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February 25, 2013 6:34 PM   Subscribe

Master swordsmith Tony Swatton forges Finn's sword from Adventure Time!
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants (58 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
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This is face my son is making right now.
posted by boo_radley at 6:56 PM on February 25, 2013 [18 favorites]


I've got a friend who's the most cynical caricature of a MeFite/AV Club type pop culture snob. He has a dismissive comment for anything that isn't Frank Zappa or Werner Herzog.

He loves Adventure Time, and will share anything with Finn and Jake in it. Such is the power of this show.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:59 PM on February 25, 2013


Did they really have to do that to Manfred?
posted by idiopath at 6:59 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fantastic! This guy made the swords in Hook? Wow okay I'll just be over here watching every single video now. This is just the sort of niche skill that I love watching people excel at. I'm so glad he's making videos, although I could do with less XTREEM MONTAGE. I guess that kind of goes in hand with the subject matter.
posted by Mizu at 6:59 PM on February 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'd love for an Etsy member to parody this video while making Finn's hat.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:04 PM on February 25, 2013 [17 favorites]


This sword is a need, not a want.
posted by pwally at 7:04 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


What is strange to me is that he is scaling up the toy sword because the toy sword is "for kids." Finn is twelve.

Also, while this is a really cool prop (it's awesome that he can get that gold color just through tempering) it should be made clear that it is truly only a prop and that the techniques involved in making a functional sword are somewhat different.
posted by Scientist at 7:07 PM on February 25, 2013 [12 favorites]


So how does this color thing work? What's the optimal way to forge steel?
posted by Strass at 7:09 PM on February 25, 2013


Is the functionality of the sword impaired by being goldified like that? Does that make it brittle or something?
posted by Malor at 7:13 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tempering:
Faint-yellow – 176 °C (349 °F) – engravers, razors, scrapers
Light-straw – 205 °C (401 °F) – rock drills, reamers, metal-cutting saws
Dark-straw – 226 °C (439 °F) – scribers, planer blades
Brown – 260 °C (500 °F) – taps, dies, drill bits, hammers, cold chisels
Purple – 282 °C (540 °F) – surgical tools, punches, stone carving tools
Dark blue – 310 °C (590 °F) – screwdrivers, wrenches
Light blue – 337 °C (639 °F) – springs, wood-cutting saws
Grey-blue – 371 °C (700 °F) and higher – structural steel
posted by 445supermag at 7:20 PM on February 25, 2013 [18 favorites]


Do swords fall in the same category as razors?
posted by Strass at 7:23 PM on February 25, 2013


All of his tools sound spectacularly double entendre-y!
Okay, maybe not the five-minute epoxy...
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:36 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Razors are more brittle than a sword needs to be. I'd guess it would be closer to springs.
posted by VTX at 7:39 PM on February 25, 2013


Unless I am mistaken, that color chart goes in order from hardest/brittle-est to softest/toughest. Razors and engraving tools need to be very hard to take and hold a perfect edge (or to engrave on other metals) but they aren't subject to much flexing or bending and so can get away with being quite brittle. To get an idea of where swords fall, some of the best inexpensive functional swords are made from repurposed leaf springs out of old truck suspensions. Spring steel of that type has roughly the right physical properties to make a good sword. Functional swords are not generally razor sharp (though they are sharp enough) but they do need to stand up to a lot of punishment without being severely damaged.

So razors and swords actually demand very different properties from their steels. It's OK though, that's hardly the only thing that makes this a non-functional sword. It's made with big notches in it, for one! For another, the blade was ground rather than forged. For a third? the tang is very small. For a fourth, the blade looks far too thick and heavy.

This is a cool project and the end result is great but it is fundamentally a decorative rather than functional object. It is a prop. That is OK though. :-)
posted by Scientist at 7:43 PM on February 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


What is strange to me is that he is scaling up the toy sword because the toy sword is "for kids." Finn is twelve.

