Dwalin's War Hamer Replica - The Hobbit

samiamuc

New Member
Recently I got a hold of the The Hobbit AUJ Chronicles of Design book. I opened it and was amazed by all of the sketches of the dwarves' accoutrements. The dwarves are my favorite race so I thought "How awesome would it be to make all of these everyday items and use them in my everyday?" So I will be posting a long series of all sorts of props based off of the sketches in the book.

I decided to begin with Dwalin's war hammer. It was my favorite weapon from the movie (aside from sting), so I really wanted a replica. I was surprised to find that while there is an available replica of Fili's war hammer, Dwalin's hammer is nearly nonexistent. I searched all over and found sometime on etsy (The GeekFoundry http://www.therpf.com/member.php?u=94161) who made them. I should say who had made them, since, due to costs, they no longer make/sell them. Since they were the only person I could find who ever made a replica, though not the most accurate, I followed the info from their page. In my search I had came across the following verry helpful images:
dwallin hammer.jpg04-dwalin-peen-hammer.jpg
I knew that I could figure out all of the dimensions if I just had one starting dimension. I got these from TheGeekFoundry's thread http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=212926&highlight=Dwalin
I went with the head dimensions posted - 6.5 in high, 5.25 wide. From there I measured the rest of the hammer and scaled it up. I found, though, that in the process of scaling it up the precision was lost. Being a perfectionist, I knew this had to be exact. I zoomed in on the picture until the height of the head was about 6.5 inches, then I measured verbatim the rest of the hammer. Part of the way through this I noticed a problem with my reference images. I noticed that the concept art (the clear picture of the hammer on a white background) had quite a few difference from the actual prop. I then began taking my measurements from the photo of the prop. I'm a CAD person, so I'm modeling my hammer first, before I ever make it. Here's where I am now:
hammer head top.PNGhammer iso.PNGHammer cap.PNG

All that I have left is the detailing on the sides.

There are multiple ways I could make this, and I haven't decided yet.

  • The octagonal handle dowel will have to be ordered from a custom dowel company.
  • I could route the head from a block of wood (or metal) and 3D print the rest, then paint it.
  • I could 3D print all of the parts, then sand them down, then coat them in Bondo or XTC-3D and sand that down to get a smooth surface and leave it at that
  • I could do the above step and then cast it in resin
  • My favorite option, but the most expensive, would be to order it custom made out of metal through 3D printing, casting, or machining.

The only thing I'm worried about is the painting. I haven't done any weathered looking painting before, and I never like the way it looks when others do it, so I'm not sure I'll make it look weathered in the painting, but only y putting dings and chips in the hammer, like the prop.
 

Dope

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The only way to go is steel, IMO. Use a high-carbon steel and harden it too. Real prop weapons FTW!

Given the look of it, it would be a bit weird to have it machined or 3d printed. It's clearly has the look of a rough blacksmithed hammer. I think that looks like a fun project I'd love to make if you ever want to spend too much money.

Edit: having said that, being a fellow perfectionist I can understand why you'd want to use these extremely accurate methods. I'm just not sure it would look quite right is all (I've run into the same problem before)

Dope
 
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samiamuc

New Member
The only way to go is steel, IMO. Use a high-carbon steel and harden it too. Real prop weapons FTW!

Given the look of it, it would be a bit weird to have it machined or 3d printed. It's clearly has the look of a rough blacksmithed hammer. I think that looks like a fun project I'd love to make if you ever want to spend too much money.

Edit: having said that, being a fellow perfectionist I can understand why you'd want to use these extremely accurate methods. I'm just not sure it would look quite right is all (I've run into the same problem before)

Dope
Getting it made by a blacksmith would certainly be the ideal way to do it. Unfortunately, I don't know of any blacksmiths near me. If I commissioned one from you, and provided the wooden handle, what is an estimate of the price you might charge? I'm guessing maybe 1-2 times the price of your Mjolnir on etsy? The head is about the same size, but there'd be the other metal parts, as well as a more detailing than mjolnir.
 

