Monday, April 28, 2014

Making and replacing harpoon heads

Ivory and antler harpoon
heads in need of repair
I'm working on a few harpoon heads this week.  Some will be newly made form scratch and others are repairs or replacements of damaged harpoon heads.  I needed a theme to the week to get me motivated.  I have a long long list of reproductions to get done before I head into the field in June and a short list of people waiting for me to get the work done.  In the photo on the right, the disassembled ivory harpoon head in middle is the broken tip of a complete harpoon.  The roughed out walrus ivory block beside it will be a (hopefully) identical replacement piece that will be fit with the original iron endblade and brass rivet.  The stained harpoon head with the line and foreshaft is a Dorset Palaeoeskimo harpoon head that I made for a client years ago and that needs a replacement endblade made.  I'm aiming to make those two repairs and make a third Dorset harpoon head and tip-fluted endblade from scratch over the next couple of days.

The original harpoon head fell and shattered, but when it is pieced back together you can see its original shape.

The iron endblade with the brass rivet still in place.

Its unfortunate that it broke, but being able to take it apart lets me see details of its construction that would be otherwise hidden.  The red stains are rust marks from the endblade inside the slot.

Having the original piece with me in the workshop helps speed up the work greatly.  I should be able to get this finished tomorrow.
Photo Credits: Tim Rast

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