The Heavy Metal Matador (rydain) wrote,
The Heavy Metal Matador

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Don't these things always look much simpler than they are?

Thanks to zeriel (a.k.a. this Josh person who knows how to fiberglass stuff), one side of the sword has been laminated with two layers of fiberglass cloth. Having read this tutorial about thirty gazillion times, I thought it was going to be an easy-peasy process. Not quite. I'm so glad that he was around to help, or I might have gone batshit.

First off, if you want to put pumps in the resin and hardener cans, you need to poke vent holes in the tops of said cans. You can put screws in the vent holes to plug them up when you're not using the chemicals. Luckily, we had a bunch of jars of random nails and screws left by the house's previous inhabitants, so I just brought 'em all up and Josh dealt with it. I know how to poke holes in things, but I was afraid that if I tried myself, I'd somehow wind up spraying gunk all over myself. (As it turned out, I did manage to squirt hardener on my hand. Yes, it was the one time I was near the can and not wearing my heavy gloves. All it did was feel hot, and I went and washed it off immediately, so I'm fine. Nobody worry about my follies, umkay?)

Then there was the logistics problem of setting up the sword whilst laminating it. We don't exactly have a wide array of hardware to choose from, so I'd been using a random metal step stool and clamping the sword to it, shifting it around when I needed to cut a different part of it. I'm not quite sure how Josh managed to do this, but we got the entire shebang glassed (doing one section at a time) and balanced on the stool to dry. Our porch is screened in and, according to, the most wind we're going to get tonight is 2 mph, so it's going to stay there.

It turns out that you can put multiple layers of cloth on at the same time as long as you set them up before you pour the resin on them. I didn't know that. I'm glad Josh did. It's going to save me time.

The lamination process itself is fun, but I wasn't very good at it because it was my first attempt. As per the tutorial linked above, I poured a drizzle of resin on the cloth and then used a squeegee to spread it around. The extra resin just got pushed off onto the heavy canvas drop cloth that I had bought for this project (and I'm damn glad I did - hooray for no resin doots on our porch). Josh helped me with my technique (I'd been trying to spread from the center out, which is what I'd read to do, but it turns out to not work that well for a sword - instead, it's best to just go toward one end of the piece) and also helped me fix wrinkles that showed up.

Tomorrow or Tuesday, I get to flip it over and do the other side. Yes, I am scared...not of the chemicals but of making a crapass wrinkly mess. Maybe I can lure Josh to come over and hang out while I work on the piece just in case I can't get it to behave. *dangles Metroid Prime in front of his nose* =P
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