Dope

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Getting it made by a blacksmith would certainly be the ideal way to do it. Unfortunately, I don't know of any blacksmiths near me. If I commissioned one from you, and provided the wooden handle, what is an estimate of the price you might charge? I'm guessing maybe 1-2 times the price of your Mjolnir on etsy? The head is about the same size, but there'd be the other metal parts, as well as a more detailing than mjolnir.
Well, let's see here, I guess it depends on how you want it made and what level of functionality you want to have.

1) If you want a "real hammer" that is a solid piece of forged, hardened high-carbon steel it is gonna cost probably 4-5k I'd say. However, doing a quick estimate of weight I'd say the head would weigh ~75lbs and would be insane/nearly impossible to handle. I don't have the tools or expertise for this, either way, just laying out your options.
2) If you want a hammer that you could use to smash hard things (cement blocks, ceramic, bricks, etc) with and actually be able to wield it, a hollow version with hardened steel strike faces would probably be best. Depending on the thickness of the walls and such, probably 30-40lbs which is doable.
3) If you want a hammer that's all steel but you only intend on using it on softer targets (wood, plastic, etc), an all-mild steel version (like the Mjolnir you referenced) is probably your best bet. Same weight, the only real difference is that hard, brittle materials like cement can mark up mild steel when you strike it. Which honestly I'm not even sure would be a big deal since the screen-used version looks pretty chipped up in the first place.
4) Lastly there are the wooden, foam, resin, etc versions which are good for con usage and such when you can't carry real weapons and you don't want to carry a heavy thing all day.

I can do 2) and 3) for you. I could do a solid one if you wanted too but I really think the weight would make it pointless. Not to mention, I'm not sure if the thin handle would hold up to the abuse of a heavy head like that. That handle looks thinner than the ones on my 5lb hammers, nevermind a 75lb hammer. It's up to you though, I can tell you that the 24lb mjolnir is difficult to handle with one hand so I can only imagine what 75lbs on the end of a stick feels like. I'm a pretty big guy too.

Cost-wise for 3) above would probably be ballpark $2k assuming 1/4" or 3/8" wall thickness on a hollow hammer. 2) would be a couple hundred more. Honestly the etchings and the coloration on the side of the hammer look like they'd be the most difficult part. Alternatively, I also do work on a straight hourly rate basis if you wanted to go that route instead. Time to completion would be roughly late winter/early spring most likely, most projects take me 2-3 months and I have a bit of a backlog right now.

Dope
 

samiamuc

New Member
Well, let's see here, I guess it depends on how you want it made and what level of functionality you want to have.

I can do 2) and 3) for you. I could do a solid one if you wanted too but I really think the weight would make it pointless. Not to mention, I'm not sure if the thin handle would hold up to the abuse of a heavy head like that. That handle looks thinner than the ones on my 5lb hammers, nevermind a 75lb hammer. It's up to you though, I can tell you that the 24lb mjolnir is difficult to handle with one hand so I can only imagine what 75lbs on the end of a stick feels like. I'm a pretty big guy too.

Cost-wise for 3) above would probably be ballpark $2k assuming 1/4" or 3/8" wall thickness on a hollow hammer. 2) would be a couple hundred more. Honestly the etchings and the coloration on the side of the hammer look like they'd be the most difficult part. Alternatively, I also do work on a straight hourly rate basis if you wanted to go that route instead. Time to completion would be roughly late winter/early spring most likely, most projects take me 2-3 months and I have a bit of a backlog right now.

Dope
Thanks.

