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Scott H.




Location: Illinois
Joined: 10 May 2004

Posts: 94

PostPosted: Fri 10 Dec, 2004 4:50 pm    Post subject: bearded axe         Reply with quote

Hello all, and Happy Holidays!

Here is my first attempt at antiquing (ala Sean Flynt). It's Albion's Bearded Axe mounted on an old hickory handle I found. I used the vinegar and salt treatment he described as well as the walnut stain and sanding on the handle. Whajja think?

However, the handle, being straight, and just a teensy bit small for the axehead, needed to be shimmed with wood. Is this an authentic way to attach it? Or would they drive a metal wedge into the end of the handle? Or drill a hole through the side and rivet it? Or even wrap the head with leather straps? For some reason the wood shims work themselves out every once in a while and I need to tap them back in. Anybody who knows what the best "historically correct" method of attachment please let me know!

Thanks in advance!

Scott



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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Fri 10 Dec, 2004 6:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks great to me, man. All of the ways you just described to attach the handles are okay, I guess. The way I have seen a lot of tomahawks and small axes done is by inserting the handle through the top of the head, then beating it on. The handle would be tapered....slightly smaller at the grip end than where it meets the head. This would make the handle actually tighten up the more you swing it and chop with it. I'm sure, though, that in ancient times the heads of axes were attached all of those ways. Hasty battlefield repairs might see them held together with most anything. I use the salt and vinegar soak to age blades and stuff too. It works really well to actually bury the piece in the dirt, then soak it over a period of time. I wouldn't ,however, suggest doing this to an Albion Next Gen or anything. I use that method only to age bare blades, and I wrap the tang in duct tape very well. Dang........I gotta get you guys some pics of some of the stuff I've made! It may be crappy looking to y'all, but I'm proud of 'em. Anyway, good job! mcm
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Peter Johnsson
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Location: Storvreta, Sweden
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2004 3:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

An authentic way to affix the blade to the haft is to cut to slits halfway down the part of the haft hidden in the head.
The two slits should be cut like an X. One aligned with the grain (going i the direction of the edge of the axe) and the other slanting across this.
Sometimes I have seen small iron wedges sitting in the rust inside the eye of vikig axes.
You could use one wedge of wood and the second wedge of iron. The last wedge would then seal the binding.
This method works best of there is already a decent fit between haft and axe eye.
I do not think viking axes were affixed the same way as Tomahawks and hatchets. The eyes are generally too small to allow for the haft to be even smaller. Some axe heads have more generous eyes, but I think the same method was used in most cases.

...and why in the world not antique a Next Gen sword?!?!?!?!
I am eagerly wating for someone to do this. I think that would really bring out the character in these swords, if only some one would attempt it. I might do that myself sometime soon.
Such a treatment does not have to be detrimental for the performance in any way. If you like the look of ancient swords, then why not use a really high quality canvas for your antiquing skills?
Even only half decent swords look really good when distressed in this way. A sword that has the right shape and proportions to begin with will yield even better results.

...but that is just me. Wink
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Brian M




Location: Austin, TX
Joined: 01 Oct 2003

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PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2004 10:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think that, done judiciously, it could look great. But I'd be loath to mess up one of my nice, shiny Albions. Wouldn't you have to antique the sword before putting the grip on, and then distress the grip to match?

Brian M
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2004 10:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm becoming a big fan of this antiquing process. On the other hand I think I'd have to practice on a few cheaper pieces first, before risking one of my beautiful Next Gens. Big Grin

I do think a sword like the Berserkr or the Hersir would look great if finished in this way.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Scott H.




Location: Illinois
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Posts: 94

PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2004 2:55 pm    Post subject: bearded axe         Reply with quote

Thanks guys!

Another question occurred to me... I was wondering if the handle would've been wrapped in leather. Are there any surviving axes with handles from this period?

Thanks again,
Scott
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Patrick Fitzmartin





Joined: 07 Nov 2003

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PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2004 4:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greetings Scott H, Which model is this? I have not seen it to my knowledge on their web site. Great job! I own one of their type L Bredoix that is already sanded down that I purchased "previously owned". Once I haft it, I think I will smooth it out some, then put the "treatment" to it for character.
Greetings All, With all this talk of antiquing an Albion Next Gen. I propose this. I live in Texas with a wife who likes to air the house out during the most humid times of the year. After going thru all the polishing and oilng etc. and lacking museum quality storage conditions, I finally quit. Eek! My swords get handled. They get exposed. If they rust, they get hit with a "rust eraser" and cleaned. They do get oiled. Otherwise, they age and patina as if they were field carried. Some may accuse me of "laziness" but I prefer my weapons this way. Just me though. Others may prefer the high polish and that is fine too. Big Grin Sincerely, Patrick Fitzmartin


Last edited by Patrick Fitzmartin on Sun 12 Dec, 2004 7:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Patrick Fitzmartin





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PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2004 5:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greetings Peter Johnsson, Quite awhile back in reference to an A&A axe head hafting query, you suggested using thin leather in hafting the axe head. I would like to say I did use your suggestion and wound up with a firmly mounted axe head that has not loosened since. This is an excellent suggestion especially in the case where the woodworking to the axe head is not exactly perfect. My profound thanks to you sir! Sincerely, Patrick Fitzmartin
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2004 6:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter, I think you mistook my meaning when I said I would 'never do that to an Albion Next Gen'. I would LOVE to see some NG's antiqued.......I just meant that I wouldn't bury one in the back yard and pour pickle brine on it ! Ha !! Personally, I think there are some Squire line swords out there that are begging...pleading...to be aged several hundred years! The Knightly sword would look great with a distressed grip and aged steel!!............mcm
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Scott H.




