Inspired by the comments here:
That bolt came home with me when I retired and now sits on my home office desk. 😁
“WE MUST BAN HARDWARE” before the nuts are all armed with bolts.
(h/t to H.R. for the inspiration)
I decided to test how hard it was, and how long it would take, to make an ersatz Battle Hammer out of a Pile Of Parts.
Now I have most of this in the garage parts bins somewhere, but I had no idea what current prices might be. So off to Home Depot. (While there, I discovered that their California prices, at least, have gone “crazy high”. The same $2.50 or so quart of alcohol stove fuel from Walmart was just shy of $8 there. Just nuts, since 12 oz of methanol as HEET is $1.57 or so, you would be better off buying that at an auto parts store…)
I hefted a few iron pipes. Decided that 1/2 inch diameter felt best. Also, while the historic length tended to 2 feet to 2.5 feet, I decided I’m not “sitting a horse” so didn’t need that much reach. As I already have long arms, and any opponent is unlikely to be wielding a Roman Gladiolus, I settled on a 1.5 foot or 18 inch shaft. They did not have this in cheap iron pipe, so I got the more expensive galvanized.
For the head, I selected a 3/4 x 1/2 x 3/4 inch T and 2 x 3/4 inch “plugs”. I briefly considered the greater heft and effectiveness of a 3/4 inch nipple to 1/2 or even 3/4 to 3/8 adapter, then plugs (or just leave it open to remove disks of skull…) but decide for a first test I didn’t need the expense, or complexity. This gave a 12 oz head weight. Less than the traditional 1 to 2 lbs, but enough – I’m not facing Norman Knights in helmets, after all.
Here’s what it looks like partially assembled:
This is the prototype light weight (about 2 lbs all told) Pile Of Parts Battle Hammer 18″.
Cost was $7.29 for the pipe (outrageous, I know), $3.30 for the two plugs, and they managed to not ring up the T as it wasn’t scanning so the guy keyed it in, but I think forgot to add it to the bill. I didn’t notice till I got home that it was not listed. IIRC it was about $2.50. So all up, this ought to cost about $13. Toss in a roll of tape (electrical, or Duck Tape, or First Aide Cloth, or even Hockey Handle) to make the grip less slippery (ONLY put on at time of use, so it doesn’t look like a planned grip prior to need) and you end up about $14 to $15.
BUT: Will it WORK?
To test that, I picked an old, dry, and somewhat representative of a skull, chunk of 2 x 4 from my discarded wood pile. Then a medium force blow (about 1/2 power) was applied as it lay on the ground. Why only 1/2 force? Well, I’m lazy, don’t have any adrenaline running at the moment, wanted to get a “feel for it” and what kind of forces got back to my hand; and bending over head down near your knees is not conducive to a full on body rotation shield in other hand swing.
So what happened?
This picture you can click to embiggen to better see the dent in the 2 x 4 and wonder…
No, I don’t remember what kind of wood it was. I THINK it was fir. It isn’t redwood (that I use in fences). It is heavy. I usually buy fir for construction. But in any case you would get a bone chunk punched out.
Do note the impressed “CHINA” from the end plug. That will be ideal for forensic tracking. If that’s a concern, replace it with a 3/4 to 3/8 reducer and a pipe nipple that will section a plug out and leave little to go on…
Swing was easy. Notice I hit a little off square. Taped handle and practice would help. I thought of putting a cap on the end of the handle pipe, but the supplied ‘safety’ plastic cover was good enough. Force back into the hand was “not much” and easy.
This was all just “hand tight”. No wrenches involved. It assembled in about 20 seconds (I’m slow, I know…) and disassembled about as fast.
If folks wanted a heavier head, adding some more reducers and nipples and caps would do it. If desired, a cylinder of something heavy could be slid into the top from 3/4 end to 3/4 end. Needs to be innocuous so it doesn’t look planned. Perhaps a fragment of rebar?
I then thought about where to put it. Clearly if you have a tool box in the car, the ideal place is in it along with some other bits of “leftovers from construction projects”. For me, I wondered if it would fit in my “walking home” bag. The head bits easily slipped into the cordage pocket and disappeared. The handle slides nicely into the exterior webbing loops of the “size adjusting” straps. I looks like it would fit “middle of the main pocket” too, but I think this is fine.
Yes, officer, that’s a pipe. It is for sucking water out of skinny holes and other pipes where I might find it. This is a survival pack for getting home post quake. (Well, it’s worth a shot…)
UPDATE: Upon inspection, it looks like it makes a great little “Pipe Cheater” for those too short just round handle Mercedes lug wrenches. So it’s “a pipe cheater with T handle ’cause I can’t get the tire off with the short wrench”…
Yes, I know, “This blog can be used against me”… IF I ever did have to use this in anger, this posting would demonstrate intent to create the weapon. As I’m never going to be using it unless all law and order has left the area and I’m under attack, I’m OK with that. Better to be judged by 12 (after that fact) than carried by 6.
I hereby copy left this design and the name “Pile Of Parts Battle Hammer” under the attribution GPL (current or other dates as the user may desire). Feel free to make them, sell them, give them to friends. Even make specialty heads ( I was thinking a nice cast bronze axe head one side and a cast bronze spike the other…)
All I ask is that you say “Design inspired by E.M. ‘Chiefio’ Smith” or something equivalent.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled mayhem that is the world today, but comfortable in the knowledge that now you, too, can have a Battle Hammer in hand inside a minute (most of it getting the tool box open) and are highly likely to be legal while driving through just about all possible jurisdictions. It would be interesting to see if the Plumbers Union would join any case with an amicus brief about not wanting ALL plumbers arrested on the spot and toilets & drains nation wide no longer functional… ;-)