Adam Savage’s One Day Builds: Hellboy Sword!

In this week’s One Day Build, Adam celebrates one of his favorite comic book characters by bringing a piece of Hellboy’s demon-slaying arsenal to life. With a Samaritan pistol already in his collection, Adam takes on the task of building a comic-book-worthy broadsword, complete with charred demon skewered at the tip! Watch a behind-the-scenes clip here.

Shot and edited by Joey Fameli

Comments (53)

53 thoughts on “Adam Savage’s One Day Builds: Hellboy Sword!

  1. Very nice build, you can absolutly pull off wonderfull things 🙂

    Just a question, they allways told me to wear a respirator while working with bondo, but you seem to work without. Is this just because you don’t like it or is it less dangerous then they told me?

    keep up the good work 🙂

  2. Switched to a Canon C100/300? How do you like it for this type of shooting? Did you use the dual pixel focus?

    What camera+lens combo was Adam using on the puppy seat build video? I love the look of that video but there is some aliasing in things like Norms glasses that make me think it is a DSLR shooting video.

  3. Years back for one of my classes I decided to make a Gillette logo with two full sized swords made also with the aluminum tape method (though in my case it was a sheet of A0, gotta love it when its available in that size).

    Thing was that on the way back to school to display it a guy stepped on them in the bus. Before I could ask if he was blind, I saw that he was indeed blind.

  4. I was wondering the same thing myself. Although, for some reason, I think Hellboy would be more than comfortable with pink and white masking tape.

  5. I’m sure bondo dust (being, as Adam said, polyester resin) is bad for you, but he was just hand-sanding, and only for a few minutes, so his exposure was fairly limited. If he’d been using a power sander or spending hours and hours doing it, I’m sure he would have used a respirator.

  6. I’m sure bondo dust (being, as Adam said, polyester resin) is bad for you, but he was just hand-sanding, and only for a few minutes, so his exposure was fairly limited. If he’d been using a power sander or spending hours and hours doing it, I’m sure he would have used a respirator.

  7. Awesome build! Going to do one for myself, hopefully!

    Anyone else think that Adam’s band saw sounds like a pod-racer? Or, just me?

  8. I wince whenever I see Adam spraying inside his workshop, overspray goes everywhere…probably all over the screen used prop :O
    I guess it all just adds to the patina 😛

  9. Keeping in the spirit of these one day builds, Road Bike Handle Bar tape might make a great quick wrap. It already has adhesive, and is cheap.

    I imagine Adam always has a rainbow of colours on his hands form all the spray painting over his fingers. It’s always such a pain to get it off.

  10. I thought the same thing. I have however seen swords and knives with a handle wrapped in braided steel wire, and I think it would look even better than leather. As ornate as some of the Hellboy props tend to be I think it would fit in nicely as well.

  11. Very good build, love the way you approach and work through projects. Great technique with the foil tape and spray paint. Thank you!

  12. Love the build 🙂

    But it would be great if Tested (Adam) would do a vid about workshop protocol and etiquette (pun intended), I bet Adam learned a lot from Jamie about that 🙂

    Like, Bondo is nasty stuff, use a respirator when applying and use a vacuum cleaner when sanding, never use spray paint without fresh air, or without a spray booth.

    not only it is a lot of bad chemicals, but also make a big mess of the workplace, after a few weeks, everything is covered in a layer of bondo dust and spray paint dust, and it will find a way into your house !

    and for god’s sake, buy a box of rubber gloves for $6,-. getting wax all over you hands, and subsequently onto everything, you will have a hard time spray painting clean smooth surfaces, and what about the chemicals needed to clean your hands.

    All the stuff Adam is using is slowly turning your brain into mush, and I know after 25 years what I am talking about :/

  13. Excellent sward Adam! where is it going to be hung in the shop?

    Joey, I too love the time lapse at the end, gives a nice perspective and wraps things up well.

  14. The quality of this video is really something, and the build is awsome too!

    It has hit me when there is a close up on the rotary sander.. the light and the particles floating.

    my hat off to Joey.

    Sir, you are a pro, a true master of your craft and it is too often you ain’t get all the credits you deserve.

    i guess this is the price to pay as a silent protagonist. still.. you’re the best!

    Keep on testing!

  15. Dude, Dust Mask. Safety equipment is cheap, medical bills are not. That dust you’re making is some harsh stuff. without any kind of dust collection you’re just breathing all that in.

    Cut that mortise for the blade before you shape the hilt. much safer than using a roll of tape.

    All safety issues aside, nice build. Love your enthusiasm for the work.

  16. This is one of those one-day-builds that will require repeat visits to catch all of the techniques, nice.

    Based on my American ears, Adam’s English accent reminded me of Ricky Gervais. The torch also made me think of Gordon Ramsey. Imagine the following calendar notifications.

    6:00am Hunt down the %$#& rabbit creature, subdue it with my handy torch. End it with my sword.

