Subtitle: Yes, I have way too much time and spare parts…
Now, you might think that, given the order of posts, the following project was inspired by the Conan Night I held last weekend, but the two are fairly unrelated. Actually, the inspiration for the following project came during the winter when I started to set aside some heat sinks from old PII Slot 1 processors, just because I thought they were a neat and nasty looking piece of industrial design. See for yourself:
Pentium II Slot 1 Processor and Heatsink
Any rational human being is going to take one look at that hunk of metal and think to himself: “I can make a weapon out of that.” At least this human being thought that. And I’m pretty rational. Most of the time anyway.
So the idea emerged to wrap them around the head of a baseball bat and create a nice looking mace. Problem was my boss frowns on me making weapons on company time (go figure), and my shop at home isn’t heated, so I had to wait for spring to get a chance to work on it.
Stage one was basically gathering up the parts I’d need. I collected four heatsinks from the old slot 1 processors, and some neat memory heatsinks from some really old servers to attach as runners down the side of the bat. I ended up going out and buying the cheapest wooden bat I could find to complete the parts list. Here’s a pic of the assembled necessities should you decide to try and imitate the project.
The Collected Parts
Stage two was squaring off the top of the bat so I could attach the heatsinks. I cut the very top, bevelled part of the bat off with a chop saw so I had a nice smooth surface on the top to mark out. Basically, to mark square, determine the centre of the bat, draw an X at right angles through the centre, and then connect the points of the X to create a square. I took a pic of the bat with the bevelled top off, but forgot to take a pic of the markings, so I photoshopped in the X and square. Oddly, I was less accurate with Photoshop than I was on the actual bat, but you get the idea.
Topped and Marked
Next was to cut vertically down the bat along the square lines I had drawn, to an apropriate depth to accommodate the heatsinks. I used a carpenter’s saw for this, and made the cut by hand, because I have pretty good control with a carpenter’s saw and can make a nice accurate cut that way. A band saw or some other mechanized means would be just as good. Just use something you feel comfortable with. Once down to depth, I used the carpenter’s saw to cut across the grain and remove the wedge at base.
Cutting the Square
NB: You can see the line I drew to mark the depth of the cut I needed.
This created a square tipped bat, but the square was just a tad small for my purposes. To increase the size of the square, I cut some shims out of 3/8″ plywood to wrap around the tip. I then glued and clamped the shims onto the tip and let that dry.
Shims and Glue
Leave the glue to set at least overnight. In this case, it got set aside for a week, just because I ran out of time that weekend, and didn’t get a chance to get pack to it until today.
The rest was pretty straightforward. On the squared end I created, I lined up the first heatsink, and drilled pilot holes for the screws to match the existing mounting holes in the heatsink, I made sure to line up the first heatsink well, because all the other heatsinks would be based on the placement of the first. The third pic in the following series is just me lining up the second heatsink. Make sure to drill a small pilot hole for every screw, so you don’t crack the wood, and also so the sink doesn’t move or slip as you drive in the screws. Also, use long enough screws so that it penetrates the shims you added and gets a good purchase in the wood of the bat. It’s a good idea to use a screwdriver to drive the screws, instead of a drill driver. With the torque of a drill driver, it can be a little easy to over drill the screw, and just bore out the hole.
Screwing on the Heatsink
Lining up the Second Heatsink
After I finished attaching all four heatsinks, I screwed the bevelled top back on to give it a bit cleaner look.
Side View of Finished Head
Top View of Finished Head
After that, it was merely a matter of lining up the runners, pre-drilling some holes to match up with the existing mounting points of the heatsinks, and screwing them down.
And Voila! I have my own customized medieval looking mace. Kinda steampunkish in mixing modern equipment with an old design aesthetic. Only much older design than steampunk. As far as being an actual weapon goes, I really don’t recommend it. While it’s pretty well bolted together to a solid chunk of good Ash bat, the heatsinks themselves are aluminum. If you hit anything substantial with it, the aluminum spikes will just bend. Also, it has horrible balance, very tip heavy and unwieldy. Which could probably be said about real maces as well, which might be a good part of the reason they fell out of favour. Still, could you see a burglar (or door to door salesman, or JW or Mormon) arguing with me if I answered the door with that thing In my hands? I doubt it.
The Urban Viking