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Author Topic: Steampunk Katana Umbrella?  (Read 971 times)
J. Wilhelm
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« on: April 12, 2016, 08:09:57 pm »

Dear ladies, and esteemed gentlemen :

So I have been toting this large size (60 inch) umbrella for several months, as Winter and Spring tend to be wet months in Texas.  Having lost a smaller foldable one to high winds, I settled on a larger sturdier model by the company Rainbrella which also happens to be half the price of the collapsible type at my local super.   You know how this goes,  umbrellas  cone and go,  are broken or lost... I go through umbrellas like changing socks.

The  thing about this umbrella is that I love the coverage,  but it's about the length of a walking cane,  and if you don't wish to use it as such, as I often ride the bus, the only option is to strap it to my back pack and tote it between my back and the back pack. I take the Velcro strap and tie it to the upper strap of my back pack.

The problem with this umbrella, however, is that while sturdy, it will be damaged if you accidentally sit or step on it,  on account the shaft/rod I'd made from thin metal tubing.  I lost a black umbrella already,  after stepping on it and then breaking it while trying to unbend the shift.

It seems to me that this umbrella needs a rigid sheath. Or should I write scabbard? Coincidentally, I've been told that I look like I'm carrying a sword, when I tote it on my back - several times already,  so the comment gave me some ideas. We've had an Asian Steampunk and Japanese Steampunk threads before,  and I'm trying to imagine what a Japanese Steampunk Katana would look like.  Why buy a plastic Katana when you can make one?  I know you gentle folk would appreciate that statement  Grin

I'm aware that Katana umbrellas exist, but not Steampunked, and not having found a satisfactory one yet online,  I was thinking I could modify the one I already own. The first practical step is the sheath or scabbard,  because I already bent my second umbrella yesterday... My current rainbrella is a bright red colour, with gloss black shaft and spars. The handle is a straight black foam cylinder about 3cm in diameter.

Now,  before we start a discussion on the legal and physical dangers of toting weapons in public,  let me save us a great deal of arguments by stating that I live in Texas,  a state which as of recently allows concealed firearm weapons to be carried (with license), and virtually has no regulations on knifes and swords. As an aside, I regularly carry a folding survival knife on me at all times on the insistence of my roommate (a bartender),  who is of the opinion that I'm at risk,  walking alone late at night up to 5 miles a day and noting 6 days per week I close the shop alone after counting the cash registers. While I find myself on the left (anti gun) political side of arguments,  in this case, I sadly had to admit my roommate was right. And having carrying a large knife for 2 years,  and even in front of a policeman,  friend of mine,  who often guards or local supermarket,  where I often have lunch,  I'm fairly confident legal issues are not a problem where I live.

So. Having issued that disclaimer,  do you gentle ladies and men have any ideas?

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Drew P
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2016, 11:54:30 pm »

I've bought 2 'golf' umbrellas both of which have a shaft that looks to be made of carbon fibre, it's not a sticker!
Only about $10 each.  Maybe one of these can outlast your steal type ones?
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« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2016, 05:09:08 am »

I've bought 2 'golf' umbrellas both of which have a shaft that looks to be made of carbon fibre, it's not a sticker!
Only about $10 each.  Maybe one of these can outlast your steal type ones?

Yeah I could do that.  I imagine the scabbard could fit more than one umbrella. My immediate urgency right now is to keep my present umbrella from breaking.   I just got back from work at 10:30pm and it's raining cats, dogs and gerbils plus the occasional snake or turtle.

I was thinking I could buy a length of PVC pipe and work from there to make the scabbard...

The umbrella I have is this one but without the flag,  and was only $6

https://www.heb.com/product-detail/big-time-products-texas-flag-umbrella/1959695

Same as this one:

https://www.bigtimeproducts.net/catalog/detail?id=294

The foam grip is interesting, and what prompted people to remark on it.  I guess I could wrap some cloth ribbon around it to simulate the Menuki on the Tsuka and the PVC pipe would be the Saya.

http://www.donath.org/Defense/Iaido/Parts/

Since the umbrella is red and black,  I was thinking trying to imitate a red and black lacquered scabbard would be way to go.  I know of adhesion promoters and automotive epoxy - ceramic enamel which I could use.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2016, 05:22:43 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2016, 06:22:48 am »

I have the black version with the chrome shaft and plastic handle.
If I had the skill and patients I would remove the grip and replace it with a traditional wrapped wooden one with a metal tsuba

BTW Saya is the correct word not scabbard  Grin

Steampunk it?
Gear shaped Tsuba with gear shaped inlays in the saya and Tsuka (handle)
Brass decorative ends and collar?
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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2016, 08:56:22 am »

I have the black version with the chrome shaft and plastic handle.
If I had the skill and patients I would remove the grip and replace it with a traditional wrapped wooden one with a metal tsuba

BTW Saya is the correct word not scabbard  Grin

Steampunk it?
Gear shaped Tsuba with gear shaped inlays in the saya and Tsuka (handle)
Brass decorative ends and collar?



