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Alex Yeoh





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PostPosted: Fri 03 Dec, 2004 10:15 pm    Post subject: Oh no! Look what I did to my sword!!         Reply with quote

from this...



to this!!!



not bad huh? The junk on the blade is just dust because the blade is particularly oily. All the work was done by hand using a dremel tool. The hardest part was getting the groove rings on the pommel as you can imagine how difficult it must be to get perfectly circular groove rings by hand!! I had some mistakes, but I managed to clear up most of it.

I did it all myself because I was fed up with everyone's schedule being so tied up - if you want to get something done, you gotta do it yourself. I'm quite happy with the result - it turned out looking exactly as I imagined it, and I didn't ruin it like I feared I might.

The language is Sindarin from Tolkien and the script is Cirth script (also from Tolkien).

So what do you think of my fantasy sword?

"Only a fool would go after the singing sword!" - Bugs Bunny
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Alex Yeoh





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PostPosted: Fri 03 Dec, 2004 11:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hmm.. 15 views and no reply? does that mean that everyone hates it?
"Only a fool would go after the singing sword!" - Bugs Bunny
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Fri 03 Dec, 2004 11:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No way, Alex, that's awesome! Very nice work!

Could you get closer pics of the inscription? The lighting makes it hard to see.
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Daniel W. Holayter





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PostPosted: Sat 04 Dec, 2004 12:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Whoa- you're hired! Beautiful work. What bits did you use with the dremel to etch it?
Daneil Holayter
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sat 04 Dec, 2004 1:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alex;

Well the blade got my attention FIRST.......... Oh no what did he do? Sometimes an antiquing project goes very very wrong!(Nice to know that it is just dust....... but it might be abrasive dust so be carefull cleaning it off!)

You need lighting coming a bit from the side to shadow the lettering and make it easier to see.

Not a bad idea to practice these things on a piece of scrap steel before trying it on an expensive sword.

I don't see anything wrong with this type of thing if you are happy with the results. (Big risk that turned out O.K. .......OOOF!)

Might want to avoid this sort of thing if you ever buy a very expensive custom piece from a well known maker as the resale value would take a beating.(Unless you become famous for this kind of work!........LOL)

Do I like the results? Well I need a better picture of it before I can form firm opinion. (Sort of yes I like it, but my heart skipped a beat that first second looking at it..........LOL.)

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Alex Yeoh





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PostPosted: Sat 04 Dec, 2004 2:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote




okay phew!! I thought for a minute I had chosen a design that really sucked.

Well first of all.. yeah the blade looks terrible in that picture, but believe me it is in perfect condition. I have not wiped the blade since I got it, and it still has a generous amount of oil from shipping, which has attracted a lot of dust to it.

I first started off with the pommel. At first I tried to engrave the grooves - I had in my mind to just engrave a deep groove - but the results were terrible - very uneven and "bumpy". I realized later that I had the speed settings too low - but nevertheless it was the wrong tool anyway.

Then I used a circular diamond cutter. I rested the pommel on the table and set the dremel tool in a fixed location (I have a dremel stand), and just rotated the pommel. The initial results of this again were disastrous. For some reason the dremel tool just kept sliding down making the cut uneven. I still can't figure out why! I thought that maybe I didn't secure the stand properly, but even after tightening as hard as I could the dremel tool still slided down after cutting a few seconds.

Eventually after a while the dremel tool stopped moving down, even though i didn't do anything differently. I just had to watch it carefully to make sure it didn't slide down by itself. Anyway, that's why the groove closest the grip is wider than the other groove - but thankfully I salvaged it and it actually looks like it's part of the design.

The circular cutter is very thin, but it cuts a groove about 1mm thick. So for the second groove, I had to cut two grooves side by side to make a thicker groove, and then round off the rough edges inside the groove. By this time I had the cutting down pat, and it was a very easy process to get it very precise.

As for the grooves on the cross guard, at first I tried to keep the dremel tool fixed to the stand as before but it was harder to get it precise, so I just held it by hand and cut the grooves free-hand. It was a lot easier because I only had to cut straight lines on a flat surface. One just has to close one eye and look at it from the other to ensure accuracy.

