Wooden movie swords.

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by JunkSabers1138, Jul 20, 2006.

  1. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    Hi guys. I've wanted to make my own movie swords with my granddad's ShopSmith ever since I saw LOTR ROTK in theaters and saw a wooden version of Aragorn's ranger sword on ebay yesterday and would like to know if anyone here has done any or if you have any wood working tips for me. I plan to use paints (mainly metallics) for the blades and furniture and use leather or wire coverings on the handgrips.

    Some requirements:
    Must look reasonably good (Most will be wall hanging hero props)
    Must be able to sustain moderate swordplay (for stunt swords)

    Any tips on how to make good furniture out of either carved wood or casting or how to assemble the hilt to the tang as well as tips for peening a wooden tang and making a more durable wooden blade would also be appreciated.


    Swords of interest:

    LOTR
    Narsil/Anduril
    Isildur's sword
    Glamdring
    Strider's sword
    Nazgul swords (Which King, Large Nazgul, Short Nazgul with finger ring, and any other designs you've seen)
    Denethor's sword
    Boromir's sword
    Faramir's sword
    Herugrim
    Eowyn's sword
    Guthwine
    Gondor/Rohan basic sword

    Narnia:
    Orius's swords
    General Ottman's large sword
    Basic centaur and minotaur swords
    Edmund's sword
    White Which swords
    Optional: Peter's sword (I don't like it too much and besides, it looks pretty hard)

    Other:
    Mel Gibson Braveheart sword
    Highlander McLeod sword

    Any other types of swords would be welcomed, but they are not ones I REALLY want to make.
     
  2. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    BUMP

    :) :confused Anyone?
     
  3. darthwhitey

    darthwhitey Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    i think wooden swords would be really cool....

    i'm sure someone on this BB has some experience with them...i would bet that they could get pretty detailed

    goodluck
     
  4. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    Thanks for answering :).

    BTW, what's BB?
     
  5. Serafino

    Serafino Sr Member

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    Try a search on the web for 'wooden wasters sword' and you'll find information on wooden practice swords which you may find helpful.

    Oh, and 'BB' is for 'Bulletin Board', which is one word for what the RPF is. ;)
     
  6. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    All I found was stores. I'm looking for info on how to make my own wooden swords and what I need to make them.
     
  7. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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  8. arwa

    arwa Well-Known Member

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    Depends on what the swords look like. I used to do a ton of wood working, and explaining how do something is not easy. Trial and error, or having a good vision of what you are looking for is how I came up with the pieces I used for some of my projects (not all).

    For a blade, make a paper pattern what you are trying to do and work with the bandsaw table piece at an angle. If it is a straight piece, work it down slown with a belt sander.

    I am not familar with the swords that you have listed above though so it is hard to say. The exception would be the clan Maclead sword.

    My opinion though, make a paper pattern and go from there, but like I said, it is hard to explain how to do something like that without seeing the swords.

    The other item is you want to dueling capabilities? That would be hard in my opinion unless you could incorporate a metal handle of some kind. Again, I am not familar with the swords, but it would take some "fiddling" to make it work.

    I have been toying with the cartoon version of the MOTU sword. However, depending on the type of wood, I would not paint them. I would sand many times over and and stain them.

    I don't think that my comments helped at all, but if you have specific question, I maybe able to help you with it. Let me know.

    -a
     
  9. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    Thanks for answering. I was beginning to think that only I was interested in a topic like this. If you'd like, I'd be happy to post any pics I can find of most, but not all (since a few of them are rather elusive), of the swords I listed :) .
     
  10. Boba Frett

    Boba Frett Sr Member

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  11. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    Pretty SWEET :D . I'll deffinately use that to build Sauron's mace. I love that thing.

    I guess that would be a good way for building un-fullered blades. But I'm still sticking to wood since there is a BUTTLOAD laying around the wood shop.
     
  12. neosporing

    neosporing Sr Member

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    i would try over here at http://forums.swordforum.com the people posting will definately know the answer and probably have some good leads...

    just entering 'wood sword' into the search engine yielded 3175 hits...

    <div class='quotetop'>(JunkSabers1138 @ Jul 24 2006, 11:50 AM) [snapback]1286693[/snapback]</div>
     
  13. arwa

    arwa Well-Known Member

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    [attachmentid=9234]I just did this in about a half an hour with a hand planer...trial an error....

    -arwa
     
  14. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    Thanks for your help everyone.

    Arwa- You didn't need to go through so much trouble by taking time out of your day to make a wooden sword that would only be used for a photo for me to see :lol . Thanks a lot, man.

    neosporing- GREAT site. I haven't found EXACTLY what I'm looking for yet, but I've found quite a few interesting topics while browsing through their forums. Thanks :) .

