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  1. I am in the process of starting a new project (because I don't have enough unfinished things lying around). I'm sort of a Trekkie, but not your typical "Kirk is my hero [swoon]" type. In fact, I think the Federation rather blows, and the Enterprise has the annoying habit of breaking down EXACTLY at the moment they need it (side note, for a master engineer, Scotty seems to suck at preventative maintenance). No, I'm a Klingon fan. After all, why talk out your problems when destroying someone is much more efficient, and prevents the enemy from annoying you in the future? (It's a true fact: Annihilation= 0% recidivism) Long ago I watched a Deep Space Nine episode featuring the "Sword of Khaless," which was an unusual shaped bat'leth (that curvy Klingon thing for those of you who live in the real world ). I designed my own based off that. First I made a prototype out of foamcore to make sure I had the dimensions right (I ended up making it a foot wider than I'd planned), and then I cut one out of plywood to see how it felt with some weight. I liked it so much I finished it and use it as a practice tool, like a bokken. Rather than attempt to cut this out myself, I decided to "cheat," and have it cut at a local steel shop where they have a computer-driven plasma cutter. I'd prefer water jet cutting for a smoother finish, but there isn't a water jet in my hometown. I took the design to the steel shop and got some estimates. Here's the email they sent back: This is the the file I created in autocad [KLINGON ARTIFACT.pdf], look over the dimensions to make sure this will work for you. I have made some quotes based on this size. For 3/16: A36 Steel (yield strength of 36,000psi) will be $66.10. With A572 Grade 50 (yield strength of 50,000 psi) will be $71.26. With AR400 (yield strength of 155,000 psi) $88.84 The weight between all the different types are the same. I'm not familiar with either type of steel. I should actually know which would work better, but most of the things I make are from recycled steel (files, leaf springs, and so forth). As for edges, the inner edges of the outer blades and the edges of the axe-like projections in the center will be sharpened. The center spike will be blunt. The grip will most likely be hardwood scales wrapped in braided rawhide (my brother is a rawhide braider, so I'm going to engage in a little nepotism at that point). What would people who've made larger swords recommend? KLINGON ARTIFACT.pdf is the file the steel company sent back. I'm really pleased with their rendition, since all I gave them was an Illustrator file and a jpeg like this:
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