Who would have guessed a rusty old table saw blade could make such a nice batarang?
In this project turn some old shop accessories, into high-speed, superhero throwing stars.
Step 1: Watch the Video!
Never throw at people or property. Possession or use of throwing knives or throwing stars may not be legal in your area. Check local laws before attempting to duplicate. Use of video content is at own risk.
Step 2: Getting Started
After changing out my 10" table saw blade, I wondered what could be done with the old one. Then the answer became obvious. Make a custom throwing star.
To start this project, you're going to need a paper template, and a stick of glue. Go ahead and glue the picture directly to the saw blade, smoothing out any creases, and let it dry for about 10 minutes.
I made my template with photoshop, but you can do a google image search and find something similar.
Fasten the blade securely to a table, making sure there's something to protect the tabletop from the saw blade, because you'll be cutting this pattern with a jig-saw.
Step 3: Cutting the Blank
I tried using jig-saw blades with 30 teeth per inch that were made for cutting metal.
Start the blade in a groove between the teeth of the saw blade, and begin cutting the straight lines first. If you don't have any oil to dissipate the heat, make sure you cut very slowly. Going too fast could ruin the blade within minutes.
I continued a straight line all the way across the top, giving easy access to the more intricate cuts inside.
The tight curves are going to take a lot of time and patience, but with some persistence, you should end up with something like this, although it does look a little rough around the edges.
To fix that, gather up a couple of half-round metal files.
Step 4: Grind the Edges
I used my bench vise to hold the batarang for better leverage, and here you can see it definitely looks terrible, but it'll look better in just a few minutes.
Use the flat side of the small file to begin grinding down the sharp points. The contours can be worked with the rounded edge, and after a few minutes you can already start to see a noticeable improvement.
The larger file helps smooth and shape the bottom curves, and the goal here is to make everything symmetrical.
I angled both sides of the wing tips to make them look sharper, and seem a bit more authentic.
Step 5: Paint It Black
This actually looks pretty awesome in silver, but if you want, you can go one step further and paint it black.
Push the wingtip into a piece of cardboard, the batarang should stand upright, and hit it with a few shots of spray paint. Make sure it's the kind of paint that can be used on metal.
After a couple of hours, the paint should be dry enough to handle.
At this point, it's just about finished. Just use something like sandpaper or a sanding sponge on the beveled edges to re-expose the steel, blending the unpainted tip with the outer edges once again.
Carefully file the edges at an angle, so it adds a bit of a bevel to the top of the wing.
Your superhero shuriken is completely finished, and you don't even have to sharpen the blade.
Step 6: Throwing the Batarang
I went ahead and built a throwing post from a length of 2x8, and added a dart board, to use for a target.
To throw a batarang, just take 3 paces away from the target, hold it by the bottom wing, and throw it with a bit of a flick in the wrist. If you did it right, it should make one full rotation and stick firmly into the target.
If you adjust your distance in small increments, you'll eventually find the sweet spot where it sticks perfectly upright, just about every time.
A distance of 3 steps equals 1 full rotation, so from 6 paces it should spin twice.
Step 7: Be Safe
It's important to be safe when handling these things, and they should be treated with the same respect as a throwing knife or a throwing star.
You can see that after two hours of practicing, my target took an incredible beating, because these are the real deal.
Using this method, I was able to make 5 batarangs from the one saw blade, and you can see I made each one a little bit different.
Step 8: More Projects
Well now you know how to turn rusty old saw blades, into a collection of custom superhero throwing stars. Just remember to be safe, and never to throw them at people, or property.
That's it for now. If you liked this project, perhaps you'll like some of my others. Check them out at www.thekingofrandom.com