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View Full Version : Tessaiga 2.0 Tutorial (Repost, now available on Cosplay.com!)


Melchior
01-15-2004, 02:41 PM
(8/25/07 edit)

I put the pictures back on another host, hope they are useful for people. I don't cosplay actively anymore, and haven't been to any cons for over two years, but here you go. First though, a few common questions to address:

Do you do commissions?

Sadly, no. I live in an apartment, and frankly this process is too labor intensive for me to consider doing for what most people are willing to pay for a prop. Sorry!

How did you get the handle in?

A really long drill bit, a bit of patience, and some luck. I suppose there are better ways of doing it, and it appears there are some possible methods in this thread as well. I preferred working with one piece of foam as opposed to two or more, however.

Why didn't you coat the foam with gesso?

Frankly, I didn't know at the time. It's been a proven method that works and keeps the foam in the proper shape, which lets you use less bondo, which leads to a lighter prop. I just didn't do it here. This tutorial is more a picture diary of my project, which I hope will help alot of you.

Will this method work for prop x?

It depends on the size, and complexity of the surfaces. Large, curvy props this will work well on. Small, intricate trinkets? Maybe not so hot. Stuff like body armor? I would assume so. Experiment with it.

What kind of foam should I use?

There's two types, one apparently works better than the other. The stuff I used (dense Owens-Corning pink or blue foam, NOT styrofoam made from the little balls) is probably a bit easier to find locally.

(end edit 8/24/07)

Some of you may remember I put up this tutorial on Cosplay.com about a year and a half ago. Since that time, someone broke my sword, and I have remade it again in a better (more durable) fashion. This technique is somewhat time consuming and messy, but produces pretty good looking (if a bit heavy) results. Your mileage may vary, but for those of us without access to wood shaping tools it's a good start.

One last note, please work in a well-ventilated area when using fiberglass epoxy. It's very toxic and can cause brain damage if inhaled too much. I suggest working outside, or a very well ventilated garage if necessary.

All my old hosting died, so you're gonna have to just keep this gallery open in a separate tab:

http://s135.photobucket.com/albums/q134/parttimehanyou/Tessaiga/?start=all

Good luck!

Tessaiga Tutorial V. 2.0

Planning and Shaping
First off, before we start anything, we need to plan the shape of our weapon. Take a sheet of paper or several paper grocery bags taped together and draw yourself a pattern to follow. Sketch it in pencil first, then go over the correct lines you want in sharpie. Cut out the pattern.

Next, get your sheet of 2" dense foam insulation. You can buy this at Home Depot or Lowes, or any other home improvement store. The stuff you want is the dense foam, and it is usually a bright blue or pink and comes in 4x8 sheets.

Pin your pattern to the piece of foam, and trace around it.

Using a keyhole saw or some other type of saw (perhaps a jigsaw even, but I just used a small hand saw), cut out the shape of the weapon. Try and save as much foam as possible, as you may need it later if you mess up, or for future projects.

As you can see, I've drawn along this rough blade shape guides where I need to cut. I've marked the center of both the flat part of the blade, and the edge, so I know where to cut. This helps out a ton in the next step - shaping your weapon. The easiest way to do this is to use a handheld saw or knife of some sort. I've found that an electric knife (like one you use to cut a turkey on Thanksgiving) works quite well. In fact, it's what I used for this project. Here is a half of the sword shaped and lightly sanded to even out imperfections:

It takes quite a bit of time to finish this, but try and get the foam as close to the shape of your weapon as possible. It's ok if it is a bit uneven - you can get rid of these imperfections by sanding with a 150 grit or so sandpaper. Here are a few shots of what it should look like when you're done shaping and sanding the foam:

This is a close-up of the edge of Tessaiga. It tapers off and is also an edge at the tip of the sword. Careful planning and an exact idea of how you want it to look makes this kind of thing possible. If you rush, you may have to start all over again!

Planning your Fiberglass coverage

Fiberglass is messy. VERY messy. However, using fiberglass cloth can bring strength to your prop weapon so it will not snap in half should someone, oh, pound it into the floor like someone did with my first Tetsusaiga. This time around, I'm adding the needed strength to the weapon by using fiberglass.

However, it should be noted you can't just randomly slap on cloth and expect it to come out good. Odd shaped props may require several pieces of fiberglass cloth fit together like a puzzle to not look lumpy and odd when finished. The best way to do this is to plan out beforehand how you are going to cover your prop with the cloth. To do this you'll need:

- A yardstick or ruler
- A cloth measuring tape
- A marker
- Lots of ingenuity

As you can see, I've marked the foam with the different pieces of fiberglass cloth I plan to use. This will make it easier for me to put them all together when the time comes to actually fiberglass it.

Here's a better look at how I try and keep track of which pieces go where. Of course, whatever works best for you will do just as well.

Finally, here's a closeup of the edge of the sword. Edges break easily, so you're going to want to make sure you have cloth covering them. Here, I've taped two strips of cloth along the edges so I could cut them to shape at the tip. Doing this will help you get a better idea of how things will go together, especially if you're bad with spatial relations (like myself).

Now that you have everything ready and cut out, you can begin fiberglassing your weapon. Plan to do it on a nice day outside, as it gets messy and there are noxious fumes that come from the epoxy.

To do this, mix up some epoxy according to the instructions on the can, and begin coating the various pieces of cloth with it on a clean flat non-porus surface. I used a sheet of tin foil as it was easy to clean up afterward. Once you have coated the piece of fiberglass cloth, lay it on the foam weapon. Brush out any bubbles in it as you go along until all of it is flat. You will definitely see some of the foam melting and becoming deformed - this is because too much epoxy has been used. The less used the better this time around - once it dries you can always go over it again with more epoxy to fill things out. I made the mistake of using too much epoxy on one side of the sword, so I have to make up for it in the next step - Bondo. However if you're pretty good with it you shouldnt have TOO much of a problem.

Coat half of the weapon and then allow it to dry. It usually takes 2-3 hours in warm weather, but it is best to wait until it is only slightly tacky to the touch to continue. Let it sit overnight. When you're done, you will want to cut off all the parts of fiberglass that are soft or sticking up and put another piece of cloth over the gap left. Once you have finished coating the weapon, it should look something like this:

The above picture show how lumpy this came out. Its due in part to the foam melting. Be careful not to use too much epoxy so this doesnt happen to you!

Once it's all dry and not in the way, you can begin the bondoing process. This gives your prop weapon a finish layer which will look great once it is finished. There are two options you can take when using bondo - normal bondo or fiberglass bondo. The difference is described below. For my first Tetsusaiga, I used fiberglass bondo instead of fiberglassing the foam first. It didnt work too well and ended up snapping when someone hit it against the ground. Using the method above will help prevent accidental breakage of your prop weapon.

Melchior
01-15-2004, 02:45 PM
The almighty Bondo(TM) and what it can do for you:

Now that you have yourself a pretty cool looking blade made out of foam, it's time to begin the messy and time-consuming part. For those of you not famliar with the Bondo(tm) family of products, they are used extensively for automotive and marine body repair work. They come in a can with a tube of a catalyst putty, and dry VERY hard in approximately half an hour. Once Bondo is dry, it can be sanded and painted. While this is a little more complicated than just using wood for your prop weapon, it is a good alternative for people without woodworking tools and the knowledge of how to use them effectively.

I bought a gallon can of regular Bondo to coat Tessaiga V.2.0. I probably won't use all of it, but it's good to have around just in case, as well as for future projects. Depending on the size of your prop weapon, you may need alot less or even more. A friend of mine made Sango's 6' boomerang in much the same way, although I am unsure how much she used.

Before you begin applying bondo, read the directions on the can and make sure you understand how to use it. Adding too much hardener cream will make it dry too fast and cause it to be difficult to work with, while not adding enough will cause the bondo to not completely dry or dry soft in some areas, which creates additional work. Once you're ready, liberally apply Bondo to one side of your weapon. Do one batch at a time and do not rush this step. Optimally, you'll want about an 1/8" layer of bondo over the whole weapon. Most importantly, try not to work the bondo any more than you have to. The more you mess with it after you apply it, the more inconsistiences you may create. Once you apply it, try not to move it around too much. Below is what it will look like:

Now, wait for it to dry. About half an hour is sufficient. It should be hard to the touch, but also tacky. Repeat this process until the entire surface is covered in bondo.

Once you're done with this, you can begin the most important (and most tedious) of making your weapon - sanding. How good your weapon looks is totally dependent on how much effort you're willing to put into sanding it. After sanding down high spots and reapplying more bondo to the low spots to level things out, it will probably start to look something like this:

This is really the part that takes the most time. As you apply successive layers of bondo and repeat the sanding process, the surface of your weapon should be smoothing out nicely. At this point, make sure to cut out any soft or incomplete portions of Bondo with a utility knife and fix them so they are solid, or else you will be repairing them down the road.

You may want to also pay serious attention to the edges of your weapon now. They are the weakest points in the prop, and if not carefully covered and sanded, they will break, chip, and buckle as the weapon is used.

Finish Sanding and filling

So, you're almost done sanding, eh? Great. Before you paint, you've got a few more things to do - namely finish sanding and filling small defects in the surface of the weapon. To do this, you use Filler Putty. It is available for purchase in the same place you can buy Bondo itself. It comes in a squeeze tube, is usually Red in color, and is MUCH easier to work with than Bondo. Hover, it is NOT designed to be used on the edges of a weapon, and tends to flake off or dent easily (as I have learned). So if your edges arent finished by now, take some more time with normal Bondo and make them look good. It should look something like this:

Once you're done with that, begin filling in the small defects in the surface of your weapon. Filler putty does not take long to dry, and sands much easier than Bondo, so this is a relatively easy step. Once you've gotten things smoothed out, sand with increasingly fine grades of sandpaper until it is one continuous surface. Here's what Tessaiga looked like at this stage:


Once you're done with finish sanding, wipe down the entire weapon's surface with a slightly damp cloth or tack rag to remove all the dust from the surface. If you skip this step, your paint job may suffer because of it.

Priming and Painting

Finally, you're in the home stretch! If you're still with us, there isn’t much left to do! For this step you'll need the following:

- Filler Primer - This is a special type of primer which can be sanded and helps paint stick to the surface of the weapon.
- Automotive Paint (color of your choice) - This can also be purchased at an automotive parts store. Choose your color well. In some cases clearcoat finish is included in the paint, but with other colors you may need to purchase a can of clearcoat finish separately.

Now, in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area, begin primering your weapon.
Coat both sides thoroughly, and give each ample time to try. Take time at this point to use filler putty to fill in any obvious pinholes. The more thorough job you do the better it will look.


Once you're done primering, take a VERY FINE grade sandpaper (somewhere around 300-400 grit), and LIGHTLY sand the surface of the primer. If you sand off primer, you're sanding too hard. Once you're done, wipe the surface down with a slightly damp rag or tack cloth to remove dust particles.

Finally, paint. This is pretty easy, just take your time and apply the paint evenly. Not much to say. It may take alot but when you're finished it should look similar:

Finish Work

I won't go into it too much here, as it's kind of Tessaiga-specific, but at this point in your project, you can begin the finishing details.
Attaching the handle, wrapping the handle, and doing any detail painting or stenciling on the blade of your weapon are all things you can pretty much figure out on your own. But just in case you're making a tesssaiga, here's some general hints:

Handle: I used a 1" diameter dowel rod, and lathed down the part of it that would be sunk into the blade. Drill a deep hole (12-18") into the end of the blade, and then stick the handle in. You may want to drip industrial adhesive in the hole too to help keep it from moving around. I also drilled into the handle through the blade and put a screw in to help keep the foam from breaking off inside the blade.

Handle Wrap: Check out the embroidered lace and cording section of your local fabric store. It took about 7 yards of cording to wrap the handle of my sword. It would probably take more had I done it correctly, but honestly I had no idea how to make an authentic handle wrap.

Fluffy fur thing: Bought some really nice long-pile fur of the internet, and made a little tube of it. I put a drawstring-type thing around the top and bottom of it, slid it onto the blade, and then pulled it tight and tied it. I also put a bit of duct tape inside too to help hold it in place. If there is a better way to do this, please let me know.

Once it's all done, you've got yourself a new prop weapon. It's a bit heavy depending on size, but (in my opinion) looks great while being more durable than cardboard-based weapons. Here are some pics of what it looks like finally!

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q134/parttimehanyou/Tessaiga/sword3.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q134/parttimehanyou/Tessaiga/sword2.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q134/parttimehanyou/Tessaiga/sword1.jpg
And that brings us to the conclusion of this tutorial. I hope it helps you out! Anyone who has any specific questions can email me anytime at jfilbert@ksuanime.com.

