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Hey everyone! Here's a project I'm nearly finished with! 

 

I started messing around with some ideas for a small wolf tooth fire striker. This is the prototype, with teeth about the same size as the ring I made a while ago. Made from iron and folded steel. Next one will be in my own home made materials. 

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Around the time I finished it up I got a mail call! An original wolf tooth spear that I cleaned and etched and sealed. 

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I started to reverse engineer the construction of the spear based on other examples I had seen and the texture of the steel and iron in the original spear. The lines showed me a lot! The spear is constructed around a core that is waisted to accept the twisted bars into it so that when they are welded onto the core the core is already spear shaped, and ready to accept the edges. 

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I forged an iron core and cleaned the edges with the grinder. While I was forging that, I took some iron of different types and made a 7 layer billet, which I forge welded and drew out into 1/4 inch bars. I twisted them in different directions (although the original spear has the twists in the same direction) and then tapered the ends to fit into the core. 

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I forge welded it all together and gently refined the shape and taper of the spear. At this point I realized I was oversized by a bit, instead of 11 inches overall my spear ended up being 13 inches overall. Next time I will make the core a little more delicate and it should come out to a better size. 

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The two bars on the top are very soft iron and some refined bloom steel for the edge. I'd wager the steel is likely around .4-.5% carbon, and reached about 57 RC after hardening. Since there is so little steel on the spear it's quite ductile. Then below is the core and the socket preform. 

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I started making the teeth in the bar, which was the most time consuming part of this whole process I think, though I suppose the folding of the steel took longer! 

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I used different tooling to squish the iron into the teeth of the edge, and I should have really just waited till the press was back. I had the iron fill partially and leave pin pricks on the final piece which is a shame. 

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I didn't get any photos of the socket welding and the final shaping of the piece, but here it is after hardening. 

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Next to the original I chose to shape my spear a little different as I was already oversized and had decided to change the direction of the twists, so I figured it was 'inspired by' instead of a direct recreation. 

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The teeth are basically every .5cm

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And then an hour of polishing! I brought it to 600 grit and etched in 4:1 ferric mix for about five minutes and cleaned it off with rotten stone after neutralizing. 

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And some video! Hope you guys enjoy the spear! Next is hafting it, likely a 6 foot Ash pole?

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man - that is amazing work. Good to see/hear from you. I suggest making the repeating little voids a design element. Get an itty bitty drill and open them up. It would look really cool. Sure, the Vikings didn't have twist drills but they had spade drills and other shapes, and that is soft enough material that they could have drilled it.  Either holes or inlays.

 

 

I just had a gruesome thought seeing your spear beside the original. I have always found the shape that you made to be more visually pleasing. It just looks better to me. So, I was thinking (early morning, coffee and meds, I ramble)... why would the original shape be used if the other shape looks better? Well, first, what I like may not be what they liked. Other than that, though, was there a functional reason?

 

Here is the gruesome thought (and I know the people who will read this, so I know y'all think the same way) - it would be a lot easier to pull the original shape out of some dumbass monk who got himself rammed all the way through by my spear without it hanging up on his ribs. Dumbass monk didn't even have enough to him to stop the thing from going all the way through. Softy.

Edited by Kevin Colwell
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Excellent work, Emiliano. B)  Pretty slick reverse-engineering the hollows in the core, I'm not sure I'd have noticed that.  

 

As for the pinholes, looking at yours versus the originals, I'm wondering (as I have for years, see the "construction clues from artifacts" thread) if they didn't use the same punch to set the teeth on the iron as well as the steel, OR if they didn't forge the cold steel into white-hot iron, since when they're both hot you lose the crispness of the pattern a bit....  I know, I need to do it myself and see.  :lol:  I have the iron, and I have a fly press now, so it's a feasible project!   Just need the time.  

 

Again, seriously cool.  And Kevin, I think you're right.  The full leaf-shape would be easier to extract.  And unarmored humans are really squishy and easy to poke holes in, especially with pointy metal on a stick.  ;)

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  • 4 weeks later...

That is an awesome piece. To just look at your mind doesn't take in all the hard work it would take to makes such a piece. Then as you begin to dissect what you have pictured, then and only then do you begin to appreciate the hard work that went to this piece! You are a craftsman sir! Bowing to the master.jpg

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I love everything about this! The waisted core is particularly slick, and those wolves teeth are spot on. How bad was it welding up that socket? That's the part of spears that I always dread, especially when it isn't starting as either a pipe or integral to the tang and just flared out and rolled. Great stuff!

