Thursday, January 29, 2009

Journal Entry #5: Key and Sword

Tonight the key arrived for the jointer. So more progress was made on assembly: I put the drive pulley on the motor, put on the belt, and adjusted the tension. That was all I had time for tonight because I have a sword to make.

If you are not familiar with the Society for Creative Anachronism, you probably don't realize that making swords in my world is a woodworking project. I've been making swords for 15 years now, and I'm just starting to get good at it. They are made of ratan, which is technically a grass, but enough like wood to qualify.

Tonight I removed the old sword from the basket hilt, cut a new length of ratan to the same length as the old one using the nifty "new" miter box that my friend Glenn passed on to me—a big improvement over cutting freehand with a crosscut panel saw—determined the "direction" of the blade, and thinned the full length to 1.25" using a draw knife.

Tomorrow I'll shape and size the handle, aiming to have it pressure fit into the basket hilt tightly enough that it would stay seated without tape. Then I'll mount and tape the sword using a combination of strapping tape, nylon webbing (to add weight and durability), duct tape, and electrical tape.

Every sword is a bit of a crapshoot, but careful and consistent work tends to produce a superior blade. It is easy to get carried away with the draw knife, so even though I'm working to a deadline I'll need to be slow and deliberate with the handle.

I'm taking pictures of all this, so I hope to post a "how to" entry with roughly step by step pictures of how I do thismaybe on Sunday.

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Blogger doug said...

Yep, we are going to need some pictures and a how-to tutorial. In your spare time of course. My son would get a kick out of seeing it and would likely continue a lifetime of sword making in our house. It all started with a hacksaw blade that I ground the teeth off and wrapped a rubber inner tube on for a handle. Ever since I have requests for swords. The latest swords were maple cutoffs from my hall table. The boy had a friend over, so it just seemed like a good time to properly outfit them for the afternoon.

January 30, 2009 11:16:00 AM EST  
Blogger rookster said...

Hey, Doug. I expect to finish the sword tonight and I'll get pictures at every step. I'll aim to put up the "tutorial" Sunday or Monday. I'm going to be putting the sword to use on Saturday, and will try to get a picture of that too.

Thanks for stopping in.

January 30, 2009 3:58:00 PM EST  

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