    Here are a few examples of the swords I'm talking about. Again, they don't need to be SUPER ACCURATE, just good enough for a nice display piece for hero swords and with some toned down details for fighting swords.

    Narnia:
    Narnian swords
    Centaur weapons 1
    Centaur weapons 2
    Minotaur weapons
    Peter's sword

    LOTR:
    Anduril (HUGE PIC.)
    Narsil (HUGE PIC)
    Glamdring
    Aragorn/Strider sword
    Herugrim
    Guthwine
    Eowyn's sword
    Boromir's sword (HUGE PIC)
    Denethor's sword
    Isildur's sword
    Witch-King's sword
    Ringwraith sword

    Other:
    William Wallace/Mel Gibson Braveheart sword (Marto version)
    WW/MG Braveheart sword 2 (Del Tin version)
    Highlander MacLeod sword

    I'll try to find more in the near future. Before you think I'm attempting the impossible, think again :D . If us RPF guys can I.D. ALL the parts to the Obi-Wan ANH lightsaber, we can build pretty good painted/plated wooden versions of these swords :) , it would just be pretty hard to do so. Hope this helped for those not familiar with these swords.

    Seth
     
  15. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    BUMP. Well, at least this thread and my Braveheart sword thread aren't as neglected as my Mouth of Sauron costume thread.
     
  16. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    Now I know I'm not attempting anything stupid now because I was watching the Narnia DVD and one of the featuretes contains footage of stuntmen and actors practicing with wooden swords. Some were dully painted but some looked convincingly metalic, so now I'm confident enough to tackle this project with little (I'll still need your help on some things) doubt :) .
     
  17. jddurst

    jddurst Active Member

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    Just saw this thread.
    Some tips:
    For combat, use hardwoods. Oak is tough, but splits and checks. Maple is light and tough, Ash or Hickory (Pecan) is best (think of axe handles).

    Make the blade and handle one piece with the quillon either half lapped or in two pieces quarter lapped (if that makes sense).

    ROUGH shaping can be done with a 4 ½” angle grinder with a sanding disc about 60 grit. PRACTICE on something first.. These ‘wood erasers’ are not for the faint of heart.

    After everything is carved to shape, I have had decent success with adding a coat of epoxy resin (West System) over a coat of automotive primer to hide the wood-grain. Metallic powder can be added to the resin with limited success.

    Hope this helps. --jdd

    EDIT: Have you considered aluminum blades? They polish up real shiny-like.
     
  18. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    Hey. Thanks for answering. I didn't get what you said about the quillons, I'm not THAT good with sword lingo. What do these grinder look like? All the footage I've seen of the swords from the films (LOTR and Narnia) are done with belt sanders of varying diameters and are fullered (you forgot about this stuff) using a VERY thin belt sander used in the middle of the blade.

    I was thinking of the construction of wall hanging hero swords by
    1. Cut rough blade and tang shape out of wooden planks.
    2. Using grinders, sanders, and other tools, carve handgrips, crossbars, and pommels out of blocks of wood or cast them using various materials (I am NOT familiar with casting. Any help would be awesome).
    3. Shape the blade using different belt sanders and fuller it if needed.
    4. Use a thick primer to cover up the blade's wood grain and paint (Is spraying or brushing best?) a metallic color.
    5. Take furniture and roughly fit onto tang. Take off and fix any imperfections before finally fitting.
    6. Drill holes in the furniture, re-attach to the tang and drill smaller holes into the tang using the bigger holes as a guide. Remove furniture.
    7. Again, re-attach to the tang and using small nuts and bolts, fill in the smaller holes with the bolt's threaded rod and fill in the large holes with the bolt's head and nut. This (in theory) will keep the furniture tightly fit on the tang. Fill in holes with putty and paint over.
    8. Add details like leather or wire rings on the grip, engravings to the crossbar, pommel, and blade if necessary.

    At least that's what I thought of how to build it. If I'm wrong, feel free to correct me on anything that contradicts good sword building and tell me a better way how to perform the required action.

    Thanks in advance.

    Seth
     
  19. franz bolo

    franz bolo Sr Member

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    All of the wooden weapons I own are made from Japanese White Oak.

    They all have been used for years but are all in great condition.

    FB
     
  20. jddurst

    jddurst Active Member

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    It sounds like you want to simulate steel blade construction methods, which will give you a weaker sword. The shoulders of the tang are the weakest part of any blade, and are OK with metal, but not advisable with wood. I would recommend making the handle and pommel out of the same piece of wood as the blade (or at least laminate blocks to the sides of the board in the handle area for the additional thickness).