ZiggyB
01-15-2004, 03:48 PM
I'd like to say, thank you very much for posting this information.

That's just fantastic work. :)

Dewy
01-15-2004, 04:01 PM
Holy crap! Thats so much work! I applaud your patience...o.o

AlikNyankoChan
01-15-2004, 04:31 PM
Foolish questions...

What should we use to apply fiberglass and bondo? A normal plastic fiber brush? Metal spreader? I assume not a foam brush.

How many pounds does your Tessaiga weigh? How long and wide is it? I'd love to know mainly as a basis for comparison for making other weapons using this method.

And about how many hours(not including waits for curing) do you think making the main blade took you?

~Alik

Melchior
01-15-2004, 05:56 PM
Foolish questions...

What should we use to apply fiberglass and bondo? A normal plastic fiber brush? Metal spreader? I assume not a foam brush.


I used a few cheap 1" brushes in the fiberglass application process. Assume you're going to go through a few of them, especially if you need to apply further coats, as the epoxy dries pretty fast and unless you get to it quickly you end up with a block of glue instead of a brush (I was never successful in using a brush more than once - and foam brushes don't really work all that well either).


How many pounds does your Tessaiga weigh? How long and wide is it? I'd love to know mainly as a basis for comparison for making other weapons using this method.

Tessaiga is about 6-7 lbs. I believe the blade is 54" long, and there is 18" of handle exposed. At it's widest its around 13" and at the base of the blade its (i believe) 7". It is composed of 2" thick insulation foam at it's thickest.

And about how many hours(not including waits for curing) do you think making the main blade took you?

Significantly less than my first attempt. I would estimate between 10 and 20 hours, including preparation time.

kazamaCEO
01-15-2004, 06:11 PM
I had the same questions as AlikNyankoChan, along with whether you'd take commissions or not. :D lol, j/k... I've been thinking about fiberglassing a pair of warblades for my next costume (being that I don't have access to woodworking stuffs), but I think they would be a daunting task for someone who has never fiberglassed something before... So I'm still thinking about it... >_<

Your Tessaiga came out awesome! Thank you so much for posting this; it's cleared up a few questions I've had about the process and makes me wants to put rubber gloves on right now. *rolls up sleeves* lol ^^;;

touma
01-15-2004, 06:41 PM
WOW,
this is great,
for the fiber glass cloth about how much did you use and what kind?

Melchior
01-15-2004, 09:27 PM
Thank you so much for posting this; it's cleared up a few questions I've had about the process and makes me wants to put rubber gloves on right now. *rolls up sleeves* lol ^^;;

You DEFINITELY want to have a pair of gloves on when you work with the epoxy. I can't stress this enough. It does NOT come off anything, and skin is no exception. In addition to that, try the best you can to be ventilated as possible. A friend of mine has suffered some somewhat scary side effects from working with it, but it's perhaps because of an allergy. Still, you can't be too safe with it.

for the fiber glass cloth about how much did you use and what kind?

I used um.. A little over one bag. Each bag is about 1.5 square yards of cloth. But then I only put one layer of fiberglass in it too.

Infini
01-16-2004, 03:10 AM
I've got the foam board, but I'm a little nervous about trying to get the correct shape when cutting it, since I really don't have any pattern of sorts. Did you just guess on the shape of the blade, or did you draw it out on a large paper beforehand?

It would be a huge waste of such a large piece of board if I messed up and had to buy another couple before getting the shape right, so I'd like to only have to do this once. :)

Melchior
01-16-2004, 05:05 AM
I sketched it out on a large sheet of paper first, then pinned the pattern to the foam and cut it out.

psythe
01-16-2004, 06:21 AM
Melchior-

I remember when you first posted your other tutorial, reminds me of when the majority of the posts used to be about COSPLAY ;D Outstanding post and tutorial, this should get a STICKY as it could help out with MANY people who are trying to make larger props.

I cast STICKY VOTE! =)

touma
01-16-2004, 01:50 PM
I second the sticky vote this thread is too helpful not to

im slightly confused, when i searched for fiberglass and epoxy there were many diffrent kinds of both. may i ask what kinds of fiberglass and epoxy you used?

Melchior
01-16-2004, 02:55 PM
The fiberglass I used is just a fiberglass cloth. To use it you just mix dump out some of the epoxy into a cup and brush it on. It'll mix with the fiberglass and harden in the span of 24 hours. You can purchase it at any automotive parts store such as Auto Zone.

It is also called fiberglass resin.

touma
01-16-2004, 03:06 PM
oh ok,
it was getting confusing looking online with the diffrent types of fiberglass cloth (heres a link to see what i mean http://www.shopmaninc.com/cloth.html dont know if the only diffrence is the weave)they also have something called epoxy resin.
Thanks for the info ill go look and see what they have the auto store.
Thanks again

Melchior
01-16-2004, 08:40 PM
Epoxy resin is prolly what you want. And any of the plain weaves is what I had.

Melchior
01-30-2004, 10:51 PM
Do you think I could get away with using a little palm sander for the evening out of the Bondo process? Or would you say its safer to do it all by hand?

Right now the only thing I can think is "oh god how am I gonna get this in the car?" (Out of curiousity, how DID you get that in the car?)

Yea, palm sanders speed up the work alot. Just be careful not to sand through the bondo completely or you've gotta apply more (i had to do that a few times). Also if it gets too thin it starts to bubble inward and get flimsy and soft.

And I dont know how I did it, but I fit Tessaiga in my little ZX2. We had to pack our stuff around it pretty much.

Volksen
02-04-2004, 01:56 AM
I used almost the exact same process when making my Buster sword.
It was a little heavier, prolly about 10 lbs. but that was due to the foam being more dense. I had found some stuff that was covered in a black felt paper on both sides that worked really well. The only problem I ran into with this weapon was the handle. Those holes in the blade made it impossible to run the handle any decent length into the blade. I solved that by securing 2 more dowel pieces into the blade on either side of the handle and attached them to the base. Also I found the marine silicone/epoxy/sealant stuff in the tube to work very well for securing the handle.
http://www.fansview.com/2004/ushicon/0130a380.jpg

Thanks for the guide. I picked up some good tips that will be used on my next prop.

Melchior
02-05-2004, 05:20 AM
Ohh Goody! Its a good thing I find sanding a nice zen activity coz it looks like Im in for alotof it...

My sword will really end up being more like a bigass slab rather than a curvy little number like yours, the point of stress on the one the TV chick broke was on the handle? Or in the center? Because if If I can avoid working with fiberglass and strengthen my swords point of stress without it Id love to find an alternative because frankly Fiberglass terrifies me! But bondo, I love~

My worry is that I am an extremely clumsy person, and Im afraid if If the point of stress is going to be the same regardless of blade shape and I skip the fiberglassing, and it breaks, Im gonna be cryin like a girl all over the con. Any thoughts oh skilled one?

My first sword was fine structurally until that chick slammed it into the ground. The only thing I had problems with was the bondo bubbling up and chipping off as I went to cons, but I think that was more me not sanding the foam before I worked on it.

Bondo isnt known to hold a sharp edge well, you gotta kinda round it alot if you want it to stay on without chipping.

Fiberglass isnt that hard to work with honestly. It's messy, but it really isnt something that's easy to screw up. It takes a little longer to dry than bondo, but as long as you follow the directions on the can of epoxy you should be fine. If you dont feel too comfortable with it just try using it with a small test piece of foam.

Kate
02-09-2004, 06:28 AM
perfect melchior!im workin on a inuyasha coustume as well an that info will really help!thanx!:thumbsup:

lillockey
02-16-2004, 10:04 PM
touma -
the best place to look IS the auto store. What you are seeing online, with all of the different mesh variants makes no difference once you put the bondo over the epoxy & mesh. In this case it only adds strength and constitution to the epoxy (and foam).

Melchior -
LOL :) I love this tutorial. Though I have the means & skill to do woodworking, this is still better because any type of wood that is light enough to be carried in a size like this will be easily dented or scratched (oak is FAR too heavy, pine/fur easily damaged ... balsa ... he he he). Though the paint may be scraped of (at worst) the primed bondo, no other real damage can occur (on a lower level). At another rate, it might be entertaining to attempt to make this sword as practice for my metalurgy ... ... k ... maybe not. But it might be cool once I've become more masterful. I still hate to immagine the weight of such a thing. XP

Wag
03-21-2004, 02:18 AM
I was about to post a "Hey how do I make a huge sword" thread when I found this! Very helpful indeed, but I do have a few questions like: How much would you estimate you spent on the whole prop?

I'm working on Gan Ning's sword, which is alot like InuYasha's sword, only with a few decorative identations on the reverse side and a different handle / handguard.

http://www.yueying.net/dw/index.php?pid=dw4/gan_ning.jpg

Suggestions, anyone?

DigitalCactus
03-21-2004, 09:46 AM
Huzzah to Melchior! I was looking for this tutorial for the longest time! It came in very handy when I was constructing my Cervantes armour and Grave's coffin.. Thanks again!

mikazuki
03-21-2004, 04:59 PM
Bravo! Bravo! Excellent tutorial! I'll attempt your method when I begin making my Dark Mercury sword next weekend! :)

Infini
03-22-2004, 05:19 AM
I've made the huge foam part, and I'm only having trouble with getting the support/handle inside the stupid thing. I'm assuming there's a better way of doing this, so how did you get the handle inside the foam?

The only other thing is the bondo. I was really trying to avoid it, since I don't have a well-ventilated work area at all. Anywhere. I'm not going to put fiberglass on, since I don't think I'm going to have crazed people breaking my sword at the con. I'm only really going to be using it for pictures.

I'm hoping the bondo will hold the shape that I'm trying to get. It's looking really doubtful, since I've never worked with autobody stuff before. It's more complicated than mechanical car repair. -_-'

Trey Frost
03-24-2004, 02:59 AM
I think it would be a good idea for anyone interested in using fiberglass resin composites to check out the website for a company called Fibre Glast (yes, that IS how its spelled). They have a lot of useful information in their learning center. Looking at their site gave me renewed confidence to make myself a Cross-Punisher with fiberglass. (I'll let you know how that turns out)

Kyphro
04-06-2004, 02:29 PM
Thank you sooo much for this, im going to be making a zanbato for my Sanosuke costume, and this method with signifigantly bring the weight down to something more manageable...

~Kyphro~

P.S. I thrid the sticky note thing, anyone who is making a large or medium sized sword can learn alot from your tutorial.

Melchior
04-07-2004, 08:50 AM
Huzzah to Melchior! I was looking for this tutorial for the longest time! It came in very handy when I was constructing my Cervantes armour and Grave's coffin.. Thanks again!

You used this method for those? They rock! Glad to know it's getting use in stuff besides weapons.


I've made the huge foam part, and I'm only having trouble with getting the support/handle inside the stupid thing. I'm assuming there's a better way of doing this, so how did you get the handle inside the foam?

Find a friend with a really long drill bit. I have a friend who's dad is a contractor and he gave me a hand putting the handle into the blade. It's kind of a tedious operation but it usually works well. I really only know how to do it that way, as I've never really given any other methods thought. Sorry it's not that helpful :(


I'm not going to put fiberglass on, since I don't think I'm going to have crazed people breaking my sword at the con.

:thumbsup: Well I wouldn't recommend this, but hey it's all good I guess. If you get anything out of this tutorial at all let it be my advice not to let anyone touch your weapon then. I made that mistake the first time, and I won't make it again. Some people dont like it, but well, I find that funny. At Ohayocon 4 this year I had the following exchange with some guy:

Wierdo: "Hey cool sword can I see it?"
me: "Thanks, but sorry, someone broke my first one and I dont let people touch it anymore."
Wierdo: "Well I broke my Buster Sword today but I wont break yours I promise"
me: :mfg: :rolleyes: "No, that's allright."
Wierdo: "Fine then!" (or something like this) *wanders off*

So yea, people are retarded, so your best defense is to not let them get your stuff.


Finally, to a few people who asked if I did commissions way back in this thread. Right now, I really dont have a place to do this kind of work. I moved out and got married since last summer, and now live in an apartment. I really dont have time to go to my parents' house to do this, so if I ever DO accept commissions it'll be after I get a house. Also, I probably won't do any Tessaiga commissions unless you send a pattern for it because well, my Tessaiga is my own and I like it being one-of-a-kind. Other stuff is possible though if I ever do get back into making this stuff. It's just that right now is a pretty transitional part of my life and I really don't have time or motivation to do them. I will, however, answer any and all questions here, in PM, or that are emailed to jfilbert@ksuanime.com.

