21
Aug
08

Metallurgy 101

OK, so I’ll begin this post by apologizing for my distinct lack of posts the past few weeks… But I do have a good excuse. I moved!! I am now hidden away in a new cave, in a suitably isolated location, where I can hopefully blog in peace, without some pesky human happening upon my hidey hole (and me) and deciding it’s a good century to form a party and go Balrog hunting…

No, don’t laugh, it could happen… What, you think Balrogs can’t be swiftboated? Think again. Which is a shame, seriously, cause it’s the 21st century, and you’d think all that mess would have gotten old… But Noooooo… Ya crazy humans… But I digress.

Today I’ll be ranting a little about more human insanity. You’ve probably all heard me rave in many shapes and forms about how there are some marketing gimmicks that really could only have been the brainchild of a IQ challenged, maladjusted orc with a serious case of… Well… We’ll not go there today, suffice to say that there is a fine line between marketing genius and insanity.

Case in point: An interesting set of nunchaku called “Solid Steel Assault”.

Solid Steel Assault

Solid Steel Assault

[Click image to view full size]

Ok. I know what you are thinking. And it’s a valid question. What’s wrong with this? Looks like a sweet pair of nunchaku no? Indeed, one of the first weapons I ever made was a pair of nunchaku. Notwithstanding the occasional lump on the head, and the once-in-a-blue-moon occasion with me writhing on the floor, in the foetal position, clutching at my nads in extreme agony, it was all fun. Good times, good times.

Yes. It’s a good pair of nunchaku. Not great, as it’s not a particularly durable (or safe) design, since It uses a bolt threaded directly into the shaft to secure the swivel bracket to which the chain is attached. And unfortunately this bolt has a tendency to keep backing out. But as issues go, that one is easy to fix. If you have the right tools. Though that would be purely academic to a person whose “half chucks” have just launched themselves into their wide screen TV, Wiimote style…

No. Not particularly safe. But my real beef is it’s name. Solid Steel Assault. Now what, pray tell, would you think this nunchaku would be constructed of, with a name like that? I’ll give you one guess. BZZZT!! WRONG!!. Nope. Not steel. Take another wild guess. Nice guess!! You get an invisible cigar. This nunchaku, Impressively named Solid Steel Assault, is made of… ALUMINUM!! Is that crazy or what!!

Now I’ll be the first to admit my alchemy is a little rusty, but aren’t Steel and Aluminum two different kinds of metal? So why, in the name of all that is sacred, would you give an aluminum weapon a name with Solid Steel anywhere in it? Actually… I have a theory.

I think they were originally going to make it of solid steel. Then someone realized that their fastening method left something to be desired, (IE it’s garbage) and decided to change the material du jour, at the last minute, to aluminum. Why? Because it would hurt less when someone came round to beat them over the head with it for their obvious stupidity…

Hey, I’m just saying…

Solid Steel Assault – [True Swords]

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17 Responses to “Metallurgy 101”


  1. 1 Niccolo
    August 21, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Just on that bolt… could you imagine twirling it and the bolt comes loose? a half-kilo solid steel slug rocketing out at God-knows-what velocity… I giggle at the thought.

    But it sounds rather like… as if they decided to build a sword and then make the hilt out of Lego. Quite… well, retarded, really.

    Though I’m baffled why they failed to go with the ninja-name here, when it would be more appropriate than just about any other place they’ve used it.

  2. August 21, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    LOL Yes… Retarded is the word… Why someone would think that a swiveling bracket attached to a bolt threaded into ALUMINUM, no less, would stay in place is beyond me.

    Perhaps they were trying to design a projectile weapon and gave up half way. Then retarded bizarro brain looked at it and said “Are you pondering what I’m pondering Pinkey?”… The rest was history… 🙂

    I think it was wise of them not to include any ninja related nomenclature, because it would have resulted in a bo shuriken in the eye instead of just an aluminum chuck upside the head… At least they thought that far ahead…

  3. 3 Niccolo
    August 22, 2008 at 5:00 am

    Speaking of lego hilts… Nope, lost my train of thought.