Billy needs a sword, too, man.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:57 PM on February 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


This is a MASTER swordsmith?
posted by ReeMonster at 7:59 PM on February 25, 2013


After consumption of all our carnal desires, the five minute epoxy of conjugal afterglow faded, gradually expedited by the quickening of the bladder and various muscle cramps, and yet solidified by the clamminess of the wet spot.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 7:59 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's made with big notches in it, for one!

The reason for that.
posted by curious nu at 8:02 PM on February 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


Functional swords are not generally razor sharp (though they are sharp enough)

Yep. "Sharp like an axe, not like a razor."
posted by adamdschneider at 8:11 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Scientist: "Spring steel of that type has roughly the right physical properties to make a good sword. Functional swords are not generally razor sharp (though they are sharp enough) but they do need to stand up to a lot of punishment without being severely damaged."

Spring steel's got the right amount of carbon, yeah. What I understood from undergrad materials science class, for the ultimate sword, you make it nice and tough (able to withstand a lot of abuse) on the inside. And temper it, take out all the stresses and such. Then get the outside - the cutting edge, really - nice and hot then quench it it in oil. That outside edge being brittle lets it take a really nice edge, but the inside being tough means you don't break the blade (just ding it).
posted by notsnot at 8:13 PM on February 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Making Jaime Lannister’s sword
posted by homunculus at 8:16 PM on February 25, 2013


Yeah, notsnot. I was sort of thinking about that but then I decided it wasn't worth going into all the detail so I just said "generally". :-)
posted by Scientist at 8:17 PM on February 25, 2013


A sword doesn't actually need much of an edge to be pretty effective, though. Human skin isn't very tough.
posted by adamdschneider at 8:17 PM on February 25, 2013


A sword doesn't actually need much of an edge to be pretty effective, though. Human skin isn't very tough.

I've only seen a few seasons but from what I've seen Finn is the last human? Except for a few Vault Dwellers from Fallout? So it'd need to be tougher to fight monsters.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:21 PM on February 25, 2013


Who is to say that the monsters, being results of mutating radiation and all, aren't in fact weaker than your average human? I mean, Peebles is made of a gum-like substance, or at least her hair is. Any given monster of the week might be lacking structural integrity entirely.
posted by Mizu at 8:32 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


yaay!
posted by rebent at 8:57 PM on February 25, 2013


OK, so it looks cool and stuff, but its really just an expensive, well-crafted prop, right? I mean, I didn't see him enchanting it at all, so really it can't do much more that slicing/piercing damage, right?
posted by rebent at 9:02 PM on February 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


Did anyone else find the sound editing on this really weird? The sword is cool, as is watching someone skilled at their craft making things, but there were all these weird moments it seemed to me from the tone and rhythm that something had been cut out.
posted by Grimgrin at 9:22 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


but there were all these weird moments it seemed to me from the tone and rhythm that something had been cut out.
It sounds like they recorded the dialog five times and then selected each word from a different take. Or the guy puts a lot of space between words, and they just cut all that out, ruining the rhythm he naturally speaks with.

It seems to fit with the quick-editing, so I'm guessing that it was intentional.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:33 PM on February 25, 2013


ReeMonster: "This is a MASTER swordsmith?"

Hey, man, even a master chef can eat cheetos every once in a while, you know?
posted by boo_radley at 9:50 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


You could temper to a golden color AND have the correct hardness by first tempering to a purple (or what ever is correct for carbon content of the steel), then polish it bright again and then reheat at the lower temperature for a yellow color.
posted by 445supermag at 10:01 PM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Adventure Time and swordmaking? Mathematical!

Yeah, that's not a "real" sword but it shouldn't be anyway. If it's a prop sword you can make it weigh a lot less and be a lot more manageable as a cosplay/prop item and that's fine. And you can temper it for color, too, and not worrying about it being functional.

Heh, I just got back from watching Adventure Time and having dinner with a neighbor friend.
posted by loquacious at 10:01 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


The IVR voiceover was an interesting choice.

