Join us as we interview Sam, a super cool guy who used welding and metalworking to forge a real-life, d20 mace that he so lovingly named Fate’s Gavel.
Question 1: So Sam, where did you learn to make weapons? That’s not something you pick up as an elective in college…
Sam: I wouldn’t say I formally learned how to make weapons. This is the only instance I can think of where I made something that could be considered a weapon. I’m passionate about welding/metalworking, and have an active imagination. Those two things go very well together.
Question 2: Do you make combat grade weapons as well, or do you specialize in the awesome aesthetics you achieve?
Hmm. I’d be lying if I said I knew what is required for something like this to be deemed combat grade. I understand when it comes to blade working, with heat treating/tempering etc, but that doesn’t apply here.
I can say that these d20 maced could certainly destroy even the toughest of watermelons and pumpkins! So if you’re battling a pumpkin then yes, they are combat grade. I am welder by trade, and they are welded to a high standard. I back purged the insides with argon for full fusion on all the joints.
Question 3: So how in the world did you get the idea to make a d20 mace?
The idea came from somebody asking how much I would charge to make them one. They bailed, but I eventually decided I really needed to make one anyway.
I posted an unfinished product to reddit, and it blew up! I had a number of people interested in buying one, so I decided to make a batch of 10 for my etsy store. I plan on making different handles for them to sell separately, like a flail and a staff.
Question 4: Okay, so can you walk us through the process of making a d20 mace – in layman’s terms?
Alright, there are quite a few steps to this. Here goes!
Step 1: I made my life easier and had a bunch of 3.5″ equal triangles laser cut. I was cutting them by hand, but even half a degree off will ruin the whole shape. It sucked. The laser cut triangles are accurate to .004″!
Step 2: Tack weld a 1/2″ nut to each of the 20 triangles for equal weight. This also makes it roll better. A hole is drilled through one of them for the handle. [Editor’s Note: We love the fact that Sam was concerned about how well this metal d20 would roll. A true gamer.]
Step 3: I tack them all into shape. With help of the 137.2° jig I made.
Step 4: I hook up the back purge system and purge the inside with argon gas. Then I fuse weld all the seems. The purge will create a nice weld all the way through, making the entire shape one piece.
Step 5: Clean it up! I use an air grinder with red scotch Brite pads. Then switch to blue Scotch Brite for final clean up.
Step 6: Etching. I apply vinyl number stencils, leaving the only exposed steel as the numbers. Put them in a salt water bath, get out the battery charger and hook up the positive to the d20, and negative to a piece of steel submerged in the bath. Then run it on 12 volts/10amps for around 7 minutes. It’s probably overkill from what I’ve read about the process, but it creates a really nice, deep etch.
Step 7: The handle. Cut a piece of 1-1/4″ oak, stain and clear coat. I weld 1/2″ threaded rod to a washer, and the washer to a piece of steel pipe. Drill a 3/16″ hole through the pipe and wood, and hammer in a steel pin. I then clean it up on the lathe. For the pommel cap I do the same thing, minus the threaded rod, and instead bolt it through the bottom.
Step 8: Celebrate!!
And there you have it. Special thanks to Sam for taking time out of his busy production schedule to answer our questions and show those steps in detial.
If you’re interested in getting your very own d20 mace (or any of the other incredible pieces that he crafts by hand), support Sam at his Etsy store here!
Sam would also love to hear from you if you have any ideas regarding a custom order. He really enjoys making people’s ideas reality, and he’d love to hear from you. Click here to send him an introductory email!
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