Tag Archives: router

Doctor Who Sword Cane Handle

Last spring, I was approached by a local pastor for a project. He walked with a cane, and he had found a sword cane he liked, but the handle had broken off. He wanted to know if I could make him a new one.

He was a dedicated Doctor Who fan, and wanted a handle in the shape of a question mark. He also wanted his name inscribed in Gallifreyan on it, and painted in Midnight Metallic Blue to match his Doctor Who-themed automobile.

I put together a video highlighting my whole process from start to finish.

I made the handle out of some of the ash I had left over from my Game of Thrones chest. This handle would need to be strong and hold a lot of weight. The shape of the question mark made me concerned that parts of it would split no matter which way I positioned the grain. I decided to laminate two thinner pieces together with the grains running perpendicular to each other.

Preparing the boards
Preparing the boards

As you can see in the video, the shape was cut out with a jigsaw and cleaned up with a belt sander and oscillating spindle sander. I then ran it through the router table with a large round-over bit.

Cut and rounded
Cut and rounded

A Dremel and a file helped clean up and refine the shape. If you are wondering about that strange file in the video, it is a Japanese saw file. I had just gotten it and this was my first project to use it on. It rasps like butter and is easy to keep unclogged.

He wanted his name carved in Gallifreyan. Gallifrey is Doctor Who’s home planet, and the language uses a series of interlocking circles and lines to write words. I found an online Gallifreyan transliterator and plugged his name in. I adapted the result to fit the shape of the handle, and mirrored it so it was the same on both sides.

Primed
Primed

It took a few coats of filler primer and a lot of sanding to get it smooth and shiny. The last pass was a wet sanding with 600 grit sandpaper. Then I sprayed a few light coats of the Midnight Metallic Blue paint which I had ordered from an automotive paint supplier. The paint also came with its own urethane clear coat, which I applied when everything was dry.

Doctor Who Sword Cane Handle
Doctor Who Sword Cane Handle

I threaded the end onto the sword part of the cane and glued it together with epoxy. He loved the final piece. So the next time you see a preacher in the woods fighting off snakes with his Doctor Who sword cane, you know where he got it from.

How to Copy Carve a Rotary Phone with a Router

Here is a great video showing how to copy carve a rotary phone out of a chunk of wood using a router. The video comes from Matthias Wandel, who runs the amazing Woodgears.ca. Check it out if you haven’t already, it’s on my list of the 100 best sites for the prop maker. He is an engineer by trade, and approaches woodworking from a unique angle.

I just (re)discovered his YouTube channel, where he has videos for many of the projects he posts on his site. The aforementioned video for copy carving a phone is there, as is a video showing how to build your own copy carver.

Monday Morning Links

Fon Davis runs a company called FONCO Creative, which makes miniatures and models for film and television. He’s worked on some lesser-known films such as MatrixStar Wars Episodes I-III, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Make: Believe visits his studio and posts some photographs and this video below. It is great to see a fairly young and high-tech company still embracing the use of models and miniatures.

You should see this “Death Row” router table; so-named because it was found in a prison woodworking shop where tools often need to be, um, improvised.

New York Magazine has this snarky look at how terrible the newspaper was in Back to the Future. Slate Magazine than has a rebuttal, calling the critique very funny, but very wrong. Both articles are highly entertaining; you might remember them the next time you need to make a fake newspaper prop.

Here is an interesting Instructable for making your own machinable wax. Machinable wax is a wax which will not melt or deform from the friction of a high-speed rotary cutter; it is useful for trying out a part on a CNC machine before you waste your real material (and it can be machined faster and without wearing down your tools).