flail or ball and chain

Moderator: Moderators

Simon Fryer
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 8:46 pm

flail or ball and chain

Postby Simon Fryer » Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:16 pm

Hi all I am looking at making a flail (ball and chain) for single handed use, I have read elsewhere that some folks dont like these as they can be dangerous, can you guys give me a bit of feedback as to do's and dont's on this please.

Simon



British
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:02 pm
Location: Port Mulgrave

Re: flail or ball and chain

Postby British » Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:26 pm

I seen some lightweight ones in a shop in York some time ago. So light, infact, I doubt they would damage a grape. Maybe too light to do any actual practice with, as the balance might be all wrong? I had an interest to buy one, too. Stuff like that is a fantastic talking point. I'll keep an eye on your thread for if anything good comes of it.



alex lee
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:02 am

Re: flail or ball and chain

Postby alex lee » Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:34 pm

Im making a lightweight one for displays and choreographed fights. Gonna use a tenis ball as the ball so i wont do near to no damage :)



Fian
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:02 pm

Re: flail or ball and chain

Postby Fian » Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:54 pm

For the sake of your knuckles, you want to make sure that the ball and chain part of it can't hit the bit that you'll be holding. May not be so much of a concern as normal if you're using a tennis ball though.

I saw a set of instructions once that was basically a wooden handle, some chain, a hocky ball and 2 of those screws with a ring on the end.


Andy
Early Medieval Re-enactor, and sucker who made his own chainmail.

alex lee
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:02 am

Re: flail or ball and chain

Postby alex lee » Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:57 pm

thats exactly what im doing with it now, friend recommended a hockey ball :)



User avatar
bart
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 6:34 pm
Location: NN5 7QP
Contact:

Re: flail or ball and chain

Postby bart » Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:31 pm

2 weeks ago I made my own flail... was quite easy. 1m black chain from B&Q, brush stick, got 2 nails, some wood dye, and found a metal plate roughly 0,75inch wide 8 inch long. https://picasaweb.google.com/100735176339641554486/FlialMk2
of course if I could afford would swap brush stick for ash...but, tested the flial, and its working:D
hope it'll be helpfull.



User avatar
Biro
Post Centurion
Posts: 517
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 1:10 pm
Location: North-East

Re: flail or ball and chain

Postby Biro » Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:11 pm

The voice of experience here says that even in coreographed fights, make sure *your* (ie the flail wielder's) knees are armoured.



Will
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:54 pm
Location: Oxford

Re: flail or ball and chain

Postby Will » Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:42 pm

Hi,

I have a couple of these that i have been practicing with, loads of fun.
I was wondering if anyone may be able to help by pointing out any good sources, references or techniques to how these may have been used historically?
With all the arms training i was thinking the use should look skilled and controlled (possibly similar to use of eastern Nunchakas) rather than a simple but crude bludgening tool? With a bit of practice its ok to controll the ball and catch and redirect it or flick it at targets from funny angles (like boxing 'hooks') etc, rather than just a straight high impact swing which leaves a big obvious 1 hit and a large open gap till it rotates.

would be interesting to hear what people think though.
Cheers
W



User avatar
Grymm
Post Centurion
Posts: 594
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 9:18 pm
Location: The Chilterns

Re: flail or ball and chain

Postby Grymm » Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:14 pm

An awful lot are Victorian/Edwardian constructs but variations on the theme (Usually on longer poles with multiple shorter chains) did exist.

Much more popular in Eastern Europe, the two handed type being popular amoungst the Tabourites (Stare into a mirror and shout Jan Hus loudly three times one should show up).

Read here http://www.myarmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=17245&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
and here http://www.myarmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=12645&highlight=flail


Futuaris nisi irrisus ridebis.

User avatar
Dave B
Post Knight
Posts: 1737
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:34 pm
Location: Cheshire
Contact:

Re: flail or ball and chain

Postby Dave B » Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:57 am

I can tell you from watching someone practice with these things that if you construct one using cricket balls, you should definitely also wear a cricket box....


