Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Damage to A&A English Bill... Reply to topic
This is a standard topic Go to page 1, 2  Next 
Author Message
Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,215

PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov, 2005 5:59 pm    Post subject: Damage to A&A English Bill...         Reply with quote

Yeah, that's right. I managed to mess up my bill cutting pumpkins. Yes, I am a moron.

While I was very careful with my Cervenka backsword, I assumed the bill was too tough to worry about. Well, I managed to fumble on a downward blow from overhead and ended up striking a pumpkin with the flat of the bill's point. 3 mm of steel thick, but it bent quite a bit.

Luckily I was able to bend it back, but I'm sure the metal's weaker at that point now. After seeing that happen I don't think I'll ever hit anything with the flat of a sword.

Anyways, folks, don't me like me. Remember that edge alignment still matters very much with polearms.
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,256

PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov, 2005 7:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

OOOOOOOOPS. Eek!

So was this a vertical cut gone wrong were the blade hit with the heavily curved pointy bit and twisted out of line ?

All the force concentrated on the point when it his something hard under the pumpkin ?

Or did it bend on the pumpkin itself: Didn't know that pumpkins were that hard !

Finally, did you mean you deliberately hit with the side of the blade.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
James Aldrich




Location: Green Bay WI
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 112

PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov, 2005 7:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The wily gourd claims another victim. I was just palnning on whacking some pumpkins with an A&A German Flail. Let's see the buggers damage that! I was also going to slice up a few with my Agincourt, but maybe not until I achieve serenity.

JSA
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Austin Demshar





Joined: 03 Aug 2005

Posts: 45

PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov, 2005 10:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i swung my unknown brand halberd into a wood stump and it kinda bent the metal... lol... but it bent back. Then i threw it like a spear, and it stuck... yes... but the spike nearly broke off. Just thought id share.
View user's profile Send private message
Allan Senefelder
Industry Professional



Location: Upstate NY
Joined: 18 Oct 2003

Posts: 1,563

PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2005 4:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The top spike on polearms were not always as hard as the rest of the blade since the idea was to impale horses, a soft target. This doesn't mean that the top spike wasn't used to try and take a bite out of other things. One of the period pole arm heads (a fuschard or miltary fork) that we have shows signs of the side tines having to be straightened more than once and the main spike is a tad wavey as well(still wouldn't want to whined up on the end of it).
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Eric Nower




Location: Upstate NY
Joined: 22 Dec 2004

Posts: 174

PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2005 4:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I tend to agree with Allan, spike should have been used for the un-horseing part of combat. Blades, hooks, and other fun parts come into play after that.
May God have mercy on my enemies, for I shall have none.
View user's profile Send private message
Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,215

PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2005 6:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
So was this a vertical cut gone wrong were the blade hit with the heavily curved pointy bit and twisted out of line ?


A vertical cut gone wrong yes, but it hit with the flat of the bill's straight spear point and bent maybe six inches down. I think twisted in my hands in the air, though I'm not sure.

Quote:
All the force concentrated on the point when it his something hard under the pumpkin ?

Or did it bend on the pumpkin itself: Didn't know that pumpkins were that hard!


Pumpkins - or at least these pumpkins - were quite resistant to any kind of blunt truma. When they were on the ground you could often beat a 'em with eight and a half foot staff for a while without seeming to do much damage. When I hit with the flat of the spear point it bent the steel and barely even scratched the pumpkin. Not really what I was expecting, but that's out it turned out.

Note that before that I before the bend I had murdered many pumpkins with the bill. Anything with an edge goes right through a pumpkin.

Quote:
Finally, did you mean you deliberately hit with the side of the blade.


No. I'm stupid, but not that stupid. I didn't do it on purpose, but I should have been more careful.
View user's profile Send private message
Craig Johnson
Industry Professional



Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 16 pages
Reading list: 20 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,387

PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2005 10:02 am    Post subject: Historical Polearms -The Pumpkin Murders         Reply with quote

Hello Gang

Obviously the vegetable world is rising up and developing countermeasures as test cutting becomes more popular!

Historically pole weapons are usually not heat treated. There has not been a great deal of testing done so far but what has been done shows that often the heads are iron not steel and could not be hardened if they wanted. The later the period goes the more steel may show in the pole arms and the heat treat may show up but at this point I have seen very little evidence that they were hardened at all.

This compounded with the head being on a shaft 5 to 8 foot long in most cases results in an enormous amount of force being generated on the piece when it strikes, and hopefully on the target as well. This would be another good reason to have a softer head as the force will bend and not fracture the piece.

The desire for period items to be hardened is often over exaggerated by us modern people looking back at the items with our desire to maximize and have the "best of the best of the best".

