Question re Pole arms and the like !!!

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Fauconneriebretagne
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Question re Pole arms and the like !!!

Postby Fauconneriebretagne » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:41 pm

What length is the handle of a pole arm such as a spear etc. thinking of buying a metal head and making my own wooden shaft. So looking for the sizing and best type of wood.

Best regards

Paul



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Brother Ranulf
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Re: Question re Pole arms and the like !!!

Postby Brother Ranulf » Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:00 am

Air-dried ash is usually considered the best type of timber for weapon shafts and tool handles because of its ability to absorb shock. Kiln-dried timber is more prone to breaking.

The length of a spear shaft depends on who was using it and when - the spears (yari) used by Japanese ashigaru troops in the 16th century could be anywhere from 8 to 21 feet long. Roman hastae might be between 6 and 9 feet long, with cavalry javelins only 3 or 5 feet long and the specialist contus at around 11 or 12 feet. Infantry weapons tended to be shorter than those intended for use on horseback.

In the 12th century, Anglo-Norman troops carried spears that were probably in the range 7 to 10 feet, with the longer types restricted to mounted troops. From a purely practical viewpoint , shorter weapons are much easier to store and transport in modern vehicles.


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Brian la Zouche
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Re: Question re Pole arms and the like !!!

Postby Brian la Zouche » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:03 am

a friend of mine in Holland sent me measurments of a 14thc glaive in a museum, ash shaft length 6'6'' , 2'' square but the corners had been rounded off, with two opposing edges taken down more than the other two to give a sort of oval diamond shape, it seems this shape prevents the two blade fixing bands from twisting, and also prevents the shaft turning in the hands when held, blade is 24'' long by 5'' depth, overall length is 7' 4''

pole arms are not really my fortay ( forte ? ) so i have no idea if this is typical or not

i guess it depends on your period and 'use'
Last edited by Brian la Zouche on Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:09 am, edited 1 time in total.



Fauconneriebretagne
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Re: Question re Pole arms and the like !!!

Postby Fauconneriebretagne » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:07 am

Thanks for the responses think I have it sorted now.
Cheers

Paul



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Colin Middleton
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Re: Question re Pole arms and the like !!!

Postby Colin Middleton » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:46 pm

A number of spears were lances that were used on foot (High Middle Ages), and a quick look round places like the Gratz Armoury and the Grand Master's Armoury in Valette show quite a variety in length of weapon shaft.

Further, many may have been re-shafted several times since the head was forged, with longer or shorter shafts than the originals.

I think that Silver puts the length of a good staff weapon to be about as high as you can reach, but ultimatly, personal prefernance should be your guide.

Best wishes

Colin


Colin

"May 'Blood, blood, blood' be your motto!"

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