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Adam Savage’s One Day Builds: Hero Prop for TV Show!

Adam Savage’s One Day Builds: Hero Prop for TV Show!


Adam Savage here for tested with another
one day build today’s is actually pretty cool a few months ago I was reached out
to by British actor Matt berry who was preparing to make a show called rabbit
run in which he plays a nineteenth-century British policeman
named rabbit and he was reaching out to me to ask if I was interested in
designing and building the hero prop for his policeman and back then those
policemen just like today they don’t they didn’t carry guns they carried
truncheon they carried small batons that are about a foot long and they wore them
in a leather holster on their belt and he wanted his character rabbit to have a
very specific truncheon that was his it would have an image of a rabbit in it
and it would be like this hero talisman for his main character and I took that
job and that is what I’m going to build today now we went back and forth on a
lot of different designs for trenches because there were some really amazing
ones and a huge variants some of them had steel and some had lead some were
made of wood some had ivory-inlaid brass the works and I was thinking about this
for several weeks and then I realised I think I knew the perfect shape for this
truncheon now to tell you about this perfect shape I have to go back and
mention that a few years ago my wife and I decided to follow Diana Kennedy’s
famous mole a recipe for Oaxacan molé a and give out moley to everyone for
Christmas the thing about this recipe is that it’s
like 9 kinds of chilies each one that gets prepared at different ways and we
were mortaring and we were pestle and we were blending for days and days and days
there are still spots on the ceiling of my kitchen from that Molay extravaganza
and once we were done I was thinking we need a better mortar and pestle and I
started looking online for one and I found this crazy gigantic mortar and
pestle made of marble that was like this big seriously like 18 inches across I’ve
never found another one this large made by a company called Acme in the mid
century it’s a long way of saying the pestle for this is this puppy look at
this beautiful gorgeous object this is it’s too big to be a police
truncheon it’s got to be a bit smaller and perhaps just a little bit narrower
and I am going to use this as my guiding principle for rabbits truncheon I’m
gonna follow the shape I’m gonna follow the overall design I might change some
of the proportions but it’s gonna be wood down here steel up here it’s not
gonna be real steel I’m going to replicate steel with aluminum so let’s
get started okay so this is my overall shape this
pestle I am going to redraw it as a smaller object perhaps slightly but with
slightly less of a bulbous end and I have some materials here that I’m going
to use so this will be for the handle this is a nice chunk of ash that I have
I like ash it’s easy to machine I can darken it later with some stains and
some paint I have a chunk of aluminum that will be the end of this truncheon
now truncheon –zz were I believe I don’t know my British police history
very well but I believe they were issued by the crown because most of the
truncheon Zhai found pictures of that were antiques had a little British crown
symbol on them I’m going to replicate that and I’m likely to fetch it using
some acid using a technique that was told to me by Peter Lyon from what a
workshop I also plan to put a little insignia in the end and to that end I
bought some British police buttons that I am going to polish to weather them a
little bit and I’m going to machine a little bit of a recess in here so this
sucks right in there and makes the whole thing look a little more official I
bought these on Amazon for like a buck fifty all right so first up we’re gonna
get to drawing here we go I think I have roughly the the layout of
this it is it follows the shape it is narrower obviously it’s got to be able
to be carried in a holster on someone’s belt and this is ridiculous but what I
like about this is there aren’t many British trenches shaped like this so
this definitely makes it a kind of unique I’m going to do the handle out of
wood just like the pestle the Front’s piece out of aluminum and I’m going to
have this middle collar in brass I’m going to age some brass a brass ring and
put it in there first and foremost I got to get this handle right so that’s the
first thing I’m going to turn out of this ash you know good I’m gonna get covered in dust during
this but that looks promising ooh promising I could do this on my
machine lathe but I’ve got a wood lathe why not use a wood lathe for blazing
wood I will eventually move this piece of ash to the machine lathe to do some
of the final finishing but this will get me mostly in the room in terms of the
overall shape that’s the overall widest width I’m hoping to get this wood – and
I only need about that much of it so we should be pretty good here we are going to do what I personally
refer to as climbing the sandpaper ladder we’re going to I have machined
everything I have lathes everything about a sixteenth of an inch over my
critical dimensions and I you know I’d have a little bit of a rough surface on
here you can see it in this close-up and I’m gonna try and remove that rough
surface by starting with an 80 grit and working my way up to a hundred and
eighty grit that should get this handle nice and smooth but the shape is
starting to take form and I’m really pretty pleased with it move from 80 grit to 100 grit now it’s starting to become really
smooth I’m starting to get rid of all the little marks you can start to see a shine as showing
up here and if you could feel it it’s feeling pretty smooth like a bottom of a
baby’s foot norms and knows what that feels like he’s got a fresh one back
home I mean a fresh pair of baby feet I bet he’d agree like oh yeah that feels
like every sweet I’m very pleased with that
ah yeah look at that beautiful my hole is roughly Center all the way
through the handle that’s really great this allows me to actually sink a piece
of all thread all the way through this into the end of the truncheon to give it
some extra strength get a little nick here there’s a little nick but I don’t
mind that I’m actually that’s that’s that’s part of the history of this
handle it got nicked yeah so I don’t see any reason to worry about it this is his
talisman this is rabbits right hand and you know it gets into some scrapes and
it gets scraped itself one of the nice things about drilling
into a big heavy piece of aluminum like this is that it acts as its own heatsink
the pulls heat away from the cut which keeps the drill bit cooler can’t do this
endlessly eventually a drill bit does heat up the aluminum does a great job
keeping it away parting off big chunks of aluminum is
always a really fraught and potentially dangerous operation because it’s a lot
of friction and things can get caught and it was a pretty big change in my
life when I realized I could do it at a nice slow speed on the lathe rather than
in high speed it’s a much safer this way here it goes boink wow that is a that’s
