In search of a spear

Discussion in 'Sword Discussion' started by Charlie_K, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. horseclover

    horseclover Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 21, 2000
    Yes, eventually you'll get close to round. Easy peasey from there, imo.

    Cheers
    GC
     
  2. Charlie_K

    Charlie_K

    Jul 16, 2012
    The spear head came in the mail today, quicker than I expected. As best I can tell it doesn't look like a factory second. Everything looks straight and uniform, but my eyes have never been good at detecting odd or slight angles.

    The depth of the socket measures 5.5", 30 millimeters across at the mouth, and tapers down to approximately 20 millimeters across at the very bottom of the socket.

    Basically this means a tapered bo staff, 1.25" in the middle down to 1" on the ends, can be made to fit with a bit of work, and fit snugly at that.

    Now I guess I just need to look around for a bo staff, red oak or ash, from a distributor that won't charge as much for the shipping as the staff itself.
     
  3. Charlie_K

    Charlie_K

    Jul 16, 2012
    And the tapered bo staff is on its way.
     
  4. Remedy

    Remedy

    17
    Oct 13, 2020
    I've never had a spear in my collection.
     
  5. Charlie_K

    Charlie_K

    Jul 16, 2012
    I got the bo staff today. And I made a horrible mistake on my calculations. Even if I sand down the end to 20 millimeters to match the inside of the socket, the mouth is still going to be significantly wider than the shaft at the 5.5" mark. There's simply no way to actually make it work.
     
  6. horseclover

    horseclover Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 21, 2000
    A rasp (surforms are excellent examples), or grinder. The taper on the big black one in my picture started a couple/few inches back on the pole and then was to very near the end of the socket (1/4"). Measure the mouth ID and shoot for that as to where the socket will seat and taper to suit. Wood pushes around pretty easily. I blended my taper instead of determining a flush (or greater) seat. I did that as described. Stroke, turn, stroke, turn. Yes, it took some time. Work an angle at the pointy end for awhile, then progressively move the angle back. Once you are getting close, spin/turn the haft in the socket and the high points will show shiny.

    [​IMG]

    Cheers
    GC
     
  7. BitingSarcasm

    BitingSarcasm

    Feb 25, 2014
    It sounds like you are saying the spear head is rattling around on the shaft. That means you will end up losing length off the end of the staff in order to bring the socket back to a thicker part that you will have to taper to fit. That’s why I use/recommend staves that are tapered on a single end, they tend to be thicker overall which allows for more discretion on placement. Unless your staff is quite thin it should still be doable, just with a lot more elbow grease.
     
  8. horseclover

    horseclover Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 21, 2000
    Well, in this case, the bo ordered is the socket diameter at the center of the bo. Start over? Just get an untapered 1.25" and taper to fit.
     
  9. Charlie_K

    Charlie_K

    Jul 16, 2012
    That's the case I'm up against. My math was way off this time around.

    But on the bright side, Windlass produces a javelin head that's about the right size for the end of the tapered bo. So I can make either a long javelin or a lightweight thrusting spear.
     
  10. horseclover

    horseclover Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 21, 2000
    That's the ticket! At last resort, you have a bo to play with.

    :)
     
  11. Charlie_K

    Charlie_K

    Jul 16, 2012
    As it turns out, finding a 1-1/4" diameter staff is much more difficult than one would initially believe. So far the only thing I'm finding in stock is 1-1/8", which is just a little too small across/around for a tight seal at the mouth of the socket.

    Meanwhile, does anyone know if Lord of Battle is a good quality manufacturer for spear/javelin heads?
     
  12. horseclover

    horseclover Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 21, 2000
    The Lord of Battle stuff generally are blunted stuff for reenactment.

    Diligent searching will find online sources for staves, bo and poles etc. Call KOA, as their ash are listed as 1.25. Purpleheart, Bruce Lee, Karate Supply are just three I have browsed over the years. The red oak bo on the big black was listed as 1 1/8" but was actually 1 1/4" . That was from Martial Art Mart iirc but that was a long time ago and may have been someone else. Lumber yards in your area. Purpleheart has been around forever. I have an 8' octagonal I bought online that was cheap and was a pruning pole extension. That was from Amazon but was direct from some company. Might have been amleo.com (Leonard) has 7 1/2' and 12' hemlock pruning poles that are listed as 1 1/4". Home Depot lists Waddell hardwood poles and an oak 8' 1 1/4" for $16. Flag poles, as mentioned.

    Happy hunting
    GC
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
  13. Charlie_K

    Charlie_K

    Jul 16, 2012
    Well that certainly shows the limitations of my thinking capabilities. I honestly didn't give much consideration to tool handles.

    So I checked Amleo to see what they have in stock, like you said it's mostly hemlock stuff, which rates a 500 on the Janka hardness scale, whereas red oak is 1,290, ash is 1,320, and hickory is 1,820. Although I know hardness isn't the same thing as durability, and a spear isn't going to be used like a hammer with a hickory handle.

    I guess the most basic question I have, since you've got the most spears, is if you would select a hemlock pole for use in a spear, if you thought it might actually be used for serious purposes rather than display purposes?
     
  14. horseclover

    horseclover Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 21, 2000
    I've never used hemlock but it seems it would be ok, unless trying to chop down a tree.

    There are the other sources.
     
  15. Charlie_K

    Charlie_K

    Jul 16, 2012
    I'm starting to wonder if this project is starting to turn me into a material snob.
     
  16. Charlie_K

    Charlie_K

    Jul 16, 2012
    I now have a new staff to work with. 6' long, 1.25" thick all the way from one end to another. Now I just need to sand/shave one end down to the inner dimensions of the spear socket, try to keep everything straight, and I'll finally have a spear like I've been after.
     
    horseclover likes this.
  17. Hijo de Luna

    Hijo de Luna Basic Member Basic Member

    339
    Jun 10, 2020
  18. Charlie_K

    Charlie_K

    Jul 16, 2012
    After a lot of procrastination I finally got to sanding the staff to fit the socket. Sand some, trial fit, sand some more, keep addressing the contact marks stemming from the surface grease inside the socket, until it's finally all the way down.

    The end result isn't perfectly straight, although it's decently close. But at the same time, the staff itself isn't perfectly straight either, it's slightly bowed.

    Was that something common in medieval times?
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020 at 10:24 AM

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