multitude of different items, but would there be any drawbacks to using it in shafts & handles & what-not?

Thanks,
John


Cedar is a softwood and as such is unsuitable for the hafts of impact weapons. It's great in closets though. Happy

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