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Thread: my son is nuts

  1. #1
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    my son is nuts

    Yes, the doctor. He has the family inherited bad shoulders. Two surgeries on one of them so far. Now, he is taking up a new martial arts class and wants me to make something for him.
    He is taking lessons on how to use the German longsword. That sounds real good for the shoulders. Not.
    Oh, well. He wants me to make him a training sword. They are called 'wasters'. Not sure what gets wasted. The sword or the user.
    Of course, I said yes. Not much turning on it. Just the pommel as far as I can see. The rest will be hand shaping.
    Tapering the sides of the blade is what I'm puzzling over the most. The wood will be hickory or ash. I'm considering using the drawknife but not sure how hard those woods will be to work that way. Or, possibly, a plane. Last time I picked up a plane it was to post a picture here. Can't remember the time before that. Don't know if I have ever even really used one.
    Any thoughts on how you would proceed would be appreciated.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails waster sword.jpg  
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  2. #2
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    Mebbe a job for Mr. Beltsander?

  3. #3
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    I just can't help myself....something comes to mind about the nut not falling far from the tree.

    Frank you could use a block plane & start just up from the point & take a couple or more passes & step back a little & take a couple of passes etc.

    (edit)

    You said the sides is that the flat area's what I was thinking of was the edges. Maybe do the edges last & make a jig & cut the sides on the table-saw.
    Last edited by Bart Leetch; 06-30-2011 at 07:00 PM.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  4. #4
    Bart is right. My first choice would be a block plane, but then that's usually my first choice on anything small. The other thing you could do is grab a spokeshave and have at it.

    I did a similar thing when my son (then aged 12) wanted a katana. Turned out pretty well. He still plays with it 19 years later.

  5. #5
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    Can't speak to hickory but I spoke shave ash without issue. Just make sure you are drawing "down hill". If the blank is a rectangle I would be tempted to rasp the bulk of the material off to within 1/8" or so and then shave the rest.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  6. #6
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    Yep, rasp then shave or use belt sander was one of my thoughts.
    Now, he wants it all, except pommel and hilt in one piece. For strength that is probably best. The hilt will probably have to be split two piece.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  7. #7
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    Frank, my brother is one of those "nuts". He has black belts in several martial art forms and they have served him well in his job as a police officer. He has been a trainer for the Tampa police department for a while and trains swat team members in several disciplines.

    He has used those "practice swords" for years and I can attest that they do a number on snakes and turtles. We used to hunt snapping turtles and the hickory sword put several of them out for the count.

    If I remember right one of the most important things when making a wooden sword is to make sure the growth rings are straight from the handle to the tip. In other words you don't want any growth rings that pass through from one side to the other.
    I'm a certifiable tree hugger. (it's a poor mans way of determining DBH before cutting the tree down)

  8. #8
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    Frank i dont think he is nuts. He is just a man acting out his boyhood later in life. We all used to play at the Robin Hood stuff when we were younger.

    I think you got some real good feedback. My choice would be to get a rectangular blank, turn the handle then use a spokeshave to bevel it.

    I think Pauls point about grain is probably the most important issue.

    I guess if the grain crosses out from one side to the other one whack and the wood could split and you have two half.

    Suppose the hardest part now will be finding a blank.

    Just thinking aloud but what about hard maple. This is where we need all the wood guys who know how to get a blank you need.

    I suppose its got to be a balance between strength and weight. Too light and you can see it causing such vibration in the handle as to shake one to the bone. Too heavy and how the heck do you lift it. Interesting project thats for sure.

    What about purple heart. From what i learnt from Ed down in Toronto the martial arts guys use that wood for other stick weapons.
    cheers

  9. #9
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    Rob, from what he said about the whacking they take, I believe maple might not be a good choice. I have some ash that, for now, looks like it will be the wood of choice.
    I understand the fun of taking martial arts classes. I did it years ago. But, his shoulder has had two surgeries and is in worse shape than mine. He messed it up doing martial arts after the first surgery. That's where I got the "nuts" part.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  10. #10
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    take your ash and drawout the shape with the grain running straight threw like paul said then after you have the basic outline drawn you can cut it to shape on the band saw then take the bevel back areas and do that on the band saw to get rough shape then hit it with either a sander or rasp to get to final size the hilt can be made in one piece then split to fit around the sword frank the round part of the handle can be done with a rasp as well.. and ash will take good beating and hickory is even better,, the key is the grain orientation and the tightness of the growth rings..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

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