Hope this clears a few things up, and I'm glad that you're all finding this useful!
:)

Squall1882
04-07-2004, 09:17 AM
Hey, I'm not sure if anyone asked this but how much does something like the tessaiga cost to make? I'm thinking of making a sword similar to it but don't know if I can afford the supplies.. LOL

Melchior
04-07-2004, 11:48 AM
Definitely under $100. Probably significantly less if you can get a smaller sheet of foam than 4'x8' ($22 right there)

Infini
04-07-2004, 02:27 PM
Find a friend with a really long drill bit. I have a friend who's dad is a contractor and he gave me a hand putting the handle into the blade. It's kind of a tedious operation but it usually works well. I really only know how to do it that way, as I've never really given any other methods thought. Sorry it's not that helpful :(

I thought it would be something like that. I'll have to look around for a place that has ridiculously long drill bits and ask them to drill a hole in it. :)

And, that is very helpful. I asked a few people and they hadn't heard of long drill bits like that. I'm happy to hear that they do exist.


:thumbsup: Well I wouldn't recommend this, but hey it's all good I guess. If you get anything out of this tutorial at all let it be my advice not to let anyone touch your weapon then. I made that mistake the first time, and I won't make it again. Some people dont like it, but well, I find that funny.

Well, someone has randomly offered to help me with fiberglassing it! I was worried about doing it myself, since I would probably end up poisoning myself somehow, and I have nowhere around my house that is ventilated enough. The person who offered to help works at an automotive racing store with a large bay and a ventilation system. Yay!

I'm still not going to let anyone hold it, even if I do put the fiberglass on. It's MY sword. After the amount of sanding I have already done and will have to do, I am going to be very protective of it. :)

This is the best large weapon-making tutorial ever. It should definitely be sticky. STICKY!

Oh, and the foam board I got was 4x8 ft, but it was only about $11 canadian. I wonder if I got the wrong board. It is pink, and for insulation, though...

-Infini

Wag
04-07-2004, 10:34 PM
So I followed the tutorial for most of my Gan Ning sword, and here's what I found out.

___________________________________

1 Do not put plastic primer / any oil-based products directly onto the foam if you can help it. Resin for the fiberglass works, but just like the tutorial says, use as little as possible simply because it can and will eat your sword, the most vulnerable part for myself being the edge of the blade. If you are hell bent on using a primer directly on the polystyrene so you don't burn it, make sure it's safe for polystyrene / not oil based.

2. You absoutely must must must must must MUST get the fiberglass cloth to lay down as flat as possible for this to work right. The whole process is based on the LAYER protection. It's the STRENGTH of the fiberglass directly against the foam and the bondo directly against that which gives it the completed look, feel, weight, flexibility and durability.

3 If your fiberglass is raised after it hardens, you'll have to sand it down to the foam and bondo straight over it. There's no real way you can fiberglass over it again. I suppose you could, but odds are it's not going to come out right.

4. I don't think I can stress enough that when working with the fiberglass cloth / resin, that virtually everything the fiberglass or resin touches must be disposed of. Resin is very very very very hard to remove from most things, even your own skin. Wear a mask while cutting the fiberglass cloth due to the fiberglass being atomized. Also wear a mask when sanding the fiberglass / bondo.

5. I'm not talking about the cheap masks that come with one rubber band. Splurge on a good mask that you'll use for the whole project. Again, I don't think I can emphasise how much of this crap (Read: Lethal Chemicals) goes straight into the air, even if you're outside. Even a large utility fan blowing the dust away from the sword while sanding can help, but will not prevent you from inhaling particles.

6 The larger, longer and thicker the foam / sword is, the heavier it will be. This may not sound like a problem, but remember that bondo is actually pritty heavy, and polystyrene cannot support much more than it's own weight, even with the aid of the fiberglass. I ran into this problem myself seeing as my overall construction was over 5 feet long and the sword itself was probably somewhere close to 12 pounds after full bondo.

7a. The Handle is *the* most important part of a thick, long sword. First of all, as with my situation, I figured that the sword was now so heavy that it would have to be weilded with two hands. Not only that, but if you have alot of bondo on there like I did, (this is important) THE HANDLE LENGTH MUST EXTEND THROUGH THE SWORD PAST THE CENTER OF GRAVITY.. Otherwise, the sword will simply break under it's own weight (or be under much undo stress) when you lift it. To find the center of gravity for your extra-large sword, try getting a 2x4 and sitting it upright, or a narrow post or somthing, and steady the sword's blade on the narrow end of the 2x4. Don't let the sword fall off to the side, but feel if it will lean towards the tip or the hilt. When the sword is unable to tilt forward or back and only side to side (with you still supporting it GENTLY), then that spot is your center of gravity. I reccomend the handle penetrate PAST this point for safety's sake.



8. So I have my center of gravity, but it's 2, 3, or 4 feet deep into the sword!! There isn't a drill bit in existance that long!!! Of course there isn't a drill bit that long. You can buy extensions, but at around 3-6 bucks per six inches, that's alot of needless cost. Regardless, mounting the handle is again, very crucial. My polystyrene was 2 inches thick, so my dowel width was 1 inch thick, leaving me 1/2 inches of leeway on the sides for support. Now, before doing anything, I must explain that my sword in it's entirety was fiberglassed and bondoed, including the bottom cap of the hilt. What this means is that when the drilling begins, you drill through a layer of bondo, then a layer of fiberglass, then you enter the polystyrene. If the bottom was NOT fiberglassed / bondo-ed, then even with the handle set into the blade all the way, the sides of the polystyrene would give and wallow out under the pressure. The "ring" of bondo and fiberglass is the support at the bottom.

9. Drilling. You'll need an auger bit. It looks alot like this (http://catalog.starrett.com/catalog/images/objects/3300/3228.jpg). Now, if you have a 1 inch wide handle, I reccomend a 7/8th's inch wide bit for snugness. Don't go any smaller. If you get a 1inch bit for a 1inch handle, odds are the hole will be too big because the polystyrene won't bore out perfectly like wood. I don't personally reccomend the 18 inch long ones because they're harder to control, but you don't want the very short ones either. 6-10 inches will be fine. So you have your auger bit AND it's the appropriate size. PRACTICE ON A SPARE PEICE OF POLYSTYRENE FIRST. This will help you get the feel for the bit, what kind of speed you need, AND make sure you've got the drill set on the right direction. Yes, they cut ONE WAY and won't work if they're spinning the other way.

10. After practicing, I felt like I was ready to bore out as far as my drill bit could go. At this point, I STRONGLY reccomend the use of a vise / clamp of somesort to keep the sword PERFECTLY immobile while drilling, as well as using multiple levels IN TANDEM with each other on the sword AND the drill. So mark your sword as needed with a marker to measure how far you need to go in, where the center of gravity is, etc...make sure the sword is completely level, and if possible, use two levels on your drill along with somthing to support your drilling hand / arm while you're working for a perfectly straight hole. Once everything is prefectly aligned, start your drill at maximum speed before beginning to start the hole, keeping the drill a high RPM's while going SLOWLY. The auger bit will want to pull itself in like a screw, but the faster that you go, the more rough the hole will be. Make it precise and clean.

11. Once your bit has gone as far as it can go, carefully pull the drill out and make sure the hole is free of excess chopped up foam. Now comes the tricky part. There are probably other ways to do this, but I found that this is possibly the only way to get a hole made precisely and affordably. You will have to sacrifice your drill bit, but it's worth it. Get a dowel (as straight and perfect as humanly possibly) that's as long as your handle dowel, but a smaller diameter than your auger. Now PRECISELY mount the auger bit in the end of your smaller dowel. Once you superglue / mount the bit in place on your dowel which is smaller than your bit and hole width, you have a manually operated drill.

12. Using your levels and vise, VERY CAREFULLY manually put the auger bit back into the hole and turn the stick with your hands to make the hole until you reach the required depth. This requires time, patience, and a very steady hand. Don't carve out too much or the styrofoam will bunch up and tear. Constantly check your progress with the levels and make sure you're still drilling straight. Make sure your drilling dowel is marked (taking into account the length of the bit) for how deep the hole should be. When it's all over, get some adhesive / cement that will bond wood to polystyrene and using a caulk gun, fill the hole you just made with it roughly 1/4th to halfway full. Now turn the sword right side up with the hole facing downward so the adhesive can ooze down the sides of the hole (it helps to have someone else hold it in place during this). Once the adhesive begins to come out, take your handle and carefully insert it the entire length of the hole. You should have your handle marked to exactly how deep the hole *should* be to see once the handle is fully inserted, how deep is really is. Once the dowel is completely in, if possible, give it a small, SMALL twist to smear the adhesive around on the inside and get complete coverage.

13. At this point understand that unlike other swords, this process calls for NO SILICONE. In other words, there is zero shock absorption to the handle. The entire construction is very rigid, which can be a blessing and a curse. Odds are if you've put the handle in 2 feet plus that your sword is more than 10 pounds, so be careful. At this point (assuming you've done everything else bondo-wise) prime, paint, decorate the handle or whatever and carry. Yes, carry, NOT WEILD. Lol...bondo is brittle, so don't go thinking it's indestructible. Dropping a sword made in this manner will likely result in the bondo splintering since it's so rigid, so like I said, be careful.

_________________________________________

Please note that this is not a guide to making a sword, but instead an account of how I overcame certian obstacles that arose in making mine. Odds are that if you are making a Tetsusaiga in specific, your blade will be much more thin and more light, resulting in a shorter handle and an easier time making the sword overall. Bigger swords can often look awe-inspiring and accurate if done right, but smaller is so much easier to make, maintain and protect from destruction

Infini
04-08-2004, 04:15 AM
My sword just broke. I haven't even gotten to fiberglass or bondo yet, and I've spent about 15 hours on it, cutting and sanding.

I don't even know why I bothered. :(

Wag
04-08-2004, 11:58 AM
My sword just broke. I haven't even gotten to fiberglass or bondo yet, and I've spent about 15 hours on it, cutting and sanding.

I don't even know why I bothered. :(

O_O;

Well if it's just the tip or somthing, I wouldn't worry about it. You can always use polystyrene adhesive to put the parts back together again. Even if it broke literally IN HALF, you could still put the two peices back together using adhesive, then wrap the broken area in duct tape or somthing similar to hold it snugly together while it dries. Once the fiberglass and bondo goes on you won't be able to tell the difference. By far, I don't think you're done yet.

Perk up baby, everyone screws up. It's the "successful" cosplayers who overcome stuff like this.

Infini
04-09-2004, 02:23 AM
You can always use polystyrene adhesive to put the parts back together again. Even if it broke literally IN HALF, you could still put the two peices back together using adhesive, then wrap the broken area in duct tape or somthing similar to hold it snugly together while it dries. Once the fiberglass and bondo goes on you won't be able to tell the difference. By far, I don't think you're done yet.

Perk up baby, everyone screws up. It's the "successful" cosplayers who overcome stuff like this.

Thank you. You have given me hope. I'm going to go buy polystyrene adhesive tomorrow. I didn't even know that such a thing existed.

It broke about 10" up the blade (measuring from the hilt), so it's not the tip, but it's not low enough to just shorten it a little. I very nearly had a heart attack when I heard it snap.

-Infini

Wag
04-09-2004, 03:33 AM
Heh, sounds like you're back on track. All you need to look for is the adhesive that's in a caulk-tube. (The same type of container that has silicone and caulk and stuff like that). Just read the label and make sure that it glues POLYSTYRENE. Don't get generic "construction adhesive" or somthing else, you want somthing that specifically says polystrene. Usually it says it glues polystyrene to wood and a few other things, if you ask for it specifically, they should be able to tell you where to find it.

But then again, you shouldn't always trust the floor clerks at home improvement stores when you're trying to make a prop and not building a deck or somthing...

Belive me, I know from experience. Anyways, just use the amount that the directions reccomend, but also understand that it's going to take a while to set, so tape the two peices together tightly after you fit the peices back together. Afterwards, I would reccomend keeping the tape on for the entire process - just fiberglass over it. You could take the tape off, but that's your call. If you do take it off, just be careful with that portion of the sword until the fiberglass is completely set. Once the fiberglass is on, it's going to be rock solid.

Infini
04-09-2004, 04:38 AM
Yeah. The hardware store people were totally useless when I went to buy the foam board itself. I know (from experience with my yuna staff) that this stuff doesn't like anything. Glue, paint, primer.. it all melts it. So I'll be extra careful when I go to buy glue. Do you have a brand name I should be looking for, or just anything that will glue polystyrene?

