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Arrowhead (Read 5743 times)
PingHansen
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Arrowhead
Dec 25th, 2011 at 11:13am
 
Just bought this on ebay. Now I'm going to see, if I can figure out how to cast them myself  Smiley

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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: Arrowhead
Reply #1 - Dec 25th, 2011 at 3:07pm
 
Use it as a model for molds  Wink
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PingHansen
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Re: Arrowhead
Reply #2 - Dec 25th, 2011 at 5:21pm
 
Mauro Fiorentini wrote on Dec 25th, 2011 at 3:07pm:
Use it as a model for molds  Wink


That is exactly what I intend to do. I just need to figure out how the old ones did it. As I see it, it will need to be a four-part mold. I'm 'desperately' googling for arrowhead molds  Wink
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Masiakasaurus
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Re: Arrowhead
Reply #3 - Dec 25th, 2011 at 6:33pm
 
I'd make a 2 part mold, but I'm not sure if I can explain it well over the internet. The dark blue is the spear head, the light blue is the fins, white is the mold (and the background of the picture), green is where you pour the metal, orange is the vent hole for air to escape, and the red line is the break point of the mold.
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Pikåru wrote on Nov 19th, 2013 at 6:59pm:
Massi - WTF? It's called a sling. You use it to throw rocks farther and faster than you could otherwise. That's all. 
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PingHansen
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Re: Arrowhead
Reply #4 - Dec 25th, 2011 at 7:10pm
 
Masiakasaurus wrote on Dec 25th, 2011 at 6:33pm:
I'd make a 2 part mold


I can see what you mean, and it's a very good idea, especially the little vanes on the upper part.

Problem is, that if I want it to be authentic, the body is actually conical, not cylindrical, so I'd be unable to get the upper part off the arrowhead. M
ost
of the arrowheads I have looked at so far have a conical body.

I've found drawings of ONE mold - it's in six parts for three arrowheads with a quadratic, armor-piercing profile.
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Re: Arrowhead
Reply #5 - Dec 25th, 2011 at 8:52pm
 
That complicates things a bit. How about 4 parts? A large base to cast the vanes (1), a two part sleeve that fits into the base (3 & 4), and a plug (2) that fits into the sleeve which has the pour hole and air hole.

Right now I'm assuming you want to just cast one at a time with a reusable mold. Casting multiple arrow/spear heads requires a different approach, but I think I can come up with something if that's your plan.

Is it possible that the arrowheads were originally cast with a cylindrical socket which was then expanded into being conical by being forced onto a tapered shaft? It seems kind of odd that the ancients used a conical arrowhead design that was much more complicated to make than a similar cylindrical design.
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Pikåru wrote on Nov 19th, 2013 at 6:59pm:
Massi - WTF? It's called a sling. You use it to throw rocks farther and faster than you could otherwise. That's all. 
~Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily avialable, they will create their own problems.~
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Re: Arrowhead
Reply #6 - Dec 25th, 2011 at 9:32pm
 
I wonder if you could make it as a "one piece" ie. extend the fins on the pattern so that it can be merely inserted full depth into the casting sand. Then, once the casting is made, machine back the fins to the desired shape and drill a hole in the base to accomodate the arrow shaft. A bit more machining required but greatly simplifies the casting process. What do you think?
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jlasud
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Re: Arrowhead
Reply #7 - Dec 26th, 2011 at 3:47am
 
Lost wax casting would be probably easier than making a 4 part mold,that has to seal on every part.Also ,at the smallest mistake the casting could stuck inside the mold which than has to be broken. You could make a slilicon mould using the original,then pouring wax in the silicon mould,making as many as you wish,connecting the wax positives with flow channels like rings,or glandes were cast.Making a lost wax mould around the wax arrow tree.
That's how i would do it now.Looking forward on your progress. Wink
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PingHansen
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Re: Arrowhead
Reply #8 - Dec 26th, 2011 at 5:59am
 
Looking at some other arrowheads, I have to conclude that they were cast in five part molds. Several of the arrowheads that I've seen pictures of, have ridges from the casting in continuation of the vanes. Three 120° pieces with seams along the vanes, a bottom plate with a spike and, a top ring to keep the three 120° parts pressed tightly together.

In the one mold I've seen so far, casting was done from the point.

