As an entrepreneur, you have to wear a lot of hats. As one with no emoployees, starting out, and an extremely tight budget you have to wear a lot of hats, you would rather just throw money at. Crafting is one of those I prefer to pay someone else to do but can step up when necessary.
Unfortunately, I had a necessary with my sword stands. From the first convention, I did the particle wood started stripping on the screws, splitting the wood, and causing the displays to come apart.
Do not get me wrong. I stand behind these sword stands and in fact will be selling them in my store at some point in time. They function as they are made to. Right up until you try to haul them around, in and out of places, knocking them around, and so forth.
I have been getting by with them selling at conventions simply by putting them together and letting their structural framework support themselves. This was NOT going to work for much longer. With my financial limits and deadlines, I needed a fast solution.
I decided to rebuild these so that they could come apart and go back together, making transport easier. Additionally, so that they were less prone to the issues, I was having. Pinning them with Dowel rods being my immediate answer.
I would note, I was able to accomplish this entire project for under $12.00. This was because I had most of the materials I needed laying around in either my garage workshop or in my hobby workshop.
The first stage of the project was together supplies but more importantly, remove the TORTURE devices!
Next time I run a D&D campaign? Screw monsters. I am just going to give my party six boards with two razor sharp screws sticking out at a 90-degree angle at each end and tell them they have to carry them around with them. They think it a laugh until they have to start doing 1d4 damage… every 6 seconds.
As I type this post, the screws from that were removed five days ago. I am looking at both my hands and arms and seeing the final scabs still from scratches and puncture marks.
Evil I TELL YOU, EVIL!!!
Next, I worked on repairing the existing pieces as well as wood putty’ing up some of the nicks. Keep in mind I am more worried about functionality and less pain at this point then cosmetic. I put a little time into cosmetic simply because I was working on the project but overall it was my lower concern.
The wood putty looks bad in these photos but due to my time limits, to avoid multiple layers (doing it right), I tried to sculpt a fairly basic single layer with the intent of then sand’ing it down the next day. This worked for the most part, except that the putty was just taking to long to fully dry and so to speed stuff up I had to sacrifice loosing it in a few places and moving on with the sanding.
Once sanded I re-drilled the exisiting holes with my new hole size. That being appropriate to the dowel rod diameter I made my pegs out of.
Once that was all done I gave everything a few shots of black spray paint I found lurking in the form of a few partial spray cans in the basement. Sanded down the dowel rods a tiny bit using a Dremel sander to slide into each other properly.
I Decided I wanted the stands to stand out a bit more as well as help advertise. So the only place I spent some money was on some lettering which you will see in the final photos in a moment.
The result is I am now able to assemble and dissemble VERY carefully for travel. I mention no more damage being taken from the evil screws?
Here’s the downside, and it’s a big one! Those wooden pegs are going to be incredibly easy to break. The moment of potential is when assembling and dissembling. I will be careful and get as much use out of them as I can. Unfortunately, I know I will be earning some more crafting EXP on those again in the future. The GM is just waiting for me to roll a fumble and SNAP!
The solution? Once this has happened in a couple of places, I’ll get a bag of the appropriate size metal dowel pins. This will obviously also get the project done at an extremely low cost.
Finally, I wanted to come up with a travel solution.
Protecting the pegs was not hard, just a piece of tape and some bubble wrap. I’ll get some long strips of velcro one wrap when I have a little but in the funds for it, and will switch to that instead of the pieces of tape in the future. That is assuming I just do not switch to metal pegs instead and skip the velcro.
Rather than having all these pieces loose and being a lot to move around, I dug through the house a bit and found the perfect travel solution. While a bit heavy, this Army Travel bag my grandfather used in WWII will be perfect. How great is that? Not the first time and I am sure not the last time I repurpose this bag.
This concludes crafting training.