I think I will keep the tape on through the whole process. I'm still figuring out how to get the handle into the foam. I don't think a drill bit will work, since: a) I don't have a drill. b) If I had a drill, I would probably damage myself somehow. c) the handle that I'm trying to put in is not round. It's shaped more like a sword blade. Someone made it for the purpose of putting it in the foam sword, so I would really like to find a way to use it. o_O;

-Infini

Wag
04-09-2004, 05:51 PM
There's no real specific brand name, I've seen multiple brands that have specific adhesive for polystrene.

As for the handle, all I can say is that if it's not circular and you plan on sharpening one end to stick it up into the foam, all the pointed end will to is push the foam up and away from the handle. In other words, an auger bit carves out the hole and removes the foam while it works, but all a stake-type handle will do is peirce through the foam and push it away from the handle, not really removing it...get what I mean?

I know I used far too much bondo in my construction, so your sword will probably be alot lighter and you won't have to worry about the handle being rock solid.

Infini
04-10-2004, 03:59 AM
I see what you mean, since I've been experimenting on the leftover foam. I just can't think of any way to get the handle in at all. I really didn't want to be using a round handle, since Tessaiga has more of a katana-style handle. I wonder, if I ever WAS able to find someone with an auger bit and a drill...would drilling out a hole, and then sticking the handle in work, since there was at least some foam removed? I guess I'll have to test it.

-Infini

Trey Frost
04-15-2004, 02:10 AM
I probably should have posted this earlier (sorry Infini or anyone else who has already started), but a good way to avoid the melting that occurs with Polystyrene, is to use a different kind of foam (obviously). The kind that you want to look for is Polyisocyanurate. This foam should stand up to just about any type of resin without dissolving. It’s commonly used for insulation. I don’t really know where to find it, my dad happened to have some left over from repairs on the roof (or something). The stuff he had was made by a company called Cellotex (though I'm sure there are others). It’s a light yellow color and it sands fairly easily. It should cut down on the need for bondo, if not eliminate it.
Hope this helps someone!

Infini
04-15-2004, 11:21 PM
For getting the handle in, has anyone thought of using a real sword, heating it up with a propane torch, and trying to melt a hole through the middle of the foam with the blade?

I'm going to give this a try on a spare piece of foam tomorrow and see if it works.

-Infini

Melchior
04-16-2004, 02:14 PM
If you have a friend with an auger bit, have them drill three holes next to each other so it's more of an oval. A big circle in the center, then a smaller hole drilled next to it on each side, SHOULD be good enough to get enough foam out.

Infini
04-17-2004, 12:10 AM
I checked with the shop that I go to, and they don't have an auger bit. While I was there (I brought the foam, the handle, and a real sword) we were able to get the handle in, and the handle is a 30" long, flat, sword-shaped piece of wood.

If you know anyone with a propane torch and a regular sword (straight-blade, not like a katana) then just heat the tip of the sword up and put it in the foam. The heated metal will melt the foam, and also harden it. It worked really well, and all I have to do now is wrap the handle and fiberglass/bondo the sword. I'll post pictures when it's finished.

The reason I went to all this bother is because my handle's 'blade' that went into the foam was flat and sword shaped. If I was using a round handle (like a dowel, or pipe) then the auger bit would work well, but since mine wasn't round I had to find another way. I was able to use the foam-adhesive to glue the broken pieces together, as well.

-Infini

Trey Frost
04-17-2004, 12:44 AM
Well, I suppose you wouldn’t necessarily have to use an actual sword. It seems like any metal pole or bar would work just as well. So for those of us that don’t own a sword, it would be easier (and probably cheaper) to just buy a plain piece metal and heat that. But I guess it gives you an excuse to buy one. :)

Wag
04-17-2004, 01:20 AM
That's cool that they were willing to help you out at the store and stuff, and I'm glad it all worked out. I'd love to see the pics when you're done.

Oh...

And have...uhh...fun fiberglassing... :hafha:

Trey Frost
04-17-2004, 02:35 AM
Oh, I just thought of something. It might be easier to insert the handle if you make the blade out of two layers of foam glued together. Before you glue them, just carve/sand a groove on both sides (make sure they line up). That way, when you put them together, you have a nice hole for the handle. Too bad I didn’t think of that till just now. Oh well. :rolleyes:

I attached a simple drawing to help illustrate my idea.

Infini
04-17-2004, 03:34 AM
I thought about doing that (2 pieces), but since I already had my sword shaped and all, it wouldn't have worked out too well. Also, with the way my glued-together broken pieces have ended up looking (pre-fiberglass/bondo), I think it would turn out weird looking because of the way the edge would look.

Also, I was just using the sword as an example, since the blade was the exact shape of the wooden handle's blade. If I hadn't had the sword, or if I was worried about damaging it (more where that came from, anyway), I probably would have just gotten a chunk of metal as well. Also, taking the propane torch to the sword did not damage it. It's still all shiny and stuff. :)

-Infini

Edit: Here are 2 pics that I just took. The first is of the sword I used for the handle (it can be removed from the foam sword, with a bit of pulling.) The second picture is of the hilt of the foam sword when the handle is inside. Sorry about the lack of quality pictures, I'm not the best photographer. Also, you can see the glued together bit (looks horrible, but that's what bondo and fiberglass are for). I haven't wrapped or painted the handle yet.

Melchior
04-18-2004, 09:05 AM
Looks good!

Aer
04-18-2004, 03:02 PM
Awesome tutorial!

For my next cosplay project, I'm making Samurai Rikku and shes got quite a large sword...(see attachment) and was thinking of trying out fiberglassing.

I've been looking around to get the whole idea of what I'm going to have to do, and seeing as the fiberglass melts the foam a bit...what if you primed the foam with something like Gesso? I think that might help a bit.

Also, what exactly is the purpose of Bondo? I'm just curious if I'd really have to go through with the Bondo as well as fiberglassing... Sure it gives it a smooth, hard finish, but couldn't you get that with fiberglass? Seeing as you've had troubles with Bondo getting small edges and details I was really wondering if I could get away with just fiberglass...

Just wondering ^_^

Wag
04-18-2004, 04:40 PM
Infini - Sword looks cool, nice and neat. Glad you were able to get the handle in.

Aer - I talked with the Nightmare Armor guys at Comicon this weekend, and they said that when using fiberglass, only a thin coat of bondo is used for making it more smooth. I know from personal experience that more bondo = more weight, so going easy on it will not only save you money, but time, effort and it will also be easier to carry around.

Infini
04-18-2004, 08:09 PM
Also, since the fiberglass melts the foam a bit, when it's dry I think it leaves the foam a little uneven in places, and the bondo is for filling those bits in. I could be wrong, since I haven't gotten that far yet.

I've never heard of gesso. What is it?

-Infini

Aer
04-18-2004, 09:05 PM
Gesso is just a thicker form of acrylic paint that comes in bulk because it's primarily used for priming canvasses for painters. Although I've found many uses for it in cosplay before ^_^

Trey Frost
04-19-2004, 12:28 AM
I’ve said this before and I'll say it again: Look for foam board made of Polyisocyanurate. It should eliminate the melting. :bigtu:

Wag
04-19-2004, 08:46 AM
Iíve said this before and I'll say it again: Look for foam board made of Polyisocyanurate. It should eliminate the melting. :bigtu:


When I was at Comicon and talked with the Nightmarearmor.com guys, I brought this up.

From what they tell me, it's yellow and only comes in a massive cube from an industrial manufacturer somewhere. It has to be cut to size yourself, but it can't be touched by resin, paint, petroleum based products, etc...

The cube is somthing like 6x8x6 or somthing, and the price?

He quoted 800+ bucks.

Sooooo yeah, I don't know if you were talking about the same thing or not...

Infini
04-19-2004, 11:23 AM
Gesso is just a thicker form of acrylic paint that comes in bulk because it's primarily used for priming canvasses for painters. Although I've found many uses for it in cosplay before ^_^

Thanks! :D

I've heard the term used a lot, but never bothered to try to find out what it was. I'll look for some the next time I'm in a hardware store, if that's where to find it.

-Infini

Melchior
04-19-2004, 06:55 PM
I've heard gesso helps prevent the melting, so ya it might just help you out a little bit.

As for getting away without using bondo, I'd say probably you could use alot less than I did. Keep in mind that what I was doing was probably the first time anyone had tried it that I know of, and I only had a vague idea of how it was going to turn out. That's why I used so much bondo, because it really REALLY melted the shape and it was so deformed that it needed alot to repair it and make a nice FLAT blade (as oppposed to a lumpy but lighter one).

Gesso or some other primer without thinner in it would definitely go a long way towards helping this.

As for using only fiberglass? I dont think I would trust myself enough to do it with only that. It's a pain to work with as it is. ^^;

Trey Frost
04-20-2004, 02:23 AM
When I was at Comicon and talked with the Nightmarearmor.com guys, I brought this up.

From what they tell me, it's yellow and only comes in a massive cube from an industrial manufacturer somewhere. It has to be cut to size yourself, but it can't be touched by resin, paint, petroleum based products, etc...

The cube is somthing like 6x8x6 or somthing, and the price?

He quoted 800+ bucks.

Sooooo yeah, I don't know if you were talking about the same thing or not...

Well, I’m sure that you don’t have to buy a big block of it because I have some in half-inch and one-inch sheets. Though, the stuff I have does have a thin layer of foil on the outside (for insulation purposes, I guess)

I was looking at a website for a company that produces resins and it definitely said polyisocyanurate on there, so I guess that I just assumed they knew what they were talking about. I don’t know, I haven’t actually used the resin on the foam yet. I plan using it sometime in the next week or two, so I guess I’ll let you all know how it goes.

Trey Frost
04-21-2004, 12:36 PM
Well, I haven’t gotten the resin yet, so I can’t test that, but I did try using spray paint on the foam to see if that would melt it. It didn’t do a thing, and I put quite a generous amount on there (it was dripping off). So, I’m hopeful that resin will work as well. Just thought I’d let you know. :bigtu:

GoddesSilverRos
04-24-2004, 03:19 AM
I have something to ask. About the size of Tessaiga I just go 56"? Or by how tall i am becues I am only 5'3" and do not want the sword to be bigger then me. I mean that might look a little bit off. That is all that I have to ask lol

Infini
04-24-2004, 04:43 AM
I made mine to match my height (5'6.5") and it looks just about right. Making it to your own height is probably a good idea, since in the anime the tessaiga varies in size, so no one can complain. Even if I made mine a few inches shorter than me, it would still look fine.

-Infini

Trey Frost
04-25-2004, 04:39 AM
I would say that it might be more impressive visually to make it a little larger. The main thing is to keep it proportional: if you make it longer, make it wider too. It’s just sad to see a tessaiga that’s long and skinny or short and fat.:lost: I don’t know, maybe you should just measure your trunk space and go by that (I’d hate to have to strap it to the roof). Though, if your car has a pass-through between the trunk and back seat, then you should be fine.

Melchior
05-05-2004, 08:53 AM
Just a little note here to let everyone know that the images have been put on another server and they can be viewed again. ksuanime.com's domain expired so the stuff is basically inaccessible. Anyways, everything on cosplay.com should work now.

Also, I finally got around to doing a HTML version of this tutorial with in-line images. You can find it here (http://www.lc3anime.com/misc/melchior/tessaigav2/tessaiga.htm).

GoddesSilverRos
05-05-2004, 03:42 PM
Yey I get to see the pic's. I hope to get the stuff for my own tessaiga. You are right it does cange sizes and do not worrie I will not make mine to short or to fat. I am the kind that will make it as perfect as I can get it. :-)

Rydain
05-18-2004, 06:55 PM
*falls onto her knees*

I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!

Seriously...this is possibly the w00test weapons tutorial ever. I'm wondering if I could adapt its techniques to make the arm guard part of Zhang He's claws from Dynasty Warriors 4 (link here) (http://www.yueying.net/dw/index.php?pid=koushiki/ssm3/zhang_he2.jpg). What would be a good way to recreate the curved shape of the arm guards with the foam base material? (My best guess - somehow adhere strips of foam together and then carve them down into a smooth curve. What adhesives are good for this?) Also, when you attach fiberglass to more fiberglass, what do you use - fiberglass, Bondo, or something else? (Those slightly raised winglike dealys are going to have to be made separately. I could never get that much detail without casting.)

I know this is going to require an insane amount of work, but I have all year to get it done, and I'm starting as soon as I can figure out how I'll be making the base for the weapons... :D

Wag
05-19-2004, 04:20 AM
When fiberglass cloth is coated in resin and applied smoothly to a surface (foam or otherwise), it of course hardens and stuff. If you want to put another layer of fiberglass on, just take another sheet of cloth and resin it up and slap it down...smoothly.

If the bottom layer it's going on is not smooth, you're going to have an INCREDIBLY hard time trying to work with it.