    It’s quite amusing, actually. The aluminium would be brilliant for this idea, ’cause frankly… steel could go on a starvation diet and still be called heavy. Just… yeah. The bolt.

    For those of you who don’t know, aluminium is pretty damn soft in comparison to steel. I have two thin cylinders of metal here on my desk, one in mild steel and one in soft malleable aluminium. (Don’t ask, it’s an engineer thing) The ‘mild’ is a bit of a misnomer, though, ’cause you can find three-day old rock-cakes that are softer than this stuff. The aluminium, however, would bend if I glared at it correctly. Crocodile clips can score it quite easily (my blunt SA knife can score it, and this thing can barely cut me) and it doesn’t have the same heavy presence that steel does. Is shiny, though.

    Aluminium is a wonderful material; sturdy, light, and it doesn’t rust unless you’ve done something horribly wrong. But the sturdiness does not equate well to screw-threads like on the bolt we have here. Aluminium is rigid, aluminium is reasonably stiff – they use it in aeroplanes – but aluminium also stretches like a gymnast.

    The only advantage aluminium has over the steel here is the launched slug probably wouldn’t shatter or crack upon impact with your friend’s head when you were showing your nunchuks off.

  4. 4 ladyofspiders
    August 23, 2008 at 12:07 am

    Well you know sharp pointy things that can draw lots of blood and remove limbs are usually my MO, but I have to say, that is a pretty sweet looking pair right there

  5. August 25, 2008 at 2:17 am

    @Niccolo
    Indeed, I like the idea of aluminum for a lot of things… But weapons, at least not blades or impact weapons, aren’t one of them. I’ll take a good slab of steel any day, over aluminum…

    @LadyofSpiders
    Indeed Milady, it’s funny, though these don’t have anything on *any* of my blades, weapons like these can still do a lot of damage. So it’s almost ironic, that something like these are actually what I’d use if I *didn’t* want to hurt them… lol 🙂

  6. 6 MoZZA
    August 26, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    phyre raving? now a huge ass balrog raving to, say, scooter? …. feakin’ funny!

  7. August 27, 2008 at 12:30 am

    LOL somehow I don’t think the rest of the ravers would agree with you… I only rave in full flame… 😀

  8. 8 MoZZA
    August 27, 2008 at 6:10 am

    LOL who cares balrogs need love too!

  9. August 27, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Love? What is this “Love” of which you speak? It is another invention of you humans isn’t it? Balrogs crave not such things…

    No, I’m talking about the fire from my skin burning the place to the ground. Not intentionally of course, I like spirited music, but.. 😀

  10. 10 MoZZA
    August 28, 2008 at 6:10 am

    welll a balrog at a festial raving then…. but hey who said i was human 😉

  11. 11 gothog
    August 28, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    Love the pinkey and the brain reference Phyre, though I’m not so sure that the designers were careful enough to think ahead at all, I’m sure they just wanted to stay far under budget.

  12. August 28, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    Yeah, I’m fairly certain that cost was one of their all consuming motivations, but knowing what people were going to be doing with it… well… Methinks a little more forethought might have been wise… 🙂

  13. 13 gothog
    August 28, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    You know as well as I, that wise doesn’t always fit into a designers vernacular. I’m pretty confident that they werent worried about getting sued since they made the thing out aluminum, it’s probably hollow to a degree to keep it light so the poor design wouldn’t be as much of a concern though still a cause for concern

  14. August 29, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    Oh no, it’s a solid piece of aluminum. Just has that hole in the top of each cylinder which is tapped to receive the bolt… And I don’t think the Wiimote weighed as much either.. But they were pretty quick to send out stronger replacement straps… LOL

  15. 15 gothog
    August 29, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    LOL, fair enough. I still find it hard to believe, though, that the designers had safety in mind when they were thinking of possible things that they could add.

  16. 16 Niccolo
    August 30, 2008 at 5:51 am

    O.o A solid piece of aluminium? I wanna get my hands on that. Aluminium is /useful/.

    And yes, I’d melt these things down for the aluminium. Metal slug launching aside, twirling these really is good for naught.

  17. August 30, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    Good for naught indeed… As in, I could give you a good knot on your forehead if I whacked you with it… But that would probably just make you mad… LOL


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