Keep well
Craig
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,215

PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2005 11:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting. Well, at least in the late 16th century, Sir Roger William wanted bills to made of good steel, though this was in reaction to the fact that most of the time they weren't made of such material, but rather just iron, and often poor quality iron. In fact, that was supposedly one reason bills got such ill fame...
View user's profile Send private message
Craig Johnson
Industry Professional



Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 16 pages
Reading list: 20 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,387

PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2005 11:55 am    Post subject: Steel         Reply with quote

Hey Benjamin

Yes, there are many such statements from the annuals and records of the time. In dealing with descriptive text about metallurgy from the period, one needs to remember they did not necessarily have the concept of steel and iron, and the difference there between, codified or even identified at that point. They knew there was a range of material and that some worked better than others and certain production centers created "good steel" but this is still often an iron/steel mix and the carbon content ranges over a much wider consistency than modern steels. The problem is exacerbated by translators combining such references from the specific language used by the commentator and often just applied the word steel when they may have been well aware that they were asking for something specific.

Then the fact that even if it is made of steel or steely iron, it does not mean they bothered to heat treat the piece and in the case of pole arms one would probably not care or want the piece to be.

There are a lot of reasons why and one can get very detailed in the exploration of this. But I think it is good to remember that they were a very practical and skilled bunch and they did what was needed and desired. Today we have a certain context we view these items from. It may well be different than the view they had. The result is we as modern people interested in weapons and armor may over emphasize what we think is important and sometimes we lose track of what the practical users of the day felt was important. This can hide very interesting aspects of items we would never give them credit for as well as read into such comments as "good steel" that they had heat treat in mind.

Best
Craig
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Lloyd Clark




Location: Beaver Dam, WI
Joined: 08 Sep 2004

Posts: 508

PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2005 12:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Remember that we broke a "perfectly good" Cold Steel Grosse Messer last year on a pumpkin - they are not to be trifled with!

I have bent a few really nice swords over the years when cutting pumpkins from horseback (well, actually I was trying to "splat" them with the flat of the blade) and I have recently come up with a good "human torso" replica by taking three large pumpkins, "staking" them together and then duct taping them tightly. I then put furniture pad around to replicate a gambeson. It took a "change of my thought process" to get the cuts into the "torso" efficiently. Now I just gotta put maille on it Evil

Cheers,

Lloyd Clark
2000 World Jousting Champion
2004 World Jousting Bronze Medalist
Swordmaster
Super Proud Husband and Father!
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,256

PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2005 1:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig;

As you know I am one of the " moderns " who prefers some heat treating / hardening on my polearms as I have requested some edge hardening on my spears and pollaxe and my " custom Langue de Boeuf " .

This may not be historically correct but I still prefer being able to get a sharp edge: Too many years collecting modern fighting knives ( designing my own custom ones also ) at 60 R.C. have warped my mind and expectations I guess. Razz Laughing Out Loud

I've gotten used to the idea of edges at around 50 R.C. to be a hard enough for a decent edge while avoiding excessive brittleness, more so if the hardening is limited to the very edge with the rest at 40 R.C.

I can fully accept that historically polearms were dead soft for practical reasons and that most were battlefield weapons or peasant weapons. With my Langue de Boeuf I see it ( Fantasy I admit ) more like an imaginary situation of a polearm commissioned by a Knight from a high end maker as a personal weapon and sharper than the norm.

In any case the material qualities don't change the " look " of the weapon, so it's sort of an invisible departure from historical accuracy. I also see it finished closer to a sword finish than a cruder peasant or munitions weapon. ( Not anything close to a mirror polish, just an absence of obvious modern tool marks ! Some feeling that it is hand made not CNC NASA grade perfection is fine and gives character, so deliberate minor flaws making it look period are also O.K. Wink Laughing Out Loud

Oh, different culture / different time, but aren't Japanese polearms hardened and finished at the same level as their swords, at least with quality weapons ?

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,256

PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2005 1:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin;

Oh, I think I misunderstood exactly where the damage happened on your English Bill: Rather than the thrusting point I thought it was the top point of the axe-like part where it curves at the top. I thought you hit something hard with this point rather than the lower edge. This point would also be vulnerable to a twisting misaligned hit IMHO.

This might change the way my earlier post might be understood.

If the steel is dead soft it should be almost as strong after you bent it back than it was originally: It should take many cycles of bending / straitening before metal fatigue becomes an issue.

A heat treated one might have been more difficult to bend, but once bent and straitened the physical qualities of the hardened version would have been changed more for the worse than with the dead soft steel. ( Could be wrong here ? )

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Craig Johnson
Industry Professional



Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 16 pages
Reading list: 20 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,387

PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2005 1:42 pm    Post subject: Choices         Reply with quote

Hello Jean

I realize there are different design goals over the whole range of weapons. I did not mean to imply any negativity to heat treating piece by design or to say in period they could not have done so. It was just a clarification on what the goal of a replica piece maybe and how far do we step away for our modern tastes as an industry. This can be on many different levels and the quality of work and the initial design and purpose varied as much if not more in period.