Melchior
05-19-2004, 07:19 AM
Wow, those things look pretty complicated. I'd say make the main arm guard as one piece, and make the feathered areas as separate pieces. You could probably attach them to the main guard using screws or something up through the inside of it. Definitely possible though. You may have to glue two 2" thick pieces of foam together to get the curve you want out of it.

Rydain
05-19-2004, 11:43 AM
Thanks for the feedback! I realized that the surface I'm making is pretty similar to the projects constructed in aerospace engineering lab classes, and because one of my friends has been through those, I've been bugging him for advice. Said friend recommended that I carve a cone out of Styrofoam (or some other foam that can be cut with a hot wire and then sanded into a smooth curve) and use it as a form to lay fiberglass cloth over, so I think I'm going to do that, but I'll definitely be revisiting this thread if my husband decides to go as Xiahou Dun, who wields a blade similar in shape and size to the Tessaiga. :)

Melchior
05-19-2004, 12:26 PM
Thanks for the feedback! I realized that the surface I'm making is pretty similar to the projects constructed in aerospace engineering lab classes, and because one of my friends has been through those, I've been bugging him for advice. Said friend recommended that I carve a cone out of Styrofoam (or some other foam that can be cut with a hot wire and then sanded into a smooth curve) and use it as a form to lay fiberglass cloth over, so I think I'm going to do that, but I'll definitely be revisiting this thread if my husband decides to go as Xiahou Dun, who wields a blade similar in shape and size to the Tessaiga. :)

Hrm.. Well another method I've seen for rigid style props involves a base of thick solid cardboard, cut and taped for shape, and then maybe some sort of soft foam, paperclay, or some other type of easily shapable material over it, followed by a hard coating of something like fiberglass. If you start with a cardboard base it might be alot easier. I think that AmethystAngel's methods are similar to this.

Infini
05-20-2004, 02:01 AM
As an update, I fiberglassed my sword last night/this morning, and will be having it painted later today. XD I'm so happy! I'll be trying to get some pictures either later today after it's finished, or after the convention this weekend.

I used the Evercoat epoxy resin (50/50 mix w/hardener, if that means anything) with normal fiberglass cloth, and the foam didn't melt at all. It turned out quite well, and I used extra cloth to reinforce the part that I broke earlier.

-Infini

yamano
06-02-2004, 02:10 AM
I shoud say that this tutorial, helpt me alot to make the tessaiga.
Butt It may have been To Fat, the blade is 62,5 in legth, and it is 5,8 wide,.. so, maby it is to fat.
Expeting to have the fur-part, in a week, And i will also paste some pic's, here then.

I did not get that Bondo, so i use't a mix of putty and Eproxy,.. a 80/20 mix,.. it get real hard to work with.

R1KKu
06-02-2004, 04:53 AM
I'd have to say this tutorial will prove very useful when the time comes for me to make Tetsusaiga transformed (thanks Melchior XD ) but for now I plan to make it in its untransformed state, and well, Ive got a question about the sheath. I was looking at the one on Fantasyprops.com and noticed that the guy had made a really nice looking sheath, and was wondering what would be the best method in creating such a thing. I was thinking about going ahead and cutting out 2 pieces from a pine plank to match the shape of the sword, then chiseling out the wood to fit it, and then sanding it, but Im not quite sure if that would work. Would anyone have other suggestions to make a good sheath???


Sesshoumaru Ownz Joo (http://www.imagestation.com/mypictures/inbox/view.html?url=http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid119/pe1cd1d2dc1dc5fb0bc80b9270e941e95/f86f8fba.jpg.orig.jpg&caption=toukijin%20prog&id=4168060858)

TheLoneWolf
06-06-2004, 08:36 PM
Bringint this back up!
Just wanted to ask if you had any iedas on how to work the hilt for this blade?
http://www.angelfire.com/anime3/animeempire/images/dmc/14.jpg

Genki Panda
06-07-2004, 07:28 AM
Why hasn't this gotten a sticky? It so deserves one ^_~!

Anywho, just wanted to say thanks ^-^. This tutorial is good for more than just making giant swords... I modified a few of the methods to suit my needs and was able to make May's (from Guilty Gear XX) anchor. I've yet to fiberglass it as I ran out of time before Fanime -_-;... but it's already all prepped and ready to go.

And I found a cheaper way than gesso to prime the foam for the fiberglass >.>;... as much as I hate to admit it: a few layers of paper mache worked wonders O_o;...

And I mean even the uberly cheap flour and water version x_x;...

Anywho, if you're like me and had issues finding gesso nearby and you're short on time: paper mache works and is usually easy to obtain just from things around your house.

Thanks again for the tutorial!!! It's helpful for more than its intended purpose ^_^.

*cough*sticky*cough*

lance010
06-07-2004, 01:05 PM
Argh.. none of the local Home Depots or Lowe's have the pink "Formular Rigid Foam" insulation. They all seem to carry the white styrofoam stuff. I guess I have to start calling around in my area.

TheLoneWolf - I haven't done this myself.. but you could try wrapping cord around a dowel in the same pattern as the pic then bondo over that.

Rydain
06-09-2004, 09:13 AM
Well, I am indeed helping my husband with a Xiahou Dun costume, but it turns out that his sword's blade is quite thin (as shown here (http://yueying.net/dw/index.php?pid=koushiki/ssm3/xiahou_dun2.jpg)), so Styrofoam isn't going to be the best choice of base for the weapon. Instead, I plan to cut the blade (with an attached tang running the length of the handle) out of 1/4" balsa or another thin wood and wrap it in fiberglass cloth. Should I seal the surface before I do that? If so, what do you recommend? I have Mod Podge, which is pretty effective for this sort of thing, but I'd prefer a spray-on solution.

Katachi
06-09-2004, 12:10 PM
The best part about this tutorial is that there were be FEWER CARDBOARD AND TINFOIL SWORDS AT CONS!!! YAY! I'm all about phasing out the carboard and tinfoil :P

So you had problems with the fiberglas chemically eating the styrofoam? Seal it wit a few coats of latex paint first.

This WOULD be a good sticky, for potential cardboard sword makers to see anyway...

Kawaii Kinomoto
06-24-2004, 11:36 AM
I just wanted to say that this tutorial is a LIFE SAVER!! I love it!! I haven't started to make my tetsusaiga yet but i'm going to try to start soon. I just have a quick question. I was planning to have a "duel" with my friend who is going to cosplay as Bankotsu and I was just wondering... is this sword durable enough to take a few blows from a HUGE Banryuu roughly the same size as tetsusaiga. And would i be able to deliver a few blows back to her Banryuu? Thanks for your help!!

Melchior
06-25-2004, 08:54 AM
It might be, but you're risking the finish every time you would actually hit it. Bondo tends to flake a lot on impacts. Those are easily fixed later with some sanding and a bit of painting again, but structurally the only place I could see it breaking is the handle.

In short, I dont recommend it. It's meant for display only really *shrug*

Melchior
06-25-2004, 08:58 AM
The best part about this tutorial is that there were be FEWER CARDBOARD AND TINFOIL SWORDS AT CONS!!! YAY! I'm all about phasing out the carboard and tinfoil :P


Amen to that!

A little short something - my method is mainly a way of avoiding sanding the epoxy and fiberglass - which makes it a little less hazardous. However, I probably would have used less bondo if I would have primed the foam first. That would have made the sword WAY lighter.

If I were to do another composite prop I'd do this:

Foam --> primer (paint, gesso, whatever) --> fiberglass --> bondo (if you don't want to sand fiberglass, which is probably a good idea)

At least that's what I've deduced from some people's opinions here. It's good to know that we're hammering out a decent way of making this stuff without reinventing the wheel. Thanks again to everyone who has contributed!

yamano
07-01-2004, 12:00 PM
Well here it is,.. maby to fat, maby not,..
Not finish,.. But it is not gona take long time before it is

:cool:

http://dataportalen.com/yamano/Pic/te.jpg

Melchior
07-01-2004, 01:50 PM
Well here it is,.. maby to fat, maby not,..
Not finish,.. But it is not gona take long time before it is

:cool:

http://dataportalen.com/yamano/Pic/te.jpg


Looks good! what do you have left to do?

yamano
07-01-2004, 02:36 PM
Looks good! what do you have left to do?

painting the handel gold, and gluing the fur...

(
Acturly i whas tinking about remaking it, i did ask some boat-builders, about
that, and they recomendet that i did make a wood form, and then, fill
the form with glassfiber,..

it are acturly more cheaper fore me to use the toxic boat epoxy,
than the stuf, you can buy at the car-shop....
:untrust: next time,... next time... :untrust:
)

Kawaii Kinomoto
07-02-2004, 09:29 PM
Hi all, I just had a quick question. I haven't started to make my sword yet and i'm only 16. My parents have no problem with me making the sword and helping me out with it but they are both scared about the steps that involve the fiber glass and epoxy due to fear of them thinking that I will get poisoned... I really want to make the sword but this is the only thing holding me back. Are there any alternatives to using fiber glass and epoxy but still having the sord to be durable because I am planning to use it in a duel with another cosplayer. I need the sword for May 2005 (anime north 2005) so there is still time but I'm hoping to make it this summer. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! Hope to see whoever's attending anime north 2005 there!!

Rydain
07-02-2004, 09:53 PM
Could you carve the sword shape out of foam rubber and cover it with thick cotton Lycra in the appropriate color? That's really the only non-fiberglass-based home method I can think of to make a long, thick Tetsusaiga that is wieldable and won't get beaten up in a duel. You might be able to make a hollow sword out of hardwood, but that would be an engineering project in itself, and it would probably still be pretty heavy. Vacuuforming from sturdy plastic might work, but if your parents are afraid of fiberglass, they wouldn't want to touch that with a fifty-foot pole. :p

Infini
07-02-2004, 11:13 PM
I just thought that I should post my sword pictures now, since I finally reconnected my scanner.

I don't have a sandisk reader for my camera yet, so these pictures are pretty grainy and sad. The sword itself is mostly done, although we're going to be sanding it down and adding another layer of fiberglass soon. You can probably see how the edges started to bubble and wrinkle since we rushed it the night before the con. Also, I'm getting better fur once I find some. The stuff I got was too brown, but it was the longest fur the fabric store had at the time. And it's completely removable so I can change it when I get the right fabric. XD

Here are the horrid pictures. If they don't work, it's not my fault:

InuPhoenix
07-03-2004, 11:26 AM
actually you said that one of you friends used this method doing sangos hiraikotsu? thats the only part of the costume i havent finished, and i highly doubt i would be allowed to do the whole fiber glass thing, should i do something like ductape the edges or or not make them to narrow that they would chip? not to mention i have to paint it and grabe the wraps and such ::sad sigh::

BlazeofPhoenix
07-07-2004, 01:16 AM
sry to ask but i cant decide how long to make the sword and yours looked really good so i was wondering how long yours was?

Infini
07-07-2004, 01:40 AM
BlazeofPhoenix: My tessaiga was about 63 inches. I'm a little over 5'6, and I made it a little shorter than me so that it would fit in my tiny car...

InuPhoenix: Which person's friend? I'm going to make a Hiraikotsu for my friend, but I haven't yet because I'm lazy and my fiberglassing person has vanished for a while. Not sure if someone else posting here has a friend who made the boomerang, though.

If no one was actually asking ME anything, just ignore what I say. :)

-Infini

Melchior
07-07-2004, 02:39 PM
My Tessiaga is around 54" for the blade, and another 18" for the handle, bringing the total to 72" (6 feet) for all of it.

And yes, my friend used bondo and then caulk for her hiraikotsu and it came out allright. It's possible to use but I'm sure it'd be way heavy.

Sarcasm-hime
07-07-2004, 03:14 PM
Fiberglass question: how smoothly does it go on? Do you need a flat surface? I'm considering fiberglass and Bondo for a rounded harp I'm making (it's already carved out ot foam) but am concerned that the fiberglass won't hug the curves properly.

Here's a picture of the harp (I'm making it a bit smaller and thicker for stability): http://members.tripod.com/~darktsunami/rgveda/kensou/kenblue.jpg

InuPhoenix
07-07-2004, 04:10 PM
thanks so much, i used yours for a basis (it really helped) but instead of going through the bondo and caulk, i got this special spray paint, that had some sort of placstic (for wood) and i tested it and accidentally banged it on my ceiling (its too short) but it didnt dent! and i can bend it a little and it wont snap ^_^ but thanks for the inspriration for my hiraikotsu and thanks for the tutorial, it should bea sticky on this site!!!!!!

Rydain
07-07-2004, 05:20 PM
Fiberglass question: how smoothly does it go on? Do you need a flat surface? I'm considering fiberglass and Bondo for a rounded harp I'm making (it's already carved out ot foam) but am concerned that the fiberglass won't hug the curves properly.