    The quillon is the cross-guard. A half lap is a joint where two intersecting pieces of wood have a dado cut out of each piece to accommodate the other and a flush joint is formed (Think of a Christian’s cross here). What I meant by quarter-lapping the quillon was to make a smaller dado on the inside of each piece of a cross-guard that is split down the center, and corresponding dados on either side of the blade/handle. The quillon is glued together at the same time it is glued to the blade/handle. Trust in your wood glue, with a properly shaped joint, it is stronger than the wood.

    Knife makers and bladesmiths use stationary belt sanders, and the fact that they can grind a flat plane on the work piece is not to be under-rated, however with hand planes and files/rasps, flat surfaces on wood are easier to come by.

    The use of an angle-grinder for woodwork is an old prophand’s trick (used mostly for ‘rustic-ating’ nice things to look worn) and is usually done because it is fast and handy. I wouldn’t recommend buying a grinder just for that purpose, but if you had one it is worth experimenting with.

    Clear as mud?

    EDIT: I would use a router with a fullering bit (round-nose) for a fuller, if not simply carving it with a gouge.
     
  21. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    Thanks for the info :) . Does anyone have any pics of the machines I need? If they're out of my price range, there is an expert wood worker at my church that would let me use his equipment, if he has them that is. I'll try to post pics of that wooden strider sword on ebay if no one's bought it yet.
     
  22. franz bolo

    franz bolo Sr Member

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    I remember seeing a great tutorial about a Greek or Roman sword made out of strips of plastic. He made the thing look just like a metal one.

    I think he made a round shield display for it.

    Does that ring a bell for anyone?

    FB
     
  23. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    I believe that's in an earlier link in this thread. If I'm wrong feel free to correct me.
     
  24. arwa

    arwa Well-Known Member

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    bump...
     
  25. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    Hey. Glad I'm not the only one who bumps my threads. Thanks man :D , I needed that since I've been gone this whole weekend and didn't have the chance to post. But anyway, my friend who I stayed with has a wooden short sword that his granddad made for him years ago that has some of the qualities I described. It doesn't look like much since it was made for fighting and didn't need a lot of detail work but the blade was pretty thick and could take quite a beating without deforming it at all. The procedures that I stated before were my opinion on how to make wall hanging hero swords that won't see any action. If any of you know if any of those steps need to be changed in order to make a better sword, let me know :) . I also want to know how to make good stunt swords that can take quite a beating while still having a O.K., but not perfect, likeness of the hero swords (kind of like the lightsabers in ROTS). Thank you all for your help and if you'd be so kind, keep the tips coming while I try to build these dream swords of mine :) .
     
  26. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    bump... :confused
     
  27. arwa

    arwa Well-Known Member

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    I am currently working on a sword from my past. Darn you for getting this started. If I could get my scroll saw up and running I could do the side guards and finish sanding it, the piece will be done. I already have the blade and handle smooth as glass. I can't decide whether or not to put a dark stain on it, or paint it the chrome color from the cartoon.

    AGAIN, this is all your fault...

    :)
    -arwa
     
  28. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    May I ask what sword this is? Please show pics of it WIP and completion.

    Also, it seems that my Braveheart sword thread and this one go "hand in glove" with each other since I discovered while watching behind the scenes stuff and rumaging through pics that the extras in the movie, as well as some of the main characters (at least Gibson), had swords that had at least a wooden blade (This sticks out REALLY well in some of the DVD's BTS footage) with either wood or metal handles. Of course we all know they couldn't produce THAT many steel or aluminum swords for 1000+ extras (at that time anyway). They had to cheat somewhere ;) .
     
  29. OldKen

    OldKen Master Member

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    i dont think its as much cheating as it is safety...

    i mean you know that they arent going to be triple folded carbon steel hatori hanzo's or anything :p

    so imagine you got these guys runnin around with cheap metal swords one guy hits his to a shield a bit to hard, and * the tip flies off like a dagger thrown by a ninja and stabs someone in the throat.

    im going to see if i can find that clip that was in the OT about a year ago where a guy was on QTV or whatever those shows are called, bein like these things are so durable... hit the table and basically what i said happend but in his own gut... it was more than a flesh wound... mucho blood.


    i used to have a samurai practice wooden sword... i loved that thing, it was so hard to even dent it... so i kept pushing untill i finally broke it... on a metal pole. DOH...

    this isnt the full clip, the original showed about 20 seconds more and the guy at the end was like OH MY GOD.