I would mainly be using it for display and show off, functionality is not a worry at all. (On a side note, I'd really like a replica of Gimli's axe (walking or battle axe) that I could actually use for chopping wood). I like the idea of it being hollow in option 2, but I was hoping to ding it up a little so it looks more like the prop, similar to what you described in option 3. The price sounds okay, but It'll be a while before I can save up that much money. I could probably make it for <$200, probably <$100 if I made it from wood, resin, or even 3D printed. I'll probably make one from cheap wood and plastic for a pretty low cost as a prototype, then consider getting one made from metal. Also, are you aware if it would be possible to get a wooden one steel plated? I'm guessing it's not.

In regards to the handle, read my next update.
 

Dope

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks.

I would mainly be using it for display and show off, functionality is not a worry at all. (On a side note, I'd really like a replica of Gimli's axe (walking or battle axe) that I could actually use for chopping wood). I like the idea of it being hollow in option 2, but I was hoping to ding it up a little so it looks more like the prop, similar to what you described in option 3. The price sounds okay, but It'll be a while before I can save up that much money. I could probably make it for <$200, probably <$100 if I made it from wood, resin, or even 3D printed. I'll probably make one from cheap wood and plastic for a pretty low cost as a prototype, then consider getting one made from metal. Also, are you aware if it would be possible to get a wooden one steel plated? I'm guessing it's not.

In regards to the handle, read my next update.
Sure thing. Having a cheaper prototype made is really not a bad idea at all, then you can send me the exact dimensions you want or even just send me the actual protoype and I'll reverse engineer it out of steel instead. That way you get exactly what you want.

Gimli's axes wouldn't be too bad to make, they could be done with proper hardened steel that will hold up to abuse too. The engraving/etching and plating work would be the toughest challenge for sure but I think it's doable. The walking axe head by itself I'd do pretty cheaply, maybe $500ish? I'd have to price the steel. The only downside is I don't do any woodworking and I don't pretend to be an expert on it either so the handle would have to be done separately. Just to give you an idea for your plans. You have good taste in weapons, always loved Gimli's battle axe.

As far as steel plating goes I've never seen it. I know there are various electroplating methods that can be used on pretty much anything but they tend to use soft metals. I'm not an expert in that field, however :)

Dope
 
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samiamuc

New Member
UPDATE:
Today I contacted about 6 companies that advertise making custom dowels or handles, giving them the proposed dimensions for the handle part. I got replies from 2 so far, one saying that they couldn't do the octagonal shape, and the other saying that while they could, it would be a few hundred dollars for the setup.

These are the specs I gave them:
-Made from Hickory. I researched what some of the strongest woods are, and what are commonly used for hammers and axes. I found that hickory and ash are said to be some of the best native woods, and I've had bad experiences with ash, so I decided to go with hickory.
-40-41 inches long. I need to re-measure it to find out exactly.
-The cross section dimensions for the handle are in the attached picture:

Depending on the results I get from these companies, I'll may just make the handle myself. It would be pretty simple - I'll just have to build a jig for my table saw.
 

Attachments

lmgill

Sr Member
samiamuc,
I don't know what tools and skills you have available to you, but in order to make this, you will have to have some of each.
You could just make that handle with a wood router. a simple 45 degree bit run down the sides. barring that a wood plane and some skill would achieve the same thing.
For the head, I would fabricate it from a soft wood* (not softwood) , the Bondo the surface and seems, paint it to get the look you want, then silicone mold it and cast a plastic copy.

* A "Softwood" is a wood, who's seeds do not grow in a nut or fruit. softwood trees produce their seeds in cones or otherwise. Like: Pine, Ceder, Redwood, ect.
"Hardwoods" are from trees that produce seeds in fruit or nuts, like Hickory, Maple, Oak, Balsa and so on.
We use a pattern wood known a Jelutong. It is a very fine grain, but it's a soft hardwood (see above) It is easy to carve and sand and has very few imperfections in the wood.
Here is a link with more information: http://austinhardwoodsonline.com/brochures/brochuresubentry/430/1196/1494/
 

samiamuc

New Member
samiamuc,
I don't know what tools and skills you have available to you, but in order to make this, you will have to have some of each.
You could just make that handle with a wood router. a simple 45 degree bit run down the sides. barring that a wood plane and some skill would achieve the same thing.
For the head, I would fabricate it from a soft wood* (not softwood) , the Bondo the surface and seems, paint it to get the look you want, then silicone mold it and cast a plastic copy.

