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Dustin Faulkner




Location: BOERNE, TX
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PostPosted: Sun 20 Jul, 2008 9:13 pm    Post subject: Opinions wanted about Windlass Steelcraft's Pole Axe         Reply with quote

Hello Everybody:

I am new to this forum, and I've developed a serious interest in medieval pole arms - particularly the pole axe - ever since I saw a demonstration by Mike Loades of Britain. They aren't just wall decorations!

I can't afford a replica pole axe by manufacturers like Arms & Armour right now. I don't doubt their quality. However, I am wondering if anyone can comment upon a replica pole axe made by Windlass Steelcrafts. It looks cool to me and I like its configuration. I get the impression Windlass has a mixed reputation, but I've seen no direct review of their pole axe.

I'd include a picture, but can't figure out how yet in this forum. The pole axe I am discussing can be found at www.museumreplicas.com product #600640. Thank you gentlemen.

Also, are there any organizations which teach the use of polearms? I know ARMA focuses on swords.

Sincerely,
Dustin Faulkner
Boerne, TX

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DUSTIN FAULKNER
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
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PostPosted: Sun 20 Jul, 2008 9:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't trust their wooden shafts.

No experience with the Pole Axe in question but I had a war hammer from them. Wooden shaft was made of some of the crappiest wood I've ever encountered. Pretty much self destructed when I tried to use it. Metal components held up well though.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy


Last edited by Joe Fults on Mon 21 Jul, 2008 7:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jul, 2008 4:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have one pole arm from MR, a Viking spear. I bought the ash pole on which it is mounted from MR too. No problem with that combination but this is not a javelin or throwing spear.

My experience with the wood on most weapons from India, China and other parts of Asia is that it is OK for grips and small parts but when you attempt to mount a Lochaber axe or spear head on the tropical hardwoods they use, breakage is a definite problem. Axe handles are no exception. There is nothing wrong with the way the handles are made, it is just the wood that is available to them will not stand up to use like hickory or ash.

I would query MR about the type of wood used for this pole axe, since they don't say what it is. It may be ash or some other hardwood that will stand up to use. If not, then consider replacing the wood if you buy the axe, or look for a maker that sells the metal without the wood, allowing you to fit your own.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Shane Smith




Location: Virginia Beach
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jul, 2008 6:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We have done considerable testing of MRL's polearms. The heads tend to be kind of okay if a bit soft and clumsy...we've never broken one at least. The shafts are the real problem in my experience. At a large ARMA event, we broke the poles on every one of their polearms present by striking an 18 gauge helm. I personally own one of their smaller battle axes which I had to re-haft after striking into soft brush and a small limb or two. The shaft broke at the attaching pin and then split lengthwise. I replaced the broken wood with a good hickory handle and it's solid now. I have an MRL flanged viking spear that feels whippy and weak so the next spear I have was made by pinning their head and buttcap to my own hardwood shaft. That one came out great!

I also have their polaxe and their ravens beak here still wearing their stock shafts. I've had no time to test these yet and don't really intend to. I'm just going to replace the wood with good stuff as time allows since it looks and feels just like the others I've seen break. I've handled a period original or two and they feel stouter of shaft than the reproductions by MRL do.

Shane Smith
ARMA~ Virginia Beach
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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jul, 2008 7:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Shane,

You know, I've have a pair of the older Bec de Corbins that they sold a few years back. Just in the last couple of weeks, I started thinking about replacing the hafts (Bill Grandy has told me the horror story about his). I think you've just raised the priority level for me! Thanks.

All the best,

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
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Russ Thomas
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jul, 2008 9:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dustin,

I cannot comment on the pieces that you mention personally. However, if I were going to purchase such a weapon, I would have a serious look at Paul Binns weapons. Paul is well known for producing weapons that are nigh on indestructable. Check Paul out at:

http://www.paul-binns-swords.co.uk

I can vouch for his weapons, their quality and their destructive capability ! Laughing Out Loud They are definately not mere wallhangers! Happy

Hope that this is, perhaps, of interest.

Regards,

Russ

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero !


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J. D. Carter




Location: Az.
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jul, 2008 10:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you do go with the Windlass piece a smaller pricetag would mean more money for a replacement shaft should one prove necessary.

http://www.kultofathena.com/product~item~600640~name~Pole+Axe.htm
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jul, 2008 1:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you're willing and able to replace a Windlass haft, I'd encourage you to ask the Arms & Armour folks if they'll sell you an unmounted head. If they'll do it, it will at least save you the HUGE shipping expense of the mounted piece. They have this new poleaxe they're selling, mounted and shipped, for around $450. Almost $50 of that is shipping. If you could cut the shipping down by eliminating the haft, and get at least some kind of discount for the unmounted head, you might be able get one of the nicest poleaxes made for less than $400 and mount it to your own specs. I don't know if A&A is willing to do that sort of thing, but it's certainly worth asking if you're serious about polearms. Just think about what you'd spend for the equivalent quality sword.


