Making a Decorative Sword Mount

Making a Decorative Sword Mount

By Paul Bielaczyc

Want a nice way to properly display your Heron Mark Blade on the wall… and all the other swords in your collection? This step-by-step guide will show you how to make a magnetic sword mount using some basic products from your local hardware store… and a little bit of time, which most of us all have plenty of right now!

You’ll have to excuse some of the photos. Many of them were taken after the project was complete, not during the construction of my original project. And during these crazy times, I didn’t want to go to Home Depot to buy more.

Supplies:

Tools used:
Below is the list of tools that I used for this project. However, I will also list non-power tool alternatives in case you don’t have access to some of the ones I used.

  • Miter saw (alternative: miter box with hand saw)
  • Router (alternative: wood chisel)
  • Brad nail gun (hammer and brads)
  • Dremel with various bits (alternative: keyhole hangers)
  • Clamps (might not be necessary)
  • Sandpaper (200-300 grit)

Step 1: Cut and Mark the Trim Board

First board cut

First board cut

Cut the 1”x8” board down to 24”. I recommend cutting both edges, as the raw edge from the store can be very rough and almost impossible to sand. You will want both ends to have a nice, smooth surface for staining. I recommend cutting off a thin sliver of wood from one end, and then cut the other end at 24”. Use some sandpaper to clean up any splinters from the bottom edge of the wood (seen in the photo below).

Rough board, pre-sanding

Rough board, pre-sanding

Smooth board, after sanding

Smooth board, after sanding

Line up the molding.

Line up the molding.

 

 

 

 

 

Cut 1 piece of moulding at approximately 25 inches in length. Laying this along each edge of the poplar trim board, mark a line for the inside edge of the moulding. Using these 4 lines, position the magnetic holder on the board, and mark the areas that will need to be recessed in Step 3 so that the length of the magnetic bar will lay flush against the poplar.

After cutting, the Poplar should now be approximately 7.25” by 24”.

 

Step 2: Cut the Moulding
Using your miter saw or miter box, make the first 45-degree angle cut in the moulding.

First 45-degree angle cut in the molding

First 45-degree angle cut in the molding

Moulding profile

Moulding Profile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After carefully measuring and marking based on the length and width of your 1”x 8” board, proceed to cut 45-degree angles in alternate directions, until you have 4 trapezoid-shaped pieces of moulding. Make sure the narrower edge for each piece of trim is along the same edge of the trim.  (After making all these cuts, you should be left with a bunch of small triangular scraps since the 45-degree angle cuts have to be alternated.)

Trapezoid-shaped pieces of moulding

Trapezoid-shaped pieces of moulding

Clean up any splinters and rough edges with some sandpaper, sanding in the direction of the grain (always!).
Even with a good miter saw, the 4 boards might not perfectly form a tight rectangle, but that’s okay, that’s why we have wood putty.

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3: Mount the Magnetic Holder

Magnetic holder

Magnetic holder


Before we mount the angled trim from Step 2 to the board, we need to prep and mount the holder to the board. Take a strip of black electrical tape, and cover the ugly yellow tape that is on the magnetic holder. This way your swords and the trim are the focal point of the sword mount, not a gaudy yellow band.

Magnetic strip covered.

Magnetic strip covered.

Now we need to carve out the 2 recessed areas so the magnetic holder will mount flush to the board. I used a handheld Ryobi router, but not everyone has one of those available. A simple wood chisel set should suffice. Remember that it is okay if the recessed areas are larger or slightly deeper than necessary, that will be mostly covered up by the moulding anyway.

Start of routing out the magnetic holder.

Start of routing out the magnetic holder.

After you are done routing (or chiseling), position the magnetic holder on the board. Use a piece of trim cut in Step 2 to ensure that the tabs are countersunk such that they don’t prevent the moulding from sitting flush to the poplar. Also make sure that the magnetic holder isn’t crossing any of our marks from Step 1.

Once this is verified, mount the magnetic holder using 2 flat head screws.

