Turning an old chisel into a spear-head for boar//pig hunting??

Moondog55

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I think Corin may be the present site expert on blades but I'm throwing this out to the whole forum community.
I figure a spear will be somewhat safer for me than a bayonet if I ever get to go pig hunting with dogs again.
I have an old chisel blade here that I am going to have a go with.

Old fashioned inch and a half blade width and four and a half long,and just shy of a quarter inch thick; so 32 * 110mm by 5.5mm thick.

IMG_3064.JPGIMG_3065.JPGIMG_3066.JPG

My first thoughts are to follow the angle on the obverse ( as shown by the black lines ) and then grind a point, roughly shape and sharpen and then re-harden by heating and quenching.

Cheap chisel from Stanley and I have no idea what the steel is.

I was then going to use epoxy to set the head into a decent shaft.

Peoples thoughts??

I was also thinking I will need a cross guard ( forget the proper terminology ) about 300mm down.
Also I would appreciate/welcome comments on the shaft length of a boar spear amd the appropriate timber to use ( or ways to strengthen timer such as wire winding or using epoxy and Kevlar tape wrap )
 

Templar

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A boar spear is a good bit of kit, however I'm not sure they are legal here in Oz... since spear hunting in general is illegal as far as I am aware, unless you are of Aboriginal extraction, someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

However having said that, if you wanted to make a "Survival Spear Head" out of your chisel, then a socket type fitting would be best, like...

HJRK_A_32_-_Boar_spear_head_of_Frederick_IV_of_the_Tyrol,_c__1430.jpg

Traditionally they had a shaft of between 6-8 ft long and made of oak, iron bark might be a good choice or Tassie oak, it has to have a straight grain and be about 2.5 inch thick minimum... if you only use the chisel tang it won't be strong enough to handle the impact with a boar, also it will really need the cross guard to stop said beast running up the spear in it's last great act of diffiance... which they will do... many a nobleman was killed in this fashion in Europe while hounding boar...

A wire wrap would be useful, or the kevlar & epoxy wrap...
 

Moondog55

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I don't think dogging with a bayonet is still legal either.
I think my great, great grandmother may have been part aborigine; will that count.
Hmm? Maybe I can weld a good piece of tube onto the 10mm tang?
Or is it merely the total strength of the assembly that counts? If it is total strength will putting a sleeve on the outside of the spear shaft have the same effect?
What is the size of the spear head in the picture Karl?? Looks bigger than some fighting spears I have seen
 

Templar

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I don't think dogging with a bayonet is still legal either.
I think my great, great grandmother may have been part aborigine; will that count.
Hmm? Maybe I can weld a good piece of tube onto the 10mm tang?
Or is it merely the total strength of the assembly that counts? If it is total strength will putting a sleeve on the outside of the spear shaft have the same effect?
What is the size of the spear head in the picture Karl?? Looks bigger than some fighting spears I have seen
Size: 42 cm x 16 cm (OA), 1700 g, yes they are a lot bigger than combat spears, beacuse they want to make the largest wound possible to bleed out faster... and they don't have to contend with armour like a combatant would...

Hmmm.. if you weld the wings/cross member onto the blade and add a tubular steel socket/sleeve at the same time the tang will go into the shaft and the socket will give it more strength...

Here is the Coldsteel one as a comparison... http://www.coldsteel.com/boarspear.html

s16597_wild%20boar%20hunting%20with%20a%20boar%20spear.jpg
CS Boar Spear in use... for size.
(No not me... some dude off the net...)
 
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Templar

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Only if the "Dagger" has more than 1/3 of the "Upper edge" ground... Hence the old M7, M8 Bayonets are still legal...
 

Corin

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I am no expert on either legality or pig spears... I can help with shaping the metal though.

The chisel hardness should be very good. Maybe a little hard for a spear, but chisels are tuff too If you will be grinding not forging, I would not mess around with a heat treat. Just grind and dip regularly in water. If you accidentally heat too much it won't be the end of the world.

The tang is definitely not suitable for a spear, As templar said consider a socket type.

If you want to go for a shape like templar suggested in the second post, forging is the go. You will need to heat treat if you do. Again for a spear I would imagine toughness is more important than hardness, temper into the blue particularly at the base.

anyhow that's my input. Once you settle on a shape I will be more specific.

Good luck

Regards
 

Moondog55

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OK so a socket it is and / or maybe will be; but if this is too small for a true boar spear ten maybe it is just a plaything to gain skills.
Steel is too hard to file "AS-IS" and I don't have a grinding wheel; what do you suggest?

Shape will be pretty much as the lines in the first post pix #3
 

Corin

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Ok so two options both crude, but good enough.... 1) heat to red and hammer to shape or 2) build a fire, heat to red and bury deep in the hot ashes while still hot... let the fire burn down and cool over as long a time as possible. When cool file to shape.

Once shaped by either method heat to red testing with a magnet regularly until it is found that the steel is no longer magnetic. Quench in oil. Temper in the oven at 250 C. Clean off the scale back to shiny steel then heat slowly with a blow torch focusing on the base heating towards the tip. watch the steel colours as they change from straw through blue, quench when the steel starts to go blue... keep the edges you wish to sharpen cool, we want the length springy and tough, and the edges hard... probably does not matter for what you want though.

Anyhow, have fun! nothing really to loose here.
 

Moondog55

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Thanx Corin, I'll be using method 2 as no anvil. although I have a length of old railway steel I can use if the time can be found to shape it.

I may use the Coonara then for the heating as it needs to be cleaned out tomorrow.

No need for a cross guard if I'm not using it as a pig sticker is there? In which case how much of a collar will the spear shaft need for strength? I am assuming that in this case epoxy will do for setting; it being much stronger than sinew and resin
 

Corin

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No need for a cross guard if I'm not using it as a pig sticker is there? In which case how much of a collar will the spear shaft need for strength? I am assuming that in this case epoxy will do for setting; it being much stronger than sinew and resin
I could pretend I know.... but I don't. no experience with spears I am afraid mate. I recommend trial and error.
 

Moondog55

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Keeping it symmetrical may be a problem I'd better get a scrap of ply and make a template, also need to find a shaft, I suppose Alpine Ash will be strong enough, especially if I wrap it in wire and I happen to have some big copper wire somewhere around
 

Templar

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Ash should be a good timber, it was used traditionally in Britian for spear shafts... binding won't hurt either, perhaps a foot down from the head just to give it some protection and strength... Thats how Japanese combat spears (Yari) are made...
 

Corin

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Ash should be a good timber, it was used traditionally in Britian for spear shafts... binding won't hurt either, perhaps a foot down from the head just to give it some protection and strength... Thats how Japanese combat spears (Yari) are made...
There is a big difference between English Ash and Alpine Ash, as far as tree species go... but having said that Alpine ash may be OK They both have similar densities... Alpine ash being somewhat less dense surprisingly. I would be looking for one of the more traditional tool handle timber like E. Maculata (spotted gum). The desity of spotted gum is approximately 970 KG/ cubic metre, compared to European Ash at 710 KG/ cubic metre, and Alpine Ash 620 KG/ cubic metre.

The extra density will give the spear more solid performance when braced but of course it will not be so good for throwing if you intend it for that, and will be heavier.
 
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