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"Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal."

However, here we have both technological progress AND an axe!

A simple, light weight prop axe, to wield safely at parties or for any cosplay event!

I'll lead you through, step-by-step in the quick and easy way to create a prop axe.

-Mark

Charkhol studios

Step 1: Tools and Materials:

Only a handful of tools are required here, most of which you will probably have lying around in your shed doing nothing. So lets put them to use!

4X Plastic. Can be found in offcuts at signage supplies stores for cheap. Needs to be 10mm (0.39 inches) thick and around 400x400 (15x15 inches).


1. You'll need a Jig-saw, to cut out the shapes we need.

2. Also a 4 inch grinder with a flap-disc for edging the axe head

3. A hammer, ball-pein optional.

4. A ruler.

5. A vice.

6. A sharp stanley knife.

7. Sandpaper! 180-240 is fine.

8. A coping saw or Hack-saw.

9. Spray paint. Black, Chrome and clear. You'll also need paint thinners and some rags/cloth

10. A heat gun.

Step 2: Lets Get It Started in Here!

Begin by removing the plastic covering, then lie it flat and begin drawing your axe shape.

For this example I've gone with a simple single sided 'bearded' axe. I'll be doing another tutorial on double heads and even triples and quads for maces etc.

YOU MUST ENSURE that you leave around 6-7 cms (2-3 inches) of extra axe at the rear, to allow for the forming later.

Step 3: Shape Your Destiny

Grab your jigsaw and cut out your axe head!

4X can get sticky when cut with a saw blade, so just take it slow and remember it's not a race!

The edges will require sanding, and the jigsaw will leave burrs EVERYWHERE!

Just grab some sandpaper and work the edges until all the little dregs are gone.

Step 4: To Treat, or Not to Treat...

Now this step is optional, but since I was making one anyway I figured I'd at least give you the option.

Using a ball-pein hammer, very, very, VERY gently dimple the surface (the weight of the hammer should be sufficient) to give your axe head a more ancient finish!

Of course if you don't want that look, you can skip this step entirely. :)

Step 5: Living on the Edge...

Time for some next-gen sanding!

Using the flap disc on your 4 inch, start to grind/sand away the edge of the axe.

Once again, take your time here as these flap discs will eat the 4X pretty fast. Just slowly angle the grider on both sides until you're happy with your edge.

Pro-tip: It doesn't have to be razor sharp ;)

Step 6: Wear & Tear

This is also optional, but it is advised.

Give your axe a back story by notching out some BATTLE SCARS!

Carefully cut away small knicks in the edge of the axe to give it some character.

Step 7: Fillet O'Axe

This part can be tricky, but you should be able to handle it....get it... handle...like axe-handle...

Anyway, remember when I said to leave some room at the back? Well, mark down from the back of your axe your 6 cms, or 3 inches.

You'll need the vice for this part and the hacksaw/coping saw.

Score a line down the middle of the axe's rear then clamp your axe head edge down in the vice, but be sure to pad the vice with some cloth or rags so you don't leave a 'vice print' in your axe.

Start to saw from the corner. To ensure a straight line, rotate the axe head and saw the opposite corner too. Once you have sawn through to the measurement on both sides, you can begin cutting vertically down as your corner cuts will act as guides.

Step 8: The Heat Is On....

Time to form our head!

Use a heat gun, turned up to around 250-300 centigrade (470-570 fht)

Focus the heat on the intersection of the cut and the axe head. Pan back and forth until the cut section starts to relax.

Bend the section on a right angel and repeat on the opposite side.

Both cut sections should now be at 90 deg to the axe head.

Step 9: Handle With Care!

Time to add in our handle. Any piece of timber will do, so-long as it is round.

32mm (1 1/4 inch) wooden dowel is the easiest to find at most home DIY stores. You can make the handle as long or short as you like.

Heat up the sections we just bent, until they are nice and soft. (you may want to wear gloves for this section as the 4X can get rather hot)

Wrap the softened flap around the shaft and hold in place until it cools. This only takes around 10-15 seconds.

Repeat on the opposite side and remove the handle! any over lap can be trimmed off with a sharp knife.

Step 10: Effect

We are ready to paint!

First we need to make our axe head black, be sure to get the paint into every crack and notch you carved!

When the black paint has dried you can begin the toning with the chrome paint.
Use a rolled cotton cloth and form it into a smooth ball, this will spread the paint easier.

Spray a nice pool of Silver onto a piece of cardboard or block of timber and use the cloth to pick it up in a circular wiping motion.

VERY VERY softly drag the Silver/chrome paint form side to side to highlight the ridges of the dimples and leave the centres dark. Or if you've chosen not to dimple the axe, you can wipe the chrome on as you see fit.

This can take some practice, so you can always keep the black paint on standby should you need to do it over ;)

Spray your handle black and using some thinners on a rag, remove areas of the paint to treat the timber and make it look ancient.

Step 11: The End Is Nigh!

After you've painted your axe and handle, we can add our extras!

Wrap the handle in cotton or canvas (I recommend canvas) and fix it in place using thumb tacks. This makes your axe look all kinds of badass.

Spray your handle wrap with black paint and use thinners to wipe it away, this will stain the material in a cool and permanent manner.

Step 12: An Axe Is Born!

All thats left to do now is nail our axe onto it's handle.

I use very small Hardboard nails, only 30mm (1inch) long and 1.6mm thick. Hammer them in until they are just proud of the axe head.

And there you have it! One axe!

I hope you enjoyed this instructable, and please, stay tuned for more little pieces in the future.

-Mark

Charkhol Studios

<p>nice, it looks great for films too!</p>
<p>Excellent techniques!</p><p>I'm not familiar with this 4X plastic, but it looks incredibly useful for props and stuff. Is it fairly soft, say, in comparison to pvc? </p><p>And what is it typically used for? I'm wondering where I would see or find it in everyday life.</p>
<p>It's actually called FOREX.. if you want to search for it online </p>
<p>Yes, my Bad. FOREX. Thank you Syrinx. I actually meant to update the tutorial with that information. Look's like you beat me to it.</p>
Typically its used as signage or printing media.<br><br>It is much softer than PVC of the same thickness. It can be easily shaped and heat formed. <br><br>Signage suppliers stock 4X and HIPS. Often you can pick it up very cheap in off cuts.<br><br>Ill be posting new tutorials soon with more 4X weapons. Thanks for the comment!<br><br>-Mark
<p>I've had a couple of specific projects in the back of my mind, but couldn't seem to find an appropriate material for them. This stuff looks like it might work. I'll have to track some down and test it out. Thanks!</p>
Its a fairly robust product but it can snap under pressure. Tell you what. If you give me a week I'll get another instructable up with some armour pieces. Modern space/halo-ish and other Skyrimy type stuff.
<p>This is great! Such a good tutorial and professional too. I think you axed it. </p>
<p>Axe me anything, bro.</p>
<p>This looks fantastic. I love the way you attached the blade around the handle, and the painting technique is really cool. I'll have to try that. </p><p>I really need to find a local sign shop to source scraps from. I checked with one but they just did vinyl banners and stuff.</p>
You could also try signage suppliers, they sell in specific sizes so they generally have offcuts for sale at a reduced price.<br><br>-Mark
Awesome project. what did you use to dimple the plastic? I've got some ideas for weapons that u want to make and this may be a good option. thank you for the tutorial.
Just a ball pein hammer. Just the weight of the hammer will dimple the 4X

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