I made my son a Ninja Turtle costume for Halloween, (Raphael), complete with proper weapons. Those weapons, of course, are sais.
For this project, I used the following items:
Found Pieces From Previous Projects
Hot Glue Gun
Silver Spray Paint
Red and Black Acrylic Paint
Thin Metal Ruler
Heavy Grit Sandpaper
Medium Grit Sanding Sponge
Step 1: Main Spike Fabrication
8 pieces of foam, and 4 pieces of styrene plastic were cut to the length that I wanted the main spike to be. I cut the foam and styrene plastic with a box cutter.
I made 4 "sandwiches" from these pieces. Foam on the outside, with styrene in the center, adhered together with contact cement.
Two more pieces of styrene were cut out. The length was the same, but the width was wide enough to cover the foam sandwiches. This was adhered with contact cement.
The sandwiched pieces with the extra styrene on them, were adhered to the pieces without it.
The main spike piece will now have a firm core to prevent bending. I could have made this out of wood, or mdf to make it sturdy, but I wanted this to be as light, and non-dangerous for my son, as possible.
Step 2: Handle
The handle was made from 3 pieces.
The body of the handle is a piece of 1/2" pvc, cut to a length proper for my son's hand.
The bigger of the two rounded knob pieces is a leftover piece from a previous project, so is the smaller one for that matter. The bigger one was attached to the pvc with 5 minute, 2-part epoxy adhesive. The advantage of this adhesive is that there is a few minutes of work time to move my pieces into their proper place before it sets, and yet still have a quick set time to be able to move on with my project.
I attached the smaller knob to the bigger one with the same adhesive.
Step 3: Main and Side Spikes
The foam rectangle was sanded into a long pyramid shape, then rounded out with a heavy grit sanding drum via my Dremel. The heavy grit sanding drum left quite a bit of texture in the foam. I should have went over it with a fine grit sanding drum, but I didn't have time. The texture worked for my final look anyway.
The side spikes were fabricated starting with styrene plastic. This plastic was cut to the shape I wanted the spikes to be in. I glued them, with hot glue, to pieces of foam that I formed into a curve using a heat gun. I used the same sandwich technique on these, as I did the main spike. The one difference is that there is only a one-way piece of plastic in the center, instead of a 2 way column.
I rounded the horns out the same way as I did the main spike, with my Dremel.
Step 4: Assembly and Base Paint Coat
The side spikes were adhered to the main spike with contact cement. They were also given a super glue weld, and were further reinforced in a future step. The handle was adhered to the spikes with a good amount of hot glue. I squirted a bunch of it inside the pvc, then turned it over while in contact with the spike, so it would fill up the area where the two pieces made contact. This contact joint was also reinforced in an upcoming step.
This is where I broke the rules big time. I didn't use any plasti dip to cover the foam. Yep I know, bad. I had to lessen some of the texture in the foam, so I covered it with heavy coats of filler primer. I wet sanded it the following day with a medium grit sanding sponge, and had a much smoother finish. After that I painted it with Krylon silver spray paint.
Step 5: Handle Covers
While the paint dried, I made the handle covers.
I cut pieces of thin craft foam to fit the dimensions of the handle. I did make it slightly taller than the handle. I made a mark every 1/2" all the way around the foam. I connected these marks, by scoring them with the edge of a thin metal ruler.
Contact cement was used to adhere the seam, but I didn't adhere the covers to the handle. They are kept from moving around using leather straps in an upcoming step.
Step 6: Paint Weathering, Leather Straps
An acrylic black wash was applied to all the silver areas. The texture that was still in the foam picked up all the black paint, yielding in a convincing dirty, metal look.
The foam that the handle covers were made from was already red, so I gave them a couple of washes with a watered down, dirty red acrylic paint.
The final step was wrapping leather strips around the side spikes and handle top. I had some leather scraps that I cut into narrow strips using my box cutter. These strips were sanded to open their grain, then painted red with acrylic paint, and when dry, I distressed the red with sandpaper. To adhere these strips, I put a drop of superglue where I wanted the leather strip to start. I wrapped the leather around the handle and spikes several times, and adhered the end of the leather strip to itself with more superglue. Once on, I gave them a quick wash with black for a better leather look. These strips were wrapped tight enough to hold the grip covers in place, which is why I didn't glue them to the handle. These leather strips also reinforced all of the connecting joints of the side spikes, and handle.
Step 7: Ready for Pretend Battle
Sais finished, ready to take on the costumed bad guys!
Want to know how I made the costume that these sai weapons go to? I made a separate instructable for that.