And finally, one last time, take a piece of trim and ensure that the screws don’t prevent the top piece of moulding from resting flush against the board.

 

Step 4: Mount the Trim

Now that we have mounted the holder to the board, it is now time to mount our 4 angled trim boards. Using a liberal amount of wood glue, adhere the 4 boards in position on the 1”x8” Poplar. At this point, we are only using glue so that we can adjust and reposition the moulding to get the tightest joints possible.

Position the moulding with just glue.

Position the moulding with just glue.

Once we have the 4 pieces aligned as best as possible, carefully use your brad nailer (or old-school hammer) to tack each board in place. I suggest shooting a single brad closer to the end of one of the shorter boards. Make sure the boards are all still in alignment, and then shoot a second nail at the other end. If using the Moulding I suggested, aim for the little dots or any recessed line in the pattern to help hide the divots created by the brads.

Design elements for screw placement.

Design elements for screw placement.

Double check the alignment of the boards after securing the first piece of trim, and shoot the first brad into one of the adjacent longer trim boards. Check alignment, and shoot the second brad at the opposite end. Continue doing this for all 4 boards, making sure to check alignment at each step!! This helps ensure that you don’t get to the 4th corner to find all your boards are horribly out of whack!

Note: It is better to play with and align the 4 boards all at once like what is described up above, than to align each corner with a perfect snug fit individually. One way will get you 4 pretty good corner alignments. The other will get you 3 great alignments, and one pretty ugly one. Trust me, even with an awesome miter saw that can assist with those 45-degree angle cuts, they probably aren’t going to be perfect, and thus you won’t have a perfect alignment on all 4 corners.

 As you can see in this photo, I assumed my cuts were going to be perfect, and when I got to the 4th corner the gap was pretty obvious and required a good amount of wood putty to fill.

Alignment of corners.

Alignment of corners.

Step 5: Prep the surface

Now that the trim is mounted to the poplar, it is time to do any necessary clean-up to the raw wood before we can paint/stain.

  • First thing, clean up any wood glue along the seams that might have oozed out when the boards were nailed together. A damp paper towel works fine.
  • Second, if anything doesn’t look like a tight fit, you can use a variety of clamps to press the boards together snugly. If you do use clamps, you will probably need to wipe off any excess glue again. If if didn’t squeeze out before, once clamped, it will!
  • If you do need to clamp the boards together, set it aside for about 2-4 hours (read the instructions on your particular wood glue for working time).
  • The next step is to fill any voids using wood putty. Make sure your putty is stainable, not all wood putty is! I prefer to use wood based products found online instead of the DAP plastic wood options found at Home Depot. The smell and Prop 65 warnings are a little scary on plastic wood. Use the wood putty to fill in any gaps in the corner joints, or in any gaps between the trim and 1”x8” Poplar board.
  • Set the project aside depending on the working time for the particular putty product used. When it’s time, come back with some high grit sandpaper and clean up and smooth any areas that required putty. Also go ahead and sand the entire surface and sides that will be stained just to clean up any rough patches.

Step 6: Staining and Painting

Follow the directions on the stain, and apply the stain to the front and sides of the project. Try to avoid getting any stain on the magnetic holder, as it will leave a sticky residue on the metal.

Typically after applying stain, you will leave it on the surface for a few minutes and then wipe it down with a paper towel or rag. When wiping, try to wipe perpendicular to any grooves in the moulding (grooves highlighted in green). This technique will wipe more stain from the raised areas of the wood, while leaving more in the grooves, resulting in darker recesses.

More stain will remain in the recessed areas.

More stain will remain in the recessed areas.

After the stain is dry, use some inexpensive black, acrylic craft paint to paint any of the recessed areas near the magnet that are not stained. Unlike stain, if you accidentally get some acrylic paint on the magnet, acrylic paint will dry and can be easily scrapped off, instead of being a sticky mess!

Black paint to hide missed stained areas.

Black paint to hide missed stained areas.