a heavy object is what that is okay yeah oink-oink
obviously when he’s swinging these at other actors he’s not swinging the
aluminum one I know need to darken that piece of wood but I’m this is really
shaping up to be a thing that is you don’t want to mess with a guy who’s got
this on his belt I don’t want to mess with a guy who’s got this on his belt
okay good I’m feeling very positive about all of this I need to make some
small cuts in some adjustments in here we are we are moving a pace I want to do
a little more polish on the end of this guy just to get rid of some of these
little lines here so I’m going to chuck this back into the lathe and grab it
right give it a little bit of a swak with this
puppy yeah look at that it looks ding it looks beat up it looks like it’s got a
little history to it I love it ok now let’s get a polish on this puppy I’m
very pleased with that it is time to H the titular character a rabbit right
here in the end how am I going to do that you wonder I’m gonna do that with a
bit of ferric chloride yeah you want to be able to see it for camera its
narrative device that is clearly a rabbit and if I edge that a couple times if I see an old I think the rabbit
should be a little bit smaller yeah okay so let’s do it like that now I could have loaded this file into
my Cricut cutter and I don’t need these anymore
I could have loaded this file into my Cricut cutter and made a mask but
frankly given that this is a piece of 19th century hardware I didn’t want it
to look too neat I wanted it to look a little bit rough around the edges and
that is why I’m going with a hand-cut mask I wanted to feel if you looked at
like actually go right now Google Paul Revere’s plates and you’ll see his
etching on it and it looks really crunchy if you like bought a replica of
it at the Paul Revere Museum if they have a gift shop I mean I’ve been there
but I can’t remember if they have a gift shop you they would do this edging that
looked really clean because they can do that with computers and with lithography
and stuff like that these days but back in the old days it was all done by hand
and it’s so clearly obvious you can see it so to me that’s a kree part of the
veracity of the prop Wow sorry about all the squeaking there we go
there’s my rabbit outline ferric chloride is an etchant it reacts with
various metals the most common one being copper and it’s used to etch PCBs custom
computer boards for various projects but it also apparently does just fine on
aluminum so the byproduct of the etching is hydrogen so it’s not like it’s
poisonous but it is flammable so I’m just gonna want to get some on here and
start to let the reaction happen a couple weeks ago off-camera I did some
of the very first steel etching I’ve done here in the shop I used some
diluted nitric acid to Etra sword blade this is an etch I’m gonna do on camera
but this is the first time I’ve edged aluminum and apparently you’re supposed
to just wait for the reaction to stop and then you rinse it and if you want to
go deeper you go again this is the first time I’m itching stuff
it’s really exciting hey while this is etching I’m going to
add some stain to the handle here so that I can make it look a little darker
and I’m gonna try and choose a dark stain red mahogany dark walnut I think
that’s where I want to start I’ve got some of my hand dirt on there before I
stained it normally for fine woodworking you’d want to clean this thing really
nicely but I’m making an old thing I’m making a new thing that looks old so I’m
gonna leave some of those him perfections and let them tell some of my
story and let that sit on there and soak in I’m gonna let you think about what
you did looks like it’s itching nicely I’m gonna keep continuing to go a little
deeper bubbling up nicely awesome all right I’m going to clean this off
wash it out and see how deep this five or six passes that etching has actually
gotten let’s see how my rabbit looks if after I peel off the tape I can still
fix this if I’ve gotten it wrong it’s a very forgiving process let’s see Oh
ladies and gentlemen there’s a rabbit in the end of that trench look at that that’s a nice dimensional edge right
there I’m gonna wash it out with a little more
water just to make sure it’s no longer going through its edging past that I’m really really pleased with that
that’s a nice rabbit yep grass is so delicious yeah okay
I have one more mark to put on this these trenches were often made they were
government-issued it seems and each one had a little crown so I want to etch a
little crown into there and a little RR that’s the rabbit run there’s my drawing I’m feeling pretty
good about this my first time edging get like it’s going pretty good alright I’m gonna peel up the tape and
I’m gonna wash this off and got a little bit of extra a little bit of extra
itching lurking about oh look at that yeah all right to the sink Boy Wonder might spray paint in there and in there
too it’s time for final assembly here we go
that goes there there okay oh right mm nut goes on there that’s it look at
that that is oh man I am so psyched about this all right so then this guy
lives in there and I’m gonna put that in with a dollop of I’m gonna put it in
with just a little bit of butyl so when you guys get this on production you can
just pry it out you can glue it back if you want do however you want but just
know that you pop out that little coin and I’m gonna send an extra coin you pop
out that little button and you have access to be able to take this thing
apart into its component pieces what is butyl I’m not sure I’ve covered
butyl and tested before okay butyl is effectively it’s like what they put
around your windshield when they pop a new windshield in your car it is a
flexible petroleum-based gasket material it comes in rolls like this Jamie
Hyneman introduced it to the Mythbusters production he said that when he lived in
the Caribbean on a charter boat that he owned he could repair leaks in this boat
from outside underwater using butyl and it is one of his go-to materials it’s a
little like blue tack it has a similar type of consistency but it’s a little
more tenacious I will tell you that butyl is like half of the Mythbusters
and Mythbusters junior and camera teams rigging hardware half of their rigging
hardware has big chunks of butyl you need to put a camera on something weird
like a dashboard you lay down some masking tape stick a big chunk of beetle
on there jam your GoPro into the butyl and it will stay and it’s got its own
little sort of vibration and dampening Mount butyl is amazing and
it should be in every maker shop so I’m gonna just plus a little bit of butyl
around the edge of this thing and it allow me to stick it down in a way that
it’s not going to appeal itself back up again but it will be easy for someone
who wants to to take it back up so here we go there this was a really fun build and it is a
rarity a one-day build that took less than one day that just never happens
we got the Kings mark RR for rabbit run we got the rabbit in the edge oh that’s
gonna leave a mark wouldn’t handle brass ring
police button in the bottom it’s time to kick some 19th century butt

