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Dave Budd

spears and javelins

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A reenactor friend of mine wanted some archaeologically right spears and javelins to take with him to shows, so I came up with these :) The dimensions are all taken from archaeologically recovered examples from western Europe and Britain and give a much better idea of the weight and shaft size than the broom handle variety that most reenactors are used to. These ones are all made from EN45 spring steel and are tempered to a mid 50's RC, shafts are made from hazel shoots (examples have been found with hazel, willow and poplar, but only rarely with ash and they are from much too far north).

Dimensions (off the top of my head as they've already gone out): Large spear (sharp) 9" blade,14" overall, 16mm diameter socket, weighs about 250 grams I think?. The shaft is a shade under 20mm at head and a bit over 25 at butt, the total length is about 7 feet! Combat safe blunt is meant to be as close to the size and shape as the sharp, but with a 2.5mm edge and 14mm round tip (according to his groups safety spec); it's made it nearly a hundred grams heavier so I upped the socket size to 20mm.
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next up a set of javelins for him to throw at wooden targets. heads are about 5 1/2", 8 1/2" overall and have a socket of 12mm, they weigh about 110g (about 15g difference from heaviest to lightest head). Shafts are 5 feet long. These little things are great, from about 30 feet we were getting them to stick an inch into the end of a seasoned oak log!
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My friend is off to an event this weekend, so we shall see how they are received!


oh and a few extras to get the hang of making spears ;)

iajavs1web.jpgiajavs3web.jpg

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Dave,

That is some very nice work.

Your median lines are excellent. Sockets look good too.

I expect those to be a big hit with the living history crowd.

About the hazel shoots for the shafts; are they something you get ready made, or are you making them from scratch?

Don

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Coppicing probably. A lot of trees will send up straight slim shafts when severely trimmed. Around here we get 8-10' long straight shoots from salt cedar when the conservancy district "mows" the sides of the irrigation canals each year.

Back in Ohio I had a few favorite places where the electric company would clear a slot through a forest for large powerlines and then re-clear it several years later leaving ash shoots for harvesting. (Of course now Ash is NOT to be used due to the Emerald borer issue!)

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thanks folks :) Yes, the shafts were taken from coppiced stools. My workshop is in the middle of a 10 acre woodland, so I'm able to source most of the woods that I like to use from within a few hundred yards! The poles were harvested a few months ago, the barked stripped off and then hung in the rafters of my workshop to season a bit. Then last friday I sat by th campfire and straightened them out.

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Nice.

I've done arrows from dogwood shoots, but never anything that long.

I'll be keeping my eyes open.

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thanks folks smile.gif Yes, the shafts were taken from coppiced stools. My workshop is in the middle of a 10 acre woodland, so I'm able to source most of the woods that I like to use from within a few hundred yards! The poles were harvested a few months ago, the barked stripped off and then hung in the rafters of my workshop to season a bit. Then last friday I sat by th campfire and straightened them out.

with steam?

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sorry to be asking slightly off topic, but how are swallowtail arrowheads made?
many thanks
monty

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i' ve seen them made a few ways, including cutting out from sheet (then rolling the socket) and welding a seperate piece to what starts off life like a bodkin head. The way I've done it is to make the socket, then with the point cut off long it is spilt (like when making a fork), bent around to form the barbs and welded shut at the tip. I was shown the version with the seperate piece welded in, but could never get the hang of it myself.

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