Classic photos

Kammer and singer Karen Cummings at Sunday Live

My son Jeremy was invited to perform at a curtain raiser for an ABC Classic FM Sunday Live concert down at Thirroul the other week. He performed wonderfully (as well as the 2 other “rising stars”). The producer spied me taking a few shots during his warm-up and asked me if I could take a few for promotion. With the kids and the main act, Kammer, I had over a 100 shots by the end (it’s great fun just pressing the button with a digital cam). Anyway I collected my best 30 or so, made a nice gallery using F-spot and sent it to the producer. He must have liked them because 1 of them is on the top-level http://abc.net.au/classic page with the other 5 (so far) are in the gallery. They haven’t been able to put up any of the kids photos yet because they need to get releases from their parents, but that may come. (The chiildren were all recorded as well so I guess they may even get played on air at sometime if they made the grade).

I took these without flash, at ISO200 with my Canon S2 IS. It has a (36 – 432mm f/2.7-f.3.5) lens and while not a DSLR, still allows enough light to do a good job indoors without flash under normal lighting conditions.

If you do enjoy good music I heartily recommend getting to one of the free Sunday Live concerts when they visit near you. They are in Mittagong over the 2 weeks, and then in Penrith.

Toy Wooden Sword Construction from a pro!

Shield and two swords
My youngest son has for a long time had a fascination with all things to do with combat. Most of his make-believe time is concerned with sword-wielding warriors or gun-toting aliens. A few times we supplied him with plastic armaments that are available in two dollar shops and even your quality toy store. However at hour place, these never last more than a few tournaments. Also, swords seem to be about 1/4 scale – not much fun for real play fighting. So a few birthdays ago under cover of darkness, I spent a few evenings putting together a sword and shield. It certainly has stood up to the rigours of combat , as well as impressing a few other kids and their dads. After a bit of a lull on the battlefront, the son has renewed interest of late – however having only one sword has meant his combatants have been at a disadvantage, often having to use regular sticks or cardboard rolls for their weapon. Also, because these inferior weapons don’t have guard or hilt, the other party often gets a good whack on their hand – mum was the latest casualty. I succumbed to the pressure this weekend, and below is a bit of a photo log of the construction of a second sword.

Basically, it is constructed from standard plywood, 5 ply 12mm for the sword base, and some 3 ply 7mm to add some strength and thickness for the hilt and handle. You will need some construction glue to laminate the pieces together. Tools are just a jigsaw, an angle grinder with a flap wheel (to tidy up the edges) and a rotary tool with grinding wheel (to do finer smoothing) and a possibly a ball cutter to make the fullers (or “blood grooves”).

Any way, basically this might be something to make for your kids for Christmas – hopefully it might even last a little while and become a family heirloom!

Base sword and template

I made a template in Inkscape and traced this onto the 5 ply.

Hilt Sandwich

Make another two hilts from the 3 ply and glue, sandwich and clamp these. You can also screw them – I used chipboard screws with a square drive for good effect.

Finishing tools

You will want to use grinder with a flap wheel and a rotary tool for finishing it off

Ready for battle (or at least painting)

After adding the blood groove and sanding it smooth all over it is ready for painting

Back of shield

The shield is also made from 3 ply. I cut up an old belt and used brass screws and nuts and a large washer to make the handles.