I think I can do that if I get the parts for the Suka (handle), such as the Ito (braid), Menuki (ornaments), Kashira (buttcap), and the whole Tsuba (guard). In some Chinese manufacturers' pages you can custom order your Tsuba and the Saya (scabbard).

But If I take that step, I think I'd want to do what Mr. Drew P wrote and buy an umbrella with a carbon fibre shaft.

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/FREE-SHIPPING-41-HAND-FORGED-JAPANESE-SAMURAI-SWORD-KATANA-HIGH-CARBON-STEEL-FULL-TANG-BLADE-TSUBA/919598590.html

http://www.dhgate.com/product/full-handmade-black-japanese-samurai-sword/252950799.html

Looking at the Saya, I found that I can fit he rainbrella into an American standard size  1-1/4 inch diameter PVC pipe of the thinner variety (i.e. for 160 psi - as opposed to the same diameter with thicker walls Schedule 40). I f I try a 1-1/2 inch pipe, the diameter seems to large for my taste.  A 10 ft segment costs $5, but the pipe is white.  I can also get electrical PVC conduit in dark gray colour.

I think I'll try making the scabbard first. We'll be having thunderstorms on Saturday through to Tuesday of next week, so finished or unfinished, I have to get the scabbard Saya in working order.

I just realized that some cabinet hardware could be used as Tsuba and Menuki  Grin  Some hardware is very interesting looking:

From a hobby shop (Hobby Lobby)
http://www.hobbylobby.com/Home-Decor-Frames/Decorative-Accessories/Knobs-Pulls/Brown-Metal-Oval-Base/p/QK7075-80730178

From the local hardware supermarket (Lowe's)
http://www.lowes.com/pd_260412-61389-BP+490-DC_1z0zzapZ1z0z6b9__
http://www.lowes.com/pd_22372-54151-D2076-31.75ABZ_1z0zzas__?productId=3284720&pl=1
http://www.lowes.com/pd_89226-89973-P2170-BI_1z0zzas__?productId=3513400&pl=1
http://www.lowes.com/pd_89226-89973-P2172-BI_1z0zzas__?productId=3513404&pl=1
« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 09:01:11 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2016, 06:16:08 am »

You could always etch your own parts.
http://steampunkworkshop.com/electroetch-shtml/
http://www.instructables.com/id/Salt-Water-Metal-Etching/
Electrical Etching Using Salt Water - Part 1
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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2016, 05:40:44 pm »

Just a note on the possible legal issues.

In Texas it's illegal to "openly carry" any knife with a 5.5 inch or longer blade. While your umbrella wont be illegal it might attract the attention of law enforcement.

It's similar here in Florida. Our firearm carry laws are similar to Texas, in some ways even better but Knives are regulated separately. 
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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2016, 06:14:10 pm »

Interesting about open knife carry in Texas.  Here in California I can legally open carry a knife of any size, as long as I avoid security sensitive places like schools, and municipalities with more restrictive law.  Concealed carry, on the other hand, even of a kitchen knife,can get you in big trouble.
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« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2016, 03:36:25 pm »

You may be able to find a section of copper pipe at a recycling place for not very much. 
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2016, 08:13:50 am »

Just a note on the possible legal issues.

In Texas it's illegal to "openly carry" any knife with a 5.5 inch or longer blade. While your umbrella wont be illegal it might attract the attention of law enforcement.

It's similar here in Florida. Our firearm carry laws are similar to Texas, in some ways even better but Knives are regulated separately.  

Then I need to understand how the swordsmith at the Renaissance Fair, and the $50 Katana reseller at the gaming convention during South by Southwest (SXSW), can sell full size functional sharp blades. In public, and have their customers carry their purchase home among a sea of people in front of police officers... and get away with it!  I almost bought a $50 Katana this March during SXSW at the Austin Convention Center.

I need to read up on the law, but I don't want to turn this thread into a discussion on legality of weapons. This is an umbrella in a fairly unrestrictive state.

~~~
« Last Edit: April 17, 2016, 08:26:44 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2016, 08:20:43 am »

You may be able to find a section of copper pipe at a recycling place for not very much. 

I have thought about it. Copper and brass. It's an attractive idea. The weight is a bit of a concern. To give you an idea on the size of metal pipe I need, the smallest diameter that will fit the umbrella is that of the 1-1/4" thin walled 160 PSI PVC water pipe. The Schedule 40 pipe's inside diameter is already too small, as the wall is much thicker, and I have to jump to the 1-1/2 inch pipe, which feels/looks way too large in diameter for a scabbard.

