Crucifixion spike

33 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

Here is an interesting piece I did a while ago! A pastor in IN. wanted me to make some crucifixion spikes for a sort of object lesson he was doing. I did about 6 of them. They are 100% to scale, functional, and authentic. 8 inches long and 1/2-5/8 at the thickest.

They were forged out of RR spikes!

DSC02796.jpg

DSC02794.jpg

Anyone else ever done any?
Thoughts???
Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I like it, you could use it for fastening posts together or all kinds of things..

How do you know this is correct? What did you base it on?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

if they were authentic, would hey not be wrought? Neat project

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I make a smaller nail something like yours then I put a card with it called the "Christmas Nail"

"Christmas Nail"

It is to be hung on a sturdy branch ,
a branch near the trunk,a branch that
will hold such a spike without being noticed by
well-wishers dropping by to admire one's
tinseled tree. The NAIL is known only to the
home that hangs it and understood by the
heart that knows its significance. It is hung with
the thought that the Christmas Tree foreshadows the
Christ-tree which only He could decorate for us,
ornamented with NAILS such as this.

wrap a piece of copper wire under the head then make a hook so it can hang from a tree.Makes a great gift for friends and family.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

i have the cold demo season started up today, all that sold was a handful of key chains

Edited by tetnum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I was looking at a site that had a nail that was still through what was left of a cross beam and it was clinched over on the back and had a washer on the front side apparently to keep the nail head from tearing through the flesh. I think it was on the Biblical Archaeology site some time ago. Not a nice way to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Pun Alert. Can't help myself..Dave nice work, you really nailed that one.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I was looking at a site that had a nail that was still through what was left of a cross beam and it was clinched over on the back and had a washer on the front side apparently to keep the nail head from tearing through the flesh. I think it was on the Biblical Archaeology site some time ago. Not a nice way to go.


I was at Robb Gunter's this past fall and he said they have excavated 2 bodies with nails through BOTH ankles from the side of the ankle. And both nails had the wooden 'washer' made from olive wood. Robb is extremely knowledgable in Biblical iron work... He sited the same reason for the washers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Closest I have come to making something similar was a little after Thanksgiving last year. For our Christmas play last year and other times we did the life story of Jesus, complete with crucifixion. The directors needed somebody to make the nails to hold the people on the crosses, so I told them I would take care of it. Since we couldn't exactly nail them to the crosses through the wrists and ankles we made them slightly different. Took 6 railroad spikes cut the heads off about 3" down from the top and then took some flat stock and bent that into a U, then welded the 3 pieces together. The spike would be driven into a hole in the wood and with the persons wrists in the U it looked like they were driven through the wrists.

I like it and may have to steal that idea, and give it to my pastor for Christmas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I'm going to have to forge some to show at church. Usually you don't think of this around this time of year, but it is a good project. Makes you think what humans went through back in that time period. Thanks for showing us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

OK, this is not about the nails (which are quite excellent) but I made some rugged crosses (15" high) and I think the impact is similar....cause dying like that ain't pretty...

Dave

19505.attach

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I was asked by my church to make some as well, and as the audience was going to be quite a distance away, we decided on making the spike look like large nails, about 8 inches long. It was a good heading excercise, and they came out fine. Perhaps not historically perfect, yet I'll bet something along those lines were applicable in hurry up and do it situations where perpetrators were quickly hung up!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Here are some pictures of a sculpture I did with some nails it.

HH

19553.attach

19554.attach

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

There is also archaeological evidence that possibly in some crucifixions that the nails were driven through the heel bone. There is an artifact out there in Israel (If I remember correctly...was mentioned in my archaeology class) in the collection of a doctor specializing in this type of punishment with the heel bone of an individual still with the nail through it. It is thought to sow that the feet were nailed to the sides of the cross.

The nail was bent over and unable to be removed, so it was thought to be the reason why they found it like that upon excavation. I would imagine that there were several nails reused…gruesome business, but cool to have some artifacts to help us guess how it went down…

They went further to state that in this location of the heel where the nail passed through had no major blood vessels, but large clusters of nerves. Meaning the extended pain and suffering for the individual without undue blood loss.

…just like anything a lot of this is trying to see the full picture of the puzzle with several pieces missing. There are a whole lot of ideas out there on it, and I am sure even more ways of doing it, nail sizes, etc…

Peyton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Makes you think what humans went through back in that time period. Thanks for showing us.


Yes I can't even begin to imagine a death like that! Also shows us the pure depravity of man too; to think that any group of people would use that as a standard method of execution! It's a lot like the tortures of the "Inquisition" and other groups throughout history! You read about the stuff that was used to torture and prolong the death of individuals, and you think "goodness gracious, how could someone do that to someone else, JUST because they think differently!" Something to think about anyway!

