Urinetown Sign

Urinetown, by Mark Hollman & Greg Kotis
Scenic Design by Glenn Pepe
Ohio University, 2015

This 5’9” x 2’0” dimensional sign was cut out of 16ga. sheet steel. The combined efforts of a plasma cutter, a nibbler, and a jig saw were used to cut out the arrow and 3” strips. Welds from the inside secured them to the face. A hole saw was used to cut out 36 holes for Electrics to install lightbulbs. Masonite letters were adhered with Liquid Nails. The unit was rigged by the Scene Shop and painted by the scenic artists.

Stage Combat Katana

Rashomon, by Ivor Benjamin
Ohio University, 2014

katana-winters_rashomonThe tsuba, or hand guard, on traditional Japanese swords served as a way of communicating social standing and other personal information about the owner. The design of this tsuba was inspired by the samurai’s wife’s butterfly motif and bamboo leaves. It was carved out of 3/16” plate steel. The rough shape was cut with a jig saw. Then the small areas were hand filed, and finally the detail was laid in with a dremel.

This production had a modern style with Japanese influences. Because of this, we made the handle in a sleek rosewood rather than a traditional cord-wrapping. The blade was purchased, and its was tang inlayed into the wood. 2-1/2” were taken off the tip of the blade for better balance. Three shaped 3/16” steel rods were drilled through the handle and tang and secured with epoxy. The rods provided structural support as well as grips for the actor’s hands.

The pommel was shaped out of 1-1/2” steel round stock and welded directly to the end of the tang. The bamboo motif was repeated here and finished with a good polishing.

Skeleton Keys

Advanced Steel Techniques with Tom Fiocchi 
Ohio University, 2014

 An afternoon project project made with scraps of 3/16″ steel rod, slices of pipe bent in a vice, and other steel scraps. Each key was around 4-1/2″ long.



14″ Steel Buckler

Advanced Steel Techniques, with Tom Fiocchi 
Ohio University, 2014


buckler-finished-lrThe buckler was cut out of 18g. sheet steel. It went through an initial dishing process, which involved hammering the steel into a shaped wooden stump, and a secondary dishing to create the larger central circle. A 2″ hole was cut out of the buckler and a separate 2” circle was dished and welded to the buckler from the front. All welds were cleaned up.

The whole thing was then planished, polished, and buffed. A pattern was drawn out in Sharpie, and dremeled in with a carbide bit.

The handle was made from a 1” strip of 18” steel cut to shape and bent in a vice. A 1” dowel was split in half and screwed to the metal strap. Brown vinyl was then barged around the dowel. The ends were wire wrapped before the handle was welded to the back of the buckler.





Advanced Steel Techniques with Tom Fiocchi 

Ohio University, 2014


Annealed coat hanger wire was individually hot bent with the oxyacetylene torch and weaved into the knot pattern. The wires for the second knot had to be hot bent in order to weave through the original knot, strand by strand. Brazes kept it tacked in place. Additional coat hanger wires were brazed to the knot pattern to create the necklace. The final product was wrapped with gold wire to hide structural brazes and finished with black FEV.