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HROARR.COM •Spear and axe heads for sparring
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Spear and axe heads for sparring

Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:13 pm
by Roger N
Here are a few spearheads that are on the prototype stage. We are using them in our group, but they are too flexible, so we stiffen them with duct tape. The manufacturer is looking to improve these though and is also considering adding more products in the future.

http://histvarld.historiska.se/histvarl ... hichpage=8

We also cut up rubber hoses for car radiators and tape them into a spearhead shape.

The Revival rubber Pollax seems good, although I haven't tried it myself: http://revival.us/completetalhofferpoleaxe.aspx

Darkwoods Rubber Axe heads can be found here: http://www.darkwoodarmory.com/index.php ... ucts_id=11

Re: Spear and axe heads for sparring

Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:30 am
by Shay Roberts
Roger Norling wrote:Here are a few spearheads that are on the prototype stage. We are using them in our group, but they are too flexible, so we stiffen them with duct tape. The manufacturer is looking to improve these though and is also considering adding more products in the future.
http://histvarld.historiska.se/histvarl ... hichpage=8
These look like they have some real promise. Does the manufacturer have a English-text website?

Re: Spear and axe heads for sparring

Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:10 am
by Roger N
Unfortunately not, but I have invited him here. He is a member of the Gutnian Guard in Gotland, here in Sweden, and practices hema and reenactment. If we discuss what we need, I am sure he will take it under consideration. Personally, I would like to see good spear points and back points, halberd heads. Perhaps even a staff-sword or a glave, eventually. :)

However, we really need to discuss how to make such simulators safe...

Re: Spear and axe heads for sparring

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:56 pm
by Eric Hejdström
Hello. First post and all. I'm the one who have "developer".. that sounds a bit fancy.. Um. I took the initiative to make some spearheads in plastic since a buddy of mine work att a local manufacturer who makes plasic and rubber details for the industry.

I'm not entirely happy with the design, I would have liked the blade of the head to be thicker towards the shaft. The reason for the design is that the guy who makes them for me had a blade from a fightingknife they use in the local Krav Maga club. Socket was then attatched very simply. For the next design I will make the prototype entirely myself so that I can get the shape right.

I belive that the design can be greatly improved and all comments are welcome. I still ahve a few of the first prototyp available if anyone else would like to try them out too. Currently I don't have any plans of taking this to any big scal production, the tools for it are way too expensive. But any ideas, critisicm and contributions are greatly appreciated!

/Eric

Re: Spear and axe heads for sparring

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:32 pm
by Roger N
An idea for smaller series is to use various tools to manufacture these by hand, just as Pentti of GHFS makes his longsword simulators. He buys long standard sheets of nylon and prepares them by hand.

I believe that the new nylon longswords by Ã…ngermannaorden are also handmade: http://www.fioredeiliberi.org/phpBB3/vi ... =3&t=14100

So, for smaller series, this might be an option.

I am actually considering trying to make some halberd simulators out of leather, similar to those used by Mike, in these videos: viewtopic.php?f=31&t=166 And he is also working on something similar. Perhaps we can all share experiences?

But, I would just as well buy something already made... ;)

Re: Spear and axe heads for sparring

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:07 pm
by Eric Hejdström
I have actually made a very well functioning halberd from leather, very similar to the ones in the video above. The drawback is that they are quite hard and a good hit with the edge will hurt quite a bit. But if I can I'd also like to make them in plastic. As stated above, it can be nice to be able to buy stuff and not always have to make them yourself.

Another thing is the shaft for weapons. I've always made them myself since I haven't found any source that sells good poles in the proper lengths made from ashwood. According to several sources, more than 90% of all the polearms in the swiss/german/italian/french regions were made from ash. In my opinion it's also the most duarble and light wood for shafts. For comfort I made octagonal askpoles with a width of 3cm even if it's not exactly historically accurate. Unfortunately I haven't been able to locate any woodshop that can make them to my specifications for a decent sum. Maybe we should start a thread on possible priceranges for finished products? Just to give eachother an idea on how much one spend on equipment and what economical improvments that can be done as well as practical.

I really wich I could start up a buissness to make these things full time but as for now I can't see how that would be possible. I will however gladly share my experiences and the eventual products that might come out of it. Even if only att a hobbyist level at present time.

Cheers!
/Eric

Re: Spear and axe heads for sparring

Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:00 am
by Shay Roberts
Eric, I think your spear-tips have promise! It also seems like you already know how best to improve them. Thickening the base will make them stiffer. As far as I can tell they just need to be a bit stiffer. Great project!

Re: Spear and axe heads for sparring

Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:54 pm
by Eric Hejdström
Thanks Shay! I really hope to be able to get the "new line" of spearheads going after newyear.

Re: Spear and axe heads for sparring

Posted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:12 am
by Roger N
Just found these. A bit expensive, but looks pretty good.

http://www.outfit4events.com/exercise-h ... p-859.html

Re: Spear and axe heads for sparring

Posted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:06 am
by Hugh Knight
I think you folks are working too hard for spear heads to use in free play. First, narrow, thin blades will simply fold over, and won't give an indicator of positive force. Moreover, most of the spear combat indicated in the Fechtbücher was Kampffechten, and it was common to fight such bouts with the visor up or off for better visibility. To simulate that you need to have a grilled visor of some sort to protect your face while still allowing proper vision, and, unless you're using perf plate, most such grills will allow a slender point to pass through, potentially causing great damage. So spear-head shaped simulators may look cool, but they actually limit the accuracy of your bouts because they limit either your targeting (i.e., you can't aim for delicate spots) or they force you to fight with a closed face, which is accurate, but probably not typical, and they do not hold up when heavy force is used.

You can achieve far better and far cheaper results with nothing more than a backpacking pad and some strapping tape (the kind with multiple fibers running through it). You will need to cut a disk of the pad which matches the diameter of your shaft, and two strips as wide as the diameter of your shaft and about 8 inches long. First, secure the disk to the end of your spear shaft with a single strip of tape that goes up and over the disk. Do not pull down hard on the tape because you don't want to compress the foam, you just want to hold it in place. Next, lay one of the strips up and over the disk you've just taped down. Make sure it is roughly even (i.e., that the ends extend down the shaft about the same distance on each side) and use two small pieces of tape to hold it in place, but don't wrap the tape around the shaft of the spear. Next, run the remaining strip of foam up and over the spear head at right angles to the previous piece and tape it in place. Now trim the ends of the two strips so the ends are all the same length. Now use the strapping tape to wrap around and around the foam, from below the foam on the bare shaft, all the way up to the tip. Runs some strips up and over the tip to completely cover it (picture an asterisk pattern) and then add more wraps around the shaft and up the foam to hold the strips that went up and over in place. The wraps of tape should be *very* tight down at the ends of the foam and looser near the very point: Be careful not to compress the tip of the foam because you want it to give when you hit someone. If you like, you can cover the entire spear head with duct tape to give it a more metallic look.

This will not give you anything that truly looks like a spear head, but it will give you a head that can be used safely for the most energetic free play (assuming safe, comprehensive armor, of course).

For pollaxe heads, the rubber axe heads (mistakenly called “pole hammer” heads) sold by Purpleheart: http://www.woodenswords.com/WMA/pole_hammer.htm
are far superior to anything else I’ve seen or used in more than 20 years of full-contact armored pollaxe bouts (with the exception of the Rathbone-brand axe heads, but they no longer make the ones that simulate a pollaxe well). Simply slide these onto a shaft far enough down that the shaft above the axe head simulates a dague, then make another padded point as described above for the spear head. This is the only pollaxe construction method approved for use in my Schule.