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Manarelle maintains and refines


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All good. I'm making 4 because there are 5 people, usually, in our Kenpo class, and only one guy has his own (metal) practice knife. Hard for the teacher to really focus on knife work when we have to take turns. Now, there's enough for us all to learn at the same time. 

 

Week 2:

  • Exercise: Done.
  • Languages: Realized my actions didn't fit my long-term goals of being an expert at Russian, so Japanese is on hold and Russian is daily. Friday's class went much more smoothly.
  • Crafting: Knives - DONE. Pants #3 - almost done. 

This week felt like a loss. Work was hectic, I didn't sleep well, I chose to switch out and refocus my language goals, and nothing much got done on hobbies. It was shark week, so I came home, curled up, and read a lot. Somehow, though, Friday night came around and I was oddly motivated, so I did all of the shaping, sanding, and testing of the knives in a marathon 2.5 hours. My wrists hurt (from holding and moving the dremel) and the place was a mess after, but it meant I washed them off, let the dry overnight, and finished them this morning, with plenty of time before class tomorrow. Definitely turned the sense of accomplishment for the week around. 

 

Almost forgot pictures. Here's the final set of knives. They're not pretty or uniform, but they're functional.

All%20finished.jpg

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4 hours ago, Manarelle said:

Almost forgot pictures. Here's the final set of knives. They're not pretty or uniform, but they're functional.

 

Oooh, pretty. I see why you feel so accomplished! I was curious, is the butter knife inside for weight or for stiffness? I suppose I would be worried about it possibly popping out during use, but that’s probably because I don’t understand enough about the construction. 

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14 hours ago, otterbyte said:

Oooh, pretty. I see why you feel so accomplished! I was curious, is the butter knife inside for weight or for stiffness? I suppose I would be worried about it possibly popping out during use, but that’s probably because I don’t understand enough about the construction. 

 

A bit of both, really. I was also worried about that, despite the copious amount of glue I used, so when I cut them down to size, I also ground down the cutting edges and rounded off the cuts. Not saying it couldn't still happen, but there's no sharp edges hidden in side if it does. The foam is thick enough that I don't think it would bend/ collapse out of the way if the glue failed, you'd probably just notice the foam halves flapping against themselves while the knife stayed glue to one side. (I hope.) :)

 

Update: Class this morning focused almost exclusively on knives, just because we could. No damage or wearing noted. I'm calling this a success. 

Edited by Manarelle
Trial by fire.
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On 2/25/2018 at 4:59 AM, Manarelle said:

 

A bit of both, really. I was also worried about that, despite the copious amount of glue I used, so when I cut them down to size, I also ground down the cutting edges and rounded off the cuts. Not saying it couldn't still happen, but there's no sharp edges hidden in side if it does. The foam is thick enough that I don't think it would bend/ collapse out of the way if the glue failed, you'd probably just notice the foam halves flapping against themselves while the knife stayed glue to one side. (I hope.) :)

 

Update: Class this morning focused almost exclusively on knives, just because we could. No damage or wearing noted. I'm calling this a success. 

Very nice! They look awesome and I'm so impressed that you made practice knives.

 

Way to go on reconfiguring to meet the long-term Russian goals, too.  That kind of clarity can give such a huge boost to productivity. 

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Thanks guys, I'm really quite happy with them. Definitely looking forward to Mjolnir.

 

In other news, I got work pants #3 largely put together last night, and they fit just fine (#2 did not, and I'm still not sure why). "All" that's left to finish those off is handsewing down the waistband, adding the button and clasp, and putting in hems. 

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Let's hear it for absentmindedness getting things done. Somehow,  I thought today was the end of the challenge, so I buckled down and got work pants finished, only to find there's a whole 'nother week to go. 

 

Goals: 

  • Exercise: Done. 
  • Languages: Done.
  • Crafting: Done, done, coming soon.

Focused on knives again this week in kenpo, teacher is thrilled about this. Thinking that once I do Mjolnir, I'll make more knives, just in case of accidents or class enlargement. But, I'm very excited to say, Mjolnir will be first. I've been putting that off for a while now, because it's the first big cosplay thermoplastic thing I've tried, and the spectre of failure is scary. It's time, though. Let's see what happens. 

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On 3/4/2018 at 6:01 PM, Manarelle said:

Let's hear it for absentmindedness getting things done. Somehow,  I thought today was the end of the challenge, so I buckled down and got work pants finished, only to find there's a whole 'nother week to go. 

 

Goals: 

  • Exercise: Done. 
  • Languages: Done.
  • Crafting: Done, done, coming soon.