 

After staining the sword mount, I like to leave the project in an out of a way place for a few days to allow the stain to off-gas and fully dry. A covered back porch or a basement both work well.

Step 7: Cutting a Keyhole Slot

We want our sword mount to be flush against the wall. First this looks very clean and professional, but a flush mount is also more secure as the mount is more solidly resting against the wall behind it.
There are a few options for making these keyhole slots:

  1. They make a keyhole router bit for routers and Dremels. This option is pretty self explanatory; follow the directions that come with the bit.
  2. You can use a drill, a Dremel, and a few more common Dremel bits to achieve the same effect. You will need a larger drill bit, a smaller drill bit, a Dremel cutter bit, and a Dremel straight router bit.
    Needed Dremel bits.

    Needed Dremel bits:

    • Drill a large hole with the larger drill bit.
    • Drill a second hole with the smaller drill bit approximately .5 inches above the larger hole.
    • Use the straight router bit to connect the 2 holes along their centers.
    • Finally, lower the cutter bit into the larger hole, and follow the same line as above. This will create a groove for the screw head to slide along.
  3. Lastly, if you don’t have access to a router or Dremel, you can use something like this piece of hardware to achieve the same effect using only a chisel (I think).

Step 8: Mounting to the Wall

Most likely you will not have wall studs directly behind where you cut the keyhole slots. Even if you space the 2 keyhole slots 16” apart, to center your sword mount, they probably will not align with hidden studs. But that is fine. That is why they make some truly incredible drywall anchors. These are my personal favorite. Rather than drilling a hole and tapping them into place, they are self drilling, and stop once they are flush with the surface of the wall.

Once you shoot the screws into the anchors, they split open and lock the anchor into place. You can also play with the depth of the screws in the anchor to ensure a nice snug fit between the wall and the sword mount. Some other types of drywall anchors don’t give you the flexibility to adjust the depth of the screws, another reason that I prefer these.

Step 9: Mount the Swords

Now it’s time to hang your collection on the wall.
A few things to keep in mind to avoid injury or a scary crash in the middle of the night.

  • If you used the recommended magnetic holder, it should have no problem holding the weight of most swords, allowing you some play in positioning them higher or lower on the mount.**
  • If you use a weaker magnet, the cross guards might have to rest on the upper lip of the wood. This can severely limit the space on the mount, which is why I suggest the holder that I listed up above.

**No matter what, this is IMPORTANT… you want to make sure that the weight of the portion of the sword above the magnet is about equal to the weight below it. If you attach the swords too high so that the swords are top heavy, a good door slam, or any vibration really, can cause the imbalanced sword to pivot like a pendulum with the magnet working like an axle. As it swings, it will most likely knock the others swords around, or off the wall, stabbing anything and everything around. I speak from personal experience. I had to patch a 2 inch gash in the drywall (and put on a clean pair underwear!) after hearing a frightening crash about 10 minutes after proudly hanging the swords on the wall.

Finished Sword mount

Finished Sword Mount

The Land RPG Charity Event

The Land RPG Charity Event

Aleron Kong is putting on a charity event to promote his RPG, The Land. The event will be held the Saturday of Jordan Con, and details are as follows:

ARLA01-01: Hoof & Arrow The Virsmen grow ever bolder in the Tor’Valek Valley, and their raids upon the farmers of Arladon have sparked fears of famine and strife. One noble house wants to reestablish a defensive border against these raiders, and seeks help in raising awareness to their cause. Will you help defend the people of Arladon, or seek to profit off their lack of security? A one-round introductory adventure for 1st and 2nd level characters set west of the Principality of Arladon.
When: Saturday 4/18, 10am-2pm

FALD01-01 Glitterhearth Hark and Horror! A Gnomish home has been overrun by foul beasts. Armed mercenaries are needed to make it habitable again, but how can they honor you without access to their prizes? Will you enter the Hearth of Herronton and give the Gnomes a happy jubilation? A one-round introductory adventure for 1st and 2nd level characters set near the Sovereign City of Faldspar.
When: Saturday 4/18, 3pm-7pm

