June 29, 2013

Dokuganryu, you have too many swords - pt.1

On 21st June I started working on Masamune's six "dragon claw" swords while I was at mom's place over the Midsummer.

Masamune Date, "Dokuganryu" (One-eyed Dragon)
The first thing I did was a sword pattern on cardboard paper so that I would get all six swords as identical as possible. To my help I used a decoration katana to trace the curve of the blade.

Blade traced
I drew the tsuka (handle) by free hand and then I marked where the blade starts and tsuka ends with a line across and cut the pattern out.

Cut out sword pattern "they see me rollin' they hatin'" style
My stepdad went outside to find some usable wooden planks for me and he cut and trimmed them to a fitting size with a machine. When I got the first ready plank I took it inside, picked up a pencil and tape and taped my sword pattern on it and traced it to the wood. I made sure to avoid the "branch spots" as much as possible when tracing because those are weak points...
Oh, I added a few millimeters width to both sides of the tsuka on all the swords to make it stand out a little bit more; my paper pattern had blade and tsuka same width.

One sword shape traced into wood
Soon enough he was done fixing the planks (yay thanks!) and I had seven sword-to-be's to, well, turn into swords.

Yes, there's one extra just in case I mess up.. and if I don't I'll save it for a future cosplay instead ~
I traced the sword shape to all the wood planks and then took them outside for sawing.. with a jigsaw.

Hello my friend <3
Sawing in progress..
One sword cut out!
The first two swords took some time to saw out but then I figured how to place the plank and stuff and so the remaining ones went much quicker. Of course when I had the three first ones done I had to try Masamune style sword wielding!

It works but it's pretty uncomfortable at this early stage... xD
At this point I got called inside for Midsummer dinner so I took a break and good that, my back was hurting. I returned some time later to saw out the remaining three more that I needed. The seventh extra sword I didn't cut out.

Sword gathering!
(all swords are spruce except the one farthest to the left which is black alder)
That was all the progress I did on the first day. I worked on some other cosplay parts the following days but on 26th June I continued a little. I took one of the swords and with a rasp in hand I started filing the blade shape onto it. After the blade shape was okay I took some rougher grit sand paper and sanded the blade edge nicer.

Blade taking form (rasp use)
The sword in the front has been filed and sanded (blade edge only)
That day I didn't feel like fixing the other swords because I was doing Okita's armor at the same time and it had an earlier deadline (read: Skecon 5-7 July) than Masamune, so yeah. But today on 29th June I went ahead and filed and sanded the remaining 5 swords and gosh do my hands hurt now! Yes, I did it all by hand because I'm dumb and want to do it the way I'm used to. :DD There would have been tools (like a mini/hand-size carpenter's plane and a machine-sander-thing, you know, those that look a bit like an iron and I mean that iron you iron clothes with. lol) which would have made it easier but lolnope, I always do things the hard way and now my sore arms thank me for that. But I can't help it that I prefer to have maximum "hand/touch/feel/whatever precision control" when working with wood, if that even makes sense. But at least I got the job done!

Filed (aka shaped) and roughly sanded blade edges

More progress should get done soon enough and feel free to kick me in the butt if I don't so stay tuned!


Monderleuchtet Verwandler said...

Woah... how can you do all these swords by hand? It's such a lot of work! You're very brave, good luck :'D

Psycho Cat said...

Looking good and wow so manny swords and wow really. Keep up the good work =D

Lanvi said...

NICE! Looking really good :)
But are you sure the handles won't become too bulky, if you leave them that much larger than the blades?
Because you're still gonna have to wrap them up and everything.
If you remember from my blog about Zoro's swords, taking the sword apart would've helped a lot in taking the measurements and you could've seen the actual size of the tang that goes inside the handle.
But you're doing an amazing job with those rasps and sanding paper. I can't wait to see the results :)
Keep up the great (and hardy) work!

Arawn Elidd said...

Those swords look awesome! Great work. :D I, too, am a big fan of doing things the hard way for maximum precision! >]