    10:00am Return to resort, prepare and serve my guests brunch. Serve creme brûlée for desert.

  17. Fantastic build. Great “one of a kind” item that few people would have thought about making. It seems to me that it may be missing something… What could it be? what could it be?… Oh yeah! A display. ODB Sword Display?!?!? Maybe with some nice runes etched into it?

  18. Aluminum tape! Who knew?

    I guess probably a bunch of people, but not me. Great tip!

    Thanks for the video.

  19. What a great One Day Build! Of course I’m a sucker for anything Hellboy related…

    I’d really like to see Adam build replicas of the Schufftein glasses- that would be an awesome project.

    Also that giant disc sander is the cat’s pajamas.

  20. I love all of the One Day Builds, but it’s fun to see you work on another sword.

    Question about the handle wrap? Was that masking tape (as said above)? Texture kinda looked like gaffer’s tape to me, but I’ve never seen a role of it that thin (except for very thin spike tape).

  21. @ScienceTeacher:

    Check out the video where Adam and Norm mod their Geek Chic Hero swords. He also mentions using aluminum tape that way in the Still Untitled episode with Kevin Kelly of Cool Tools.

  22. I agree completely. I made a comment/question in his Q&A series about how artisans appear to be very cavalier with shop safety and don’t take it nearly seriously enough. The segment with the bondo sanding was shocking to me.

    And for those who said – it was just a few minutes etc….remember that Adam does this for ‘just a few minutes’ all the time!

    Seriously Adam – set a better example.

  23. adams lathe shots make me scared every time. his holder for his chuck key always looks like hes left it in the chuck with the camera angle and i flinch when he starts it up.

  24. Awesome as always, that was great fun! I want to go and make one myself now haha!

    I’d have liked to have seen a fuller on the blade though (grooves down the length of the blade, which help to lighten the blade while retaining strength I think). I was thinking you could do it by putting slightly wider spines on with a groove along the edge (or a pair with a spacer between) which would allow you to still bondo up to it, but then form a depression down the center line using something round as a scraper, like a bit of tube or dowel etc.

  25. Nice build. But why the pointy tip of the sword and not the angled tip that’s depicted in the image?

    That’s what I though also, but look at the 3 images. in the second image (0:48) it is a pointy sword, and in the third image (1:01), the sword tip is hidden behind a shadow, thus making it look like an angle tip sword. So does the first image, pretty sure the tip is also hidden behind a shadow.

  26. Brilliant ODB. The sword looks amazing. Just wondered why you went for the traditional ‘pointed’ sword end and not the ‘chiselled’ end the Hellboy sword has in the ref pic?

  27. Nice! Is there any way of making the plumbers aluminium tape more “tough”, or less fragile when its on the sword? Would clear coat or some other lacquer might work?

  28. HOLY CRAP, I just spent the large majority of this video in stunned silence having just learned that Jamie and Adam both worked on Riven!!!!!! You know, I was totally confused when I found it… but that crows nest easter egg in realMyst Masterpiece Edition makes SO MUCH SENSE now! Seriously, the Myst series are some of my favorite games of all time. That is sooo awesome to learn that someone you love dearly from one thing is also involved in another thing that you love even more!! Great work Adam!

    Also, I agree with plaidwalker that the plush toy looks remarkably similar to a creature from Rwby, but Adam says towards the end of the episode that it is actually a monkey demon from the popular mobile game Temple Run.

  29. Love the build, love the shoot.

    But since safety seems to be the topic of the day, please re-install the blade guard on this table saw. An open blade might look cooler on video, but covers and anti-kickback devices do save body parts. Don’t let your fingers become someone else’s prop for bad shop habits!

  30. Yeah that stuff works great for wrapping things. Strong and designed to be stretched when you wrap it. Also comes in faux leather if ya wanna swing that way.

  31.   wouldn’t happen to know of a low VOC (odor/fume) option to bondo would you? Was fine in a well ventilated garage, but apartment living and bondo don’t mix.

  32. most if not all are made with polyester resin and mek bases hardener, because of the fast setting time, I have mixed epoxy resin with glass bubbles to make a paste, but epoxy still takes some time to set, but you do get the added advantage of being able to sculpt longer before it sets.

    you will have to test it out, and have to add more glass bubbles they you would think, as it still tends to drip and move, and it makes the paste very light weight.

    another trick is to use fast setting 2 part epoxy glues, and mix glass bubbles into that, some of those also smell bad, but not as pungent as polyester 🙂

    But remember, even if it doesn’t smell as bad, it still emits toxic fumes, so an open window nearby is still a good idea.

  33. I am so jealous of your shop. If I had that much time and stuff, I would only leave to eat and when nature called.

  34. It’s fascinating seeing how different people work, when you turned the pummel for the sword I would have just jumped straight in with the rest and used the wood turning chisels and gouges to do everything.

    Another great video!!

  35. It seems like the weathering effect would make the aluminum tape join lines show up really badly. How did you hide that?

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