Tuesday, October 06, 2009

swords

O'Melay kids are really rough on stuff. in fact everything we have ever loved is now broken--no joke. over the past six years tristan has had several swords--more than ten. from plastic play swords to bamboo karate sparing swords. none of them have survived. the longest surviving sword was one of my manufacture. it was thin enough to fit into a long extinct scabbard that came with an inferior short lived purchased sword. it lasted and lasted and i was convinced that it would pass the grade and others might need to be constructed for his siblings using the same paradigm. alas it failed and the flaw that caused it was not easily fixable. the wood split down it's natural grain. that happened several months ago.

every night since all O'Melays have dreamed of nothing except swords. i got daily request from at least one O'Melay that they needed a sword. finally the stars aligned and the weather forced indoor activities only. sword making began in earnest.

i began with a thin board of oak that i had planed down at bobs for the old thin sword. i cut the board in half and glued them together making sure that the wood grain crossed so no further splitting could occur easily. here is a piece of the laminated stock.

i cut out the shape of three swords making it a single piece from tip to end of the hilt. i cut out a guard to protect little hands while crossing blades.

i glued two pieces of the the thinner oak on as the hilt to hold the guard in place.

the final product is incredibly strong and should not have the earlier flaw of the obsolete sword. tristan is practicing his most threatening grimace.

i also fixed the old broken shield. i predict that it won't last two weeks. but the sword should last for several months if not years. as long as they don't leave it out in the rain or let the grass grow up around it and destroyed by the mower.

i could never sell these things since i'd have to charge over a hundred dollars for them. even at that price it wouldn't be for any kind of a profit. maybe if i had more than two clamps and some other power tools my production could increase. currently they are mostly hand made. files and chisels remove oak wood very slowly.

now that all three sword are finished the kids are out on some adventure. i made each sword a little different so they can easily tell which one belongs to whom. toly's hilt grip is smaller for his little hand while they get progressively thicker for kassi and tristan respectively.
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