Back on subject! :D
Thanks for all the complements!

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

actully it was a slow and painful death your lungs would fill with fluid and you drown. The only way to get a breath is to try to stand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Christ dying in mere hours was a "surprise" as it was expected to take two or more days for a person to expire through crucifixion. I have been told by a knowledgeable preacher that the body would typically be left till the animals stripped it away. This added insult and torment to the family as they could not perform final rites and give proper burial.

Gruesome, and cruel most definitely.

This is less a "thanks for sharing" and more a "thanks for reminding" since this season is not about the commercialization of the world, black Friday or cyber Monday or N shopping days left till Christmas, only to be set to 365 come Christmas.

I'm not very religious either, but faith is very important. Thank you.

Phil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

And now we think water boarding is torture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Thanks for all the response!

One of the historical things about it I read was that they were made square so that when the victim tried to raise himself to relieve pressure, the hands rotated on the square edges. Ouch!

Just something interesting!

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

As usual........IFI has come to the rescue again. I just got a request to make some Crucifixion nails. At first the client thought they'd be 9"-10" long. And to be "correct"....they should be forged from wrought or bronze.
Well I made a few from mild steel and without a header......just to give her an idea what they'd look like. Because I had no photo to go from....the first one I did was started w/ 3/8"sq. .........she then sent me pix.....and it was apparent that I needed to start with at least 1/2" sq. stock. So I whipped out two other samples. Thought I'd toss out this photo of what I made. AND......I'm now wondering if I under quoted these........told her they'd be in the $15ea. range........but only from mild steel. I do have a 2" sq. bar of wrought....that I could draw down.......but it would cost her MUCH more lol. I may do a few in wrought just for me........I NOW want to make one of the crucifixion crosses like you see made from cut nails. I have one I bought in MX.......back in the mid seventies for a guide.

This thread has been invaluable. You guys rock. :)

post-1139-12632219317463_thumb.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

After the slave revolt led by Spartacus, the Roman general Crassus had the surviving 6000 slaves crucified along the sides of the road. All the way from the extreme south of the country back to Rome.
The Saxons had an even more blood-thirsty way of demonstrating their displeasure called 'blood-eagle' which involved disembowelment and splitting open the chest to throw the lungs over the shoulders (while the victim was still alive).
Hanging drawing and quartering on the other hand...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Will I truly believe there is no end on how one man can be cruel to another as I'm sure one form of death can be found to top another. Such is the problem Jesus had and died for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I'm learning more regarding the history of these spikes/nails. And I'd like to run this by everyone here. And see if anyone else can verify this info, which was forwarded to me by client. Specifically a "double headed nail" similar to carpenter's double headed nails.I know this gets into some sensitive territory..........I'm mainly interested in the "forging challenge" and being accurate. Appreciate any help. IF this turns out to be factual info.....I'm thinking a "spring swage tool" will make these possible. Any ideas regarding that are also appreciated.

"I also found out another historical/archeological fact that is interesting as I am trying to be relatively historically accurate. These nails were used over and over because the metal was too valuable to throw away a nail after a single use (macabre I know!) Thus the nails had a ridge on them like modern ridge carpenter's nails. I have attached a photo of the only archeological evidence that exists in terms of type of nail actually used found intact in an ankle of a crucified individual. In that case the nail was bent and may have been driven into a knot in the wood so it would have been hard to immediately extract so the Romans probably just passed it over. Most crucified individuals were not allowed to be buried by the Romans and left out for wild animals as further humiliation so there is not much actual archeological evidence. "

post-1139-12633439987507_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I`m somewhat puzzled as to why these spikes would have a double head on them.
The modern use of a duplex nail or scaffold nail needs 2 heads.The first ridge or head does what a normal nail head does and that is to press the mating surfaces of both timbers in close contact to each other and keep them there.The second head is there so that you can easily extract the nail without having to use something like a "catspaw" to dig into the face of the timber and get under the head to extract.Modern manufacturing techniques make it easy to head these nails like this.
It would further complicate the relatively simple process of making a standard spike to forge that double head.Seems like it would require upsetting and then more hammer work.
Keep in mind that the folks who were on the receiving end of these were criminals and enemies of the state.Once the person had expired I don`t think the folks retrieving the spikes were worried about how much damage they did retrieving those spikes.Whatever implement was used for their retrieval was probably just hammered in just like a catspaw and the spike pulled.
I can`t imagine the state would go to the extra trouble to make double headed spikes so they wouldn`t damage the body of a person they just crucified.
Just because 1 spike has evidence of something that might be an extra ridge doesn`t mean every spike was forged that way.If there were more recovered spikes and they all had the same evidence then someone would have a case for stating that all crucifixion were specially forged like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now