DURG01-01 Missing Links In the Red Venom Plains, food is as valuable of a resource as any sparkling metal or mineral. A flock of pigs has gone missing from the stocks of Durgendale, and a call for mercenaries has been issued to retrieve them. Can you return the pigs to their pen, and bring their captors to justice? A one-round introductory adventure for 1st and 2nd level characters that begins in the Commonwealth of Durgendale.
When: Saturday 4/18, 8pm-12am

Space Slug Adventures in Creation

Space Slug Adventures in Creation

While reading Skyward by Brandon Sanderson, I fell in love with many of the characters. Spensa and Skyward Flight are fun worth spending time with, if you have not read the book already. The non-human characters became my absolute favorites. After Isaac Stewart created an amazingly cute depiction of Doomslug, I had to create one for myself. The little yellow and blue space slug can pull at you with her gentle fluting. This November, readers find out more about Doomslug in Starsight. In support, I thought others might enjoy creating their own space slugs.

My mission was to create a slug pattern to create a cuddly Doomslug that mimics Stewart’s design. After some experiments with dart lines, curves, and other sewing tricks, I hit upon the proper shape to mimic Stewart’s rather rounded artwork rather than using a pattern that looks like an Earth slug (footnote 1).

Making your own space slug requires a handful of tools and a moderate skill level at sewing. The included pattern and instructions will walk you through the process.

Sewing Supplies:

Required:

  • ½ yard of primary material
  • ½ yard of accent material
  • ½ yard of fusible interfacing medium weight
  • Spools of thread of matching colors
  • Cotton or polyester stuffing
  • Black fabric material for eyes
  • Black and white embroidery thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing pins
  • Scissors
  • Bobbins

Optional Supplies:

  • Walking Foot for your sewing machine – Highly recommended.
  • Roller cutting blade
  • Metal ruler/flat edge
  • 1/8 yard Double sided interfacing for eyes

More Optional supplies for an internal weighted pouch:

Reason – This gives the slug more heft and allows it to balance on its own better.

  • ¼ yard of third cotton material
  • Poly-fil pellets – up to 1 pound
  • Cotton or polyester batting

Note on Material:

Any material can be used to create your space slug: cotton, fleece, flannel, velveteen, etc. When working with the thicker sections, a walking foot will save you a number of headaches. If your fabric has a nap, including velvet or micro fleece, it’s best to cut your pattern pieces one layer at a time. Double check that the nap direction is the one you want. Ideally the nap will flow smoothly from the front to the back. If you plan to use velvet, please read this helpful tutorial before cutting your pattern pieces.

I bought a bright polyester velvet for many of my space slug creations. The one shown with straight spines was made with pure plush fleece, which is incredibly soft.

Pattern:

The pattern is printed on three pages of 11”x17″.
It will create a slug approximately: 6” tall x 13” long x 16” around.

Scale up or down to change the size of the slug. The ruffle and spines pattern need to be altered less, they are fine for a 15% +/- in size change. Brandon Sanderson said my original design was “just a tad too big.” The original design was 10% larger, creating a slug: 8” tall x 15” long x 20” around.

Cutting Directions:

Lay out the Body Pattern pieces on the main fabric. Match the nap of your fabric if applicable.
Cut matching pieces on interfacing as well. The second cut should be a mirror to the first.

Body Pattern pieces are:

1D Pattern PIece

Mirror of the pattern pieces 1D.

 

  • Body Side (1A) – cut 2
  • Body Base (1B) – cut 1
  • Face piece (1C) – cut 1
  • Top curve (1D) – cut 2
  • Top side (1E) – cut 2
  • Head Top (1F) – cut 1
  • Eye (1G) – cut 2

 

Accent Pattern pieces cut on accent fabric:
Body Ruffle (2A) – cut 1 – Cut on a double fold – Needs to be at least 40″ to go around the body with extra gathering. For a fuller ruffle, cut a longer piece or sew two pieces together.

