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Watching Adam Savage Spruce Up a Captain America Shield Is Strangely Relaxing

That’s a good shield, Cap.
That’s a good shield, Cap.
Image: Marvel Studios

Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame is a big nerd and an amazing craftsman. Watching him update a cosplay prop like a Captain America shield is watching a master at work.

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And when he gets to it on his Adam Savage’s Tested channel, it’s shockingly soothing. There’s something about watching experts work at their craft that’s comforting—the way they move deftly, work quick, make complicated tasks look like child’s play. And Savage is an absolute expert in what he does. And what he does here? Well, it’s very nice, actually. It’s making the back rim on Captain America’s shield.

The results are lovely, and the process is just pleasant. I love putting stuff like this on in the background, just looking over every now and then, seeing Adam at work. And knowing that at the end of it, that shield is going to look tight.

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io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

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DISCUSSION

Let’s at least acknowledge that this video (by his own admission) is heavily edited and he made mistakes his first time around. It’s easy to say “Oh, look at this master craftsman doing this amazing thing!” and never understand that there’s a lot of stuff that happens off camera. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if he did this three times before he got one complete job on camera.

I’m an industrial craftsman, and I do this sort of thing all the time. His technique is good, but he clearly had to work it out as he went along. It didn’t go nearly as smoothly as this video implies it did. (Although he did admit he tried it at least once before filming.)

If I were going to do the same job I probably would have had it laser cut or water jetted. I have a shop I used to work at that would probably get it on the laser and back to me by noon if I showed up with a .dxf file at 7:00 in the morning. But then again, I have an “in” there because I used to work there and have friends there still. (Including the owner.) If I showed up with my own piece of material and the .dxf file, they’d probably let me program the run and put it on the laser as soon as there was a break in the schedule. That’s probably not a 5 minute burn once all the initial work is done.

But Adam is right that a jigsaw is a terrible tool for that job. Cleanup alone would take more time than this whole job, and the result would be bad.

That said, a CNC Router table would also make short work of the job.

The good news is, any Joe-Schmoe in his garage can do what Adam did with little more than a trip to Home Despot.