Considering that hobbyists commonly use fiberglass cloth to laminate airplane and rocket nose cones, your harp shouldn't be a problem. Even very small parts can be fiberglassed, as shown here (http://airfieldmodels.com/information_source/how_to_articles_for_model_builders/construction/apply_fiberglass_finish/04.htm). (Side note: the rest of the article is a very good read as well. :)) Think of fiberglass lamination as seamlessly covering a piece by gluing cloth to it. As long as you pattern your cloth so it lays flat against the piece's surface, you'll be fine.

Trey Frost
07-13-2004, 07:12 AM
I tried using resin on that Polyisocyanurate foam that I was talking about before, and it went just fine. The resin didn't melt the foam at all.

Just so you know, I used the Bondo brand All-Purpose Polyester resin on Celotex brand insulation foam.

Sorry I forgot to post this earlier. I hope I didn't leave anyone hanging. :)

Omni
07-13-2004, 07:29 AM
Fiberglass mat can conform to most any surface but if you are going to lay down a layer of cloth first then you will want to plan it all out in advance. It will go on and work for the most part but once it has cured you will see a lot of air bubbles in the fiberglass that you will need to cut out and fill. Any air pockets are a weak point in your project. Also, I found where you can buy sheets of Polyisocyanurate foam from 3/4" to 2" thick and come in 4' X 2' sections (3 per order).

http://www.fibreglast.com/showproducts-category-Sandwich+Cores-18.html

Still not very cheap but just thought I would throw that out there since all someone else found was giant $800 blocks.

Seig Warheit
07-15-2004, 07:06 PM
Ok, my third buster sword ended up with me using the EXACT same techniques, but I've NEVER read this before.. Spooky... I used this fiberglass foam I found behind an Office Max that was part of a store display. That night I used a turkey knife to cut the shape, drilled a hole, and coated it with fiberglass. the next morning, I sanded and sanded and sanded. Then I drilled the two materia holes and whatnot... Used some paper mache I was running out of glue and it was the day before the con so The paper mache turned out really bad. I sanded some more and then I spraypainted. Didn't turn out HORRIBLY bad, but still it was only mediocre looking. I never had enought time for bondo.... It has since been re paper mached and bondoed It looks MUCH better now. Smooth as a baby's bottom...The part I'm stuck on now is.....The details at the base of the handle.... Mainly this trim stuff....

http://img17.photobucket.com/albums/v51/Seig_Warheit/buster_sword_red_line.jpg

The stuff circled... I'm stumped on that... I've made the little wing design things out of foam.... But everything else.... I don't know....I have no clue how to make it without it looking horrible... I need this sword to be perfect. Got any ideas melchior? Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.

Edit: you can see my result in my picture gallery.

Melchior
07-16-2004, 09:16 AM
http://img17.photobucket.com/albums/v51/Seig_Warheit/buster_sword_red_line.jpg

The stuff circled... I'm stumped on that... I've made the little wing design things out of foam.... But everything else.... I don't know....I have no clue how to make it without it looking horrible... I need this sword to be perfect. Got any ideas melchior? Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.

Edit: you can see my result in my picture gallery.

Hrm.. If you have access to a scroll saw, maybe get some thin craft wood and cut it out of that. Sand, primer and paint it to get rid of the woodgrain mostly, and then epoxy it directly onto your blade. That may not be perfect, but it'll look great from 5 feet away. That's really the only way I can think of getting that kind of detail.

nozomiwhitewolf
07-16-2004, 02:35 PM
Hey Melchior! Nice tutorial I might use it for my Rayearth sword. Is it OK to just work outside w/ no respirator when using fiberglass epoxy? ALSO: I don't quite understand the whole fiberglass cloth stuff. Do you simply cut it out and lay it over the weapon or do you glue it down with hot glue or what? I don't get that part....
I was about to post a response to some one with a prop question (reinforcing foam) but you beat me to it. I love this tutorial, keep up the good work!!

Melchior
07-16-2004, 02:48 PM
Hey Melchior! Nice tutorial I might use it for my Rayearth sword. Is it OK to just work outside w/ no respirator when using fiberglass epoxy? ALSO: I don't quite understand the whole fiberglass cloth stuff. Do you simply cut it out and lay it over the weapon or do you glue it down with hot glue or what? I don't get that part....
I was about to post a response to some one with a prop question (reinforcing foam) but you beat me to it. I love this tutorial, keep up the good work!!


Yea, you should be allright outside working with the epoxy. Just don't huff it straight from the tin and you should be fine.

When applying the cloth, you cut it to shape first in pieces, and then you put down the cloth on some tinfoil or other expendable surface and brush the epoxy on to it. Then you lay the cloth on the prop and smooth it out with a paintbrush so there are no bubbles.

Rydain
07-16-2004, 03:01 PM
How about laying the cloth on the piece, pouring a bit of epoxy on it, and using a squeegee to spread it around and scrape up as much of the excess as possible? This will flatten the cloth well and minimize the amount of epoxy that will wind up on your piece (which is a good thing because it's heavy and, as we've seen, can melt the base material). I saw this method illustrated in a tutorial for laminating model aircraft with fiberglass cloth. It seems to be a good idea to me, but I'm wondering if it has any disadvantages or pitfalls that I don't know about.

nozomiwhitewolf
07-16-2004, 03:03 PM
Yea, you should be allright outside working with the epoxy. Just don't huff it straight from the tin and you should be fine.

When applying the cloth, you cut it to shape first in pieces, and then you put down the cloth on some tinfoil or other expendable surface and brush the epoxy on to it. Then you lay the cloth on the prop and smooth it out with a paintbrush so there are no bubbles.

Face up or face down? I mean, after its shaped in pieces, you brush the stuff on but then do you lay it down so the epoxy is directly adhering the two surfaces? Sorry for so many questions ^^; Also, this part is important:
For making the hilt and handle, how do you attach the hilt part so it won't snap off or break when carrying around? I think it might be a bit different for the Tessaiga but here is the sword I am attempting to make:
(And BTW I am considering just making the entire thing out of foam unless I can somehow attach a wooden handle securely.)

EDIT: ALSO, could you use Fiberglass Cloth Tapes for the fiberglass cloth attachments? This might make it easier....

Melchior
07-17-2004, 01:23 AM
Face up or face down? I mean, after its shaped in pieces, you brush the stuff on but then do you lay it down so the epoxy is directly adhering the two surfaces? Sorry for so many questions ^^; Also, this part is important:
For making the hilt and handle, how do you attach the hilt part so it won't snap off or break when carrying around? I think it might be a bit different for the Tessaiga but here is the sword I am attempting to make:
(And BTW I am considering just making the entire thing out of foam unless I can somehow attach a wooden handle securely.)

EDIT: ALSO, could you use Fiberglass Cloth Tapes for the fiberglass cloth attachments? This might make it easier....

There is no up or down side. The epoxy soaks the cloth. It comes with pretty detailed directions, so you shouldn't have a problem.

Melchior
07-17-2004, 01:26 AM
How about laying the cloth on the piece, pouring a bit of epoxy on it, and using a squeegee to spread it around and scrape up as much of the excess as possible? This will flatten the cloth well and minimize the amount of epoxy that will wind up on your piece (which is a good thing because it's heavy and, as we've seen, can melt the base material). I saw this method illustrated in a tutorial for laminating model aircraft with fiberglass cloth. It seems to be a good idea to me, but I'm wondering if it has any disadvantages or pitfalls that I don't know about.

This essentially accomplishes the same thing, so yea, it's fine too.

Kes_Longwood
07-27-2004, 11:05 PM
OK, I have just read throught the ENTIRE thread. And I have a rather silly and stupid and lazy question. Have you updated the HTML Tutorial for any changes susgested in here?

Melchior
07-28-2004, 07:53 AM
OK, I have just read throught the ENTIRE thread. And I have a rather silly and stupid and lazy question. Have you updated the HTML Tutorial for any changes susgested in here?

Both of the tutorials I have listed in here are what worked for me. Many people in the thread have suggested changes that worked for them, but I'm not planning to change the FAQ because of them. It was intended to be a photojournal of my project, and the rest of this thread could be considered an appendix for it.

fightstar
08-01-2004, 06:25 PM
Let me just say. Wow and nice tutorial. I have learned a lot about bondo and how to make props. Also how to make an awsome cosplay tutorial. Keep up the good work, your dedications is appreciated.


~Fightstar

LaPetiteSalope
08-05-2004, 12:09 PM
O_O wow. This turitoral is really helpful! I really want to make Warrior Rikku's sword sometime soon but I'm not sure if I'm that commited to use fiberglass and deal with all those toxic fumes in my backyard. Is there somehow a way to cheat? n_n;; This one cosplayer just used foam and display posterboard. Will that work?
here are some links to the sword pics:
http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=155877&sort=1&cat=500&page=1
http://c-uncut.com/media/ff10-2-rikku9.jpg

Rydain
08-05-2004, 01:11 PM
EZ-LAM (http://www.acp-composites.com/acp-ez.htm) doesn't give off nasty fumes. (In fact, it barely even has a smell.) If you use this product, I suggest that you go with the 30-minute variety. Don't be afraid of the price. If you apply the fiberglass cloth by laying it on your project, drizzling resin on it, and then squeegeeing the resin around until the cloth is saturated (as opposed to saturating the cloth first and then putting it on the piece), you will only need to use a small amount of resin. A friend and I (well, mostly the friend, as he's the one who has worked with fiberglass before) laminated two sides of a 4-foot-long plywood sword blade with EZ-LAM and two layers of .73 ounce cloth bought from that same website that I linked to. (Note that if the sword had had a foam spine, we would have used heavier cloth or more layers.) For each side, I literally mixed up one squirt each of the resin and hardener, and I still had about 1 cm of resin left over in the yogurt cup we used to mix it in.

On the subject of foam and posterboard: if you like the look of the prop you linked to and don't need to worry about it being extremely durable, those materials would be fine. That foam and board prop should be able to survive light stresses like being jostled or accidentally dropped on the floor. I chose fiberglass for my project because I don't know of any other way to make a thin (~1/8"), durable, non-bendy sword blade that can look convincingly metallic and won't get confiscated as a weapon.

LaPetiteSalope
08-08-2004, 06:34 PM
EZ-LAM (http://www.acp-composites.com/acp-ez.htm) doesn't give off nasty fumes. (In fact, it barely even has a smell.) If you use this product, I suggest that you go with the 30-minute variety. Don't be afraid of the price. If you apply the fiberglass cloth by laying it on your project, drizzling resin on it, and then squeegeeing the resin around until the cloth is saturated (as opposed to saturating the cloth first and then putting it on the piece), you will only need to use a small amount of resin. A friend and I (well, mostly the friend, as he's the one who has worked with fiberglass before) laminated two sides of a 4-foot-long plywood sword blade with EZ-LAM and two layers of .73 ounce cloth bought from that same website that I linked to. (Note that if the sword had had a foam spine, we would have used heavier cloth or more layers.) For each side, I literally mixed up one squirt each of the resin and hardener, and I still had about 1 cm of resin left over in the yogurt cup we used to mix it in.

On the subject of foam and posterboard: if you like the look of the prop you linked to and don't need to worry about it being extremely durable, those materials would be fine. That foam and board prop should be able to survive light stresses like being jostled or accidentally dropped on the floor. I chose fiberglass for my project because I don't know of any other way to make a thin (~1/8"), durable, non-bendy sword blade that can look convincingly metallic and won't get confiscated as a weapon.

--Oh thanks for the tip Rydain! I'll look out for it whenever I buy bondo...Where do they sell EZ-LAM anyways? I'm thinking about just buying the fiberglass and then asking my mom's friend who works as a machanic to help me fiberglass the sword.

--urgh! curses! I first made the sword wayyy tooo big because I was just measuring up the picture to the foam board's size...So then I started to trim the foam down bit by bit...and I accidently followed the wrong lines and cut the wrong piece off. ;_; Would just plain duck tape hold the tip on, and then fiberglass over it?

Rydain
08-08-2004, 08:48 PM
--Oh thanks for the tip Rydain! I'll look out for it whenever I buy bondo...Where do they sell EZ-LAM anyways? I'm thinking about just buying the fiberglass and then asking my mom's friend who works as a machanic to help me fiberglass the sword.

Oops...I should have made the link in my original post clearer. EZ-LAM is sold by Aerospace Composites (http://www.acp-composites.com/acp-ez.htm). It's a specialty hobbyist resin, so you'll probably have to order it from their website. Whatever product you go with, I think it would be a great idea to get some help from your mom's friend. A fiberglass-savvy assistant makes your work go much more smoothly. :)

--urgh! curses! I first made the sword wayyy tooo big because I was just measuring up the picture to the foam board's size...So then I started to trim the foam down bit by bit...and I accidently followed the wrong lines and cut the wrong piece off. ;_; Would just plain duck tape hold the tip on, and then fiberglass over it?