Spines (2B) – cut 4 – Zig-zag spines should be cut on a double fold – Need to be between 50″ to 60″ to have enough length for deep loops.

Internal pouch – no pattern, no interfacing – simply cut a rectangle 20” long by 4” wide.

Note: The accent pieces are all long rectangles. It’s easiest to square up your fabric on a self-healing mat. Cut in strips with the help of a straight edge and using a roller blade cutter.

Design Choices:
Before you start making your space slug, you need to decide which style you are going to make. Besides fabric choice, each creator chooses the style of eyes and spines they want to make. For the eyes, pick if you want to use fabric eyes or if you will embroider them.
The spines are the harder choice, and often driven by your fabric choice. Thicker fleece will be very difficult to turn into the zig-zag loops.

Spine option 1: Zig-zags – Requires more material and more sewing skills. Your spine strips will each need to be between 50” to 60” in length. Thus the “cut on the fold” note for the pattern could represent a double fold. This design better mimics the official Doomslug design, but are not true spines.

Option 2: Straight Tubes – Requires the spine stripes to be the length of the slug’s body, about 14” each, if you don’t resize the pattern. These are much easier and quicker to attach.

Spine Opt. 1 (right) and Opt. 2 (left)

Two different spine designs. Opt. 1 – Zig-zag (right) and Opt. 2 – Straight (left)

Sewing Directions:

Body pieces have a seam allowance of ⅜”

The full sewing directions with helpful images are found here and can be printed easily.
The basic sewing order of operations are:

  1. Sew the spine tubes together – four of 2B
  2. Sew the Ruffle – one of 2A
  3. Iron the interfacing to all the body parts – 1A to 1F.
  4. Pick the type of eyes you want to create.  Attach or sew them onto the face piece 1C.
  5. Sew the lower body together: 1A (2 pieces), 1B, and 1C
  6. Sew the ruffle 2A onto the lower body piece.
  7. Pin the Spines 2B to first 1D for each side.
  8. Lay 1E on top of the spines, sew together.
  9. Attach a Spine 2B to Half of 1F.
  10. Attach 1F to one side of the top body.
  11. Layout and attach the Spines to the joined 1F and 1E piece.
  12. Attach the other side of the body to finish the top half of the slug.
  13. To attach the two halves together – Right sides of fabric together, line up the center of the piece 1F to the face 1C. Pin around the body. Be sure to leave an opening at the back or on a lower side for turning the body right side out.
  14. Create the internal weighted pouch by sewing a simple pouch.
  15. Fill with poly-fil beads, then sew closed.
  16. Wrap pouch with batting, stuff into the slug body.
  17. Use cotton or poly fiberfil to stuff the slug body to the density you wish.
  18. Sew the opening closed. I hand-stitch mine.
Slug body before finishing

Bottom and top half of the space slug body before joining them together.

Enjoy taking your space slug on adventures!

Sanderson and Doomslug, 2019

Brandon Sanderson with Doomslug at DragonCon

 

Doomslug group, DragonCon 2019

Gathering of Doomslugs at DragonCon, 2019.

If you make a space slug, please share your creation with me, Deana Whitney, either by emailing me at Workshop@jordancon.org, sharing it on Instagram at JordanConInc or Doomslug_Adventures, or showing it directly to Isaac Stewart at Izykstewart.

Note: This Space slug pattern is for fun and personal use only. You may not use this pattern to create a for-profit item. Deana Whitney is the creator and owner of the sewing pattern. Copyright of Doomslug is held by Dragonsteel Entertainment, Inc.

All photos copyright by Deana Whitney, 2019.

Footnote 1:

My first version of Doomslug was made for the signing party, but it looked like an earth slug.  To create it, I enlarged the Delilah Iris by 200% to create a 8” long slug. The back spines are a rectangle piece accordion folded, whipped stitched closed, attached to the back piece, then cut in random spikes. The bottom ruffle was another enlargement of the base pattern piece.

