The Ravens Warband


A spear comprised an iron spearhead (fig 1) and a wooden shaft, traditionally of ash, although hazel, apple, oak and maple were also used. In addition, the butt end was sometimes protected with an iron ferrule.

Figure 1: Spearhead from
Salibury, Wiltshire

Excellent forged spearheads can be bought from specialist armourers. If this is not possible an alternative is to make one from a garden 'edge trimmer' blade. The semi-circular blade must be cut to shape (see figs. 2), filed and rounded. The orange/red paint is most easily removed by burning it off, although it can be filed/sanded.

Figure 2: Edge trimmer marked for cutting

Spear shafts should be 1-1¼" diameter. Taper one end to take the spearhead using a sharp knife, spokeshave or surform. Fasten the head in place using small headless nails and the holes provided. Small nails will hold the head secure but will not pull out or catch on clothing if they do not protude above the surface of the metal head. Cut the spear to length i.e. between 6'6" and 7'6" overall and round off the edges of the butt end for safety. Shafts should be oiled using linseed oil and it is useful to identify your shaft by painting or burning a mark or ring on the butt end.

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