The weapons are presented in rough chronological order, hopefully showing an increasing level of skill.
This was made the day after the meqleH first appeared on Deep Space Nine, even before the weapon had a name. I traced the pattern from a VCR freeze-frame. One mistake I made was in not beveling the edge of the pattern. That resulted in rip-up in the mold. That extra metal had to be cut off and the beveled edge needed to be filed. It's much harder to file metal than it is to file wood so I learned a valuable lesson.
This is, simply stated, a cast aluminum spear point. The pattern I was working with did not have a tang but probably should have. One limitation was the size of the flask; the box in which it was cast. There was just enough room for the spear point and gates. No room for a tang. That would need a larger flask.
|Super-Deformed Sword of Kahless
This weapon is modeled on the Sword of Kahless but it has been scrunched down to be one handed. I literally took a drawing of the full size sword, scanned it and changed the dimensions using a graphics editor. The pattern was made from 1/4 inch plywood and then cast in aluminum. I have a second casting in bronze, affectionately called the Brass Knuckles of Kahless.
Modeled on the knife seen in The Search for Spock, this is a hefty knife. It is cast in 6 pieces. The blades pattered using 1/4 plywood and the hilt made from stacked wooden dowels. That wood pattern was used to make a metal pattern and, once cleaned up, that was used to make the final product.
In final form, the quillon blades are movable but, since the construction is essentially solid aluminum, there is no space for a spring mechanism.
The 6-piece model was a lot of work so I made a second pattern that casts the entire knife as a single piece. I also made a plaster "pocket" into which the main blade and hilt patterns sit before molding. This makes it easier to cast and casts the two as a single piece.
I admit it, this is a straight-out copy of a resin kit that I borrowed from a friend of mine.
This weapon was made in two parts. First, a casting of just the handle was made. A notch was cut in that to allow a plywood pattern of the blade to be inserted. That whole thing became the pattern for this single-piece casting. In doing it this way, I now have a grip pattern into which any design blade may be cast.
I called it the Ribsplitter because it reminded me of an old-style can opener, oversized for opening up a rib cage in a similar motion.
|Sword of Kahless
This was the largest, most difficult and ultimately unsuccessful casting I ever made. I custom built the box into which the sand for the casting was to be packed. It was 52"x22"x6" and, when packed full of wet sand weighed nearly 300 pounds.
The nature of casting required that I be able to lift off the top part of the box to remove the pattern and cut channels through which the metal would flow. This meant that a 52"x22"x5" piece of wet sand had to support it's own weight. If you've ever built a sand castle, you can imagine that is near to impossible.
The first attempt was a complete failure. After 3 hours of ramming sand into the mold, the sand collapsed under it's own weight just as I was putting the mold back together. The second attempt went better. I added something called "soldier cores," pieces of dowel rod to give the sand strength. It worked. Sort of.
The aluminum had to be poured pretty hot to ensure that it stayed liquid through the very thin mold of the blade. Nearly 2000 degrees. As that metal cooled, it shrank. But now it was trapped in the narrow confines of the mold. The casting literally tore itself apart. Five hours of work down the tubes.
The third attempt added additional risers, reservoirs of hot metal that allow for shrinkage without it occuring in the blade itself. It was nearly a success. While the casting was complete and there were no tears, there were micro-fractures along the edge and cutting through the gates (the extra metal from the channels) revealed a great deal of tension in the metal. The sword is very brittle and rough handling could snap the blade.
This brittleness could be lessened with annealing, heating the metal to around 900 degrees for several hours so that it becomes just a little soft, allowing the tensions to dissipate. Unfortunately, I don't have access to that sort of equipment. Besides, it's not worth it.
Casting small items is fine but, historically, casting of weapons was merely a time-saving device for mass production. The metal was poured into a mold and then worked using traditional forging methods to give the weapon it's final form. This particular weapon was more an exercise of the technology. It has produced something that, with a lot of work, could hang on a wall.
Modeled after the weapon seen in TNG, it is two halves of a smaller-sized betleH mounted on a shaft. The patterns were made with 3/8" plywood instead of the normal 1/4" because I was having trouble getting the metal to flow properly. This makes the overall weight of the weapon a little heavy. I would prefer the 1/4".
My original intention was to have the 'aqleH shown above with one blade longer than the other. Forced to use the 3/8" thickness would make the weight even more unwieldy. Instead, I took the longer blade and mounted it on a shorter haft, more like an axe. The counterweight on the other end is a racquetball cast in solid aluminum.
While not a cast, bladed weapon, the Armageddon 3000 is quite a work of art. It's based on a block of pine board, some mailing tubes, an industrial sized toilet paper dispenser, a few soda bottles, some hose, wire and miscellaneous odds and ends. It represents an epic weapon with a coil gun, particle beam accelerator, shotgun with huge drum magazine, telescopic site, flamethrower, bayonet, circular saw, chemical and biological weapon dispenser, dual Pentium processors, AM/FM stereo, and 0.5 kiloton tactical nuclear grenade. I did cast a few pieces of it. The .45 Colt grips, the flash guard on the end of the barrel and the mount for the bayonet and laser designator were cast and machined.
The safety goggles are cast aluminum as well.
I built this pirate cutlass for Warrior's Weekend. It's a plywood blade covered with aluminum foil. The nice part about this is the basket hilt. I made it years ago, originally for an SCA sword. It's 14 gauge steel held together with iron rivits. Someday I'd like to mount it to a weapon worthy of such a hilt, perhaps a mace or war hammer.
It's a long story that you can read at events at Dover 1998 but the upshot is that it is an oar made to look like a paddle-shaped axe. Actually, it looks more like a paddle appropriate for use in an ascencion rite of passage. "Get the oar!"
|Sabre (unfinished project)
I have an Indian talwar blade that has no grip. When I was still at the science center, I was working on a pattern for a crosspiece, grip and pommel that I would cast in bronze. That idea has been killed but I still want to make a grip for this sword. The talwar has a halftang and I'm not sure whether I want to build the grip with that or cut the base of the blade to make a longer tang.
|norghHo' (concept design)
The Klingon Imperial Weapon Guild sponsored a contest to design a qutluch. This design was inspired by South Pacific sword-clubs made with shark's teeth lashed to a shaft. In the end, it looked more like some European sword breaker parrying weapons.
|http://www.tasigh.org/dochmey/nuhmey.html -- Revised: 6 July 2002
Copyright © 2002 Kevin A. Geiselman