Find time in every day to look at your life and say; 'Well, it could be worse'

Kurt's uncle Bob.

User avatar
Fox
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2652
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:27 pm
Location: Cheshire

Re: flail or ball and chain

Postby Fox » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:25 am

If you haven't already gathered from the above comments, I'd advice plenty of caution, and possibly complete avoidance of the project altogether.

There is a fundemental problem with these that I have not, in my experience, seen resolved.

If the "ball" is soft, they will bounce; they bounce off everything unpredictably, often with large amounts of energy preserved [see the large ammounts of protective equipment suggested for the user].

If the "ball" is hard, it will not bounce; if they accidentally [and inevitably] hit something unarmoured they will transfer all the energy in them.

There are also issues to do with controlling them [and looking realistic] if the "ball" has too little mass, since they rely on rotational momentum, obviously they become more dangerous the more mass there is [because of momentum].

So the problem is what do you use to construct the ball (and possibly even what material for the chain).

I wonder about a ball with a firmer middle, but padded outside?

Now you've put the problem back in my head....



Will
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:54 pm
Location: Oxford

Re: flail or ball and chain

Postby Will » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:52 am

Thanks for the link, interesting reading and i like the look of the pole type flails.
so possibly not a 'knightly' weapon but more of a man-at-arms used on foot.

Yes i agree, knees and elbows, but also the shins are suprisingly painfull.
Mine are made out of cricket balls however havent needed the box just yet (just practicing against a wooden post at the min).
I quickly worked out to keep away from head further than length of the chain and to have hands the same.



Simon Fryer
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 8:46 pm

Re: flail or ball and chain

Postby Simon Fryer » Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:33 pm

Thanks for all the replies, I have been warned off using them for multi society events, and that if I do use one then to use it in own events, and demos only, as they are to unpreictable. I will still make one though, I am going to use wooden coconut shy balls, with flat toped dome spikes screwed into them. I have also been told to use hickory handles as they dont shear off, they will only split down the shaft, so this reduces the risk of the balls flying off in all diections.

Simon



User avatar
bonnacon
Posts: 404
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 9:29 am
Location: Long Sutton, Lincs
Contact:

Re: flail or ball and chain

Postby bonnacon » Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:48 pm

Hi Simon, just discovered this thread. I love the double morning star and used one regularly for a number of years. The "figure of eight " technique can look quite graceful for display purposes but I didnt win any combats with it!
The balls were hard wooden carved jobs from the local timber merchants, studded with hobnails from the cobbler's shop. I'd agree with all the cautionary statements made, plus the advisability of attaching a hand guard to the shaft to protect against downward blows from a sword. Something like a 3" diameter wide metal disc does the job. Initially I didnt put one on and spent one sunday afternoon in A&E having my thumb stitched up despite having been wearing armoured gauntlets - still bear the scars!!

Regular checks of your balls are essential :wink: Both mine flew off at the same time when the bolts holding them to the chain sheared off. Luckily no-one was hurt !


Vivimus vivamus!

drawknife
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:06 pm

Re: flail or ball and chain

Postby drawknife » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:13 pm

I wish people would stop calling a flail a "morning star". The two things are completely different.
It is the internet that has caused this confusion. A morning star has a solid handle with a spiked ball fixed to the end (similar to a spiked ball mace).
A flail has spiked balls or weights on chains, or just chains, fixed to a handle. Please be accurate.



User avatar
bonnacon
Posts: 404
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 9:29 am
Location: Long Sutton, Lincs
Contact:

Re: flail or ball and chain

Postby bonnacon » Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:48 am

Nope, its not the internet, I've been calling a ball and chain flail a morning star for years - obviously erroneously so I'm grateful to have had my education broadened !!


Vivimus vivamus!