By that time the engraving of the script was a piece of cake. Of course all of these cuttings and engravings were first stenciled in with a black marker pen. You can see from the above pictures that the grooves are very precise for a free-hand job. The grooves on the pommel are even more remarkable looking. You can see some mistakes with the first groove on the pommel, but I left them in intentionally. The script is also not supposed to look perfect - it is not supposed to look like it was engraved by a machine, but it's supposed to look like it was etched in there by "ancient procedures" whatever that means.

The idea of this sword is that it is supposed to be a used war sword, not some decorative mantle piece, so it is not supposed to look pristine. Part of the charm of the original Lord of the Rings swords is that they looked ancient and used - and that's the look I was after. I noticed from the pictures of a lot of custom sword owners that owners like to have their swords looking pristine, and that's fine but they won't look like they were actually swords used on the battlefield.

Check out the original Glamdring sword from LOTR:


You can see the "used" look is intentional, and it looks fantastic. The whole fantasy thing may be corny to some, but for me it's realizing a child-hood dream. Thanks to you guys I actually HAVE a real sword, not some fake decorative sword. I like the idea of transforming a regular sword into something totally unique that is my design from scratch - it is truly *my* sword.

That gold stuff is just a permanent gold marker pen but it smudges if it comes into contact with oil. I'd like to solder some goldish metal in there but I have no idea how or what material to use that can come cheaply. Any suggestions?

"Only a fool would go after the singing sword!" - Bugs Bunny
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Alex Yeoh





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PostPosted: Sat 04 Dec, 2004 2:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

some more pics...





In this next shot, you can see on one side of the pommel, you can see when I first tried to engrave the groove. Later I used the cutting tool to create the groove which of course yielded the spectacular results. I hid as much of the previous engraving attempt, but the last bit on one side I left it as it is, because as I mentioned earlier - this isn't meant to be a pristine sword. I think it looks okay for something that is supposed to have seen combat.



ah.. here you can see there is nothing really wrong with the blade - it's just the lighting in the other pictures make the blade look bad. In actuality it is a mix of the dust and the copious amount of oil distorting the light reflection. It's tricky trying to see the work I did in a photograph at night time and the best results were without the flash. However, without the flash the oily dusty film comes out very clearly in the pics.



I like how the light reflects in this last shot...


by the way, the script on the sword is not the same as Glamdring. It is entirely a new name and some new words in there too. It's bit corny - but there is no intention for it to mean anything significant. The important thing for me was to choose a name for the sword and to have some sort of script on there. The original Glamdring script was in the style of real inscriptions of historic swords "Turgon, king of Gondolin, wields, has and holds the sword Glamdring, foe of Morgoth's realm, hammer to the Orcs". But of course I couldn't have some guy name Turgon on my sword, nor some Gondolin or Morgoth - plus the script is way too long, so I changed it.

"Only a fool would go after the singing sword!" - Bugs Bunny
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Alex Yeoh





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PostPosted: Sat 04 Dec, 2004 3:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

here's some other work I've done.

I turned the square lugs of this $1000 watch:


into this:


(the lugs are the 4 arms on the case which the strap attaches to)

I always liked this watch but hated the lugs on it - it looks like someone cut off the ends or forgot to finish them, so I rounded them off into a traditional military design.

this is the style of the "original" $5000 watch whose design dates back to WW2:


so you can see that the lugs are rounded and look much nicer. Incidently, I have the "brother" of the pictured IWC watch (I have the UTC version), and it really is a superbly made watch!!

Some of my fellow watch enthusiasts thought I was crazy to try and meddle with a $1000 watch with a dremel tool, and some believed I would make a big mess of it. That of course drove me to succeed with the project and you can see the results are fantastic. I am similarly proud of the sword - both the watch and the sword were done with skills that I learned on the spot with no prior training or experience, so I'm thankful that I didn't end up wasting a whole ton of money on an experiment!!

I should really get you sword guys into watches. Tell me you can appreciate the fine craftmanship of the IWC!! Like a good sword, IWCs are also hand-made!

