Instructions for the first part of the cosplay axe I am making for the character of Princess Barbara from the Ubisoft game Rayman Legends. This was done as part of a Makerspace course I am taking at St Catherine University for my Masters of Library and Information Science. I hope to add a part two once i have completed the project.
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Step 1: Materials
- 1 1/4" PVC pipe
- 1/4" Bolts and matching nuts
- Great Stuff spray foam insulation
- 1/2" Pink insulation foam
- Mod Podge
- Wood glue
- Bondo filler
- Bondo hardner
- Bondo Spreader
- Radial arm saw
- Coping saw
- Drill press
- Jab saw
- Pencils and sharpies
- Foam brush
Step 2: Creating the Axe Blades
- Decide how large you wish the blade to be. Mine is 16" wide and 10.5" tall
- Using the compass to get even curves, trace the axe onto your plywood. This piece will be sandwiched between the foam blades to provide support, so it should be thin enough to not add to much additional thickness to the axe, but still enough to support the foam blades. I believe mine is about 1/8" thick.
- Trace pencil line with sharpie to give a clear cutting guide.
- Use the coping saw to cut out the axe head.
- Trace the axe head onto your pink insulation foam with a sharpie, and label/number corresponding pieces
- Use the jab saw to cut out the foam, starting with the two center cut outs. Be careful when doing this, as the foam is fragile!
- Cut away the center sections of the foam to provide space for the pvc haft.
Step 3: Creating the Haft or Handle
- The haft is in two pieces, a longer pipe for the bottom, and a shorter piece for the top. Measure 5 inches for the top of the haft, and 36 inches for the large part of the haft.
- Cut your two pieces using the radial arm saw.
- Once again using the radial arm saw, cut grooves in each piece that will allow it to slip down over the plywood axe head.
- To steady the axe when drilling the bolt holes, use a V-Block to center your PVC pipe(third picture). If you don't already have one, it can quickly be constructed from pieces of scrap wood.
- Tape the pipe and blades as shown in the pictures as well.
- Make sure you have the correct drill bit for creating holes for 1/4" bolts.
- Centering with your V-Block, drill two holes, one in each piece of the haft.
- The next steps are easier if the axe is still in the different parts, so make sure to keep track of your nuts and bolts!
Step 4: Shaping the Foam Blades
- Using the bevel, shape the blade of the foam blades to give the appearance of a sharpened edge.
- Smooth edges with sand paper
- Before the foam can be glued to the plywood it must be sealed. Using your foam brush, apply mod podge to the back of each blade and allow to dry
Step 5: Glueing the Blades
- Make sure all your surfaces are clean and dry
- Apply a generous layer of wood glue and align the foam blades on the first side of the plywood. Let sit for a few minutes to form hold
- Flip the blades over and and repeat on other side
- Once both sides are glued, place weight on top of them to ensure the greatest contact between plywood and foam and let dry
Step 6: Bondo!
- To protect the blades and provide a smooth surface for painting, the blades will be sealed with Bondo. Make sure to wear gloves, a mask, and work in a well ventilated area.
- Mix a small amount of filler and hardener together. It is only workable for about 10 minutes at a time, so make sure to work in several small batches not to waste any Bondo.
- Do one thin coat of Bondo on each side, doing the flat of the blade first and then the curved edges.
- Once the first coat has dried, apply a second coat of Bondo, and allow to fully harden.
- Once Bondo has fully cured, sand to the level of smoothness you like. Its okay if isn't completely smooth, dings and the odd imperfection makes it look well used!
Step 7: Assemble and Stabilize Your Axe
- Assemble the axe
- Even though it is bolted together, the axe head may still shift around a bit. To stabilize it further, fill in the PVC pieces around the blade with great stuff foam. Keep in mind that it is expanding foam, so make sure to leave room for it to do so. If you move quickly, you should be able to wipe up extra before it dries.
- Any excess foam that hardens can be sanded away once completely dry.
- Your axe should now be ready for paint and finishing details, which I hope to cover in part 2!