Focused on knives again this week in kenpo, teacher is thrilled about this. Thinking that once I do Mjolnir, I'll make more knives, just in case of accidents or class enlargement. But, I'm very excited to say, Mjolnir will be first. I've been putting that off for a while now, because it's the first big cosplay thermoplastic thing I've tried, and the spectre of failure is scary. It's time, though. Let's see what happens. 

Hooray for the fire of a fake deadline!! Way to go getting everything done a week early. 

 

And I can't wait to see how Mjolnir turns out. The spectre of failure *is* scary but I am certain it will be awesome.

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13 hours ago, peelout said:

Say what?

 

Mjolnir is my first major project for cosplay that involves thermoplastics. I've done a prototype bracer (out of Worbla), and the practice kenpo knives (out of EVA foam, but they're not meant to look pretty). Mjolnir is way more involved and needs to be structurally and cosmetically sound. Lots of room for failure. 

 

As a side note, it is wonderful to have enough comfortable clothes to make it through the work week. 

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Funny what motivates us. I've been dragging my feet all week on Mjolnir, partially because there were other things to do, but also fear. I couldn't let the challenge end without making some progress, though, so I forced myself to go downstairs and work on it this morning. My gentleman doesn't usually get up before 12:30pm on weekends, so if I completely hosed it up, I could just trash it and act like nothing happened. 

 

Surprisingly, what I thought would be a pain, wasn't. I pulled out the Dremel, filed the edges to (roughly) 45°, and got that all cleaned up in less than half an hour. The next step is putting all the bits together, and I ran into another snag. How do you hold 8 pieces of not-precision-made foam together while glue dries? Answer: steal ideas from Ikea.

 

  IMG_20180310_120203.jpg     IMG_20180310_133020.jpg  IMG_20180310_134759.jpg

 

Use an x-acto knife, sandpaper block, and toothpicks, I made little tiny wood braces for each piece to hold them roughly together. I thought about trying to pin each side to its fellows, but the chances of poking through were too high, so instead I used some scraps to make an internal structure for stability (and fun). Even just held together with toothpicks, I could bop things with it and not worry about it coming apart. Fun, but not long-term good. Gluing was a massive pain, and all the warm fuzzies I got from the previous step vanished. As mentioned above, the pieces are not precision engineered, or even all alike, so there are gaps and warps, and the glue was too much in some areas and dried too fast in others, and my fancy pegs of course couldn't find their holes when there's glue everywhere... you get the idea. I wrapped elastic around it, dropped a book on top for weight, and left it alone. 

 

IMG_20180310_145401.jpg   IMG_20180310_175016.jpg

 

After stepping away for a while, I have to say, it's not horrible. Once I have some pvc for the handle, I intend to fill the inside with expanding foam, which will help the structural concerns, then sand absolutely everything to some semblance of evenness, and then try using plasti-dip to coat everything and fill in the gaps. Not perfect, but a good result for a first try. This will absolutely continue to next challenge.

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Week 4 goals: 

  • Exercise: Done. 
  • Languages: Russian class was postponed, due to the prof getting a work opportunity. On the other hand, she sent her condolences and an alternate time proposal in Russian, and I responded without having to look up any vocab, so progress. 
  • Crafting: Good progress on Mjolnir, need to get a handle. 

Overall, this was a good challenge. Still making progress at the gym, refocused my language goals (and I can tell a difference), and got a lot of crafting done. I'm proud of where I am, and the next challenge will probably look very similar. 

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That was one day?! So much work done already!

 

On 3/10/2018 at 6:58 PM, Manarelle said:

Overall, this was a good challenge. Still making progress at the gym, refocused my language goals (and I can tell a difference), and got a lot of crafting done. I'm proud of where I am, and the next challenge will probably look very similar. 

Killed it.

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23 hours ago, @mu said:

Woaaa Mjolnir is huge!

But I will remember your challenge as the Kenpo knives challenge, it was so cool :P  et du premier coup en plus!

 

Merci. I have a pretty decent sense of visualization. The glue mishap/learning opportunity was illuminating, but the one with hot glue still works, so I guess that still counts as the first try. :)

 

4 hours ago, raptron said:

That was one day?! So much work done already!

 

Killed it.

 

What you don't see are the hours of turning it over in my head trying to figure out the best way to cut pieces so they can be put together quickly. I tend to way overdo the planning phase and then make fairly short work of doing... until I run into the variables I didn't consider in planning phase (which happens way more than I care to admit).  

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