"Only a fool would go after the singing sword!" - Bugs Bunny
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James A. Vargscarr




Location: Englishman living in Canada
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PostPosted: Sat 04 Dec, 2004 4:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From what I can see of them, I like the runes a great deal. Looks like you've customised the piece very nicely indeed; and without effecting the functionality of the sword in any way. It would be interesting to see a real close up of them, if you can pull it off, but from this distance I'd trust you to inscribe runes on my guard, if I had one that needed a runeing Laughing Out Loud

But - do wipe down your blade! The reason it's oiled to the nines for shipping is to make damn sure that even if a postal worker leaves the box in a bucket of water overnight, the shipper knows he has done everything in his power to prevent rust developing before the sword reaches you. Once you receive the sword however, this much oil is not at all necessary. Only the thinnest coat is needed.

Personally though, I prefer to wipe off all the messy oil and polish the blade and fittings (don't forget those mild steel fittings!) with a silicon gun and reel cloth. No mess, no fuss; no need to wipe off an old coat before applying a new one. I have used it for a good number of years now, and have never had a problem with rust. Costs about two dollars from your local sporting goods shop, and will last you for years if you keep it clean, and don't let it dry out.

Enjoy the sword - feels a bit different from the Glamdring replica, doesn't it?
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Greyson Brown




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PostPosted: Sat 04 Dec, 2004 5:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like it! Decorating or modifying swords of historical, or at least practical, design results in the type of "fantasy" swords that I like. If all that fancy stuff on other fantasy swords was really useful, it would be on historical swords, too. I think that your modification is in keeping with what Tolkien had in mind anyway. Afterall, Aragorn was able to carry around the sword of a king (albiet broken), without anyone thinking it out of place for a humble ranger. That tells me that, despite decoration, Narsil/ Anduril was a functional sword first and foremost. I you have captured that essence. It is things like this that are allowing me to crawl out of my curmudgen-ish shell, and actually embracesome fantasy sword designs.

Okay, now to ask the question: I just spent the last 40 minutes trying to translate the inscription on the hilt. The fact that I do not have Cirth memorized didn't help (with Tengwar, Futharken, and the English alphabet, I have enough to worry about). I was also limited by the fact that Tolkien built a surprising amount of nuance and chronological developement/ transition into the Cirth writing system. The end result is that I cannot see enough of what is on the arms of the guard to correctly transcribe (and thus translate) it. I can see that the last word on the right side is the same as that in the center section of the guard, and reads Fangwar (bearded one?), but that is it. What, if you don't mind telling, does it say?

-Grey

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
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Jonathon Janusz





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PostPosted: Sat 04 Dec, 2004 6:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fine sword and a lovely watch; I agree with your aesthetic modifications to your watch Cool

. . . but as for the gold marker on the sword Confused . . . if you are thinking about putting some "goldish metal" in there, and aren't afraid to attack a thousand dollar watch with a dremel, why not go all the way and finish it with real gold? From the looks of things, it wouldn't cost too much as there doesn't look to be a lot of gold in the piece Happy

Enjoy!
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Sat 04 Dec, 2004 9:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alex Yeoh wrote:
Incidently, I have the "brother" of the pictured IWC watch (I have the UTC version), and it really is a superbly made watch!!


Pardon my ignorance, but please help with definitions for "IWC" and "UTC".

Very nice work! And more guts than I have to experiment on such pieces!
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Joseph C.




Location: Pensacola, Florida
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PostPosted: Sat 04 Dec, 2004 9:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Get us into watches? Why, I'm already there. Wink Luckily for my wallet, I can easily live with my Seiko automatic dive watch... I wouldn't go modifying it though--you obviously have much more luck than I do with tools. >LOL<
Hosea 4:6a
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Sat 04 Dec, 2004 10:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The thought of using real gold is certainly a good idea, since you've come this far already. I've also heard of a type of fake gilding product, I don't remember what it was called. I saw it at a craft store. But basically, it had an adhesive that you applied to the area you wanted gold, and you poured the gold on (I think it was a powder, but I don't remember). Brush the gold off, and you're done. The picture on the package showed decorating glass and wood, I don't know if steel would work or not, but I don't think it was expensive, so it'd be worth a shot. You may even be able to gild the engravings this way, if you chose to.
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Alex Yeoh





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PostPosted: Sat 04 Dec, 2004 10:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greyson Brown wrote:

Okay, now to ask the question: I just spent the last 40 minutes trying to translate the inscription on the hilt. The fact that I do not have Cirth memorized didn't help (with Tengwar, Futharken, and the English alphabet, I have enough to worry about). I was also limited by the fact that Tolkien built a surprising amount of nuance and chronological developement/ transition into the Cirth writing system. The end result is that I cannot see enough of what is on the arms of the guard to correctly transcribe (and thus translate) it. I can see that the last word on the right side is the same as that in the center section of the guard, and reads Fangwar (bearded one?), but that is it. What, if you don't mind telling, does it say?