User avatar
Dave B
Post Knight
Posts: 1737
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:34 pm
Location: Cheshire
Contact:

Re: flail or ball and chain

Postby Dave B » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:04 pm

drawknife wrote:I wish people would stop calling a flail a "morning star". The two things are completely different.


Just out of interest, and this is a perfectly innocent question, why is that the case? I've seen both described as 'morning star' in books. As far as I am aware 'morning star' was not a medieval term for either weapon (although obviously the term 'morning star' was in use to mean Venus, or Satan, but thats another story).

Personally I'd try to avoid using the term at all as it isn't period - I'd reffer to a spiked mace as a spiked mace, and a flail with a spiked ball as a flail with a spiked ball. But if you are going to use the term, why is one useage right and the other wrong?


Find time in every day to look at your life and say; 'Well, it could be worse'



Kurt's uncle Bob.

User avatar
Fox
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2652
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:27 pm
Location: Cheshire

Re: flail or ball and chain

Postby Fox » Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:14 pm

Buzz, what he said.

I've heard the term used (and only in a modern context) to indicate either a flail or a mace, but with spiked weights.

It certainly goes back to my childhood; I recall it used in both contexts on a guided tour in Norwich when I was about 9, and that is well before the internet.



User avatar
Dave B
Post Knight
Posts: 1737
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:34 pm
Location: Cheshire
Contact:

Re: flail or ball and chain

Postby Dave B » Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:47 pm

I suspect that the whole Morning Star thing is a mistranslation thing anyway. I wonder if its to do with the Flemish mace the Goedendag, which people have previously assumed related to the modern Dutch for goodmorning, when it is generaly now though to come from a term for 'great dagger'


Find time in every day to look at your life and say; 'Well, it could be worse'



Kurt's uncle Bob.

User avatar
Alan E
Posts: 327
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 10:18 am
Location: Somewhere in Southern Wales now (unless elsewhere)

Re: flail or ball and chain

Postby Alan E » Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:56 pm

Dave B wrote:I suspect that the whole Morning Star thing is a mistranslation thing anyway. I wonder if its to do with the Flemish mace the Goedendag, which people have previously assumed related to the modern Dutch for goodmorning, when it is generaly now though to come from a term for 'great dagger'

Tarnation that's bad news! :sick: It has entirely ruined my mental image of all those Dutchman saying "Good Morning" every time they plonked someone on the head! ;(

"Goedendag" plonk; ]:) "Goedendag" plonk; ]:) "Goedendag" plonk ]:) all through the battle.

;( Gone. ;(


:D


'till whispers fill the tower of memory...
The Exiles Company of Medieval Martial Artists: http://the-exiles.org.uk/

Now teaching Fiore's art in Ceredigion (Felinfach) - pm for details

User avatar
Fox
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2652
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:27 pm
Location: Cheshire

Re: flail or ball and chain

Postby Fox » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:33 am

Dave B wrote:I wonder if its to do with the Flemish mace the Goedendag, which people have previously assumed related to the modern Dutch for goodmorning, when it is generaly now though to come from a term for 'great dagger'


Goedendag is Good Day, not Good Morning which is Goedemorgen

Both words have the most beautiful pronunciation, not at all as they appear.



Mark Griffin
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 4240
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 2:28 pm
Location: Wales. Only just!
Contact:

Re: flail or ball and chain

Postby Mark Griffin » Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:47 pm

I have used cricket balls for a bit, they work well. Wouldn't use them in freestyle, they are a mite nasty. For uber wang at hey nonny 'banquets' we use horrible metal shields and axe handles with lengths of pointy garden chain on. CLANGWANGBASHCLANGWANG!!!!

Punters love it.


http://www.griffinhistorical.com. A delicious decadent historical trifle. Thick performance jelly topped with lashings of imaginative creamy custard. You may also get a soggy event management sponge finger but it won't cost you hundreds and thousands.


Return to “1100-1500”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests