The Scythe

Binky greeted him with a faint whinny of recognition. Mort mounted up, his heart pounding with apprehension and responsibility. His fingers worked automatically, taking the scythe out of its sheath and adjusting and locking the blade (which flashed steely blue in the night, slicing the starlight like salami).
- Mort
HOLD THIS, said Death, and pushed a scythe into his hand while he swung himself up on to Binky. The scythe looked normal enough, except for the blade: it was so thin that Mort could see through it, a pale blue shimmer in the air that could slice flame and chop sound. He held it very carefully.
- Mort
 

The blade of the scythe is constructed from two layers of titanium with a clear acrylic plastic core. The titanium is rough-cut from the sheet using a heavy-duty cutting shear. The curved edges are rounded by grinding. Titanium rivets hold the titanium panels tight to the plastic core. A uniform satin finish is achieved with sandpaper, then a stone ground finish is applied to simulate a ground edge to the blade. Once the blade was assembled and the surface finish applied, the titanium is anodized blue using a sponge and a dilute solution of TSP and water.

Steel rod was shaped into the blade pivot and a supporting arm that is anchored to the bottom of the blade and through the handle.

Death touched a secret spring on the stick. A blade shot out, so thin that it was transparent, its edge glittering blue as air molecules were sliced into their component atoms.
- Maskerade
 
The lands and cities of it lay before him. Blue light flamed along the blade of the scythe.
- Soul Music

The core of the blade is 1/4" acrylic plastic. The flickering blue edge is achieved with a combination of electroluminescent t wire and blue LEDs. The EL wire provides a steady pale blue glow along the entire length of the blade, and 10 LEDs are attached to a small 555 timer circuit that causes them to flicker (strobe) rapidly.

The EL wire is hot glued into a channel carved along the length of the blade. Holes were drilled to mount the LEDs at several points along the blade. Two ultra bright blue LEDs are hot glued in place  each of the holes. The exposed of the plastic core is ground to form the "sharp" transparent edge of the scythe blade and diffuse the internal lighting.

Steel conduit was bent for the Scythe handle or "snath". Batteries are inserted in the straight section at the bottom.

The inverter for the EL wire and the timer circuit for the LEDs is placed in the blade end of the handle. Initially, I tried to make the snath from a piece of copper tubing. Copper tubing had a problem with kinking during the bending process. Next I tried a piece of steel conduit tubing. This worked much better, and actually weighs slightly less than the copper did.

C-size NiCd batteries are mounted in the bottom of the shaft, and help offset the weight of the blade at the other end. A piece of wood dowel rod with a spring attached is held in place with a couple of screws through the side of the tube. Another piece of dowel is placed in the base of the tube and holds the batteries tightly in place and provides the second electrical contact point for the set of batteries. Power from the batteries is carried by wires up to the top of the tube where a small power switch and charging port are mounted.

A flat-head bolt is anchored in place on the handle with a threaded bolt extension. A bolt passes through the handle and into the threaded bolt extension to hold the ebony grip in place.

Hand grips or "Nibs" were turned on a mini lathe from ebony wood. These were sanded smooth and given a light almond-oil finish.

Once everything was assembled, cover plates were installed on both ends of the steel tube, then the tube was coated with several coats of black epoxy. After the epoxy was set, the ebony grips were attached to the handle.