Sunday, March 27, 2011

Quick Sword Update, and Construction Tips!

Hello hello, I did a bunch of work on the Windia sword handle today, so I thought I'd post it!

Some time ago, after much scrutinizing of images, I realized that the middle of the sword handle wasn't a solid cone as I had thought, but two 'pipes', as it were, twisting around each other! While that looks really awesome, I had a bit of a D: moment, as I wondered how the hell I was going to make that happen. This was also back when I thought the blade would be made of plastic.

Now that I'm doing the foam/fiberglass treatment, I wasn't scared of this at all. I bought some thin PVC pipe, which was really inexpensive; about $3-$4 for a very generous length of pipe. If you're having trouble finding such small diameters of pipe at the store, look for the copper pipe! I found this stuff by the copper. It's made to be the same sizes as standard copper piping (to use as an alternative to copper plumbing), so the sizes are much smaller for applications like this.

I cut some short lengths of the pipe, then used a heat gun to gently heat and curve them. I did this by applying pressure to the top of the pipe. I held it like that until it was cool enough to hold this shape. NOTE: Do this with an open window. PVC fumes are toxic, and while I didn't heat the pipe very much, it still gave off a slight odor, and my room is small. It was freezing and I opened my window, just in case. Better safe.

Anyway, I ended up just screwing the bottom of the pipes together with a regular screw, which isn't ideal, but it's what I had and it will work when I get the fiberglass covering it. I bolted the top sections of pipe to a piece of wood. The second image here is a close-up of the wood-PVC-foam assembly. Apologies for not taking a pic before I glued the foam on, and for it being a bit blurry, but hopefully you can see what I did. If there's a desire, I can make a diagram of this later.

I glued the top blade section to the wood, then glued two other pieces of foam on either side to build out the thickness of the top of the handle. I carved that down with utility blades and sanded it with regular sandpaper. I ruined my sanding block by mistake, and I missed it. If you're working with foam in this way, buy several sanding blocks at the hardware store, or at least sticky-backed sandpaper and some small wooden blocks. It's generally much easier to sand with blocks with this foam. The sheet form is only good for really tight areas.

This week I'll be, I think, covering this with a thin coat of Bondo (to keep the fiberglass from eating the foam), and then covering in fiberglass. Hopefully, this won't make the sword too thick. If it will, I'll sand it down some more. I think it will look pretty sweet, though. And it's still so freakin light! D: The goal is to have it paint-ready by week's end.

Last pic's of me, to give you a better idea of the scale, and how awesome Sarah will look when she's holding it. Please don't judge my raggedy appearance, as I've been working on a sword! Nor the clothes on the bed. I was wearing them and got warm >_> wut.

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