Anyone see the Nova where they guy made his own high carbon steel by dumping a bunch of charcoal and ore in like a flowerpot and packed it in 5 inches of some kind of clay. He ended up with like a hunk of raw metal and spend weeks shaping it into a Viking sword. If this guy is a master, that dude who made high carbon steal out of charcoal must be some kind of god.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:09 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Secrets of the Viking sword.

Damn PBS, made their online video work on mobile. I'll be up all night watching New Yankee Workshop.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:13 PM on February 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


One of the biggest reasons I like Adventure Time better than, say, Avatar, is that violence in AT is fundamentally absurd and even useless. No one is generally afraid of Finn's sword. It vanquishes made-up monsters, but in encounters with important characters it's basically just a make-believe sword. Everyone other than Finn either has insane magical powers or is immune to sword-based violence for some other reason (too big, incorporeal, head grows back). By comparison, in a show like Avatar, the threat of violence (from both "good" and "bad" characters) is often used to manipulate people and take control of situations. In AT, violence is a gratuitous plaything: it's there, it's funny, but it's pointless. In Avatar, violence solves problems.

I think that making a real metal sword moves AT closer to Avatar. I don't like that. The show isn't about sword fetishism.
posted by Nomyte at 10:21 PM on February 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


Yeah, that's cool and everything, but... Oddjob's Hat. ODDJOB'S GOD DAMN HAT.
posted by DecemberBoy at 10:26 PM on February 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


One of the biggest reasons I like Adventure Time better than, say, Avatar, is that violence in AT is fundamentally absurd and even useless. No one is generally afraid of Finn's sword. It vanquishes made-up monsters, but in encounters with important characters it's basically just a make-believe sword. Everyone other than Finn either has insane magical powers or is immune to sword-based violence for some other reason (too big, incorporeal, head grows back). By comparison, in a show like Avatar, the threat of violence (from both "good" and "bad" characters) is often used to manipulate people and take control of situations. In AT, violence is a gratuitous plaything: it's there, it's funny, but it's pointless. In Avatar, violence solves problems.

I dunno... one of the things I like about Adventure Time is that even though it's jokey, Finn is a fantasy hero, and he does fight with martial arts and weapons against various ghosts and demons and weapons. And sword fetishism is part of the whole D&D inspired milieu the game has, with its mimics and oozes.

Speaking of, there's an awesome fanmade D&D 4 Adventure Time game out.

It's pretty scary how much this show has penetrated my demographic. I heard people singing the theme song at the beach and referencing at a comedy night and graffiting the characters on walls.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 10:47 PM on February 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


I dunno... one of the things I like about Adventure Time is that even though it's jokey, Finn is a fantasy hero, and he does fight with martial arts and weapons against various ghosts and demons and weapons. And sword fetishism is part of the whole D&D inspired milieu the game has, with its mimics and oozes.

I watch the show in a kind of different way. I haven't exactly diagrammed all the episode plots and counted out the scenes, but my general takeaway from the show is that Finn is a dumb kid in a world of adults. He runs in with his big, dumb sword swinging, and it's all fun and games until the adults scoff at him for being dumb and foolhardy, or he realizes that a sword can't solve the problem.

And yeah, the adults are sometimes people made of candy or demons from hell or small elephants that like to bake pies. That's beside the point.
posted by Nomyte at 10:55 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


It sounds like they recorded the dialog five times and then selected each word from a different take. Or the guy puts a lot of space between words, and they just cut all that out, ruining the rhythm he naturally speaks with.

It seems to fit with the quick-editing, so I'm guessing that it was intentional.


I was just coming here to complain about that. Fascinating video, but Jesus Fucking Imaginary Christ people we are not going to get bored and switch channels because cool old sword dude takes .05 of a second longer to finish his fuckin' sentence.
posted by Sebmojo at 10:59 PM on February 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


It sounds like they recorded the dialog five times and then selected each word from a different take.

