in this fine inscrutable ill be going over a quick and easy project anyone can do. from start to finish it takes just shy of a week and can be built under $30 ($40 if you choose to do the table). a great gift idea that you can put your own flare on for any geek or history enthusiast. ill show how to do a sword mount as well as a table.
what you'll need.
8 - 1x2" wood planks (depending on the diameter, mines 28")
krylon primer spray paint
krylon spray paint (your choice of color's)
Craft paint (for detailing)
jig saw or any saw that can cut a round angle
Clear coat of any kind. (to protect the paint)
and some sweet jams to listen too.
--Sword Mount Supplies--
wall hangers that screw into the back
steel wire for wall mounting
oak or any hard wood dowel rod 3/8" to hang the sword hilt on. (use a thicker rod for bigger weapons like axes or bigger swords)
2x4" for legs
1x2" for leg supports
carriage screws for putting it all together
*optional* acrylic or glass table top to sit on top of the shield.
Step 1: Cutting the Shield
line up 2 or 3 of the wood planks. measure to find the middle and attach a thumb tac with the string tied around it and tie a pencil to the other end. measure the full length of the string to the size you want your project to be and then add a couple inches to your string so you can tie the ends off. hold the pencil vertically so its the same all the way around and slowly draw a line. only do about 2 or 3 planks at a time and cut them so you can utilize as much as the wood as possible. continue the process all the way around till you have a full shield.
once you have a full shield take a sander and lightly sand the sides long ways so it rounds the sides *ONLY DO ONE SIDE makes it much easier to bond the planks*. this adds a unique look to the project. do not sand the top and bottom ends so its easier to line them up and keep it round.
after the planks are sanded slide them together and use some 1x2"'s as a cross brace, i used 3 one in the middle (from end to end) and one on the top and bottom. when attaching the planks putt pressure against the boards to any warping or bent wood is pressure fit and flattens out other wise you may have slight gaps between your planks. be sure to put a screw in each plank.
next is the simple part take your sander and sand down and smooth out the top and even out the outside of the shield to make it round. if the outside is too uneven for a quick sand you can use a number of tools to even it out. i used a carpenters tool that just scrapes up excess wood.
Step 2: Painting
before painting be sure to do a couple designs on a scratch piece of paper or look up viking shield on you favorite search engine to get some ideas and color pallets. you can always paint it based on your favorite guard shield from skyrim!
put a nice base coat of primer on it this will keep the paint from soaking into the wood. then apply a base coat of your color of choice. i chose to do a black boarder because my design is a black wolf and thought it would complement well just covered what i didn't want painted with painters tape.
after the base coat of blue i covered a good portion of the shield in painters tape and drew my chosen design. its a negative/positive version of the witcher wolf. i made the circle of the wolf with the thumb tack and string again and after drawing the design. i mirrored it on the other side and then did the the out lines in sharpie so it was easier to see. simple cut the painters tape with a Exacto knife. if the paint has had its time to dry and set it shouldn't affect it at all. after it was all cut out on one side i cut out the opposite lines on the other side to add the negative effect.
i used black craft paint was easier to work with and i didn't have to worry about over spray from the spray paint.
Step 3: Detailing
once the final paint has had time to set remove the painters tape and detail any paint nicks etc. then apply a thick clear coat of choice.
if you plan on doing the weapon mount use a drill bit a hair smaller then your dowel rod and drill two holes into the shield where you'd like the hit to sit. put a dab of wood glue on the ends of the dowel and pound them in with a soft mallet. then use your wall mount hooks to attach the hanging wire to the back. i recommend hanging it on to nails in the wall if you chose to do a size similar to mine.
if you plan to make a table out of it cut the 2x4"'s to the height you wish you want your table to sit at (coffee table, patio table, card table...etc.). Have some fun with the leg design. weather you want a contemporary design where the cross supports are at the top out of sight or at a 90 degree and from the top of one leg to the bottom of the other. once you decided on your leg support design cut or buy 90 degree angle braces screw them to the legs and line them up with the supports of the shield and screw them in. put two braces on each leg on the inside so there are out of sight.
*optional* you can get a round acrylic, plexiglass or glass table top to protect the top paint and have a more professional look to it.
and bam! you have a great gift or a great conversation piece to please any history buff or geek.
hope you enjoyed reading and hope you give your own viking shield a try!
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