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Runic Flash Drive

18 Jun

So a little while back Trollsmyth commissioned me to make him a flash drive cover. He said he wanted something with a troll on it, along with the phrase “Grimnir’s lip-streams” written in runes along the side. I decided to throw in “Trollsmyth” in runes on it as well. After researching around online I decided that it would be cool to make the flash drive into the shape of Thor’s hammer.

So, I went out to the store, got a flash drive, and took it apart with a razor.

I then went about creating a troll design. I found some and altered them to suit my needs. I wanted something non complex, with thick black lines. It had to be small, the entire surface area was 1 inch wide by 2 inches long, at least for the main body of the drive cover.

I worked out the runes (as seen above) and made sure they would fit inside the small on centimeter space running alongside the drive. I later would realize that I needed to flip these runs into a mirror image because of the way I was transposing them onto metal. (It’s amazing all the little things you have to think of or else risk ruining an entire project.)

I decided to try and transfer the image onto the metal via chemical etching. Basically I would take the image printed out on photo paper, heat up a piece of brass, place the image on the brass, and then iron on the ink. The image would then transfer onto the brass from the paper.  Finally I would soak the plate of brass in a solution of hydrochloric acid, found in pool cleaners, and the brass would begin to burn. The parts of the brass covered by the image would take longer to burn, thus there would be a color contrast, transferring the image to the metal.

Despite the dog’s help, the print did not transfer. A few spots did here and there, but I just ended up burning the paper and almost ruining the iron. I also tried soaking the plate in the solution, but it didn’t do anything.

With that plan foiled, I went to the craft store and got some thin copper for embossing. I also found a little wooden keychain thing and cut it to put the flash drive in.

Next I measured some paper and wrote out the runs. I pressed the metal, tracing out the letters and designs.

One of the cool little things about this flash drive is that there is an orange light on it. I cut out the eyes on one of the plates and covered it with a small piece of translucent paper. This way when you plug it in, the troll’s eyes will glow.

After I was done with the body I had to build the cap. This was really difficult. I found a little female USB slot and attached it to a bit of wood. The original piece of wood I was going to use ended up not working out, so I had to make everything out of scratch.

When I finally got the shape I wanted I glued the copper on to it.

With the flash drive body finally assembled, Trollsmyth wanted me to cover the thing in a green platina. This would give it the oxidized green copper look.

Once it dried I took a bit of fine sand-paper to it. This scratched off the green platina on the portions of the copper that were raised, like the troll’s face and the runes, leaving the green on the shallower parts.


Gear Mace

10 Jan

So I thought it might be cool to make a mace out of a gear. Sorta steampunk/medieval ish. I’m not sure I’m happy with how this one turned out. I think it needs a little more decoration.

So first I had to find some gears. You might not know it, but gears are a real pain in the ass to find. You would think they’d be everywhere, but most are buried deep inside engines. So, with that in mind I drove all around SC trying to find a junk yard. After 3 hours and 2 failed attempts I found one, but I didn’t have any tools to pull my own parts. So, I drove back home (30 mins away) and went out another day.

After a day of searching I found several gears including this one:

I then attached it to a thick staff that I had painted black. At the very top I spray painted 2 washers gold and got a little mirror flower ornament at Lowes. I put that on there to give it a nice touch.

I then slid on another gear to act as a hand guard, and then screwed on a heavy pommel gear to help and try to balance the thing.

Spring loaded shield

29 Dec

For the longest time I thought the coolest accessory to a cane sword would be a spring loaded shield. The shield would be a small buckler that was collapsible and strapped to your arm. When folded it would just look like some weird rectangular box on your arm, but then when you hit a button, BAM the shield shoots out into position. I could never figure out how I would make this until I picked up a wine opener one day and had an epiphany.

As the wine opener screw went down, the gears flung the arms up. I figure if I attach a spring to this, I can have the wine opener pull the arms of shield open and into place.

To do this, I first had to get a wine opener and remove the rivets holding it together.

I then cut the screw off and ground the nub down. After that I drilled a hole for the spring to fit into.

I then spent forever trying to figure out how to build a housing for the gears, so it would sit on this flat plate of metal that I would then strap to my arms. Eventually I realized that I had the housing the entire time, I just sawed off the part of the wine opener that fit around the lip of the bottle.

Once I figured out how to securely hold the spring down at the other end, I then went about measuring the with and lengths of the blades. I decided to make the shield 10 inches roughly in diameter, so each shield blade was 5 inches.

After I finished the measurements and cut out a piece of cardboard in the correct dimensions, I then transferred the shape on to a plate of 16 gauge steel.

Once I traced out 8 pieces, I carefully cut them out with a reciprocating saw.

After I had those plates cut out I spent 10 minutes filing down the edges so they weren’t razor sharp. I then punched and drilled holes into each of them so they would rotate on an axis.

I then bent the edges of each plate, depending upon what order they would be in from bottom to top. This way as the top most plate flew out first, the  back of it would catch the lip of the next plate down, and pull that plate forward, only to do the same to the preceding plate.

I then attached the top most plate to the wine opener arms with a brass rivet.

I lined some copper on the leading edge of both topmost plates because I was originally planning on cutting out a falcon or eagle shape over the spring, this way the bird would look to be spreading it’s wings as the shield flung open. (Pretty cool huh? ~_^)

Well after seeing the thing put together, I realized just how rough the back edges of the plates look. I am now planing to cover them in brass or copper as well and might make it a bat instead of a falcon.

As I started to do that, I realized just how much of a bitch cutting out each little brass strip would be, so I only did two. After that I cut a little bat face out of copper. I drilled out the eyes so the brass would shine through. I then riveted the mouth to the body and cut little feet at the other end, with holes for the screws.

To see the shield spring into action (~_^) watch this 3 second clip of what happens when I pull the pin.

Ta da!

Now I just need to make the strap to attach it to my arm, and possibly a fingered gauntlet to go along with it.

Wax horn

25 Dec

This is a very simple wax horn for a bow string that I made. I took a drinking horn, then cut it in half a little below where I wanted the wax to come out. I then put the wax in a plastic bag and ran it under warm water for a few minutes until it was malleable. I then shoved it into the horn and wrapped it in leather.

Simple haversack

25 Dec

This was a really simple haversack that I made in one afternoon. It only took 2 pieces of linen, one for the bag, another for the strap.

Archer gloves

25 Dec

Here is a shooting glove I made. Unfortunately it didn’t fit standards in my living history group so I can’t use it there, but it was still fun to make.


25 Dec

Here is a really simple rosary I made for my 1471 War of the Roses archer portrayal. I simply went to Micheal’s craft store and bought some hemp twine, and several packets of beads. The cross I used was the cross that was given to my as a church acolyte when I was a kid. I strung the beads together, 10 at a time, and separated each group of ten with a larger bead, or “gaud”. I got the ideas and information from this really helpful website on Paternosters.