Boarding axe with Langets

Chris Railey

Well-Known Member
I have been commissioned to forge a boarding axe for a customer and to keep the axe historically correct I intend to forge and attach Langets. Can anyone give advice on how to attach the Langets to the axe. My internet research has come up lacking on this point. I know their intention was mostly to protect the haft but I am not sure how to attach them properly. Thanks.
Well, I was afraid that perhaps no one here had tried langets before. Since this is the only forum I am on I guess I will WAG it and post the results.
Maybe drill through the handle and rivet? Not sure might make your handle to weak. All the historical examples I’ve seen seem to be riveted on. I could be wrong though.
It looks to me like they fit inside the eye and are then riveted to the handle. That is my plan anyway. I normally friction fit and then rivet my axe head in place. I guess I will run the rivet through the langets too then they will be fixed in place.
You do not say from what period. So after a search. I found this from this site,

It appears that they may be riveted. The top and bottom slide through the head with the handle. wp8724ddd0_05_06.jpg But the other end would have to be either screwed in or riveted. wp3ebcaa58_05_06.jpg wpd92cbde4_05_06.jpg In these two last shots there is no rivet or screw. The only way that work is to have an angled spike made to the back side and imbed that spike into the wood! Then the front would be fitted with the head of the axe! Or at least that is how I see it!!

If you look at the first pic, at least on the page I referenced you will see two tiny bulges on the langet, top and bottom!! That indicates screws or rivets of some sort. The one with the brass head shows no bulges on the langet so the spike on the back is the only thing I can think of!!

You may need to find an expert on the subject if they want 100% authentic look. However if the customer knows what is authentic he should be able to tell you how they are fastened!! LOL I know that last line was no help, truthful but no help!!:eek::p
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That top one is close to what I will be attempting tomorrow. The spike will be more square and straight but its very close. It makes sense to me for the langets to go through they eye because their supposed to protect the handle and if they did not go all the way to the top then there would be a weak spot in the handle at the bottom of the axe head. If I figure out how to fit them between the eye and axe handle then rivet them in place there and at a couple of places down the haft then I think they will stay in place during use. I was hoping someone would have a langet secret or something. You know like “keep your ricasso off of the anvil”. If anyone sees a flaw in my plan please let me know. Thanks Cliff and Daniel sometims it helps to talk through a project.
Chris if you read on down thru the piece I referenced, it tells that most were riveted thru the handle, as well as fitted thru the eye!!! That is really an interesting piece, if you like history that is!!

I was impressed by the brass one that there is no visible rivets or screws. That is where the idea of the angled spike attached to the bottom. Once it was seated and fitted to the eye. There would be virtually no way for it too move!!
That site is where I got most of my info from. That is exactly what I intend to do today. I may use copper rivets in the handle because I like how they look on steel but the basic plan came from that site. The boarding axes by nation was a cool part of that site. Thanks