Friday, October 30, 2015

Processing... processing...

We're finally getting a grasp on the harvesting. 

Which translates to a kitchen buried in produce and lots and lots of processing.

 Anyone want Jerusalem artichokes?

 Shredding and pounding cabbage into sour kraut.

 Seeding hot peppers.
 Grinding meat for freezer.
 Canning applesauce past 8pm.

 Weekends are for exploring and enjoying the color in the Porkies. It's been one amazing fall!

 And rainy days are for carving pumpkins! 


Mine (Toothless from my favorite movie: How to train your dragon):

And Donna's:


Happy harvesting!

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Birth of a Sword

The Birth of a Custom Wooden Sword..

Andrew here. I've been meaning to make a post like this for some time, and a recent super-cool custom project for a very enthusiastic customer gave me the perfect opportunity. We make lot of wooden blades, and it's always fun to watch them grow from a rough piece of timber into an elegant replica. I thought our customers (and perhaps a few others as well!) would enjoy an inside look at what goes into the process.

This particular sword was a sort of 'hybrid' design. The customer wanted an overall shape of the Conan the Barbarian sword, with some modifications to the hilt and pommel. We agreed on an eagle theme, with wings for the gross guard and talons grasping a gem or ball on the pommel. We created a full-scale template.

The first step is wood selection. A straight-grained piece of Maple is ideal.

It's a large board that will yield several blades, so we plane...


...plane some more...

  ...and cut to final length.

Next the sword blank is marked for fuller groove and edge bevel locations..

..which are carved on the table router.

Some more tracing, then the rough shape is cut with the bandsaw. 

We zero in on the shape with sanding.

More bevel routing.

 And more sanding. This is kind of reading like a children's book, I'm just realizing.. :o)

 Time to work on that super cool hilt!

 The design is broken down into separate components which are rough cut to shape and glued up to fit around the main sword shaft.

That pommel will require a lot of material to work with.

 After the glue dries, this oddly-shaped hunk of wood is ready for the lathe!

A sharp knife is key, as the shape starts to form.

 Referencing the template for details.

 There's no easy way to get those talons, so the next couple hours are dedicated to carving with a rotary tool.

Getting closer!

 Just about there. A little more sanding and some woodburned detail will add that extra bit of flair..

With the components carved, it's time to assemble the hilt.

Now that the final shape is complete, the project is handed off to our talented sister, who adds the pyrographic details with her electric woodburning pen.

A coat of oil and beeswax later, it's time for the moment we've all been waiting for...

....the big reveal.....

There she is!

Oh yes, there's one more step...

...assuming that this sword is the first of its kind.

 Steve gets his camera out and takes the sword for a swing!

Well, there you have it. Whether you've purchased one of our blades, are planning to, or want to but can't afford it at the moment (those are all of the categories, right? ;o) ), hopefully this post gives you an idea of how much care and effort goes into each of these replicas. Knowing that they will be treasured for years to come makes crafting each one a unique and extremely gratifying experience. Thanks for stopping by!