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Phase 5 (Apr 2014)

This is just about the final product!

Here is the final product, it's about 95% completed, the remaining bits to finish it will be getting the pvc cut for the spacer, pressing/fitting the magnets to the backside, they will require a bit more hand sanding to fit nicely.

I'll be applying a circular black vinyl sticker over the magnets once they are mounted. The smaller magnet is actually slightly thicker than the aluminum and will protrude slightly. In the future, both magnets will be specified at .19" thickness to seamlessly integrate with the sword.

This sword sticks as good as any iron sword, but it is alot easier to dismount from my baldric. I was a little worried that the thin 2" magnet would not offer much traction, but much to my delite, it's a very sturdy connection. The smaller magnet provides superior force however due to it's thickness. If there is interest in the Magnetic Baldric system, I'll be investigating using the slightly thicker, custome magnets when the time comes. Finding the "clock" angle is easy, but it doesn't snap RIGHT to both magnets surprizingly. However, I imagine a bit of repetition will give me more consistent mounting/dismounting from the baldric. The sword will "home-in" to the right orientation instantly once the magnets are within range however.

The weight of the sword is comparable to the smallest sowrd shown in the comparison picture, a unit from Kit Rae, and one of my favorite swords. Durandael is comming in around 5.5lbs fully assembled. As such, it feels feather light on my back. By comparison, the larger of the two swords, my Marto Apocalypse Rider Sword, compared to Durandael weighs in at a heafty 12.3lbs, and after 15 minutes of that, it HAS to come off, it literally hurts to wear it on the baldric.

The magnetic baldric will be undergoing a re-design and re-construction soon. I have to come up with all of the requirements however. The main thing about it is increasing it's comfort, once I figure out how to make it more comfortable, and distribute weight a bit more evenly, wearing my swords with it will be extremely easy. Depending on other things, this may open the door to making a tactical system.

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Parts fresh from the laser machine
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Parts fresh from the laser machine 02
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Parts fresh from the laser machine 03
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Assembly progress 1
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Assembly progress 2
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Assembly progress 3
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Assembly progress 4
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Assembly progress 5
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Assembly progress 6
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First time: Fully Assembled all but spacer material is present!
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Fully Assembled 01
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Fully Assembled 02
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Here's me at home working on placing the magnets. Place is extra messy coz I just moved in!
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Here is a shot showing the Magnetic Baldric in action. The sword sticks very strongly, yet is easy to remove due to the fact the entire blade isn't ferrous!
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Fully Assembled 05
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Fully Assembled 06
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Fully Assembled 07
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Fully Assembled 08
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Fully Assembled 09
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Fully Assembled 10
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Fully Assembled 11
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Shot of the Pommel
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Fully Assembled 13
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Shot showing the magnets installed, there is a bit of an interference fit here, but Neodymium magnets are brittle and I'm afraid to press fit them. I'll be purchasing some epoxy and sanding them to fit smoothly.
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I decided to add in this leather scratch guard under the d-ring. This will likely be a customizable offering for the cross guard.
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Close-up of the "AG" script. Shows the clarity of laser marking on the larger shapes, and the apparent fuzziness of the finer details, for future runs, I'll likely increase the font size, and reduce the amount of text.
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Fully Assembled 17
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Fully Assembled 18
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Close up of prototype tip guard. This is rough in both fitment and overall finish. I only had a few scraps of the thicker leather available and some just happen to be the overall right shape!
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Fully Assembled 20
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Fully Assembled 21
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Fully Assembled 22
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Size comparison.

Phase 4 (Mar-Apr 2014)

Now we are getting close.

The parts are anodized and after an initial test fit/picture, I dismantled the sword and took it up to a specialist to have the edge ground to it.

I had desired a hollow grind from the start, I also had wanted a taller grind than what I was comfortable making the cutting tool do for this sword specifically, as such we opted to raise the grind height to approximately .75" instead of the original .5".

The last image shows the amount of deflection of the blade when held unsupported.

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Parts fresh from the anodizer 01
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Parts fresh from the anodizer 02
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Assembled picture 22 Showing the sword in black with all parts.
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Assembled picture 23
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Assembled picture 24
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Assembled picture 25
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David Blue putting the hollow grind edge on the blade.
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Initial hollow grind pass.
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Pile of Aluminum Dust 01
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Pile of Aluminum Dust 01
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Finished Hollow-ground edge. This is bigger than in the concept, I love it!
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Finished Hollow-ground edge 02
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Finished Hollow-ground edge 03
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Static Deflection of the blade unsupported.

Phase 3 (Feb-Mar 2014)

Once I was satisfied with the initial look and feel of the weapon, it was time to research how to apply the faux damascus texture to it.

After getting the texture map done I was able to get a few sample swatches etched onto a scrap pice of Hard Anodized aluminum. From there we settled on power and speed settings to acheive the desired effect.

Ultimately we chose a very faint etch.

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Assembled picture 20, before taking the router to it!
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Assembled picture 21
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Leather grip elements assembled.
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Initial routed edge. This was a learning experience with chatter. It may stillbe a viable method, but I'll need to utilize a more stable method of feeding the part to the bit.
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Initial routed edge 02
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Initial routed edge 02
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Damascus laser etch test swatch 01
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Damascus laser etch test swatch 02

Phase 2 (Feb 2014)

Once the parts were ready for assembly, it was time to create and test fit the leather grip.

I strayed from the original design to test this simpler grip. Multiple grips will be available at some point. The horns are still up for debate as they may be difficult to make a secure attachment.

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Here is the grip all screwed down.
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Initial surface finishing with a scotch brite belt
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Initial surface finishing with a scotch brite belt
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Assembled picture 10 including grip
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Assembled picture 11 including grip
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Assembled picture 12
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Assembled picture 13 showing pommel nuts in place, cut down two 7/8-14 bolts
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Assembled picture 14
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Assembled picture 15
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Assembled picture 16
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Assembled picture 17
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Assembled picture 18
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Assembled picture 19 Showing test fitting of the horns, Horns may or may not make it to final versions.

Phase 1 (Jan-Feb 2014)

After the design phase, the first phase is actually acquiring all parts necessary to make the blade.

For this sword all shapes are cut on a large-table water jet machine.

Fasteners and leather were sourced, and specialty tools such as taps were gathered.

Within a few hours of receiving the water jet parts, I was able to tap all of the holes, and assemble the blade.

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Waterjet Machine cutting a sheet of aluminum; this is the same machine which cut my sword.
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Another shot of the water jet machine.
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Here are all the raw parts straight from the cutter.
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Using the drill press to clean the edges before hand tapping the holes on all parts.
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Holes cleaned, time to test how things line up!
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Pommel with now defunct Metal Handle extra parts.
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Starting to tap holes.
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Tapping away...
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First test fitting of the inlays to the blade.
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One-handed test without a pommel.
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Assembly picture 01
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Assembly picture 02
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Assembly picture 03
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Assembly picture 04
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Assembly picture 05 showing mounted D-ring.
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Assembly picture 06 Showing grip finishing bits attached.
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Assembly picture 07
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Image showing a loose fitting of the handle leather.
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Assembly picture 08
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Assembly picture 09 Showing a close up of the D.Ring and Grip Finishing bits.