Friday, August 24, 2012

Slow and Steady (WIP Part 2)

When I was a kid I used to hate going to the hardware store with my dad.


Well, the answer is two-fold.
1. I had better things to do. Important things. Like riding my bike, or playing on the swing set, or exploring the woods, or building forts.
2. (and this is the most important one) When my dad enters a hardware store he seems to lose all sense of space and time. He wanders around looking at all of the shiny tools, checking out all of the various bits and trinkets used to open or hang or hold things together. He walks through the lumber just looking for excuses to spend more time in the hardware store... or at least it seemed so to my impatient mind. There's no "quick trip" to the store to "just pick something up" with my dad, at least not at the hardware store.

Here's the problem (and why I'm sharing this piece of my childhood with you): I've become my dad.

Yeah. I love the hardware store. I'm pretty sure they pump a mixture of crack and testosterone into the air systems because I feel super manly AND I never want to leave. As I walk up and down the aisles all I can think about is how I WANT TO BUY ALL THE THINGS! On my lunch today I went in to get one thing. Yet I walked up and down numerous aisles and before I had left I had already spent over $100... in my head. In reality I spent about two bucks off of a gift card I've been rationing out for about two years now. Sad I know.

What did I buy? A long threaded rod that will be a sort of tang for my Sword of Altair. I've been pretty steadily working on it but it's all rasping, filing, sanding, and general shaping, so it's tedious and it also doesn't look like much has been happening with it.

You can tell here that it's actually starting to take the proper shape. The handle is *almost* round, and hopefully thin enough that adding the leather won't make it thicker than the cross guard. I'm pretty sure that the pommel still needs a lot of work.

The cross guard is also slowly coming along. I feel like I get myself into trouble with the more detailed shaping because I'm still relatively unskilled. Often I fiddle with it, trying to get the perfect shape, and end up making it worse, or just wrong in a different way.

Here's the handle and cross guard with the metal rod. I think, repeat THINK, the next part is going to be drilling a large hole part of the way through for the tab on the handle, and a smaller one that goes all the way through for the metal rod. I could be getting ahead of myself though. Why would that be getting ahead of myself? Notice the piece of wood in the corner? That's the blade. Completely untouched. It hasn't really even been cut out. The main reason I haven't touched it is because I need a way to thin out the wood that doesn't take a year. I have a hand planer, but the bolt that you loosen to extend the blade is rusted so until I figure out how to loosen that it's useless to me (any ideas?). My father-in-law has a table planer, but to be honest the idea of using it intimidates me. Maybe I can pull up some YouTube videos on how to use one. That would make me feel a lot better and using it would make things go a lot quicker.

Once I get the blade done I'll do a test fitting with all of the holes drilled and the metal rod inserted. I whipped out my awesome MS Paint skills so I could show everyone the exact setup I'm going for. Bam!

I know. It's impressive. Notice the asymmetry. That's skill right there. Once I ensure it all fits together correctly I'll do all of the detail work and then use some glue and attach it all together. Then painting and adding the leather grip. This is going to be quite a journey.

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