I hate ... TO continue ... this DERAIL but I ... found that annoying too
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 12:12 AM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's pretty scary how much this show has penetrated my demographic. I heard people singing the theme song at the beach and referencing at a comedy night and graffiting the characters on walls.

Most kids' shows are made by writing them for kids, and then (maybe) adding a few cool nods for adults -- Beatles references, etc.

Pen Ward and the other AT writers turned that on its head by writing it foremost for themselves and their buddies -- omitting anything that outright couldn't be shown to kids, but trusting that kids generally are bright enough to step up to the plate if things get a little weird or dark.

For instance, you sure wouldn't see a reveal like the Ice King's backstory in The Fairly Oddparents. Nor would a kids' show normally be set in the distant future of a world obliterated by nuclear war.

For my money, Adventure Time is the best thing happening on television, bar perhaps The Venture Bros.
posted by rifflesby at 1:21 AM on February 26, 2013 [7 favorites]


That video was interesting, but the voiceover was driving me nuts. It sounded like he needed a cut every three seconds, and you could really hear the seams (audio nerd).

I wish I was a metallurgist.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 4:57 AM on February 26, 2013


Here is a guy who really enjoys making movie swords and cutting up pinatas and pop bottles with them. His workshop is really well equipped, too. Power hammers are incredibly loud in person, and are basically like a small earthquake going off each time they hit, and the video obscures that fact. It's good that someone can run a successful business associated with the movie industry.

That's all I got, other than I should probably start watching Adventure Time.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:11 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Using a lathe and a mill seems like it isn't hammer-y enough for a sword. That said, having just purchased a (benchtop) vertical mill this weekend to join my lathe, I enjoyed the shouts-out.
posted by DU at 5:40 AM on February 26, 2013


rifflesby: For instance, you sure wouldn't see a reveal like the Ice King's backstory in The Fairly Oddparents. Nor would a kids' show normally be set in the distant future of a world obliterated by nuclear war.

They also pulled a brilliant but subtle move when they decided to bring the genderswapped version of Ooo more to the forefront, but quietly made Fiona significantly older than Finn, such that it gives them more room to explore the Fiona/Prince Gumball/Marshall Lee love triangle without it getting as weird as it sometimes does when Finn is involved. I wonder if the Flame Prince will make an appearance in the Ice King's fanfic?
posted by Rock Steady at 5:48 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Most kids' shows are made by writing them for kids, and then (maybe) adding a few cool nods for adults -- Beatles references, etc.

...Adventure Time is not a kids show....
posted by DU at 6:04 AM on February 26, 2013


I wonder if the Flame Prince will make an appearance in the Ice King's fanfic?

I'm pretty sure that all the princesses are writing their own F&C fic and sharing it on oojournal now.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 6:04 AM on February 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


I've seen some eps of AT and decided to totally 100% legally obtain episodes. I am now watching them on my nexus 7 as I've decided to start exercising. It works fantastically well to distract me from the dreary monotony of a treadmill along with my social anxieties and allows me to escape from any staring eyes.

One of the first episodes I saw was actually the one with the DMT giants, I mean, how fucking cool that a cartoon references DMT?

Also...

Metafilter: the tang is very small
posted by symbioid at 6:39 AM on February 26, 2013


few cool nods for adults -- Beatles references, etc.

I have no idea what you are talking about.

Although that came about from my excitement of scoring Comic-Con passes. I have no skill at cosplay or ability to transport a costume across the country. I have friends that do, however, but the only outfit on offer for loan was Power Girl. So in an effort to save everyone on eye-bleach, I decided to make a Adventure Time/Nirvana t-shirt instead.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:27 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Working from the toy means mistakes were made.