    and you see blood on the otherguys hands etc.

    but you get the idea...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gHtf4IIYNY
     
  30. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    Yeah... cheap metal swords suck. Just like my cheapo Anduril (or as I call it, "Crappy Narsil with runes merely scratched in the SHORT fuller in the WRONG order".). I am scared as hell to hit that thing against anything fearing that the THIN blade (slightly less than 1/8" thick) might break in half and go through the window or something. :lol (laughing because it would complete the circle of window breakers in my family. ALL my siblings have broken a window at my house in some fashion or another... and I'm the only one left). You can't pick that thing up without the blade tip sagging down because the fuller isn't long enough to lighten the blade tip, and swinging it is pretty awkward due to the blades wobbleliness.
     
  31. Jedirick

    Jedirick Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I have a handful of very sturdy wood swords from Costner's Robinhood. From thirty feet away they'll pass but the metallic paint just doesn't carry well for closeups. It's pretty obvious from condition they were used for some fighting scenes. They are too light for oak and where a grain would be apparent if it were oak, there is no grain. I'd guess maple or maybe ash over oak simply because of weight and feel of the wood.

    Also have several battle axes from the same film. They actually made the heads out of a potmetal and then added dings and dents to the blades to give them a weather battle worn look. They're hefty enough I would not want to get wacked with one.
     
  32. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(oldken @ Aug 4 2006, 07:00 PM) [snapback]1294151[/snapback]</div>
    Good God. What was that thing made out of? Chrome plated glass? Even MY sword wouldn't break that easily (I said that I was afraid to hit stuff with it now because my cousin hit a tree with it and it still looks good although I'm afraid it probably wouldn't stand another blow like that.)
     
  33. Sporak

    Sporak Sr Member Gone but not forgotten.

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    I'd love to see those swords Rick...

    Oh and the only wood sword I've made was Links wooden sword from Zelda...
    for my son a couple years ago.

    I rough cut the shape out of a pine board and used my sander to shape it.

    :lol I also made the magic whistle out of a piece of PVC pipe :)


    <div class='quotetop'>(Jedirick @ Aug 4 2006, 08:40 PM) [snapback]1294178[/snapback]</div>
     
  34. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    Does anyone here know of a good metallic paint or whatever to make these wooden weapons look like metal? Thanks in advance.

    And Rick, could you please post pics of those swords for Sporak and me :$ ? I'd love to see wooden weapons from an official film.
     
  35. Jedirick

    Jedirick Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    <div class='quotetop'>(JunkSabers1138 @ Aug 8 2006, 05:56 PM) [snapback]1296504[/snapback]</div>
    I'll try to do it when I get back from Chicago around the 18th. Fortunately they just happen to be where i can easily put my hands on them.
     
  36. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    Well... I guess I'll have to practice some more patience until you can post the pics :p . Thanks for posting them in advance.

    Seth
     
  37. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    I just found eBay member EasilySuede while snooping around for LOTR swords today. His products look really good and his methods of construction (albiet with TINY changes) are strikingly similar to my idea of making the stunt weapons. I personaly would do them with wooden, not leather, crossgaurds and change the pommel and hilt designs SLIGHTLY from this guy's swords, as well as paint (or chrome plate since I know someone who works in this field) the blades in a metalic color. For wall-hanging, belt wearing hero weapons, I'd go for more precise methods like the ones I posted earlier (tang construction, seperate hilt pieces, etc) since these wouldn't be for fighting and I could put all the detail I want into the blades and hilts without having to cut corners.
     
  38. jddurst

    jddurst Active Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(JunkSabers1138 @ Aug 4 2006, 06:20 PM) [snapback]1294206[/snapback]</div>
    That ID10T was hitting a sword against a solid, unmoving table. I wouldnÂ’t try that with any piece of hardened steel.

    There is a story about Laurence Olivier performing in either Hamlet or Macbeth and having the tip of a weapon fling into the audience. After a pause to see if a doctor was needed, the performance continued. After the show an old lady came backstage with the errant tip to have it autographed.
     
  39. jddurst

    jddurst Active Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(JunkSabers1138 @ Aug 8 2006, 02:56 PM) [snapback]1296504[/snapback]</div>
    I have had good luck with using epoxy as a base coat (to get everything smooth) before handing it off to the scenic artists. I know there are lots of folks here that can provide info on metallic finishes. I've seen lots of advise about painting gun castings etc.
     
  40. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(Hero of Canton @ Aug 13 2006, 11:55 PM) [snapback]1299879[/snapback]</div>
    That ID10T was hitting a sword against a solid, unmoving table. I wouldnÂ’t try that with any piece of hardened steel.

