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Jeff Pringle

Construction clues from artifacts

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I think the tooth metals are equally deformed (though the photos don't really show it), check out the left most edge tooth, or the two further towards the middle (the ones that aren't there any more), that is where the layers are showing best on the steel side.

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Since you have them in hand and I don't, I'll believe you! :lol:

 

The biggest surprise for me is how small the teeth are. Around 5mm wide at the base and only 3 deep, is that what I'm seeing on that bottom pic? And about 3 x 2 on the top?

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it looks like the edge billet was used with end grain facing out on the bottom one..

- and you can easily see it was forged into the tooth...as the layers flow in and out

 

the top one doesn't show the edges at all

 

personally, i don't really like forging on the end grain of wrought ... it gets grumpy

 

err... wait a sec... if your forgin in the teeth on the bottom one then it would be better with the grain facing out.... less chance of splits on the grain

 

hmmm... so grain out if you forge it in the teeth.....

 

and grain to the edge if you file in the teeth

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It has lots of pictures but most of them are about tools and not weapons. However, Geibig has a new book on analyzing the weapons found at Haithabu, but I have not seen it yet.

 

Niels.

Niels,

Indeed....not many specific to blades/spears. I got the book a few months back....not a "bad" book, but if one read German it would be useful i think...not so much if just the pictures are in English.

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I think the tooth metals are equally deformed (though the photos don't really show it), check out the left most edge tooth, or the two further towards the middle (the ones that aren't there any more), that is where the layers are showing best on the steel side.

 

Appears as you say...the billets were deformed individually (or a few at a time or a tool to do one and space the next..whatever) to mate, but done with a "punch" style tool rather than removing material. I can do six inches at a time on my press, but I would think a striker and smith could only do one or two with the power at hand.,,or hand power. The trick is to do one and get the spacing for the next or the two will no mate well.

 

There is one in the book "Aspects of Saxo-Norman London:II Finds and Environmental Evidence" from 1991 edited by Alan Vince. On page 129 there is one with very sharp short rectangular teeth...i intend to do this so...you folk keep to your wavy lines for a bit longer.

It appears that they were done by cutting a space (chisel/file whatever) and cold sinking the rectangular inset and then welded. The photos are not very clear, but it appears so.

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I think the tooth metals are equally deformed (though the photos don't really show it), check out the left most edge tooth, or the two further towards the middle (the ones that aren't there any more), that is where the layers are showing best on the steel side.

Boy, it makes a BIG difference looking at those pics on my large monitor at work! I can see that now, thanks. :lol:

 

i think Ric's on the right track, they look punched with a dull chisel-type tool. Perhaps one with two or three teeth to keep things in perfect register?

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Regarding the size, yes they are small, 3x2mm on the top one. They are both ~30cm spears with ~20cm blades.

I disagree that the teeth were formed individually, at least on the top one (I haven't really started theorizing on the bottom one yet, except that it does not look like it was done the same way as #1). To me it looks like the steel had its teeth forged in, then was itself impressed into & welded to the iron. The way the line alternates round & pointed as it zigzags makes me think the steel was shaped by forging a cold twisted bar into the hot steel.

I saw a couple saxes with the square wave joint at the Museum of London, very interesting stuff! And IIRC one that has the square wave outlined in silver overlay.

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I've been following various discussions on toothed composite blades, and the idea of a cold, twisted bar as the "master pattern" never came to mind. What a simple, elegant solution.

 

 

 

Jeff, you're mad, a genius, and above all generous, with your work and exposure of it here. Thank you so much for sharing.

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A little bit late. But these axes in the beginning is from one of the Baltic tribes called curonians (Latvia, Lithuania territory).

This is reconstruction. The surface is covered with brass.

g2.jpg

 

And some other axes.

d11k02t04k_il5.jpg

Edited by Adomas Sviklas

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Perhaps one with two or three teeth to keep things in perfect register?

 

 

think the steel was shaped by forging a cold twisted bar into the hot steel.

 

 

i am a big fan of dog toothed pattern and have had some experiments in working out a faster way to apply the incisions. i really like both these ideas for a speedy(er) application.

 

I had always thought that with this technique the old guys just had patience to cut the buggers! but they were human too... if there is a more efficient way to achieve regularity then they would have found it.

 

i will think on it for a while- you could make a hafted tool for the job.

 

a flatter could be used to force the hot wrought down into the chanels as i have found that tentative, tickling hammer blows means that the hot wrought will "walk" away from the smith meaning you have numerous partially engaged teeth. with a striker, you could lay the piece of hot wrought onto the pre cut, cold steel and in one confident, heavy strike onto the flatter you could engage the teeth fully. just thinking aloud....

