Introduction: The Buffy the Vampire Slayer Scythe
Materials: PVC pipe, PVC coupler, scrap 2”x4”, wooden dowel, wooden buttons, ½” PVC sheeting, PVC cement, felt, leather strapping, epoxy, and epoxy putty.
Fabrication: I made this using only reference pictures, so it’s safe to say it isn’t to perfect scale or proportions.
Handle: I started with the handle, which is contains two sections of 1” PVC pipe. The top section has half of a PVC coupler on each end to match the look of the original. I cut this in half on the table saw with the aid of a small sled, but a bandsaw might be safer. To cap the top, I used a scrap piece of ½” PVC sheeting, which was then flush trimmed to the pipe diameter on a router table. The arc on the pipe behind the blade was done on the oscillating spindle sander. For the part that connects these PVC sections, I used a scrap 2”x4”, which I ripped down on the table saw. I needed to knock off, or round the corners so it would fit into the PVC pipe, which I did on the bandsaw. For the stake at the bottom, I used a wooden dowel. I created a tenon on one end, which fit the inside diameter of the PVC pipe. This was done on the table saw with a small parts sled. I just raised the blade a little at a time and turned the dowel slowly until I got the desired diameter. For the pointed end, I used by oscillating belt sander. All PVC parts were fused with PVC cement, the 2”x4” to PVC connection was done with epoxy, and the stake was set with hot glue just in case it ever needed to be repaired or changed.
Handle Embellishments: For the rivets, I used wooden buttons from Michael’s because I had some, but you could also use the heads of carriage bolts easy enough. I just laid out the spacing, drilled holes, and set them with wood glue. I have no idea what the area above the stake is called, but I made it out of more ½” PVC sheeting. The donut part was cut out on the drill press with two different sized hole saws and then carefully rounded over on the Router Table. The “fin” shapes were cut out of ½” PVC sheeting on the bandsaw. I did four and then cut them in half so I ended up with 8 sections at ¼” thick. These were then sanded and attached to the PVC pipe with epoxy.
Blade: I laminated two pieces of ½” PVC sheeting and once I had a cardboard template I liked, traced it onto the PVC and cut it out on the bandsaw. The outside edge is thicker than the body of the blade and I achieved this look by carving away material freehand with a palm router. The front of the blade was taped with a chamfer bit on the router table and then there was a lot of sanding with various tools (sanding blocks, paper, files, dremel with sanding barrel). The blade then got attached to the handle using epoxy. To taper the transitions between the blade and handle, as well as fix any issues where the dremel went too deep or I just didn’t like the look, I used epoxy putty. I also used this to fill the void between the 2”x4” and PVC. Once cured, I had to sand this all to shape.
Painting and Finishing: I had primed the raw 2”x4” with some black spray paint I had on hand early on for no real reason. Once everything was assembled, I sprayed it with primer. Next I sprayed red on the blade section and the “fin” section. Once that was cured, I masked off all the parts to remain red and sprayed metallic silver. Once dry, I wrapped the middle handle section in a raised pattern felt with the aid of hot glue. Strips of leather were used to wrap the handle section between the blade connection points, again with hot glue. Last step was to topcoat it all with a few applications of spray lacquer.
Challenges: When I was chamfering the blade, it took too much material and ruined the raised blade effect at the top. I had to fix this with epoxy putty, which was OK, but next time, I’d fabricate the blade larger to accommodate the design. I got too greedy and impatient with the Silver spray paint and ended up with some peeling. Learn from me and let the Metallic paints dry properly. I had to sand this back and redo the Metallic Silver, but this time I let it dry overnight. When I removed the making tape, it left some sticky residue so I had to sand this back and carefully touch up the Red. There is also a bit of paint bleed in the “fin” area because the tape wasn’t adhering well enough. Next time I’d try a better quality tape.
Tools Used: Table Saw, Miter Saw, Band Saw, Drill Press, OSS, Router Table, Dremel, Files, Scissors, Razor Knife, Hot Glue Gun.