Posts Tagged ‘Club’

Wood: the other dark steel…

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Ok, So I will readily admit that the title of todays post was highly influenced by thoughts of thanksgiving turkey…Light meat or dark meat… It’s all good… But I digress.

You may recall a few posts I’ve done in the past on weapons made of wood. Some of them have been about reproduction, prop or cosplay weapons, weapons you could give to your little rascals, or for cosplay (costume play), designed primarily to be a safe alternative to the real thing.

Macahuitl

Macahuitl

However, I’ve also posted about weapon designs that, while made primarily of wood, were still quite lethal as edged weapons. The Macahuitl was one such weapon, using flint or obsidian blades, embedded in a wood frame shaped like a club, or a large broadsword. And then there was the Leiomano, which accomplished the same thing, using shark teeth, but packaged in a small axe form factor.

Leiomano

Leiomano

But I recently ran across an even more beautiful design, yet another based on the small axe form factor, but without any kind of hard blade material whatsoever… Just wood. Really hard wood… Have a gander at this:

Samoan War Axe

Samoan War Axe

Now chances are, the edge would be nowhere as keen as that of a macahuitl, so this would be more likely used freehand as a club, or to break or dislocate bones than an actual cleaving device,  (unless you had a hard surface to chop against and were willing to keep whacking away until the job was done :/ )  However,  it is just a beautiful piece of work.

I just love this thing. Between the smooth and highly polished finish on the weapon, the Samoan patterns on the blade, and the absolutely evil lines on this axe, I just love it to death. Ok, maybe not to death, since I kind of like being alive, but you get the point.

The points on this thing are amazing. The deep bevel of the edge is accentuated by the light colored patterning of the blade area, making it look almost like a thick slab of dark steel. The patterning runs all the way down the shaft, stopping just short of the light colored jute or twine wrapped grip. The combination is just sweet.

Truth be told, I think this wooden axe looks more both more beautiful  and sinister than most of the other evil steel axes I’ve posted on this site so far…

And that’s no small feat for a weapon made entirely of wood.

Samoan War Axe – [My Armory]

A Glorious Morning Star…

Monday, November 9th, 2009

And I’m not talking about a celestial body either… I’m talking a big ol’ heavy spiked ball on a shaft. In this case, almost 3ft of morning star, brought to my attention by a fellow DarkBlader who was trying to decide between this and a paltry mechanical pike. HAH! It’s like the ultimate no brainer! 😀 I mean, just look at this thing:

MEGA 35 Mace Club

MEGA 35 Mace Club

I posted before about maces, those rather wicked bludgeoning weapons of medieval ages, and this is one of the more… intriguing… types of mace, The Morning Star,  or the spiked mace, easily recognized by the spiked nature of the head of the club. As if clocking someone upside the head with a weighted club wasn’t bad enough!

Though there was a good reason to add spikes to the already rather effective mace. Armor. Simply put, a spike is the easiest way to concentrate all of the force of a strike from a mace into small a number of spots, making it an excellent weapon for puncturing armor. This was a darn sight better than a simple club, since I’m betting people found out early on that blunt trauma was just not quite as effective against a heavily armored opponent…

And this would certainly do the job. A black 9.5″ spiked ball, sporting 2.75″ spikes, siting atop a black steel shaft just tends to grab peoples attention. Even if the grip is wrapped in some kind of faux black leather. No matter how you look at it this is a magnificent rendition of the medieval morning star, 35 inches of polished black, and shiny spikey pain, just quietly waiting to bring some pain…

It’s just soo beautiful… 😀

Mega 35″ Mace Club – [King of Swords]

Walk Softly…

Friday, September 11th, 2009

But carry a big stick. Today I will be posting not about a blade, but rather a stick. A big stick. Don’t ask me why. I don’t have an answer.

Irish Blackthorn Walking Stick

Irish Blackthorn Walking Stick

The stick is one of my favorite weapons. Very fast, versatile, extremely useful for both offense and defense. Also generally quite non-lethal, though it can be lethal if used in the correct manner. But best of all, they are easy to find, easy to train with and are one of the most innocuous tools ever.

The Big Stick. Can go anywhere you go, and won’t let you down. Gotta love it.

Just don’t forget the “walk softly” part.

Irish Blackthorn Walking Stick – [True Swords]

Stone Club, Wooden Sword, or both?

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

In this day and age of high tech steels, it’s hard to imagine how our ancient predecessors got by without it. There are so many different kinds of steels, used in so many different ways, from Skyscrapers, and tools, to bolts and belt buckles, that a world without it is almost unfathomable.

And yet they got by somehow. With simple materials readily available in nature. Thatched huts, stone tools, and yes, even primitive, but highly effective weapons. Perhaps not as cool as the ones we get to play with today, but pretty impressive nonetheless. Today I thought I’d talk a little about one example of pre-metal age ingenuity I ran into a long time ago, but still find quite interesting.