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On 6/21/2021 at 6:34 AM, Kevin Colwell said:

man - that is amazing work. Good to see/hear from you. I suggest making the repeating little voids a design element. Get an itty bitty drill and open them up. It would look really cool. Sure, the Vikings didn't have twist drills but they had spade drills and other shapes, and that is soft enough material that they could have drilled it.  Either holes or inlays.

 

 

I just had a gruesome thought seeing your spear beside the original. I have always found the shape that you made to be more visually pleasing. It just looks better to me. So, I was thinking (early morning, coffee and meds, I ramble)... why would the original shape be used if the other shape looks better? Well, first, what I like may not be what they liked. Other than that, though, was there a functional reason?

 

Here is the gruesome thought (and I know the people who will read this, so I know y'all think the same way) - it would be a lot easier to pull the original shape out of some dumbass monk who got himself rammed all the way through by my spear without it hanging up on his ribs. Dumbass monk didn't even have enough to him to stop the thing from going all the way through. Softy.

Thanks Kevin! It was just bad planning and tooling on my part, I have the whole process pretty well fine tuned but used a saw to mark the teeth and that messed me up later as the marks didn't disappear entirely! 

 

 

On 6/21/2021 at 1:34 PM, Alan Longmire said:

Excellent work, Emiliano. B)  Pretty slick reverse-engineering the hollows in the core, I'm not sure I'd have noticed that.  

 

As for the pinholes, looking at yours versus the originals, I'm wondering (as I have for years, see the "construction clues from artifacts" thread) if they didn't use the same punch to set the teeth on the iron as well as the steel, OR if they didn't forge the cold steel into white-hot iron, since when they're both hot you lose the crispness of the pattern a bit....  I know, I need to do it myself and see.  :lol:  I have the iron, and I have a fly press now, so it's a feasible project!   Just need the time.  

 

Again, seriously cool.  And Kevin, I think you're right.  The full leaf-shape would be easier to extract.  And unarmored humans are really squishy and easy to poke holes in, especially with pointy metal on a stick.  ;)

Thanks Alan! I was lucky to have the original to look off of! I certainly would never have noticed that if it wasn't in my hands! I forge the teeth with a chisel and then go and forge the white hot iron into the completely cooled off edge bar! It works really well, but I find that it is harder with a power hammer than with the press. 

 

 

On 7/17/2021 at 9:12 AM, peter fontenla said:

Muy hermosa Emiliano! gracias por mostrar! un gran abrazo

Gracias! Me alegra que les gusto! :) 

 

On 7/17/2021 at 3:33 PM, C Craft said:

That is an awesome piece. To just look at your mind doesn't take in all the hard work it would take to makes such a piece. Then as you begin to dissect what you have pictured, then and only then do you begin to appreciate the hard work that went to this piece! You are a craftsman sir! Bowing to the master.jpg

Thanks very much! It's definitely a bit of a trick in that way! When you see it at first the form of it and everything makes it seem quite simple, but there's a lot of nuance in there! I appreciate the kind words :) 

 

 

On 7/17/2021 at 8:17 PM, John Page said:

I love everything about this! The waisted core is particularly slick, and those wolves teeth are spot on. How bad was it welding up that socket? That's the part of spears that I always dread, especially when it isn't starting as either a pipe or integral to the tang and just flared out and rolled. Great stuff!

Thanks brother! The socket was a pain mostly because I don't have a perfectly sized hardy for the mandrel I made! I need to adjust the mandrel and make some sockets and really fine tune that part of the forging on my end, as I think I can do it far cleaner! making it as a separate piece helped a lot I think! I do like the Anglo Saxon spears that have the integral split socket and gentle flare towards the bottom, I think its extremely subtle and beautiful work. 

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That's an awesome idea! I should definitely try that out, usually it's a blundering disaster trying to use the very not appropriately sized horn of the anvil and giving up before it really worked out. I wonder if the original sockets were just freehanded or if there are surviving examples of the mandrels that may have been used to do final shaping on the haft end. That little flare transition is great but is so easy to botch! Maybe it'd be possible to use a wooden one a few times? Wood is certainly cheaper and more portable than iron, but is it even necessary? I've made a few tubular handles for things (trowels) and it's not too bad to forge open rings on the anvil once the seam is stuck but I definitely agree that mandrels are superior.

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