tirsdag 28. juli 2015

Vorpal Blade - Alice Madness Returns

This is a guest entry from Stickweeds crafting and cosplay. He is a blacksmith as well as a cosplayer and as a commission I asked him to forge me a Vorpal Blade. And it turned out beautiful. 

Even though this is not a "do this at home" prop, I still wanted to share with you the awesome process of turning a piece of a car into a knife. Here is the story told by the smith himself.

How to Vorpal blade
First thing I did when I made the Vorpal blade, was of course, getting a template. That was the easy part.

Then I had to go find the right material. As some might think, steel ain't just steel, the carbon level has to be right. Of course one could just buy steel made for knifes ready to be cut and formed. I didn't like that idea, so I went to an old farm where we found a ancient Range Rover. We ripped the suspension from the wreck with a force untold to human kind! It was brutal, but yet very elegant.

Now, the reason I choose this kind of steel, is that spring steel, it treated correctly makes a very efficient blade material.

Now the fun and... hot part, shaping the blade! At first my piece was bent and way to thick, so I had to beat some sense into it, first by bringing out my sledge hammer to make the rough shape. This is two person job, one to hammer and one to hold and steer the steel.  

Once the it starts to look like a knife, we change to using a regular hammer.

When the shape is as it should be, the grinding begins, where I grind of slagger, and polishing up the blade.

Leaf pattern. 
Now i had a clean blade with the right shape, next step... ACID TRIP!.. or etching as it is normally called. I used a method called electrolysis.

I covered the blade in electric insolating tape, made sure it was put on real tight. Then I drew up the whole flower leaf thingy. I used a scalpel to cut out a negative of the pattern.

Once it was ready, I made a mix of acetic acid and salt. My etching ”machine” was made from a 12V 1A car battery, (there's a lot of car in this knife). I connected the positive end directly to the steel, and the negative end to a cotton ball soaked in the acid/salt mix, then i simply pressed the cotton ball onto the parts i wanted to etch, for four minutes to each area.

And thus the blade was made, now the handle!
(Note from Chrix; as she thought a lot of people would like to hold the knife, she specified that it should not be sharp. But it can be... really sharp.)

Handle this!
I wanted the handle to be special, not some carved wood or anything like that. So I went with a full cast in bronze. This was new to me, and I had to try out a few attempts before I got it right. My first attempt was poorly researched, and that went back to bite me, literally. I was being impatient with the plaster, so there was still water bound in it when i poured 1200 Celsius hot bronze into the cast. As you might have guessed, that made the water expand, thus pressing the molten bronze out of the cast at a unhealthy speed. After that episode I changed to sand casting instead, which yielded much better results. 

The model for the handle i carved out in wax, it took one hell of a time!

Once the wax model was done, it was pressed into the casting sand, leaving a prefect imprint. Feeling bold, i mounted the knife inside the mold, so that the molten bronze would bind it self to the blade, very risky since I could fuck the entire thing up to a point where i had to redo everything. Lucky this was a success!

All there was left was to finish of the look of the blade, grinding and polishing of excess material and making fancy as fuck.

And so the Vorpal Blade came to life! Chrix also wanted a stand for this blade and I made a wood stand so the knife can always be in the center of attention. 

Last note from Chrix
If you would like your own Vorpal blade or anything else made from steel and fire, contact Stickweeds crafting and cosplay. He is open for commissions ;) 

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