Introduction: Acrylic Flaming Sword

Picture of Acrylic Flaming Sword

I had submitted an instructible on this before but it did not present very well so here is the revision.

My Daughter challenged me for a prop for a character she was cosplaying as in San Japan :3 in San Antonio, Texas 2010.  She was cosplaying as Shana who is armed with a flaming Katana.  I didn't want to make a typical paper mache or wooden prop with flames painted on and an actual flaming prop was out of the question.  LED lights then came to mind but the idea of resistors and imbedding the lights into  the prop without them looking like Christmas lights was leaving a bad taste in my mouth.  An idea using plexiglass, acrylics, and my strobe flashlight then came to mind. So from challenge to brain storming to blue print to construction I present to you my instructible.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

These are the materials you will need:
1) A sheet of plexi glass 1/4 inch thick and 3 feet long.  You can get away with a using a shorter peice (cheaper this way) and cutting peices you canconnect together to make 3 feet, but this weakens the integrity of the blade.
2) Clear transparent acrylic plates (orange, yellow, and/or red). The flatter the plates the better.  These will be used to mimic the shape of flames. I shopped the local dollar stores and found what I needed, otherwise you can find these at Walmart.
3) 1 inch PVC pipe and a cap. You will need about 9-12 inches of pipe, depending on the size of your flash light.
4) I have a Mag Lite XL100, costs about $35.  If you have a Mini Mag you can buy their IQ switch and LED light conversion to turn it into a strobe flashlight (this would be cheaper even if you bought a brand new Mini Mag).
5) PVC pipe cutter or hacksaw
6) Coping saw or scroll saw
7) Small spring clams
8) Liquid Nail Perfect Glue 2 or similar glue (Super glue does not work very well)
9) Dremel (if you have one) is always handy  in any project

Step 2: The Blade

Picture of The Blade

Draw a line along your plexiglass to give you a blade approximately 1 inch in width and cut it out with your coping saw.  You can use a plexiglass cutter, but with a peice this narrow it is difficult not to break your blade in half while snapping it off.  If you have a scroll saw it makes this step easier.

Step 3: The Flames

Picture of The Flames

On the flat parts of your acrylic plates draw patterns of flames and your hilt guard (tsuba).  Any pattern that suits you is fine, just remember the width of your blade, then cut the peices out with your coping saw (or scroll saw).  Remember you will be applying these on each side of the blade, so cut duplicates of each pattern.  I chose to alternate colors on each side.

Step 4: The Handle

Picture of The Handle

Cut a length of PVC pipe 6 inches plus the length of your flashlight.  Cut a 6 inch groove from one end of the pipe along the side.  Cut a similar groove opposite the first.  Make sure your groove is 3/4 inch in width so to accomodate your blade.

Step 5: Putting It All Together

Picture of Putting It All Together

You will now insert the flat end of the blade into the grooves in the handle and glue in place.  Take your hilt guard (tsuba) and glue this in place as well.Take your acrylic flame patterns and glue them to both sides of the blade, using the spring clamps to hold them in place.  While you are waiting for the glue to cure (you should wait a good 24 hours) you can decide to drill a hole at the end of your pipe end cap so you can access the switch of your flashlight easier or you can just keep it whole and take it off each time you want to turn on the flashlight.

Step 6: Flame On!

Picture of Flame On!

Once all the glue is cured and peices are secure, place your flashlight lense first into the handle followed by your PVC end cap.  You can wrap your handle with cord or shoelace to add an aesthetic look.  You now have a flaming sword.

Step 7: San Japan :3

Picture of San Japan :3

Heres a couple pictures of the sword in use during San Japan :3 in San Antonio texas in 2010. I am just sorry you cant see the flame/stobe effect in a still shot.

Comments

solsitce (author)2013-02-26

Uh. How did you fit the maglite inside of the 1" diameter PVC pipe?

It seems like the maglite being 1" in diameter will have a VERY tight fit inside of the 1" PVC. oh. and how did you get the plexi glass to stay in the PVC, I have some type of heavy duty glue, but I don't know if that will work.

Dadime (author)solsitce2013-03-10

The Mag Lite XL100 fits nicely into the 1" PVC. And I used the all purpose glue I had but you could easily use a clear epoxy ( this would probably hold better).

nerd12 (author)2011-09-15

video + Closeup please

Dadime (author)nerd122011-09-25

I'll have a video soon

luperion (author)2011-08-18

very nice! i work with this material all the time. very nice idea, and i applaude you for helping out your daughter with her cosplay! :)

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Bio: I am a self proclaimed Junkyard Craftsman. I am an ER Nurse with a love of art, craft and fabrication. I have a habit of ... More »
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