BTW: I wouldn't be the least surprised if the "ancient arrowhead" I've just bought, turned out to be cast last year - the seller is from China Wink
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: Arrowhead
Reply #9 - Dec 26th, 2011 at 11:59am
 
To tell the truth, your last sentence was the first thing I tought when I first saw your arrowhead picture - the patina didn't convict me.
By the way, if you want to melt other arrowheads for your pleasure, that's ok, but if you plan to have plenty of it... perhaps it would be better to buy them? If the Chinese price was right...
I was thinking to a 4 part mold, but it would have been very expensive in terms of time and energies... gotta go now, but may talk about it later!
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PingHansen
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Re: Arrowhead
Reply #10 - Dec 26th, 2011 at 1:23pm
 
Mauro Fiorentini wrote on Dec 26th, 2011 at 11:59am:
if you want to melt other arrowheads for your pleasure

There is nothing rational about wanting to cast my own arrowheads. It would most likely be cheaper (and much easier) to buy modern broadheads. But, I'd simply like to be able to do it. There is something immensely satisfying about having made things yourself.

I have more or less promised my younger son that we build a couple of bows this spring or summer. The older one will be building his own at school this spring. Following that up with casting our own arrowheads would be a certain hit Cool

jlasud wrote on Dec 26th, 2011 at 3:47am:
Lost wax casting would be probably easier

Yes, cire perdue is most definitely the way to go for small volumes. Making a proper multi-part mold is a somewhat more ambitious undertaking - even if made from clay.

I don't think I'd be able/allowed by my wife to do any casting/smithing at my current address, as I have too much junk already Roll Eyes I'm thinking that I need to contact some of the hobby smiths in my area and pick their braaaaaaains (drool) Grin

Incidently; the alleged ancient arrowhead was cheaper than a modern broadhead. Certainly more inspiring Smiley
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: Arrowhead
Reply #11 - Dec 26th, 2011 at 2:20pm
 
PingHansen wrote on Dec 26th, 2011 at 1:23pm:
Mauro Fiorentini wrote on Dec 26th, 2011 at 11:59am:
if you want to melt other arrowheads for your pleasure

There is nothing rational about wanting to cast my own arrowheads. It would most likely be cheaper (and much easier) to buy modern broadheads. But, I'd simply like to be able to do it. There is something immensely satisfying about having made things yourself.

I have more or less promised my younger son that we build a couple of bows this spring or summer. The older one will be building his own at school this spring. Following that up with casting our own arrowheads would be a certain hit Cool


I totally agree!
I build my own bows and arrows, and forge my iron arrowheads! I have also melted bronze ones but these were waaaaaaaaay easier to make than your one  Wink
I've found forging my own arrowheads rational only because it helped me in improving my experimental archaeology project!
Otherwise... I'd have bought them  Smiley
Greetings, and good work!
Mauro.
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PingHansen
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Re: Arrowhead
Reply #12 - Dec 26th, 2011 at 4:16pm
 
Here's a British alternative http://www.bronze-age-swords.com/aegean_swords.htm. The Chinese are still cheaper.
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PingHansen
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Re: Arrowhead
Reply #13 - Dec 27th, 2011 at 9:02am
 
Mauro, I was wondering .. do you have any references to the composition of the bronze used for arrowheads?

I doubt that they used silicium and I don't know how common lead was in bronze of that era. Anyway, both silicium and lead make the bronze 'softer', and that would be an undesired effect.
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Re: Arrowhead
Reply #14 - Dec 27th, 2011 at 9:43am
 
Hallo Ping!
I don't have any information right now, but I'll meet my friend tomorrow (he's the bronze melter  Wink ) and I'll ask him!
Generally, lesser lead gives a stronger alloy, altough harder to melt. Alloys during Italian Medium and Recent Bronze Age (1500 - 1100 b.C) did not contain more than 10% of tin, and hardly 1, 2% of lead.
This was different from tool to tool (a fibula had more lead than an axe, for example), plus they used to melt destroyed or ancient objects, so that the alloy percentages were often uncertain.
A working tool or a weapon had to be stronger than a decoration; I believe that they obtained this also by heathing and hammering its edge.

By the way, the arrowheads we melted have never been used, so I can't tell if the percentages were correct. Anyway, these were 94% copper - 6% tin, and no lead at all. Arrowheads were flat, with a central rib, and were melted in series of 4. I could post pictures, shall I found them!

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