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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)


Last edited by Sean Flynt on Mon 21 Jul, 2008 1:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jul, 2008 1:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You also might want to consider the new poleaxe from Get Dressed For Battle:

http://www.gdfb.co.uk/acatalog/GDFB_Weapons.html

It's sold head-only for under $100. I think I've seen those for sale in the U.S. but I don't recall where. If I wanted a classic poleaxe on a tight budget, this is the route I'd go. Otherwise I'd save for a head-only purchase from A&A.



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Tim May




Location: Annapolis, MD
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jul, 2008 1:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kult of Athena may be able to get the pole axe head for you from Get Dressed For Battle, it seems their new shields and bosses are made by them. I own two of the bosses and have to say that they are great for DIY jobs, and the pole arm certainly looks great.
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Shane Smith




Location: Virginia Beach
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PostPosted: Sat 26 Jul, 2008 6:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian Henry Tobler wrote:
Hi Shane,

You know, I've have a pair of the older Bec de Corbins that they sold a few years back. Just in the last couple of weeks, I started thinking about replacing the hafts (Bill Grandy has told me the horror story about his). I think you've just raised the priority level for me! Thanks.

All the best,

Christian


Yeah, the shafts really do need replacing if you intend to actually train with them. I'm glad I could have saved you and some others here some disappointment were they to snap at an inopportune moment. Best regards.

Shane Smith
ARMA~ Virginia Beach
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Corey D. Sullivan




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PostPosted: Sat 26 Jul, 2008 6:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
You also might want to consider the new poleaxe from Get Dressed For Battle:

http://www.gdfb.co.uk/acatalog/GDFB_Weapons.html

It's sold head-only for under $100. I think I've seen those for sale in the U.S. but I don't recall where. If I wanted a classic poleaxe on a tight budget, this is the route I'd go. Otherwise I'd save for a head-only purchase from A&A.



I've wondered about that piece. It doesn't look too bad, and the price is certainly right.

But the hammer face is what turns me off. It looks completely flat. Has anyone seen one in real life to confirm that this is the case?

"He had scantly finyshed his saienge but the one armye espyed the other lord how hastely the souldioures buckled their healmes how quikly the archers bent ther bowes and frushed their feathers how redely the byllmen shoke their bylles and proved their staves redy to appioche and loyne when the terrible trotnpet should sound the blast to victorie or deathe."
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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Sat 26 Jul, 2008 8:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have not seen on in real life that is flat. That said I've only been able to see items in a few museum collections in the United States so its not like I have exposure to a huge sample of them.
"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
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"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
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Reece Nelson




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PostPosted: Sat 26 Jul, 2008 8:55 pm    Post subject: poke axe         Reply with quote

Here is the same windless steelcraft pole axe for much cheaper.

http://www.kultofathena.com/product~item~600640~name~Pole+Axe.htm
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Mark Millman





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PostPosted: Sat 26 Jul, 2008 10:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Folks,

Hal Siegel's Therion Arms Web-site has a profile view of the GDFB pollaxe head. The photo--the upper one of the two on that page--makes clear that the hammer-face is cut with grooves, probably waffle grooves, but is not toothed as many historical examples are. The URL is:

http://therionarms.com/reenact/therionarms_c1016.html

For comparison, the Arms & Armor pollaxe does have a toothed hammer-face:

http://www.arms-n-armor.com/pole010.html

I hope that this proves helpful.

Best,

Mark Millman
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Bill Sahigan





Joined: 06 Jun 2008

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PostPosted: Tue 09 Sep, 2008 8:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

bummer..

so.. looks like it is impossible to get a decent quality Pollaxe for under $200 then?

Sad
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Chuck Russell




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PostPosted: Wed 10 Sep, 2008 5:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i have the GDFB axe and its nice. some of the welds are a lil ruff but its def worth the cash. i've seen the windlass axe as well and its ok. nothing super nice but ok. i would agree to change the handle on it though.
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Shane Allee
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Location: South Bend, IN
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Sep, 2008 6:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know anything about them other than the seller posted the link on the armour archive the other day. Didn't think that they looked too bad, but I don't know that much about these type of things.

http://shop.ebay.com/merchant/fnoog

Shane
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Nathan Keysor




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PostPosted: Wed 10 Sep, 2008 8:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Shane Allee wrote:
I don't know anything about them other than the seller posted the link on the armour archive the other day. Didn't think that they looked too bad, but I don't know that much about these type of things.

http://shop.ebay.com/merchant/fnoog

Shane


Those look interesting. The problem with polearms is the large size makes the shipping prohibitive unless you just order the dismounted head and haft it yourself.

Regarding MRL polearms, I have their Berdiche and Lochaber Axe. I bought these at least a decade ago. They are both decent quality considering the price point. I do think that high quality is more crucial with swords than with polearms which should be a little rough in most cases considering they were often times made by village blacksmiths and used by peasant levies.

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Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"
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