As long as you attach the tip in a way that won't make the surface of the sword bumpy (which will mess up the lay of your fiberglass cloth), you can use any adhesive you want. The foam core simply provides a shape for the fiberglass to adhere to. The fiberglass is what makes the prop sturdy and strong. Thus, you wouldn't have to worry about the sword breaking along the taped line after you were done with it.

FFXKing
10-17-2004, 02:14 PM
i was wondering do you have advise on making a keyblade? i mean a keyblade is differant then a tessiga WAY differant you might know what it is but if you dont then tell me i really really really want to know how and is there something differant then fiberglass to use? please answer soon

FFXKing
10-17-2004, 02:21 PM
here is a link to keyblades made already and i want to know how to make them http://groups.msn.com/cardcreators/keyblades.msnw

eyedea803
11-04-2004, 11:32 PM
Well heres the core/beginning of my soul edge sword. I had to use atleast 3" of the foam b/c sould edge is pretty thick at the base of the sword and in between its eyes. I had to glue 3 of the 1"sheets of foam together once I got the outline of the blade. Its 65" long w/out the handle. Hopefully Ill fiberglass it this weekend....ahhhh poo....the file is way too big...hmmm Ill post it later when I have some more time and or maybe once I finish w/the fiberglass. :rolleyes:

eyedea803
11-08-2004, 08:14 AM
Ok, Im about to finish the Soul edge this week but I dont know if I should use Fiberglass or Stucco. The only reason I may use stucco is b/c its easy access for me and it might not be as hard to work w/ as fiberglass. I dont remember if anyone else had said they had used stucco before so I figured I would ask to see if I got any replies. Any good or bad experiences w/stucco

Nikostratos
11-08-2004, 04:25 PM
I know if you are going to be fiberglassing foam, I have found it works alot better to duct tape the whole item before you fiberglass it... it adds a enough strength to only use one layer of fiberglass for most of my projects, and the resin doesnt eat the foam.... it also helps if you "paint" the resin on with a 1inch brush that you dont mind losing if you dont clean it out in time... with my method of fiberglassing, only use one glove to hold the fiberglass in place while i apply the first bit of resin to it... just keep in mind if you paint the resin on, you need to apply 2 coats of resin if you still see the grain from your cloth...

eyedea803
11-10-2004, 11:18 AM
Hmmmm well I had thought of using duct tape to cover the foam w/but I thought if I didnt that the fiberglass/resin wouldnt stick and dry to it. Well I guess Ill keep that in mind for my next project/fiberglass.

Nikostratos
11-10-2004, 04:28 PM
heh, just take your time and dont rush, its a wet cloth, it will stick to anything as long as gravity supports it... let it get tacky before you flip it over and it works great...

Ancalagon
03-27-2005, 11:18 AM
Wow a freind gave me a link to this, to help me try and make Clouds Buster Sword, and this defently looks like the best way to do it

Arima-kun
06-11-2005, 03:19 AM
Hey Melchoir, awesome tutorial, i was inspired to make touya's sword from tsubasa chronicle after reading this. i have a question about bondo though, what kind of tools did you work with when applying bondo? cause everything in there dries up so fast that by the time i get to the 4th or 5th repetition of it i need a new tool and mixing cup. Also, this is probably because it's my first time working with bondo but i found it extremely hard to deal with in terms of making it even so it wouldn't be like trying to sand a mountain range, especially at the edges. (i mean the thing sticks to the edge of my tool soo much when i lift it up!) I think it's so bad now that i have to restart since i didn't do too well in the resin area either but if you can tell me what you did exactly with the bondo process, i'd much appreciate it :) thank you in advance!!

Melchior
06-11-2005, 05:59 PM
If you are having problems with applying it, you need to clean the tools off after each application. It doesnt stick to the plastic cup too badly and you can clean most of it out.

I used a regular 2" putty knife to apply the bondo.

katachi_kun
06-12-2005, 09:59 PM
Hey Melchoir, awesome tutorial, i was inspired to make touya's sword from tsubasa chronicle after reading this. i have a question about bondo though, what kind of tools did you work with when applying bondo? cause everything in there dries up so fast that by the time i get to the 4th or 5th repetition of it i need a new tool and mixing cup. Also, this is probably because it's my first time working with bondo but i found it extremely hard to deal with in terms of making it even so it wouldn't be like trying to sand a mountain range, especially at the edges. (i mean the thing sticks to the edge of my tool soo much when i lift it up!) I think it's so bad now that i have to restart since i didn't do too well in the resin area either but if you can tell me what you did exactly with the bondo process, i'd much appreciate it :) thank you in advance!!

use the plastic lid that comes with the bondo and popsicle sticks. Or your thumb. I mix bondo with my hands.

I've got a tutorial coming up soon with some tricks I learned from sfx people and Four Winns boat hull makers. :P lots of improvements such as how to keep the styro from dissolving, how to keep the fiberglass cloth on and straight, and how to make super flat surfaces.

Katachi
06-12-2005, 10:28 PM
use the plastic lid that comes with the bondo and popsicle sticks. Or your thumb. I mix bondo with my hands.

I've got a tutorial coming up soon with some tricks I learned from sfx people and Four Winns boat hull makers. :P lots of improvements such as how to keep the styro from dissolving, how to keep the fiberglass cloth on and straight, and how to make super flat surfaces.

Now ain't that the strangest thing? I didn't even know I made that acct 3 years ago. That's what I get for logging on from a different comp...

anyway, foam core fiberglass sword tutorial is coming. I'm hoping to have a FFVII Cloud's buster sword with glowing clear resin materia done by the end of the summer. Right now I'm working on a foam core fiberglass Devil Hunter Yohko sword, so I'll have pics of that and tips in a few days. A random orbital sander with 150 grit sandpaper is AMAZING for shaping polystyrene, if you know how to handle the thing ^_^

hadokn
06-16-2005, 12:34 AM
I'm making 2ft throwing stars for my Mizuki-sensei costume from Naruto. I don't really want to use fiberglass, so I was thinking of using this

Coat-It (http://www.tapplastics.com/shop/product.php?pid=30&)

hopefully that will give it enough strength.

Has anybody tried this before? also, I guess I made the mistake of buying the softer white polystyrene foam. Anybody ever used this stuff? any help would really be appreciated.

inu-chan00
06-19-2005, 02:08 PM
Hello! I just read through this Amazing Tutorial! And its perfect for making My tets. sword!
Although I am in a little bit of a dilemma.
In this process you said to use Fiberglass, which unfortunately I cant take the chemicals (make me pass out XDXDXD) so I'm not allowed to use them.
So my question is: Is there something else of use to harden the shaped Styrofoam besides fiberglass of any kind? Maybe a certain spray or....resin?< that I can allmostt work with XD
Thanks again! And looove this tutorial!

R1KKu
06-19-2005, 02:34 PM
Hello! I just read through this Amazing Tutorial! And its perfect for making My tets. sword!
Although I am in a little bit of a dilemma.
In this process you said to use Fiberglass, which unfortunately I cant take the chemicals (make me pass out XDXDXD) so I'm not allowed to use them.
So my question is: Is there something else of use to harden the shaped Styrofoam besides fiberglass of any kind? Maybe a certain spray or....resin?< that I can allmostt work with XD
Thanks again! And looove this tutorial!

I think Melchior actually mentioned using Bondo in his tutorial, which is alot better than using fiberglass jelly and the mat/cloth, imo.

You really shouldnt be smelling the stuff anyways. With proper safety precautions, the Bondo shouldnt be too much of a problem. You would want to look into getting a respirator and chemical resistant gloves (raggedy clothing and a well ventilated area as well)

Ive seen other people post their suggestions for alternatives to coating the pink foam. Some included using gesso, polyurethane, mat board or a heavy duty paper, and even certain glues.

And Melchior, you know I love your tut........but.. my bf went a little crazy and cut out 2 guns and 4 swords and Ive still got half a sheet of the foam; they are taking over my sewing room!!! Look what you caused!!! :hafha: (haha, you know Im j/k)

inu-chan00
06-19-2005, 10:19 PM
Oh no, I dont go sniffing the stuff unprotected XDXDXD
I tried to use Resin outsdie with a mask and It already didnt turn out to well<<--- Sorry should have said earlier.
thought of using bondo, but my time is cutt short since the need by date is a mere 10 days away TT^TT<<-- should have said that too.

I've heard of people just using Primer and Resin serving as fiberglass, would that be sufficient ? When I have more time ill try to make a durable version. Right now I just want a nice decent and smooth looking sword.
Thanks for answereing :jjacks:

Katachi
06-20-2005, 02:04 PM
If you just want to do it fast, make your sword out of styrofoam, coat it with about 10 layers of latex house paint, then coat it with sandable primer and sand until it's smooth. If it's not, add another coat of primer and sand again. Then you can spray it any color you want.

Oh no, I dont go sniffing the stuff unprotected XDXDXD
I tried to use Resin outsdie with a mask and It already didnt turn out to well<<--- Sorry should have said earlier.
thought of using bondo, but my time is cutt short since the need by date is a mere 10 days away TT^TT<<-- should have said that too.

I've heard of people just using Primer and Resin serving as fiberglass, would that be sufficient ? When I have more time ill try to make a durable version. Right now I just want a nice decent and smooth looking sword.
Thanks for answereing :jjacks:

inu-chan00
06-20-2005, 07:24 PM
If you just want to do it fast, make your sword out of styrofoam, coat it with about 10 layers of latex house paint, then coat it with sandable primer and sand until it's smooth. If it's not, add another coat of primer and sand again. Then you can spray it any color you want.
OOhh I was mentioned of house laytex just A fuew minutes ago O.O
Sorry if this seems stwill be stupid but....Im sure the brushstrokes from the paint will become smooth after sanding, or is there a diffrent kind or brush to use? Sorry, this is my first time makeing such a complex (well to me) Prop.
Thanks for all the help!

Katachi
06-21-2005, 12:05 AM
OOhh I was mentioned of house laytex just A fuew minutes ago O.O
Sorry if this seems stwill be stupid but....Im sure the brushstrokes from the paint will become smooth after sanding, or is there a diffrent kind or brush to use? Sorry, this is my first time makeing such a complex (well to me) Prop.
Thanks for all the help!


1)don't worry about brush strokes, the stuff pretty much levels itself and dries THIN, which is why you need a few coats.

2)the sandable primer fills in any brushstrokes. do a few layers of that too.

hadokn
07-07-2005, 05:28 AM
http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=390606

I made these by gluing two 4'x2'x2" sheets of white polystyrene foam together. Then I cut that in half. I used a hot wire foam cutter to get the shape right. When it looked nice, I covered them in vinyl spackling compound and then sanded the crap out of them. Then I used Coat-It (http://www.tapplastics.com/shop/product.php?pid=30&) epoxy resin boat sealer for the shell. This stuff is really nice. The fumes aren't too bad, it's pretty cheap ($20 for enough to cover 25 sqft) and It doesn't burn your skin! It is really messy though. When the resin cured, I sanded some more and then I painted them. I'm probably going to add a few more coats of the resin, just to give it more strength (they got a couple dings from wearing them at AX last weekend) but overall I'm pretty happy with the stuff. Next I'm making a buster sword.

Anodyne
07-10-2005, 12:40 PM
Awesome tutorial, Melchior! It'll help me a LOT in making my weapon...

I've got a question though about making a handle for mine, since my sword is... well, as described in the series, a little 'unorthodox'. I'll attach a picture below to show you what I mean.

The handle of the sword seems very thin, but that's not too much of a problem. My problem is where to ATTACH the handle, because it seems to be right on the edge of the sword. What would you suggest to accomplish something like this?

RandomSchoolBoy
07-16-2005, 10:09 PM
Awesome tutorial, Melchior! It'll help me a LOT in making my weapon...

I've got a question though about making a handle for mine, since my sword is... well, as described in the series, a little 'unorthodox'. I'll attach a picture below to show you what I mean.

The handle of the sword seems very thin, but that's not too much of a problem. My problem is where to ATTACH the handle, because it seems to be right on the edge of the sword. What would you suggest to accomplish something like this?

I also have the same question ^^; At first I was planning on making Version 1 of Ichigo's sword, but for some reason while making it, I had the inspiration to make this sword to.

So I was wondering how would you attached the hilt to the rather large kitchen knife? Would it be possible with this foam technique or would I have to turn to wood crafting?

