Having purchased two spear heads from amazon, I set to mounting them. At first, based on the specifications of the heads, I purchased two six foot long 1.25 inch diameter poplar dowels from lowes/homedepot, but seeing how small the actual blades were, and how large and heavy the dowels were, I decided to shorten the sockets on the heads to narrow the socket opening and use broom handles instead. I later mounted some larger heads I picked up from museum replicas to the poplar dowels.
Note: Use your own judgement and know your abilities and skills. Always use the proper tools and techniques for the task at hand. Attempt this instructable at your own risk. I assume no responsibility for damage, injury, or death. Some methods shown here are not ideal and not recommended. These methods are shown for conceptual purposes only. Please be careful.
For the small spears:
For the larger spears:
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Step 1: Removing the Shaft Ferrules
To maintain the length of the dowels, I opted to cut the steel ferrules from the broom handles. I used a cut-off wheel on an angle grinder to make a cut on each side of the ferrule, after failing to drill out the dimples holding it on.
After making two cuts, I was able to pry the two halves of the ferrule off.
Step 2: Trimming the Spear Head
Once I had the ferrule off, I used the same cut-off wheel on the angle grinder to shorten the spear head socket. Since I didn't have calipers, I just estimated the width and cut. I ended up cutting three times till I got down to within 1/16" of the diameter of the shaft.
I swapped the cut off wheel for an 80 grit sanding disk to square up the cut, then filed and sanded the edges of the new cut to make them presentable.
Step 3: Shaping the Shaft
If you can use a different method, please do. This is potentially very dangerous.
I don't have a lathe, but I have an angle grinder and some clamps, so I set up this rig to get an angle very close to the inside of the spear head socket. I placed the one end up on my table saw table, and the end to be shaped rested on the sanding disk. I rotated the shaft to get a nice consistent taper. I had to move the table saw a couple times till I got the best angle.
Note: I had already fitted the heads when I took these pictures, so I showed the butt end of the spear shaft on the sanding disk instead of the ferrule end. On the larger spears, I did actually taper the butt ends, but it was just a style choice.
Step 4: Fitting the Heads
Once the shaft is roughly shaped, test fit the head. Try to wobble the head, and twist it a bit too. Assuming it wobbles, remove the head and examine the wood. If the fit isn't right, you'll see dark or shiny areas on the wood that require additional sanding. Sand a bit and re-test. Once the fit is good, the head shouldn't wobble on the shaft at all. At this point, you can hand-sand to smooth the wood if required.
If you have a drill press skip ahead. If you don't have a drill press, use a hand drill at this point to drill hole in the shaft socket for a screw to hold the head to the shaft.
Jam the head onto the shaft as well as you can. Gripping the head, with the shaft hanging down toward a concrete or asphalt floor surface (potentially while wearing gloves), sharply drive the butt of the spear into the floor repeatedly, which should slam the tapered end of the shaft into the head socket. With a good fit, you will not be able to remove the head from the shaft without tools.
With a drill press, carefully drill a hole equal to the diameter of screw adequate to fix the head to the shaft. Only drill deep enough to get through the wall of the shaft socket. If you drill to deeply (into the wood), your screw won't provide adequate holding power to keep the head in place. Install your screw.
Enjoy your spear!