Side-project Swords

We all have things we do to ground ourselves. Call it procrastination, or centering, or meditation, or just a hobby. Sometimes we turn to mental escapism, through movies or video games or novels, or to physical escapism, getting out in nature or otherwise away from home or office. So long as they don’t reach the point of interfering with the other things required for functional adulting, it’s healthy.

One of the things that I turn to when I can is making things. Masks, knives, swords, other props, sometimes costume stuff… especially at times when the work I’m “supposed” to be doing involves sitting in front of a computer and being purely an academic, it can be grounding to work with something real, something like non-intellectual problem-solving, and something with tangible progress. It’s also nice sometimes to work on a project that isn’t directly connected to my career and being judged for my expertise. When I’m working on a sword handle or something like that, I sometimes screw up, but nobody’s disappointed with me but me, and I can just move on. I’m no Lewis Shaw, or Jesse Belskey, or Tom Fiocchi… and I’m not pretending to be.

One of these I got as far as gluing the leather grip on before realizing I didn’t like it, it was too fat and not elegant, so I ripped the leather back off and re-shaped it. And that was fine. Granted, I don’t always have the time for projects like this really, and there are plenty of other things I should be working on – and am, in my own bursts – but it’s nice to have been able to spend some time on these. Apart from maybe a little more polishing, I think they’re done.

C8BD3611-601B-4042-A46E-9078C28FF24CThese are more of the LG Martial Arts hardware on Tinker line blades, as discussed in a previous post.  Pending the sudden acquisition of a forge and welding gear (and the time to learn how to use it all well) this is probably as close as I’ll come to making my own steel swords for now.

The end product is pretty satisfying, although the ceilings in my new basement are low enough and full of exposed duct work, pipes, and bare bulbs that swinging them around much isn’t an option there. I’m a bit worried that the humidity here is enough of a factor that even just going back and forth between the dehumidifier-controlled basement shop/storage and the outside might change the fit enough to risk something cracking if I made any of these too tight a fit, but hopefully things like the grip wraps will help with that, and the wood handle is sealed as well for that reason. Not sure when I’ll get to play with these for real, but it’s something to look forward to. One of these days I want to pick up a sharp blade blank and try some cutting practice with one of these too, but that might need to wait until I’ve established better relations with the neighbors…



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