~~~
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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2016, 01:34:56 pm »

You should be able to find thin walled tube that would weight about the same as pvc.
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Steamworkshop
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« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2016, 05:14:47 pm »

Just a note on the possible legal issues.

In Texas it's illegal to "openly carry" any knife with a 5.5 inch or longer blade. While your umbrella wont be illegal it might attract the attention of law enforcement.

It's similar here in Florida. Our firearm carry laws are similar to Texas, in some ways even better but Knives are regulated separately.  

Then I need to understand how the swordsmith at the Renaissance Fair, and the $50 Katana reseller at the gaming convention during South by Southwest (SXSW), can sell full size functional sharp blades. In public, and have their customers carry their purchase home among a sea of people in front of police officers... and get away with it!  I almost bought a $50 Katana this March during SXSW at the Austin Convention Center.

I need to read up on the law, but I don't want to turn this thread into a discussion on legality of weapons. This is an umbrella in a fairly unrestrictive state.

~~~


I can explain it but I have to be clear that I'm not a lawyer nor am I offering legal advice to anyone. Weapon laws and restrictions can be very illogical. One can't use a "common sense" thought process to anticipate the law. The laws also vary greatly from state to state and sometimes county to county. A perfectly lawful citizen may be a felon just five feet away in another state.

With the Renaissance Fair sellers it's a matter of "carry" vs "transport". Even the most restrictive states allow for the transport of a legally owned weapon from one legal location to another. A restrictive state will have a very specific process to follow since they generally don't want the weapon leaving the house. It's easier in a free state like Texas because it's already legal to keep a weapon in your car. The problem would arise when one crosses the line from "transporting" to "carrying".

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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2016, 07:44:53 pm »

You should be able to find thin walled tube that would weight about the same as pvc.

Odd idea: Would copper flashing tape be a cop-out? I *think* I've seen such a thing. Perhaps not, and is only available in aluminium/steel.

Another idea (readily available, but I'm not relishing the idea): de-chroming a thin walled decorative bathroom sink pipe or extension.  I've done it on the past, and I hated every minute of the process, but hiding underneath the chrome is a very thin walled solid brass pipe.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2016, 08:05:19 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2016, 02:28:30 am »

You can get copper flashing for roofing and roll a tube the diameter you need.
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« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2016, 03:10:54 pm »

You should be able to find thin walled tube that would weight about the same as pvc.

Odd idea: Would copper flashing tape be a cop-out? I *think* I've seen such a thing. Perhaps not, and is only available in aluminium/steel.

Another idea (readily available, but I'm not relishing the idea): de-chroming a thin walled decorative bathroom sink pipe or extension.  I've done it on the past, and I hated every minute of the process, but hiding underneath the chrome is a very thin walled solid brass pipe.

They do make a copper foil sheet for stained glass work. It's the same material as the copper foil tape for stained glass. The problem with using it on its own is that it's very soft when applied. You can dent it with your fingernail because it's thin and there's a layer of soft adhesive under it.

I have seen those sink pipes in brass with no chrome. They usually come in short lengths. A few years ago I was searching for smaller brass tubing and found several sites selling larger brass tube in various sizes and wall thicknesses. You might try buying it like that instead of as a plumbing piece.
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« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2016, 12:46:29 pm »

...With the Renaissance Fair sellers it's a matter of "carry" vs "transport". Even the most restrictive states allow for the transport of a legally owned weapon from one legal location to another. A restrictive state will have a very specific process to follow since they generally don't want the weapon leaving the house. It's easier in a free state like Texas because it's already legal to keep a weapon in your car. The problem would arise when one crosses the line from "transporting" to "carrying".


What he said. I've been stopped in a parking lot heading into a grocery store by a policeman and advised to remove the Bowie I was wearing and lock it in the car. Like almost everyone else in Texas, I'd borne sheathed knives openly for years, but this one was more than twice the legal length for open carry (as the officer explained, that particular knife was almost a short sword).*

However, this is all moot for what J. Wilhelm is doing, as he won't actually be carrying a sword (he may be asked to show his umbrella now and again to an inquiring officer, but he'll be fine).

Now, if you actually want a legal umbrella that can withstand the abuse you put it through and could be used defensively, there's this:  http://unbreakableumbrella.com/ (which I may have discovered on another thread here; I just don't remember).

Regardless what you come up with, we will, of course, require pictures of the final product...



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