Monday, May 30, 2016

Gun Blade 2

Several years ago I made a Gun Blade out of foam core, insulation foam, crafting foam and some random stuff...

You can see my original build by clicking here.

As cool as this thing was, I didn't take it with me when I moved to Arizona.  So while cleaning up my workshop one day I found a nice piece of thin plywood that would make an ideal blade for a new gun blade.

For the handle I'll use the MDF boards that used to be my old router table top.

I used a toy revolver to trace the shape of the handle.

Since the gun handle will also be the sword handle, I angled the grip a bit.

Next I cut out the shape with my jigsaw.

Then I rounded the edges on the router table.  I also drilled holes by the trigger... I could cut out that area with the jigsaw.

The handle feels good.

Then I placed it next to the plywood.

I started sketching ideas I had for the blade...

...but I have to fix something first.  Plywood this thin has a very hard time staying straight.  This piece is no exception.

So I decided to use some PVC pipe I had hanging around to both straighten & stiffen the plywood, plus give this gun blade a barrel.

I traced the end of the pipe against the MDF handle.

Then I used a fostner bit to start carving out a groove for the barrel.

It took a while...

...but it was worth it.  The barrel sits nicely in the groove.

Next I trimmed a bit of the sides near the grooves...

...and the CAREFULLY drilled out a new groove in the handle.

This groove will hold the plywood end of the blade.

Next I pondered on ways to cut a piece of PVC pipe lengthwise.  After a lot of thought I took 2 pieces of 1x2 wood and sandwiched the pipe in between them.  Then I clamped it tightly.

Next I flipped it all over and rested the 2 ends of the 1x2's on 2 pieces of scrap wood.

I drew a straight line down the middle using a marker and ruler.

Then I cut along that line as best as I could with the jigsaw.

And I did it!  2 halves!

Next I sanded the edges smooth.

I put the plywood into the handle and placed the pipe where it should be...

...then I revised my guides for the blade shape.

And then it was finally time to cut out the blade!

Cutting against the grain on plywood usually causes a lot of blow-outs, so I cleaned and smoothed the edges with my sander.

Now it was time for a little assembly.  Once again I had to ponder how I should go about doing this.

To bond the PVC and plywood I'll use some Epoxy.  But to keep everything straight and level I'll need to clamp things down (remember - the plywood is warped).  The shape of the blade made it a little difficult to simply clamp it down, so I used a combination of clamps and my clamping bench dogs to hold everything in place.

With my rig set up I mixed some epoxy...

...then applied it to the pipe and wood and let it dry.

After drying for 20 minutes I removed the blade and the plywood is almost completely straight!

I repeated the process of epoxy and clamping for the other side, but since the whole thing couldn't lay down level, I simply used clamps.

At this point I mixed some more epoxy and set the handle in place.

While it was drying I cut out a paper template for some extra details to add.

I traced 2 of these shapes - back to back - onto a spare piece of MDF.

I then cut out the shape with the jigsaw...

...and then I rounded one side on the router table.

Lastly I cut the shape in half...

...and then glued it it place.  I secured it with some small brad nails.

And this thing is looking pretty darn cool so far!

...but I still have a few things left to do.

I cleaned up the nail holes and some other imperfections with some wood filler.

One thing that needs to be fixed is the back.  The insides of the pipe can be seen.

So I used my multipurpose tool with a cutting head to cut out some space between the handle and the pipe.

Then I added a thin piece of plywood with more epoxy...

...and when it dried I trimmed it with a hand saw.

I started seeing some gaps open up between the pipe and the plywood...I guess I was handling it before it had fully dried.  So I clamped it all again and let it sit for several hours.

While that was drying I cut a few strips of MDF.

Then I glued and clamped those pieces together.

Once that dried I straightened the edges at the table saw.

Then I cut out a piece at the miter saw.

All this was supposed to be for a rounded magazine to go on the sides.

However it was not turning out right, and so I chucked it.

Instead I cut some more thin plywood...

...sanded the edges...

...and then glued and nailed them to the sides.

Then I added some screws to the handle.

I also sanded the front of the barrel so it had a slight bevel.

Then I cleaned it up and prepped it for paint.

I put a few coats of glossy black on mainly the handle and the barrel.  

I didn't focus much on painting the blade since I plan on using aluminum tape for the blade.

Applying this stuff can be tricky.

But for the most part I did a good job.

To give you an idea how big this thing is, my worktable that the gun blade is resting on is 4-feet wide.

I couldn't really think of anything else I wanted to do to this gun blade, so I figured it was done.

It's nice and light and will probably last longer than the foam one I built years ago.

There's not much room left on my walls to hang things, but luckily it fit in one of the corners of my workshop.

Thanks for reading!

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