The Macahuitl

The Macahuitl

This is called the Macuahuitl, or Macahuitl. It is an old Mesoamerican weapon, most frequently associated with the Aztecs, and based on the much simpler wooden club, or Macana, used by the people of old central and south America. It is basically a wooden club, with pieces of obsidian embedded in it, often tied in place with leather straps or cordage.

Macahuitl Sketch

Macahuitl Sketch

There have been many cultures that have used purely wood based sword and axe like weapons (which will be the topic of a future post). But wood, by itself, is absolutely horrible at holding an edge. And only on certain hard woods can you even create a convincing edge. Make an edge in a piece of soft wood, and you’d loose it cutting through a block of cheese.

A Fantasy Macahuitl - Tom Anderson

A Fantasy Macahuitl - Tom Anderson

However, rocks with a high quartz content, like obsidian or flint, readily chip into very, very sharp, reasonably durable edges, and at some point, some enterprising Aztec realized that putting obsidian chips into the edge of his weapon would give it a particularly evil edge. The end result being a weapon that could be used in much the same way as the club it was based on, except with massive cutting power. Rather clever actually.

Macahuitl Blades

Macahuitl Blades

At this point I think it behooves me to point out that I believe the Aztecs were quite fond of smacking people upside the head with their wooden clubs, which invariably meant that, with the advent of the macahuitl, a new era of wanton beheadings and such was spawned, not unlike their Japanese counterparts. A rather unfortunate side effect of progress. Especially if you are a smackee. But I digress.

An Aztec Warriior with a Macahuitl

An Aztec Warriior with a Macahuitl

I find this weapon intriguing because it kind of marks a milestone in weapon design. Much like flint arrow heads over sharpened sticks, and stone clubs vs regular wooden clubs, this weapon, to me, represents not only the Aztec cultures first steps into true swordsmanship, but also the ingenuity of the old cultures.

A Macahuitl made from a baseball bat

A Macahuitl made from a baseball bat

I think nowadays we take for granted how important these seemingly unimportant little steps were for the people of the day. And that enterprising inventive nature is certainly something that I aspire to even today. And when I say “aspire to”, I mean the weapons building. Not the beheadings and human sacrifice.

Though there are times when I wish… Never mind…

Macahuitl – [My Armory]
Macahuitl – [Wikipedia]

Metallurgy 101

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

OK, so I’ll begin this post by apologizing for my distinct lack of posts the past few weeks… But I do have a good excuse. I moved!! I am now hidden away in a new cave, in a suitably isolated location, where I can hopefully blog in peace, without some pesky human happening upon my hidey hole (and me) and deciding it’s a good century to form a party and go Balrog hunting…

No, don’t laugh, it could happen… What, you think Balrogs can’t be swiftboated? Think again. Which is a shame, seriously, cause it’s the 21st century, and you’d think all that mess would have gotten old… But Noooooo… Ya crazy humans… But I digress.

Today I’ll be ranting a little about more human insanity. You’ve probably all heard me rave in many shapes and forms about how there are some marketing gimmicks that really could only have been the brainchild of a IQ challenged, maladjusted orc with a serious case of… Well… We’ll not go there today, suffice to say that there is a fine line between marketing genius and insanity.

Case in point: An interesting set of nunchaku called “Solid Steel Assault”.

Solid Steel Assault

Solid Steel Assault

[Click image to view full size]

Ok. I know what you are thinking. And it’s a valid question. What’s wrong with this? Looks like a sweet pair of nunchaku no? Indeed, one of the first weapons I ever made was a pair of nunchaku. Notwithstanding the occasional lump on the head, and the once-in-a-blue-moon occasion with me writhing on the floor, in the foetal position, clutching at my nads in extreme agony, it was all fun. Good times, good times.

Yes. It’s a good pair of nunchaku. Not great, as it’s not a particularly durable (or safe) design, since It uses a bolt threaded directly into the shaft to secure the swivel bracket to which the chain is attached. And unfortunately this bolt has a tendency to keep backing out. But as issues go, that one is easy to fix. If you have the right tools. Though that would be purely academic to a person whose “half chucks” have just launched themselves into their wide screen TV, Wiimote style…

No. Not particularly safe. But my real beef is it’s name. Solid Steel Assault. Now what, pray tell, would you think this nunchaku would be constructed of, with a name like that? I’ll give you one guess. BZZZT!! WRONG!!. Nope. Not steel. Take another wild guess. Nice guess!! You get an invisible cigar. This nunchaku, Impressively named Solid Steel Assault, is made of… ALUMINUM!! Is that crazy or what!!

Now I’ll be the first to admit my alchemy is a little rusty, but aren’t Steel and Aluminum two different kinds of metal? So why, in the name of all that is sacred, would you give an aluminum weapon a name with Solid Steel anywhere in it? Actually… I have a theory.

I think they were originally going to make it of solid steel. Then someone realized that their fastening method left something to be desired, (IE it’s garbage) and decided to change the material du jour, at the last minute, to aluminum. Why? Because it would hurt less when someone came round to beat them over the head with it for their obvious stupidity…

Hey, I’m just saying…

Solid Steel Assault – [True Swords]

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