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Christopher Finneman




Location: Sartell Minnesota
Joined: 20 Mar 2006

Posts: 159

PostPosted: Tue 28 Apr, 2009 10:06 pm    Post subject: Heat treated impact weapons         Reply with quote

Hello there

After a few nice brews a friend of mine brought up to me aout heat treating his warhammers and mace.
To me this seems a lil odd. Although having a harder spike on the hammer I think it would be a waste of time doing this to a mace. What I want to know is back when these weapons where made were they hardened and to what degree? I think a war hammer would have a more harder beak and head and have a softer core. But my friend disagrees. He said it be alot more efficiant to have a fully hardened hammer and mace. And I tried to tell him that my hammer on a pole axe was like that and all it did was snap the langets to the hammer.
Any thoughts on this?
Thanks

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G Ezell
Industry Professional



Location: North Alabama
Joined: 22 Dec 2003

Posts: 232

PostPosted: Wed 29 Apr, 2009 1:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Early steels were very shallow-hardening, it would be difficult to harden the entire thing.

Secondly, it was customary to make the 'body' of the weapon with wrought iron, with the business ends made of more expensive hardenable steel. The wrought iron would not harden. This method is usually seen with axes, but I suspect it was also seen on period hammers and polearms.

He's right, one would likely get better performance if the weapon were made entirely of spring-tempered steel, at least it would be more resistant to taking a permanent set when flexed. They didn't have that luxury...

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Justin King
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Location: flagstaff,arizona
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Apr, 2009 6:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Through hardening, case hardening, differential hardening, and bi-metal construction (as described above) have all been used at one time or another for making striking tools.
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Bill Tsafa




Location: Brooklyn, NY
Joined: 20 May 2004

Posts: 599

PostPosted: Wed 29 Apr, 2009 10:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Does anybody know how they made anvils though centuries past?
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D. Austin
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 20 Sep 2007

Posts: 208

PostPosted: Thu 30 Apr, 2009 12:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Although it's slightly off topic, and possibly deserving it's own thread, I'd like to respond to this.

Vassilis Tsafatinos wrote:
Does anybody know how they made anvils though centuries past?


As far as I know, up until early last century, anvils were commonly made by forging separate pieces (body, horn, heel, feet etc) and forge welding them together. A hardenable carbon steel plate was also welded onto the face of the anvil in recent centuries and I would not be surprised if this was the case in earlier centuries.

I love the idea of this, but it seems like an awfully big job to me.
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