Flanged axe type Oldenhof, variant Ekehaar

Found: Ees, Drenthe, Netherlands
Age: 1800 BC

The first casting I made was based on the same type of axe. As I've now got the knowledge and experience to make a much better reproduction, I've decided to redo this axe. My first version of this axe can be seen here.

The Ekehaar variant axes have all been found in or close to Drenthe. Therefore this must have been a local production. The Ekehaar variant axes can be recognized by the three or four decorative lines that are hammered in halfway on the axe. The photo here shows the axe from Valthe. For my axe I used the example found at Ees.

The model used to make the moulds is made from clay and sand.

The mould is made from clay and sand, and fired after it was dried. Here the mould can be seen before firing.

Casting result
The quality of the casting is very good. The surface is smooth and the amount of work required to finish it is minimal.

Finished axehead
Here is the axehead after finishing. Although I used authentic methods, the finishing only took about 4 hours. The decorative lines are hammered in using a bronze punch.

Second casting

For this axe I had prepared a second mould, this time as experiment of another clay type. It's a brown clay mixed with crushed earthenware as tempering instead of sand. This kind of tempering was also used in pottery in the bronze age. It worked well, though larger moulds had sherds break away during firing. This indicates insufficient tempering. So the next time I'll use this clay, I'll add additional sand.

Casting result
This axe was also of good quality. There is no noticable difference in quality from the normal clay I use. So it seems that with the right treatement, the different clays give the same result in casting. There are a few bubbles in the surface though, but I suspect this was enclosed air, rather then gassing from the mould.