 

im sure the smith striker relationship was crucial to many of these techniques- just look how reliant most of us are on our press or power hammer.

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I know this is an 'old' topic, but it's also pinned, so I hope it's not too much of a faux pas to post in here again. I thought it would be nice to add some photos of my recently aquired wolf's tooth pattern viking spear. It's not physically in my hands yet, so here are some photos that the seller provided. In this case the spear has decayed enough that the wolf's teeth have actually become the outer edge of the spear for about half of the length. From the photos it appears that the overall construction is very similar to the bottom of Jeff Pringle's wolfstooth spears as it appears that the teeth are set against twisted bar layers on each side and then what looks to be straight laminate in the center

 

spear1.JPG

spear4.JPG

 

spear7.JPG

spear8.JPG

spear10.JPG

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Evidence of a coarse stone finish (?) on an iron spear head

yH5BAEAAAEALAAAAAAIAAoAAAISTIBmoLy9XDqyxspr-026s.jpg

Sure looks like file marks to me. I've reproduced several sheet iron curry combs based on artifacts from the ground and the file marks on some of the less corroded surfaces look like the file marks on uncorroded sheet iron box locks. The locks and I expect the curry combs were japanned black. Since modern polishing equipment was not available to the old guys, they left many survaces as filed. The skill is to leave very regular and cleanly filed surfaces.

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There are chatter marks in at least 17 th and 18 th century sword fullers that are probably scrapers. I expect that they were push tools rather than pull tools, though there was a scrapper for cleaning pewter spoons that was pulled. The hardest thing for us to remember as modern folks is the notion that all tool marks were removed. It was qoite time consuming and normally reserved for very high end objects. Remember, until the 19 th century machine finishes did not exist except perhaps for lathe turned objects.

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Hey Jeff,

 

That axe is a personal favorite for me as well smile.gif

I did a tracing of it many years back (with the axe on the paper and a soft pen drawing around it, so the lines are fairly accurate). Perhaps you can print it in scale? The edge is some 92 millimeter from corner to corner. The measurements on the neck spur seems off to me. in the drawing I have noted 63 millimeter for the width of the neck. Taking this measurements from the drawing it look like 67 millimeter. Width of neck in the "bays" between the cut outs are set as 20 millimeter, when it looks like 25 when I check it.

 

Haft hole is 26.5 millimeter high and 25 wide. Hole through balde is 5 millimeter diameter with a "countersink" of 6 millimeter diameter.

 

The whole surface is cut with very fine criss-crossing lines and the silver is inlayed Coftgari style. Even the back of the neck is cut like this but no silver remains today.

Backside is slightly different in pattern.

 

attachicon.gifSollefteaSkrafstaAxe.jpg

 

Oh my! I am so happy to see the measurements posted. Thank you, Peter! This is my favorite as well and since I am making 2015 a year for axes for me, I will put it on my bench to make this fall. These measurements will certainly make that possible.

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Great thread!
Following Josh's lead with the axes: Were all of the holes in the flats of the axes always round, or were some possibly teardrop shaped or something like that?

 

I know this is an 'old' topic, but it's also pinned, so I hope it's not too much of a faux pas to post in here again. I thought it would be nice to add some photos of my recently aquired wolf's tooth pattern viking spear. It's not physically in my hands yet, so here are some photos that the seller provided. In this case the spear has decayed enough that the wolf's teeth have actually become the outer edge of the spear for about half of the length. From the photos it appears that the overall construction is very similar to the bottom of Jeff Pringle's wolfstooth spears as it appears that the teeth are set against twisted bar layers on each side and then what looks to be straight laminate in the center

 

Hey Justin, do you know how the socket on that spear was attached? I've seen some where the core bar has a tang forged onto it, and then they forge weld a broader flat bar onto the tang and use that to roll the socket from. Also, how is the seam oriented? Most of the Norse spears I've seen have welded seems, but many of the Angle-Saxon ones I've heard are simply forged shut or even open.
I'd really like to learn more about spears, they were such a popular and effective weapon historically, but these days the swords seem to get all of the credit.

Edited by Collin Miller

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Hey guys!

 

I have some interesting bronzes in my hand today.

Here are high tin content white bronze bracelet:

 

bracelet1.jpg

 

Grinding marks and some engraving:

 

bracelet2.jpg

 

And traces from form:

 

bracelet3.jpg

 

 

Bronze knife with grind and work hardening marks:

 

knife2.jpg

 

And little bonus, medieaval small buckle:

 

buckle.jpg

 

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