Earth Slug

Slugs from the Delilah Iris pattern.

Workshop Interest Poll and Feedback

Workshop Interest Poll and Feedback

Hello Everyone,

Each year at JordanCon, the Workshops track strives to present a variety of classes. In 2019, we explored skills like glass cutting with a master, to the basics of 3D printing, to learning about Medieval Irish garb. Because what we offer is driven by what our attendees want to learn, and what attendees and guests are willing to teach; we need to know what interests you.

The new Workshops co-chair, Amelie Downing, and I want to know what new skills, hobbies, or techniques you want to learn at JordanCon 2020 and beyond. There is a wide-ranging list of previous suggestions, including dance classes, fiber arts, and make-up application tricks for you to peruse. Click on everything that interests you. If there is a class you want that isn’t listed, or if you are willing to teach a workshop, there are selections in the poll for that as well.

It is important for us to keep the classes accessible to as many people as possible while also offering complex concepts and tangible creations, so please give us feedback about workshop fees and sign-up policies. Now is your chance to let us know what you think and what classes you would like offered!

Click on the poll link here.

If you have any questions about the poll or the Workshop Track in general, please reach out to us via our email: workshop at Jordanco.org

Sincerely,
Deana Whitney
Workshop Chair
JordanCon 2020 – Age of Legends

Brent Weeks Charity Auction Donation

Here’s your chance to become a character in an upcoming novel by New York Times Bestselling author, and 2019 JordanCon Guest of Honor Brent Weeks!

Brent has very kindly donated the rights to name a minor character in one of his upcoming works. The stunning conclusion to the Lightbringer Series, THE BURNING WHITE, set to be released in late 2019, and will go into production in a few weeks. As the winner of this auction, you can submit a name (or variation thereof) that may appear in that book, or another upcoming project of Brent’s choosing. There is no guarantee that the name will be used in a specific book, but it will be used somewhere, and whatever he does is bound to be great. The character named will play a minor role in the work; there is no promise of dialogue or impact on the plot, but Brent will do his best to make the appearance a memorable one.
Rules and Conditions If you participate, you acknowledge that you understand and agree to the terms and conditions below.
● Brent will adapt the winning bidder’s submitted name to fit the world of the Seven Satrapies or Midcyru. Usually this means altering the spelling/pronunciation to fit the culture of the fictional world.
● Brent reserves the right to reject any name he may find to be inappropriate.
● If the winning bidder chooses to submit the name of someone else, the winning bidder must submit a written release from this other person giving permission to use their name.
● Finally, we hope it goes without saying, but: the submitted name will be rejected if Brent feels that it is in any way offensive, ill-intentioned, or disruptive to the story.
● This auction is for the name only . The winning bidder may not dictate the character’s personality, description, or role in the story. Any such ideas become the sole property of Brent Weeks with no further compensation or acknowledgement.
● If you are the winning bidder, you must provide contact information (Full name, proposed character name, email address, physical address, telephone number)


Novel Release Date for THE BURNING WHITE is in late October 2019. However, publication dates are naturally subject to change. The winning bidder may receive email with updates on the actual release date.

JordanCon Fit Challenges

Join the JordanCon Fit Family and keep staying active throughout the weekend (and beyond!)

Let’s start with a Con Weekend Step Challenge.

Follow the steps below to link up with us so you can participate in our challenges.

Step 1

Create a Strava account and join the JordanCon Fit club.

https://www.strava.com/clubs/jordancon

Make sure your privacy is set to public, or your steps won’t be counted.

 

Step 2

Connect your fitness devices/trackers, if you have any.

https://www.strava.com/upload/device

 

If you don’t have a device, you can also download the app on your phone

https://www.strava.com/mobile

 

Step 3

Join JordanCon’s Challenge Group

https://www.challengehound.com/jordancon

The first time you join a challenge, we will need to accept you- after that first time, you will be able to join all future challenges without having to wait for approval.