    There is a story about Laurence Olivier performing in either Hamlet or Macbeth and having the tip of a weapon fling into the audience. After a pause to see if a doctor was needed, the performance continued. After the show an old lady came backstage with the errant tip to have it autographed.
    [/b][/quote]

    Pretty interesting piece of trivia there. Are metal weapons even allowed in theater plays?
     
  41. jddurst

    jddurst Active Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(JunkSabers1138 @ Aug 14 2006, 01:29 PM) [snapback]1300359[/snapback]</div>
    All the time. There is a society that certifies actors and choreographers, although certification is not required to swing a sword on stage. Classes are a lot of fun, and you learn a lot. (IMHO actor certification is, however, a way to get the actors to shell out big $$ to stay current)

    Fencing weapons are common (or at least the blades in period hilts), and combat-worthy broadsword blades are also available. AFS is one source.

    Depending on the action I have tried to have a back-up sword on stage just in case, however most fights are rather quick and not a prolonged ‘bish-bash-bosh’. I’ve lost count of the number of broken blades I have reworked into daggers.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  42. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(Hero of Canton @ Aug 15 2006, 12:45 AM) [snapback]1300714[/snapback]</div>
    All the time. There is a society that certifies actors and choreographers, although certification is not required to swing a sword on stage. Classes are a lot of fun, and you learn a lot. (IMHO actor certification is, however, a way to get the actors to shell out big $$ to stay current)

    Fencing weapons are common (or at least the blades in period hilts), and combat-worthy broadsword blades are also available. AFS is one source.

    Depending on the action I have tried to have a back-up sword on stage just in case, however most fights are rather quick and not a prolonged ‘bish-bash-bosh’. I’ve lost count of the number of broken blades I have reworked into daggers.
    [/b][/quote]

    So you're saying you work as a stage fencer and armorour? Pretty cool occupation IMO :) . The site was pretty cool, but not many of the swords were to my taste (sorry, I guess I just gravitate to large 2H H&H to 2H+ swords :D).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  43. arwa

    arwa Well-Known Member

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    My sword is 98% percent complete. I just stained it with a dark walnut minwax. I will have before and after pics soon. They may be too big, so I may just send them to you once it is completely finished. I need to sand it lightly with the 320 and re-apply the stain again. Once that is done, it will be complete....

    Is the susnpense killing you yet?

    -arwa
     
  44. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(arwa @ Aug 15 2006, 09:51 PM) [snapback]1301266[/snapback]</div>
    You could say that :p. I'm suprised that you went for a stained wood look rather than a realistic metallic sword look. But it's your sword and how it looks is solely up to you. Can't wait to see it finished.
     
  45. arwa

    arwa Well-Known Member

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    Well, it will be a little longer than expected now. I read what you said, and thought about it and decided to actually try a "metal" like look. I stripped the stain as best I could and am off tomorrow to get a primer and Krylon chrome, I think. That could change though. I took shots of it though to show you just the same.

    Question: If I use a sandable primer, will that help seal in the cracks and chip marks before I attempt to paint the piece?

    What is a good cheap primer to use? I don't need much because this will be my last project for a long time that involves a prop.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    -arwa
     
  46. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    Can't help you with primer. Sorry man :( , but I'm still a newbie to it myself. I do wish I had some when I chrome sprayed my scratch built Dooku style saber so the paint would stick better (I had to spray like 12 coats. Stupid me :p ).
     
  47. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(Jedirick @ Aug 8 2006, 08:04 PM) [snapback]1296637[/snapback]</div>
    Bumping to ask if you've gotten the swords yet.
     
  48. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    Man, it's been quite a while and I'm still waiting to see the Robin Hood wooden props and Arwa's "mystery sword".

    Take your time though, I'll be patient enough :) .

    Seth
     
  49. airhead

    airhead Well-Known Member

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    Here's a contribution - I made this version of Sting for a neighbor kid's birthday. He already had most of the metal replica swords (at 10 years of age.?), and was discouraged from playing with them. But he could use this one. It seems to have held up pretty well - the blade is oak, with various other woods (pine and poplar) used for the other parts. It was roughed out with a bandsaw, but could have been done with almost anything. Rough to final shaping was with hand tools - planes, chisels, spokeshave - and files/sandpaper for final finishing. I think that I used a polyurethane spray for a finish. Titebond wood glue and clamps to hold it together. It was a sort of spur-of-the-minute project.

    [​IMG]


    David
     
  50. SmilingOtter

    SmilingOtter Master Member

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    2,560
    Looks great.
     

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