-Grey


hmm.. so you got the name right, but not the translation. There is no translation for the made-up word "Fangwar" - I chose it because I like how it sounds. It was loosely derived from "Hadhafang" which means Throng Cleaver but no Sindarin dictionary defines the word "throng" or "cleaver". I intentionally chose a word that has no meaning because the sword is not meant to be rooted in any "reality". Like I said before, there is no real deep meaning to the translation. Although the rest of the script literally translates into a regular sentence, I basically just chose one to fill up space on the guard. It is very similar to Glamdring but with the names changed. Fangwar is not meant be split up into "Fang" and "war" just like the word "chosen" is not meant to be split up into "cho" and "sen". So it doesn't really mean "beard".

"Only a fool would go after the singing sword!" - Bugs Bunny
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Sat 04 Dec, 2004 10:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alex Yeoh wrote:
I noticed from the pictures of a lot of custom sword owners that owners like to have their swords looking pristine, and that's fine but they won't look like they were actually swords used on the battlefield.


Ha! You should see what happens to my swords after a couple months. A friend of mine once said, "I was thinking of aging my sword so it would look like an antique... I figured I'd just let you hang on to it for a week." Happy

Seriously, though, I think a lot of people like the worn look, which is why so many people like antiquing their swords, and some companies offer an aged look.

Quote:
The whole fantasy thing may be corny to some, but for me it's realizing a child-hood dream.


Nah, not any cornier than collecting swords in general. It was fantasy that got me into swords in the first place. I really admired most of the swords Peter Lyon created for the LOTR movies. They blend fantasy and historically inspired nicely, so that you have believable swords, which is what I think good fantasy does: Creates a world where you believe in it's realism.
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Alex Yeoh





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PostPosted: Sat 04 Dec, 2004 11:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

right! I now look at the whole idea of fantasy swords in a whole new way. Peter Lyons really did a great service to fantasy by making believable looking weaponry. It certainly changed my idea of what a fantasy sword shoud look like.
"Only a fool would go after the singing sword!" - Bugs Bunny
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Alex Yeoh





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PostPosted: Sat 04 Dec, 2004 12:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve Grisetti wrote:
Alex Yeoh wrote:
Incidently, I have the "brother" of the pictured IWC watch (I have the UTC version), and it really is a superbly made watch!!


Pardon my ignorance, but please help with definitions for "IWC" and "UTC".

Very nice work! And more guts than I have to experiment on such pieces!


IWC stands for International Watch Company (www.iwc.ch) - a company started over 150 years ago, back when "International" actually meant something big. They are famous for their sensible German engineering philosophies as well as superb craftmanship. They made the world's first all titanium watch and bracelet, they currently make the world's most sophisticated bracelet system, and the world's only 7 day power reserve automatic watch.

UTC stands for "Coordinated Universal Time". The IWC UTC tells time in two timezones. Here's the platinum version:
http://www.bacario.com/Details.asp?ProductID=1366

The watch is a pilot's watch so it is highly antimagnetic, and the crystal is protected against rapid decompression. Normally a watch crystal might pop off during rapid decompression but the IWC pilot watches are protected against that.

"Only a fool would go after the singing sword!" - Bugs Bunny
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Alex Yeoh





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PostPosted: Sat 04 Dec, 2004 12:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James A. Vargscarr wrote:


Enjoy the sword - feels a bit different from the Glamdring replica, doesn't it?


yeah much nicer! I am definitely more satisfied with a real sword! Big Grin

"Only a fool would go after the singing sword!" - Bugs Bunny
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Alex Yeoh





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PostPosted: Sat 04 Dec, 2004 12:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

one last thing. I think the middle of the guard where it ends in a point above the writing needs to have a symbol of some sort - like a diamond or a sun or a circle or something. Any suggestions what might look good in that space?
"Only a fool would go after the singing sword!" - Bugs Bunny
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