Parrying Axe For Rapier Combat

So, there I was in the Vogue theatre, stuffing my face with popcorn, watching "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl". Will Turner runs out of the blacksmith's shop with a sword to fight off the pillaging pirates, and he grabs up this axe in his left hand.

I thought "Wow! What a great idea for a parrying device". So, I started sketching and looking around for scrap aluminum. I wanted something like a Viking throwing axe. Soon I came up with this:

Axe head before duct tape

This is how it looks without the duct tape. This is only a rigid parrying device, and should be used like a stick. It is not a heavy fighting weapon. Mostly what I had to worry about was accidentally hitting someone with it, so that's why I used the blue camping mattress foam, so beloved of heavy fighters. The blue foam also gives me volume without much mass.

The duct tape serves two purposes. It prevents damage (nicks or scratches) to rapier blades by covering up the metal edges and it gives it a bit of the illusion of being made of iron. Well, maybe from fifty feet away.

The biggest investment was for a four-foot hardwood 1 1/8" dowel. I used 26 inches of it for the axe, and the leftover piece of dowel became a handle for a flanged mace for my son Duncan. (The mace head was made by Lord Nicholas of Lost Haven.)

Before I mounted the axe-head I slightly flattened two sides of the dowel from just below the head to the grip. A huge belt sander came in handy.

I had the idea that this axe would enable me to do a number of thing:

The first time I tried it out I found it a bit heavy. Capain O'Rose suggested that I make the hooks a bit more pronounced, and use them like quillons. I think I'd like to make the next one with an alder or birch branch.

Update June 2005 - Shoot. I can't find it anymore. I must have left it at some tourney or warcamp site.

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