The hilt should be shaped like this: (), with two pointed corners. (See 0:23.) Instead, he made it like the toy, which is like this: (_), super blunt with four rounded corners, presumably so a kid can't grab the toy by the blade and swing the hilt down on their baby sister like an axe. Further, the round bit with the red thing should be round like a Babybel (a detail the toy gets right), and he's got it flat like a hockey puck.

In short: Meh.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:48 AM on February 26, 2013


I think that making a real metal sword moves AT closer to Avatar. I don't like that. The show isn't about sword fetishism.

This pretty much sums up my attitude towards the Adventure Time toys. As nice as it is that one of my favorite cartoons is popular enough to merit merchandising, I'd be much happier if they swapped the toy weapons (which aren't really the point of the show) for other cool artifacts from the series, like the Enchiridion or somesuch.
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:16 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


adamdschneider: "A sword doesn't actually need much of an edge to be pretty effective, though. Human skin isn't very tough."

Not to mention that if you are facing an armored opponent, that edge will go to hell fast.

Generally, in armored fighting what you are looking for is a relatively narrow bludgeon. You won't necessarily lop an arm of, but you might be lucky enough to break an arm or crush a joint, with the hopeful bonus of shoving pieces of armor into the impact site.
posted by Samizdata at 9:33 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Generally, in armored fighting what you are looking for is a relatively narrow bludgeon. You won't necessarily lop an arm of, but you might be lucky enough to break an arm or crush a joint, with the hopeful bonus of shoving pieces of armor into the impact site.

Well, I'm not at all what you would call an expert, but I am learning historical European swordsmanship (specifically Italian), and from everything I have seen, in armored combat you basically don't use the edge at all (except for warding). It's all point, which is why longswords evolved towards having risers and more tapered points. Note how almost all of the armored guards in this medieval Italian manuscript are holding the sword at half-blade, or half-sword as it's sometimes called, which is more conducive to stabbing. You are going for the throat area, secondarily an armpit (or more gruesomely under the "skirt"). A couple good videos here.
posted by adamdschneider at 9:47 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


What is strange to me is that he is scaling up the toy sword because the toy sword is "for kids." Finn is twelve.

Fourteen, apparently.

(I was going to be all pedantic and superior and tell you he was thirteen, but then I found out I was out of date, myself)
posted by gurple at 9:48 AM on February 26, 2013


I guess I should specify that I'm talking about plate armor, here. Chain is different.
posted by adamdschneider at 9:51 AM on February 26, 2013


adamdschneider: "I guess I should specify that I'm talking about plate armor, here. Chain is different."

Of course. But the media loves the full plate.

(Although chain was what was in mind when I mentioned getting armor stuck in.)

The more Anglic styles with the really long two-handers tended to be more of a pick it up and drop it, hopefully hard enough, on your opponent style is what I was thinking. Used to have a lovely (read "sword you would actually hit someone with") zweihander that I was a dab hand with. Or I was jammy as all hell.

Although I almost lost an eye once during an inconsidered fencing match with no mask. Beauty of a thrust caught me by surprise, badly angled reflex parry, BAM, point of foil in lower eyelid (actually caught the eyelid, but went into the socket).
posted by Samizdata at 12:45 PM on February 26, 2013


I watch the show in a kind of different way. I haven't exactly diagrammed all the episode plots and counted out the scenes, but my general takeaway from the show is that Finn is a dumb kid in a world of adults.

Yeah, I always thought that was the ongoing premise and it was kind of surprising to me that people took the show as a literal representation of what is happening rather than a made up Calvin & Hobbes type adventure.

Also, if you watch Bravest Warriors (which everybody should because it is really great) it's not really about a superhero team, but actually about being a teenager and how it is really hard to deal with emotions that are constantly bubbling over.

I'm not saying either has to be one or the other but I like the broader interpretations.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:50 PM on February 26, 2013


This thread lead me down the road to the Violator making of video on youtube, making me realize there is a whole genre of amatuer to professional blacksmithing resources on the internet. Which seems really anachronistic to the medium..
posted by mrzarquon at 11:02 PM on March 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


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