[edit]I'd also like to add, I would be so lost with out this tutorial and am truly greatful for everyones input in this thread ^^

Link-Jun
07-17-2005, 05:22 PM
I suggest using a polyisocyanurate foam instead of polystrene foam. It's the same type of foam used by carpenters to insulate siding on houses.

Polyiso insulation has more R-value per inch of thickness than expanded- or extruded-polystyrene insulation. Two-inch thick polyiso offers 40 percent better thermal performance than polystyrene of the same thickness. For those who don't know, the R-Value is a rating used to measure endurance against thermal energy (heat).

Also, polyiso is a thermoset insulation, whereas polystyrene is a thermoplastic insulation. Expanded and extruded polystyrenes are thermoplastic foams that soften at approximately 165 degrees F and melt at approximately 200 to 210 degrees F. Certain solvents used in cold-asphaltic mastics and single-ply adhesives will attack and dissolve the thermoplastic foams. Products such as petroleum based solvents ó commonly used in adhesives, coatings, paints, and stains ó must be allowed to evaporate before coming into contact with thermoplastic foams.

Polyiso insulation products are thermosets, which are manufactured as a rigid foam board. They will not soften or melt at temperatures used with the hot asphalt systems. Also, thermoset foams hold up well to adhesives.

I think you would have much less trouble with the epoxy "melting" away the foam if you use polyisocyanurate instead of polystyrene. Generally I use the polyiso as a template upon which I place sheets of polystyrene sheeting. This is different from polystyrene foam, as it is concentrated at a much higher density than the foam. It's the same type of plastic used on model cars and the like, except thicker. It probably isn't as rigid as fiberglass, but there is no need to Bondo the surface afterwards (imo Bondo is useless), and it is muuuch more lightweight than the combined fiberglass and Bondo. In case anyone didnt know, the Wonderflex material everyone seems to like is basically a thin polystyrene sheet bonded with a special thermoform adhesive, giving it its nifty low heat activation attributes. ^.^

Automotive paints are also highly compatible with the styrene sheeting, meaning that there is really no need to primer it first (unless you want that extra little bit of security).

Also, with the styrene sheeting, to make curved parts or really weird or funky shapes, you can make a negative mold for the shape you need, and use a heat gun to essentially melt the styrene to the shape of the mold.

As for the edges, whereas Bondo pretty much fails at maintaining a somewhat clean edge, styrene doesnt chip, bubble (unless you really go overboard with a heat gun, which is hard to do unless you try, lol), or flake off. Two sheets of styrene meeting at an angle along the edge of your sword or prop should be enough of an edge for most cosplayers, but if you really want it to be nice and clean, you can always take a dremel tool and sand along the edge.

Styrene sheeting, surprisingly, bonds really well to polyiso (actually, to just about any type of foam, including regular craft foam) with just the use of regular hot glue! However, if you want it to be just perfect, you could always invest in some styrene-compatible plastic cement, but depending on the size of your prop this could get expensive.

Anyway these are all just my suggestions, if you really want to use fiberglass, go for it! ^_^ Fiberglass can be much easier to use than styrene sheeting depending on the type of prop (in the tessaiga's case i would have used styrene though), especially when it comes to making full sized body suits (go to bioweapons.com ^.^). The downside to it is that it doesnt come out smooth once it's dry, and it's a pain in the neck to sand (u cant really sand fiberglass by hand, u need a dremel tool of some kind). You can coat it with a Bondo like substance and then sand that as an alternative to sanding the fiberglass itself, but as many people have already pointed out, that can lead to problems of its own. For the alucard guns that I am currently commissioning, I used the styrene and polyiso method, simply because of the detail that I needed in making a small prop like this, that I simply wouldnt get from using fiberglass resin.

Hope all this information is helpful! ^_^

Link-Jun
07-19-2005, 09:11 PM
Ive just done a bit of researching, and I think that polystyrene foam makes a good core, but only when it is extruded polystyrene. I noticed in the pictures the Melchior took of his foam core that his foam was expanded. Expanded polystyrene is much more susceptible to erosion by the fiberglass epoxy than extruded. And if at all possible (depends on availability and your budget), get high-density extruded polystyrene, it is very sturdy. Personally I like polyiso because its very resiliant to many epoxy solvents, but its hard to find polyisocyanurate foam in more than 1" thick sheets. Check your local Menards, that store has looots of foam insulation sheeting supplies, at pretty good prices.

tiffa
10-03-2005, 01:26 AM
omg you're the coolest person in the world.

Corvus_Luna
12-21-2005, 12:42 AM
Hello!
i'm a new cosplayer (never done it before) and i'm
making San's costume from Mononoke Hime. since this
method of making weapons looked really good (and
durable) i was going to try that for the dagger, spear
blade and (possibly) mask. my question is, there are
some raised designs on the blades and mask (if i
decide to make it out of fiberglass) so should i try
to carve them out of the foam and then do everything
or make the details out of bondo? i'm afraid of using
filler putty because it sounds like its kinda brittle.

if you could help me with this that would be
awesome-oh, and one more question, i live in Hawai'i
so finding things can be a little hard at times, is it
possible to just use regular styrafoam like the kind
you would get at Michaels (or here in Hawai'i, Ben
Franklens, lol) or does it have to be dense foam
insulation?
thanks so much for you tutorial! its awesome!
i think your tetsusaiga came out amazing, good job!!

Goonboy
12-21-2005, 06:11 AM
Do not try to do any intricate details with the fibreglass itself. I can't stress that enough to you. Fibreglass is too much of a pain in the ass to do little details with.

You'll be much better off adding small fiddly details after you've glassed it.

Corvus_Luna
12-21-2005, 12:29 PM
so my best bet would be to make the details with bondo?
also, those details are red, after i paint the whole thing with automotive paint is it ok to just use normal paint for the details?
and, last question, can i use normal styrofoam or does it have to be heavy duty insulator foam?
thanks so much for the feedback! with all this help my costume has to come out great! lol.

Corvus_Luna
12-22-2005, 06:40 PM
...anyone?

Corvus_Luna
12-28-2005, 07:41 PM
please??
i've never done something like this and i'm not exactly rich so knowing what i'm doing before i try it would be really helpful.
please help!!!:confused:

borzou
12-30-2005, 03:58 AM
I'm not very expirienced, but I will try to aid you with what I know...

You cannot make details with bondo. Bondo is a filler that makes your piece smooth and happy. You apply it, then you sand it (see instructions for specifics).

If you cannot afford foam, just use paper maché. Especially with the mask. I remember make awesome masks in 5th grade with newspapers and glue.

Since the spear blade and dagger are rather small pieces and you are on a tight budget, I suggest you avoid the fiberglassing technique in lieu of cardboard (latest craze :-P) or wood (serving man since 1,000,000 B.C.).

<soap box>There are two things I suggest you do though that may sound weird. Go through your hobby and craft stores and walk through all the aisles. Observe and thing of possiblities. Then go through the internet (got google?) and try finding more prop related forums (A Site About Props a.k.a. ASAP is a good one) to expand your knowledge. Prop building is not a matter of instant gratification, but rather time, dedication, and love. </soap box>

Corvus_Luna
12-30-2005, 01:44 PM
thank you! i guess i'll have to find another way to do the raised relief, oi.
i already have most of the supplies to do the fiberglassing technique, i just didn't want to have to buy them all over again if i messed up, and since they're small pieces i figured it would be good to use those for my first attempt with fiberglass. i don't want to have my first time be on some huge ten foot sword that i could easily ruin. i'll go through the craft store and see what i can find for the raised relief. thanks for the help!

borzou
12-31-2005, 12:17 AM
Screwing up is good too. It helps you learn and helps make your technique better for next time.

Corvus_Luna
12-31-2005, 11:59 AM
lol, true of course. thanks everyone for the help, i think i have enough info to start know.
oh, one more question, do you have to use automotive paint? or can you use acrylic??

Melchior
01-01-2006, 08:41 PM
Automotive paint is easy to use (as it's a spray) and available in the same store as bondo & fiberglass. I suppose you could use any kind of paint you wanted but the finish might not come out as good.

Good luck!

Corvus_Luna
01-02-2006, 01:00 PM
cool,i'll do the overall color (white) with automotive paint, its just those little details, there
http://www.nigels.com/images/misc/mononoke.jpg
on the spear, and there
http://www.projectanime.com/series/mononoke_hime_title.jpg
on the dagger that i didn't exactly want to try with spray paint.

Melchior
01-05-2006, 06:40 AM
You can always use a stencil...

dothacker2
01-13-2006, 12:16 PM
it seems the server that hosted your images has gone down :( or maybe just my connection...

vamphunterx
02-11-2006, 04:19 AM
You're right dothacker, the pictures are gone. Maybe you can repost them in a new place. We need those pictures, please

Inu Kruger
05-27-2006, 02:58 AM
Can anyone make a fiberglass Tetsusaiga for me? I need it for Otakon 06.

inuprincess
05-28-2006, 12:03 PM
The turtorialreally helped me with it.Thanks^^I helped a friend make it and it turned out really good.We could not of done it without your help.

UrMastrInuYasha
05-30-2006, 12:03 AM
To bad the images didn't work. Is it the large (transformed) Tetsusiaga, or the untransformed tetsusiaga?

Kuartz
06-02-2006, 04:31 AM
Its the large transformed one. If you can bear small preview pics, try googling tessaiga cosplay. Google should have thos lo-res previews :).

anyway, yeap, the images are down :bigcry: . by the sound of it it looks PRETTY nice too. would sir Melchior be so kind to upload them again please? :angel:


BTW im new in here. Ive been lurking around for a while though. I just had to register when I saw this tessaiga tutorial. Nice meeting you all :D

blackouts suck
07-13-2006, 01:50 PM
umm.... dont kno bout u ppl but these picture are are little red X's that wont
load

Beryl
07-14-2006, 09:30 AM
umm.... dont kno bout u ppl but these picture are are little red X's that wont
load
Yes. They're down. In the future, please take the time to notice that four out of the six posts before yours were about the images being down, before making a post to state the obvious.

The images are indeed really helpful, and while the guide is pretty good as-is, it's a lot easier to understand EXACTLY what is going on with images to accompany it. If anyone has them somewhere, don't be shy. :P

Edit - Something I heard from an accomplished propmaker is to use a spray glue called Super 77. From what I hear it (a) won't eat your foam, and (b) will hold your fiberglass cloth in place while you apply the resin (you'd brush it on, in this case), so that you don't have to worry about it getting it in the right place while it's covered in resin or having it move on you. Of course, you should test this with a scrap piece of foam before actually trying it on your prop.

princeofdark17
03-04-2007, 05:42 PM
y need a traduction of this tutorial to spanish plis°°°°

nghtmrofdarknes
07-03-2007, 02:46 PM
Did anyone happen to save the pics before they were lost?

Beryl
07-03-2007, 10:38 PM
Did anyone happen to save the pics before they were lost?
If they did, I'm sure they would have come forward sooner. The pictures have been down for a year and a half.

Odds are slim, which is a shame. They were very helpful, and a lot of people would benefit from the visual aid.

ray57913
07-26-2007, 12:55 AM
two questions.
1) can you repost you pictures cause the links are dead.
2) did you use any kind of sealant on the foam to protect it from the fiberglassing?

Beryl
07-26-2007, 08:54 AM
two questions.
1) can you repost you pictures cause the links are dead.
2) did you use any kind of sealant on the foam to protect it from the fiberglassing?
Try reading the rest of the thread. In the post right above yours (made by myself, actually), it was mentioned that the pictures have been down for a year and a half. They aren't coming back. If anyone had saved them, they would have been reposted by now.

Additionally, if you read the tutorial, no sealing step is listed. It's never a bad idea, but Melchior omitted it in this case.

Melchior
08-25-2007, 08:35 AM
Yea, um... I never read these forums anymore and I haven't been to a con in about 2 years or so, and the hosting died awhile ago. I uploaded the photos to my photobucket account, so I've updated the original post to reflect their new location.

http://s135.photobucket.com/albums/q134/parttimehanyou/Tessaiga/?start=all in case you missed it.

akio
08-26-2007, 09:19 AM
thanks for reposting the pics!

Joellen
08-01-2008, 10:38 PM
what about the handle? how do you get it in?

Beryl
08-03-2008, 10:46 AM
what about the handle? how do you get it in?

You may wish to try reading the tutorial before asking a question. Here, let me help you out with that.


Handle: I used a 1" diameter dowel rod, and lathed down the part of it that would be sunk into the blade. Drill a deep hole (12-18") into the end of the blade, and then stick the handle in. You may want to drip industrial adhesive in the hole too to help keep it from moving around. I also drilled into the handle through the blade and put a screw in to help keep the foam from breaking off inside the blade.