How to make a chainsaw sword in several steps
Since this is a page about Otaku related content, I have decided to make a tutorial on how I made made a quite decent prop from eva foam. First of all, evafoam is a lightweight spongy material that is wildly used for training maths. So it is easy to find in stores. Due to pricing and availability it’s become the favorite material to make cosplay props in. Another benefit is that the only way to kill someone with the material is to choke them to death. In other words, it’s very safe, soft and quite convention friendly.
Usefull tools of the trade:
Polishing away the studs on the back.
Step one is to get some good reference pictures such as this one. Also depending on your skill with a pencil, it’s often very practical to sketch down the idea first and think of a way to assemble it. Paper is a very good place to figure out the size and what goes where. The felt marker I use to draw on the foam, since it leaves no indentations in the surface and is easy to cover with paint. One important thing to know about most evafoam mats, is that underside is filled with studs. This is where the multi-tool comes into play. I simply polish them away, leaving behind a clean and straight surface, which makes them stack better. To make edges and make objects round and smooth I utilize knives to cut diagonally, then proceed to clean up the edges with sandpaper.
As you can see here, I start off with various hand drawn illustrations to get the size right. Then I cut out the pieces and put them on top of the material. Where I then circle the cutout with the marker so that I know where to cut.
Craftfoam is not quite unlike evafoam, only thinner and comes in smaller sheets.
The concept I work around is to make the frame and then sandwich the saw teeth inbetween. In order to make sure the coat of glue I added will stick, is to put something flat and heavy on top. Putting downwards pressure for an hour or so.
The most sensible thing to do that I don’t do often enough is to paint each piece by themselves, before I assemble. This usually makes the result better and I don’t have to cover up other parts of the surface with tape, in order to prevent the color from bleeding. Blue is after all supposed to go where blue goes and gold where I want it to go.
Another very important thing to note I found out the hard way. Washing ones hands and waiting for the paint to dry is a very good habit. Paint will get stuck on various surfaces and nothing annoys me more than unwanted gold fingerprints on my blue paintjob. Plus it sticks to clothes and leather/ pleather, that I use for the grip. Besides the surface needs at least 3 or 4 rounds of coating.
Here is a clue when it comes to using glue. Gluegun is an all time favorite, however it is very messy and will probably dissolve in heat. Superglue just gets absorbed into the material and stick to the fingers. Its also expensive and comes in small tubes. Though I recommend combining various types of glue.
In order to assemble this construct I based it on sword smiting. A sword is composed of the cutting part, a hand guard, grip and pommel. In order to do this I put a bamboo pole in the middle, then I attach the armguard. After that I put some foam pieces into cylinder and wrap the leather strips on the outside. The cylinder in questions I got from a grocery-store, when the plastic bag dispensers are empty, there leave behind a solid cardbard tube
Then comes the hard part. I decided to cut the armguard as one piece, which I bent in two places. However in order to make the glue keep the foam in place, it has to be wedged between a heavy thing and the wall. The pommel is the object on the bottom that work as a tightening screw. I’m not happy with the shape yet though. This is only the second prototype.
An assembly test, to see if it comes together right.
Engraving and small details I do with the multitool, I had the misfortune of having the first one die on me, so I had to replace it with a bigger and slightly better one. So far the Dremel is not too shabby. As you can see here I have engraved some bastardized Latin onto the side, it roughly translate to the Empire is eternally vigilant.
My cosplay page!
Njål H Sand