* A "Softwood" is a wood, who's seeds do not grow in a nut or fruit. softwood trees produce their seeds in cones or otherwise. Like: Pine, Ceder, Redwood, ect.
"Hardwoods" are from trees that produce seeds in fruit or nuts, like Hickory, Maple, Oak, Balsa and so on.
We use a pattern wood known a Jelutong. It is a very fine grain, but it's a soft hardwood (see above) It is easy to carve and sand and has very few imperfections in the wood.
Here is a link with more information: http://austinhardwoodsonline.com/brochures/brochuresubentry/430/1196/1494/
Thanks for the suggestions! The only router I have access too (currently) has an 8x8 inch plate. I could easily divide the head into smaller parts and machine them on this, then glue them together, and, with wood filler or bondo, fill in the seams. I'm not exactly sure what kind of wood I'll use, but probably treated pine, since I've got a lot of that laying around in 2x4s and 2x6s. The handle, however, I would not want to do in 8-inch lengths. I think I could take a 2x4 (or 3x4) and trim it down to a 1.75/1.75 square rod, then, using a jig, cut off the corners to make it octagonal. Like I said, I've got plenty of pine laying around, so I can make multiple prototypes. And my wooden hammer will just be a prototype - As soon as I get enough money to have one made from metal, and enough money to get access to a larger router... Oh. Wait a minute. I just remembered something!

All this time I'd only been thinking about the small CNC router that my Library's maker space recently acquired, the large one available at a Creator space near me (which charges $40 a mo membership), and my Father's table saw. I just remembered that he also has a routing table and a router - he hasn't used it in about 6 or so years so I forgot. I'll still use the small CNC for the hammer, but the router/router table will be a great tool for the handle.

The reason I'm sticking with the CNC is mainly for the precision with the detailed design on the side of the head. Alternatively, I could burn the design out with my library's laser cutter/engraver.
 

samiamuc

New Member
I realized that I've never posted a budget:
Prototype
-Handle/head: Free. I have a lot of wood laying around.
-Machining: Free. My library has CNC and laser cutter/engraver which can be reserved for free.
-3D printed parts: $10.00. My library also has 3D printers. They charge 10c an ounce, so this is just an estimate based on other 3D prints.
-Paint: I have no idea of the price of paint, but I'm estimating around $10.00
-Wood filler/bondo: Like the wood, already got plenty of it.
-Wood stain for the handle - Already got it too.
-Wood glue - Got this as well.

So I'm looking at about $20 - $25. This is the price range I'd like to stay in, and I'd prefer to keep it under $20.
 

Dope

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Not gonna lie, I'm psyched to see how this turns out. I'm subscribing for progress shots.

Dope
 

lmgill

Sr Member
I realized that I've never posted a budget:
Prototype
-Handle/head: Free. I have a lot of wood laying around.
-Machining: Free. My library has CNC and laser cutter/engraver which can be reserved for free.
-3D printed parts: $10.00. My library also has 3D printers. They charge 10c an ounce, so this is just an estimate based on other 3D prints.
-Paint: I have no idea of the price of paint, but I'm estimating around $10.00
-Wood filler/bondo: Like the wood, already got plenty of it.
-Wood stain for the handle - Already got it too.
-Wood glue - Got this as well.

So I'm looking at about $20 - $25. This is the price range I'd like to stay in, and I'd prefer to keep it under $20.
Your a better one than I, I couldn't make you a drawing of it for $20.
 

samiamuc

New Member
It's about time for an update. I've recently had time to do some work on the detailing for the side of the head, so here it is.
Detailing.PNG
 

Dope

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
That looks great. Should be a good timesink with all that intricate work on both sides. :D

Dope
 
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