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I Forge Iron

How to forge a flanged mace without welding.


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I was wondering how, in medieval times, "flanged maces", like the Thames River mace (see below), were forged. 

All examples, of Smiths making one that i could find, involved using modern Stick welders to attach the flanges to a core tube. But how would you do it without?

Would you forge a solid, sizable cilinder/ball at the end, chisel in the general shape of the flanges and then finish using files?

Or are the flanges somehow slotted into the socket and then forge weld?

Just curious.

600066-River-Thames-Mace_05_LRG.jpg

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Welcome aboard.  Glad to have you.  If you put your location in your profile it will help us.  Now, we don't know if you are in Lapland or Tasmania.  A surprising amount of answers are geography dependent.

As to mace construction:  You would have to determine if the mace head is wrought or cast iron.  If the former, I suspect that it was probably some form of forge welding.  Wrought iron is a lot easier to weld than modern steel.  If the latter, it would be cast like any other object.

The Thames mace is very tentatively dated to the 13th century but that could be little more than speculation.  There was an iron casting industry in the English Weald in the 15th and 16th centuries.  So, casting is a possibility.

If I were to try to replicate a similar object without forge welding I think I would drill or punch the shaft hole and then insert a mandrel to preserve the hole and then punch or file the grooves between the flanges and then file the points of the flanges.  Alternatively, you could forge weld the flanges on to the "pipe" of the stem, again with a mandrel in the shaft hole.

I hope this helps.  Others may have a different approach.  I have never tried to forge a mace head but these are my preliminary thoughts.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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As forge welding was a typical method of working real wrought iron; there are several possible ways of using it to construct a mace like that, including one where you fold sheet wrought iron and weld the folds and chisel cut the flange shapes into the welded folds and bend the un folded sections to make the tube and forge weld it's seam.

Forge brazing was also sometimes used.

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I could be wrong but It kinda looks two piece to me,

when I zoom in it looks like a socket over a socket, 

like the pokey part slides down over the socket mounted on the handle until its to wide to go further,

and then the handle socket it’s riveted down to hold it in place, 

 

 

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Whoever casted the “long life” mace must have been the great granddaddy of the Chinese guy who sold “long life” branded stuff to Montgomery Wards and OTASCO stores, 

I guess after the market demand for maces started to decline the company just kept the name and started making other cheap stuff for export, :lol:

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Daswulf, That’s the most important step!

That’s how your supposed to test your heat treatment to make sure you built the mace correctly! 

lol, sorry I’m not up to date on the manufacture of antique head thumpers,

so that’s the only thing I could come up with for step 6:P

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Perhaps they have all been bashed on step 6 of mace making through the years and there are none left to bash. 

The final scene of the planet of the apes comes to mind. 

"You finally really did it!" adding, "you bashed All the dragons.. You Maniacs!".

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I guess that’s possible Daswulf, 

I agree step 6 of mace makin prolly isn’t beneficial to a dragons health and well being 

but surely it would take more than a little mace wack once in awhile to wear out a perfectly good dragon? 
 

 

 

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I agree!

If no one’s got a good used dragon to spare then somebody has got to get a good durable one built! 

only problem I see, is if you build a really nice one then you’d prolly not be to keen on testing maces out on step 6! Lol

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Don’t know about dragons, but I’ve got gators and a permit!

Also have a pretty nice smoker! Plus, gator skin makes real purdy leather goods. 

Anyone wanna send me a mace? Just for testing purposes, I’ll send it back. 

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This is a tough one. I think the mace/flanged part is forged and filed from a solid piece. Then it is drilled. I also don't think the handle was wood. It seems if it was, it would be a single use weapon. 

The truth is, for every solution I can think of, I can think of a dozen reasons why it wouldn't work. 

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