RESIN + WOOD. - OR MAKE IT SO THEY CAN’T TAKE IT! -. = SWORD!. BY MIKE + LISA. MATERIALS. · Reference photos, DVDs, etc. · Pencil, eraser, ruler, measuring tape, French curve and stencils (if needed)
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- OR MAKE IT SO THEY CAN’T TAKE IT! -
BY MIKE + LISA
· Reference photos, DVDs, etc.
· Pencil, eraser, ruler, measuring tape, French curve and stencils (if needed)
· Poplar (easy to sand, inexpensive, moderately flexible) planks in lengths and widths suitable for your project (make sure you leave yourself some extra room when selecting your wood). You can also use hobby plywood (good for details and carving). We don’t suggest using hardwood—it is heavy, harder to sand and more expensive. Make sure that your wood pieces are straight and not warped.
· Masks for sawdust and painting
· Safety glasses
· Electric jigsaw (table or handheld) or a hand-held hacksaw
· Electric ‘mouse’ sander, although you can do this by hand with sanding blocks or sanding ‘sponges’
· Sand paper of various grits—80 for cutting, 120 for smoothing and 400 for finishing
· Wood filler (if needed)
· Wood glue
· Small clamps, such as alligator clips for paper
· Painter’s tape, if needed
· Epoxy (more flexible) or fiberglass (stiffer) resin and resin hardener. You may need to get extra hardener. You will need a small container—we used a 32 oz. container of resin made by 3M (this was the smallest size we could find).
· Protective gloves
· Stirring stick and disposable paper cups/bowls
· An old wire hanger, piece of wire, rope, etc. to hang sword for resin application
· Cheap 1”-2” paint brushes, about 5 or 6, rinsed and dried to prevent them from shedding
· Primer, spray paint, liquid leaf and other painting materials
· Finishing accessories—grip material etc.
· Patience : )
How to determine scale—Find a photo that shows the character holding their weapon. Here, we have a photo of Sweet Pea grasping her sword with two hands so we will measure the size of Lisa’s two hands together. We will base our measurements on the commercially available sword using the length of the fist/hilt unit.
* SAFETY: WEAR YOUR DUST MASK AND EYE PROTECTION. TAKE YOUR TIME! THIS STEP CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS—YOU CAN EASILY LOSE BODY PARTS WHEN USING AN ELECTRIC SAW!*
Begin sanding by hand or with the mechanical sander. Start with the most abrasive grit first (we began with 80 grit), but be careful as it will shape quickly! Do not start beveling the edges, but begin on the sides of the sword, bringing the edges up to the lines you drew, making your cuts precise to your measurements and to a 90° angle to the flat top. Start with the blade and end on the handle. The handle does not need to be perfect. Do not create a sharp point at the tip of the sword.
This is the ‘now-or-never’ step where you will need to make any corrections to the overall shape of the sword. Make sure that your edges are straight, level, trued to their dimensions and free from score marks. Check for symmetry and correct any obvious problems. Sand slowly, gently back and forward unless you have something major to correct.
Begin to bevel the edges of the sword, beginning at the tip and working back to the hilt. Use a light touch and take your time. Keep the center line at the full width of the wood and gently sand outwards until you have sanded down to the center mark you made on the side of the blade. Repeat on the opposite side. Do not overly sand down your edge or create a sharp line or point at the tip.
Cut the hilt. It is usually easier to cut the details of the hilt out of the full length of wood rather than cutting the hilt out and then trying to cut details of a smaller piece of wood. When you are happy with the shape, make a rectangle in the center of the hilt that measures the length and width of the sword. Err on the small side—a tight fit is better than having to fill later. Sand. If the width of the hilt is smaller than the blade, cut out a section of the hilt so that the hilt can be fitted after the grip is completed. To cut the hole in the hilt, you can use a power drill and drill out a key hole then return with the saw.
In one of your small containers mix a small amount of resin and resin hardener according to the manufacturer’s instructions, stirring gently to avoid creating air bubbles. For this first step you will only need about ¼ of a cup of resin or less. Scoop resin into the reservoir and let the resin dry. Repeat as necessary until you have filled in all spaces and holes. Use only small batches of resin and use only one brush per application. If you have appliqués, use this initial batch of resin to ‘glue’ them in place.
Set time is determined by the temperature, humidity levels, wind, etc . In warm weather, expect faster set times, in cooler weather set times may take longer. We suggest making a sample to see how long it takes your resin to set.
If you miss a spot, wait until the next application to cover. It’s okay if you drip or if the resin begins to set while you are painting it on. You can go back and sand it down later. If the resin begins to cure and you haven’t painted the entire sword, allow what you have done to harden, mix a new batch and finish painting. Go back and apply resin to the grip where the sword was hung after the rest of the sword has dried. When the sword is complete, allow the first coat of resin to cure for several hours or overnight.
Look back to your reference materials and analyze the color of the sword’s blade, the grip material and any other aspects of the sword. If you have a metallic sword, consider painting it with a combination of spray paint and metallic leaf. If the sword’s blade is colored, try a combination of flat paint for the unsharpened edge and glossy paint for the sharp edge (as in the Bleach katana). If it is dull, old or antiqued, try using a specialty spray paint. There are many specialty spray paints on the market including antique finish, textures and chrome finishes. Grip materials can range from sticky hockey tape, ribbon, leather, ultra suede, etc. As with the resin, always allow your paint to dry completely between applications. Work in a ventilated area and use your mask. At this point, you are only limited by your imagination!
Enjoy the results of your hard work! : ) For more information and/or help—
www.lisaklassen.com, firstname.lastname@example.org (Lisa), FLCLvespa@hotmail.com (Mike)