35 thoughts on “Adam Savage’s One Day Builds: Hero Prop for TV Show!

  • You can etch metal with much less risk by using whats basically an electroplating bath, using saline water and reversing the polarity in the bath.

  • i wonder if some mechanical wizard like Adam could actually make functional "Denn'bok" (Babylon 5).
    not the TV prop but actually operating mechanism to deploy it fully.

  • I was under the impression that small crown markings and other shapes were proof marks, like quality control stamps essentially.

  • Truncheons are unlike a magician's magic wand (which is for cunning stunts), you should have tested its stunning ability after making it tbh:)

  • Sawdust will suck the oil out of every machine you have especially the lathe and mill. At least cover your other machines when you fill the room with sawdust.

  • I feel like I would be remiss to not say you missed a trick at 19:58. You should have said "…and see how deep this rabbit hole goes"

  • You do realize that in the 19th century aluminum could be more precious than gold?
    The Washington Monument is capped with 9 inch pyramid of aluminum. That chunk could have made the guy a very rich man for his day.

  • I've lived in Aoteroa for 50 years , I've never seen a truncheon like that . I was born here in Rangiora .

  • Working with lathes without protecting your head: A VERY BAD EXAMPLE.

    My uncle had protection but still barely made it out alive and was left with a crippling brain injury. He's missing a huge part of his frontal cortex.

  • Wow Matt Berry reaches out to Adam Savage nice. "IT crowd" was funny with Matt Berry aswell as "Toast Of London" not seen rabbit yet

  • I wish I had a workshop that's 10% of the Tested Workshop…. It must be great to have all the materials and tools at hand to just make stuff you want… If I want to make something I need to buy a lot of stuff and quite often I just don't even start since it'll be way to expensive…. Maily because I have hardly any tools.

  • Not convinced by the al-loo-min-num, would have prefered traditional wood, but another fun video. The rabbit etching was awesome.

  • 20:55 I can't express how much these out of focus closeups bother me. What's even the point of putting it in the video if a majority of the shot is out of focus for this long? Isn't there any way you can improve the focus? What about having another person controlling a remote focusing wheel?

  • All these people in the comments bashing Adam for using aluminum. It’s a prop meant to be used and carried by an Actor. Aluminum looks like steel to the Camera but is way easier for use on set. Awesome build Adam!

  • I use butyle at work all the time rv trailer and motorhome are held together and sealed with it and I did not know other people than rv techs used it but ya that stuff seals and hold wonder full especially after heated by the sun

  • Omg Matt berry x Adam never thought I'd see this but I love it excited for his new show…hopefully toast of London returns

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