SmallRiniLady used Worbla Mesh and Black Art to create this amazing Harley Quinn hammer, with the details laser cut! She shared the process below.
Laser Cut Worbla – Harley Quinn Hammer
I wanted to build a Harley Quinn hammer with a lace like structure. Laser cutting Worbla has been a very interesting medium to work with for this challenge. It did cause me some structural challenges as its flexibility increases as you remove away material. Yet the level of intricate designs you can cut using the laser cutter and still hold true in the Worbla was breathtaking.
Harlequin clowns often use Diamond patterns in their outfits, but instead of having a bunch of individual shapes, how can I mimic that pattern into a single flat sheet. I designed a two layer argyle pattern in Microsoft Expression for the surface of my hammer panel and saved it to a PDF to cut using an Epilog Laser Cutter
It’s a lot of cutting. To do both layers took approx an hour of cutting.
Lots of little pieces to clean up, at the time I didn’t know the maker space had a shop vacuum for jobs like this. ~My poor fingers~
Since my Worbla wasn’t entirely flat, this area didn’t cut all the way through
Although the fibers in the Worbla MeshArt can make your piece sturdier, it also requires more power from a laser cutter to cut through. In the areas that it didn’t cut through, my manual popping out with my fingers did not result with smooth edges but pokey fibers sticking out
Some areas barely cut through so I had to use a knife on it. Luckily the score lines allowed me to keep the consistent pattern through my manual cutting process.
Layer two, using Worbla BlackArt
Time to paint. Painted my Worbla MeshArt to black and my Worbla BlackArt to red. Had I planned better I would have switched the two layers’ material to paint less.
Getting the Worbla to stick together wasn’t an easy job. The extra layers of paint on each surface required the Worbla to be even hotter before the surfaces were tacky enough stick to one another. That caused the Worbla to be super soft and causing the patterns to create impressions into one another; the black diamond started drooping into the open space below causing an uneven surface ~sad face~.
To get the argyle panel to match the exact circumference of my circle faces I used the laser cutter again to cut down my argyle panel down to size.
I did not change my laser cutting settings; not risking the higher heat to melt my project or start any fires. My top layer of Worbla cut through cleanly, but only etched into the second layer.
The etched lines became very useful for guiding my knife, so this step was simple and fast.
I designed a lace pattern to trim my hammer. I wanted the droplet shape to mimic Harley’s collar from her 90’s cartoon outfit. This same lace trim will also show up on my HarleyQuinn Hat
When heating thin cuts of Worbla you’ll end up with a lot of sag which can deform your pieces very quickly. I found that by having a solid base to heat up you can easily stick the cold fragile pieces to the activated Worbla. It won’t stick fully but have enough random adhesion points to be locked in place. Then you can re-go over with heat to create a complete bond.
I bonded the lace to the edge of my argyle panel and painted them white
For the side faces I decided to use Acrylic sheets as it is a ridged material that will provide the stability for the hammer to keep its circular shape. Single sheet of Worbla is too flexible for this but may work if using the sandwich method.
Acrylic sheets come covered either with paper or plastic. This way it won’t scratch during transport, can be drawn on during design, and avoid soot and scorch marks during the laser cutting process. I laser cut out circles with fun patterns inspired by the “POW” phrases from the 60s show.
After removing the plastic covering I used a stamp pad to color the inside of my acrylic sheet to give it a translucent color to help the design become more readable.
The acrylic side faces and the Worbla argyle panel includes holes around the edge. The edges will be laced together with ribbons. This gives the design a bit of flexibility with spacing and creates a seductive look.
The handle of the hammer starts with a PVC pipe which I decorate with satin black and white ribbons creating a stripped pattern.
I measured the pvc pipe with a caliper to create Worbla reinforcement rings (also laser cut) for my argyle panel.
My argyle pattern creates gaps around the hole for the pvc pass through to not be tight. The reinforcement rings removes that issue. One in the inside and one on the outside creates a strong seal.