I think it is valuable to look at those trends we see in the period pieces and ask why this choice. As often they are choices that would not be made by a modern person looking back with the idea that improvement and development of "better" pieces is always good, no matter what.

I hope Benjamin, or any one else, does not take it as a "it should be this way" kind of thing at all.

Best
Craig
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,256

PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2005 2:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig;

No offence taken at all and your explanations contrasting modern expectations and the way things were done is very interesting: Probably optimum for the actual period use in spite of my tendency to want to tinker with stuff and theoretically make them better.

I was sort of taking advantage of the opportunity to state my reasons for my preferences.

Also I was debating with myself about when to ask you for a progress report about my project. Wink

I have been making a conscious point of NOT micromanaging the project now that we settled on the details of the project: Trying to be the best customer I can be. Big Grin

Just couldn't resist the temptation to just mention my preferences again: By the way no rush with finishing the project, but around Xmas would be nice. ( Get back to me in a private E-Mail so as to not subject everybody to private business and clutter up the Forum, my bad. Blush Laughing Out Loud ) ( Sorry moderators )

( Sorry for the detour only distantly related to the topic. )

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,215

PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2005 8:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
If the steel is dead soft it should be almost as strong after you bent it back than it was originally


That's how it seems to be, though I don't really want to put that kind of stress on it again. But it looks fine now and feels quite stiff, just like it did before the bend. Perhaps it really isn't "damaged" at all. I was certainly able to successfully stab a few more pumpkins after I bent the point back into place.

Craig, note that I haven't once said that the bill shouldn't have bent, nor have I questioned its quality in any way. When I used it properly it cut pumpkins to pieces without trouble.

But I must say that some period weapons were simply poorly made. For whatever reason, Sir Roger William deemed the metal found in many bills to be unacceptable. For another example, some surviving polearms have pine shafts. Clearly not the best wood for a handle, but people use what they've got.
View user's profile Send private message
Lancelot Chan
Industry Professional



Location: Hong Kong
Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 1,299

PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2005 4:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Indeed, and so were the Chinese for the quality ones.

Jean Thibodeau wrote:


Oh, different culture / different time, but aren't Japanese polearms hardened and finished at the same level as their swords, at least with quality weapons ?

Ancient Combat Association http://www.acahk.org
Realistic Sparring Weapons http://www.rsw.com.hk
Nightstalkers http://www.nightstalkers.com.hk
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Craig Johnson
Industry Professional



Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 16 pages
Reading list: 20 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,387

PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2005 5:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
Craig, note that I haven't once said that the bill shouldn't have bent, nor have I questioned its quality in any way. When I used it properly it cut pumpkins to pieces without trouble.

But I must say that some period weapons were simply poorly made. For whatever reason, Sir Roger William deemed the metal found in many bills to be unacceptable. For another example, some surviving polearms have pine shafts. Clearly not the best wood for a handle, but people use what they've got.


Mornin Benjamin

Yes I did note that and did not feel as if you were implying as such, at all. I just really enjoy exploring these issues and was mainly responding to Sir Roger's comment and the difficulty of us truly fathoming the meaning for such comments across the historical record.

I could not agree more in the use of shoddy materials and less than first rate methods from producers in period on some pieces. Just a quick gander at the pole arm book will detail that as well as any look at a reasonably average sample of pole arms. Other items would have been done better than we may have the skills for today, much as in the Japanese and Chinese traditions.

I think on many pole arms they did not want the item to be hard as a design issue but that is speculation. It does not mean they did not do it at all just that they were more attuned to the practical needs of their users and worked to produce what was needed. As you stated, the use of materials may well have been a pick between less than optimal choices.

Best
Craig
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Bob Burns




Location: South Indianapolis IN
Joined: 09 Sep 2005
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 112 books

Posts: 1,019

PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2005 11:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Although I did not partake in pumpkin demolition with my weaponry, I do in fact have a prisoner in the garage awaiting the games. A 6 foot tall 2 foot by 2 foot cardboard box, as a matter of fact I will be tending to this today. I shall incorporate the Danish War Axe, German Bastard Sword, English Longsword and the Henry V sword upon said box.

Happy Collecting,

Bob
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Hank Reinhardt
Industry Professional



Location: oxford,ga.
Joined: 10 Nov 2005
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 138

PostPosted: Thu 10 Nov, 2005 1:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Most of the German and Swiss halberds had steel edges, and sometimes they were all steel. Long points became steely iron when the axe blade got smaller and the point became more important. The later halberds meant for dress are rarely tempered. Most people don't realize that it wasn't until 1786 that it was shown that it was carbon that turned iron to steel. Hey. I'm new at this, so bear with me while I figure out how all of this works. I am not a computer person. Frankly if it gets more complicated than a wedge, I am lost. Hank Reinhardt
Hank Reinhardt
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Damage to A&A English Bill...
Page 1 of 2 Reply to topic
Go to page 1, 2  Next All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2020 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum