You just bought your new pilum…great, but now how do you properly attach the metallic head to the shaft?

Let’s see in this guide.

The dismounted pilum.

The metallic head must be fixed to the shaft by hammering and flatening the point of the three nails. However, once in the holes, the nails will probably be too long.

Before hammering them, the nails must be cut down to measure. For a more efficient attachment, just leave 2-3 mm of the original nail protruding.

After this operation, you must lay the nail’s head on a hard material.
In an ideal situation, the nail’s head should be laid on an anvil, possibly with a softer material (soft wood or lead) between the nail’s head and the anvil itself.
In this way, the domed head of the nail won’t deform.

The nail’s end cut before should be hammered with the hemispherical part of a ball-peen hammer.
Hammering with the hemispherical part helps the flattening of the metal and the formation of the second head.

If you don’t have a ball-peen hammer, you could use a cross and straight hammer.
First hammer with the sharp and thinner part of the head, then with the large one.

To obtain a better flattening, you can also produce a little groove on the nail’s cut end with a steel chisel, before hammering. This operation will make easier the nail to flatten.

Steel chisel

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