Unabashed in their rectilinear machine-edness, the scheme for Phoenix’s take-apart tangs and loops and wedges, starts to take shape.  Additional wedges under the tang, also slotted for the vertical keys, will be the next step.


Whatever this reconstruction is about, it clearly has nothing to do with authentic, Fourth Century Roman blacksmithing.  In this analysis, the ability to explore certain specific ballista designs is valued more highly than discovering the intricacies of ancient metalworking techniques;  interesting though they no doubt are.  Even so, I am careful not to make anything that could not be made with standard blacksmithing.  The deep slotted holes seen here could be made at the forge by hammering two halves of the tang around a pair of mandrels, and then forge welding the halves together. Something I do not have the time to mess with anymore. Either way, machined or smithed, the end result forms a close mechanical analog of what the original probably looked like. It helps us to zero in on what works, what doesn’t work, and if we are lucky, what works really well.  (This latter, can and does happen: witness the whole concept of an inswinger itself.  “Working really well” seems apt.)  And that, I believe, is all anyone in this EA gig is actually doing; filtering through the good, the bad , and the sometimes sublime.

Hats off to Mr. Aitor Iriarte for his classic paper The Inswinging Theory.  The basic design seen above is from that paper.  Here is his famous paper:  iriarte

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