Location: Illinois
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Dec, 2004 6:42 am    Post subject: bearded axe         Reply with quote

Patrick-
The axe head is Albion's Viking Type B Large Skeggox. But as I just went to their site I see it is DISCONTINUED!!

I must have got the last one. Worried

Truth be told, I was a bit (only slightly mind you) dissapointed in the quality of the piece. It was way too obviously modern make. No taper to it just flat metal welded into shape. Which is why I decided to antique it in the first place. Now I'm VERY happy with it! And for the price, I certainly can't complain.

Thanks again for the compliments!

My question still stands for all you Viking experts out there--- Would the handle be wrapped in leather? And if so, what would the pattern be?

Thank you all!

Scott Harding
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Dec, 2004 1:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some quick words...

I do not think the handles were wrapped in leather, but I have no proof they were not.
To me it seems "out of character", but you never know...

Albion axes:
We have some plans to introduce some new axe heads that are patterned more closely to originals, fulfilling the same demands on quality and authenticity in style as the NG swords.
I think these will be presented together with a few spear heads as well.

There are some production method issues we need to work out first. Depending on what method we go for it will allow for different models to be presented.

Those type of axe heads I see there is an obvious need for are a light "skeggyxa" and a light handaxe of the same type as the mammen axe. It would also be great to see a bigger war axe as well.
Apart from viking axes I´d like to see a fransiska and one or two medieval war axes.

For spear heads it should be nice to see a broad and generous lance and a light slim throwing spear, both viking style.
Perhaps one or two Celtic spear heads are withing the realm of the possible as well.

We´ll see.
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Scott H.




Location: Illinois
Joined: 10 May 2004

Posts: 94

PostPosted: Sun 12 Dec, 2004 2:55 pm    Post subject: bearded axe         Reply with quote

Peter-

I KNEW IT!! Razz

As soon as it arrived, I thought to myself that Albion would be upgrading the quality of those pieces! Big Grin

Please keep us updated!! I'd be very interested in what you guys come up with!

Happy Holidays,
Scott
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Patrik Erik Lars Lindblom




Location: Göteborg Sweden
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Dec, 2004 3:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eek! Eek! Eek!
Those quick words from you, Peter!
I really like them Big Grin

God Jul!
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Patrick Fitzmartin





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Posts: 136

PostPosted: Sun 12 Dec, 2004 3:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greetings Scott H., I share your feelings on the axe heads. The type L I bought "previously owned" had all the paint sanded off and looks real rough. Worried It's profile matches my book pictures though. So here we go with the high grit papers to smooth things out and then some "treatment" to tone the whole package down again. I am glad to see Albion is looking to upgrade their axe line. I do like alot of the original offerings. I recently got an A&A Danish axe to go with my Shifford. It would be nice to get something to go with my Gotland if the type L doesn't work out. Razz Sincerely, Patrick Fitzmartin
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Petri Peltola




Location: Turku, Finland
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Jan, 2005 5:45 am    Post subject: Re: bearded axe         Reply with quote

Scott H. wrote:

My question still stands for all you Viking experts out there--- Would the handle be wrapped in leather? And if so, what would the pattern be?
Scott Harding


I'm just back from Riga and visited the history museum of Latvia there - look what I found! Happy Unfortunately they had no signs whatsoever in english, but the axe was in the part of the exhibition I'd date to late Iron age. It sure looks like a hand axe-haft wrapped in leather and I've never seen anything like it. The latvian soil seems to be gentle on organic stuff - they even have a round iron age shield on display.

Sorry about the crappy picture, I wish I had a better one. The edges of the the strip of leather had a row of small marks - probably a decoration.



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Alexi Goranov
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Jan, 2005 6:25 am    Post subject: Re: bearded axe         Reply with quote

Petri Peltola wrote:


I'm just back from Riga and visited the history museum of Latvia there - look what I found! Happy Unfortunately they had no signs whatsoever in english, but the axe was in the part of the exhibition I'd date to late Iron age. It sure looks like a hand axe-haft wrapped in leather and I've never seen anything like it. The latvian soil seems to be gentle on organic stuff - they even have a round iron age shield on display.

Sorry about the crappy picture, I wish I had a better one. The edges of the the strip of leather had a row of small marks - probably a decoration.


The haft is so much better preserved by the head (at least the leather cover) that makes me want to say that is was added to the head AFTER the head was excavated.

I could be wrong though.

Alexi
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Scott H.




Location: Illinois
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Jan, 2005 6:37 am    Post subject: axe handle wrap         Reply with quote

Thanks Petri!

This was what I was wondering about! That's the first example I've seen. Thank you again.

Scott
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Jan, 2005 7:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Petri;

Wrapping handles would seem to me an obvious thing to do even if proof of it being done seems very hard to find.

I assume that wrapping axe handles improves your grip and can also help keep the handle from splitting or keep it together if a spilt occurs.

Now take the case of having your axe handle break or splitting along the grain: Wouldn't using leather or cord make it usable again ? Let say an axe handle were wrapped with cord over it's entire length before it even broke: Taking up a lot of the stress of the chock of heavy blows. (Wouldn't this increase the usefull life and strength of the handle ? )

Now with so few surviving examples knowing what practical or decorative pattern were used becomes the question ?

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