Look at the swords I made! Look at the stuff I smashed with the swords I made: https://www.youtube.com/user/michaelcthulhu

Discovery's given me a show. It's airing Tuesdays at 10 PM EST.

http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/big-giant-swords/

This Tuesday, tonight at 10 PM Eastern!

Victoria's helping me via Skype today. AMA!

PROOF: http://imgur.com/y8ToojN

Edit thanks everyone for being part of this AMA. I may storm the reddit offices at some point again in the future.

Comments: 418 • Responses: 84  • Date: 

ismellliketuna123 karma

Do you feel spiritually like you're carrying out Crom's will when forging steel ?

MichaelCraughwell77 karma

YES!!!

Zachitman6 karma

How do I get in contact

MichaelCraughwell4 karma

https://www.facebook.com/Michaelcthulhu is the easiest way to contact me.

purple_sage25 karma

Hello Irish Mike! You are crazy cute!

MichaelCraughwell5 karma

Thank you. But I'm married. Are you male? Most people who say that are male.

Lol33ta3 karma

I'm so late....

But I made this: /r/BigGiantSwords

Let's party!

MichaelCraughwell10 karma

Thank you! This is awesome! I hit the big time now.

I have my own subreddit.

Or should I say...super-reddit.

ButtsexEurope104 karma

Michael Cthulhu? How's Dave Yog Sothoth and Jim Nyarlothotep?

MichaelCraughwell6 karma

They're doing just fine.

bolivar-shagnasty44 karma

Serious question:

What will I get from watching your show that I won't get from watching your YouTube channel? I'm not particularly fond of the forced drama many of today's reality series have. Is your show going to focus on making badass swords?

MichaelCraughwell58 karma

The show will focus on making badass swords, but more of my personality will come through. On my YouTube channel, SOME of that comes through, but I don't generally get an opportunity to talk for long periods of time. If you like my personality, it's more of that on the show.

Sorry, that was very confusing.

bolivar-shagnasty20 karma

As a follow up, how much say do you get when it comes to the crew filming you; things like location, time, or context of a conversation you're having? Is it just open season on Mike, or are there things planned out ahead of time with boundaries and everything?

MichaelCraughwell40 karma

Of course the crew had schedules and things they had to keep. Most of the time they had a very very loose idea of what they wanted to film, and then I would improvise around that, or outright change it, depending on my mood.

beernerd33 karma

You're sign is upside down... did you do that on purpose? Also, when did you discover you have a gift for making swords?

MichaelCraughwell54 karma

Two separate questions eh?!?!

I don't do anyting on purpose! And do I have a gift?

beernerd49 karma

Relax, I'm a professional. I'll ask the questions here.

Which came first, the beard or the swordmaking?

MichaelCraughwell142 karma

The sword-making. I had a leetle, tiny pre-pubescent goatee. and then I started making swords. And now i have a beard.

Ergo: Swords give you beards. It's science.

MichaelCraughwell66 karma

beernerd16 karma

It's marvelous is what it is. Does it pose any sort of workplace hazard?

MichaelCraughwell44 karma

Nope. It's like an early warning system when something's getting too close to yer face!

beernerd16 karma

Brilliant! Ok, last question before I abandon my current career to become a blacksmith.

In the event that you are approached by a duck of epic proportions, perhaps even horse-sized, which weapon from your arsenal would you choose to battle it with?

MichaelCraughwell27 karma

I'd use the one from my recent video Happy New Year. It's large enough to attack an epic-oversized duck, but not large enough that I wouldn't be able to use it!

AxelMunde23 karma

OK, so whose idea was the "Big" "Giant" combo?

MichaelCraughwell47 karma

Don't look at me...I am sure those big Discovery execs know what they're doing.

Phill8224523 karma

What would you say is the most ambitious sword you've made?

MichaelCraughwell60 karma

Lightning's Gunblade from FINAL FANTASY XIII. It had over 100 parts!

Malboury7 karma

Pics?

MichaelCraughwell45 karma

This album shows all the pics of me making it.

Malboury6 karma

Nice! Was this a situation where you could have made it in fewer pieces, but it wouldn't have been as cool, or would it have been impossible to make this sword at all without a crapload of individual parts?

MichaelCraughwell17 karma

I could have used less parts if I included less detail, yes, 100 parts was what I got it down to after careful consideration, the minimum to do it properly.

aakrusen2 karma

What about Squall's Gunblade from FF VIII?

MichaelCraughwell3 karma

I could make that one too, but it's a lot of work for something that does not a whole lot. But I guess Lightning's Gunblade was like that too. So who knows, I might make it some day.

Dhrakyn22 karma

Is Discovery going to use one of their stupid narrators that spouts all kinds of irrelevant nonsense and use their silly little editing trolls to turn what might have been interesting content into tween-drama drivel?

MichaelCraughwell37 karma

I'll find out tonight I guess! (I haven't seen it either)

imgurist15 karma

You're the star of the show and they haven't let you watch it? What the hell?

MichaelCraughwell24 karma

They were still editing it last week. I've shouted concerns and recommendations at them, but I have yet to see how it all turned out.

Howaya21 karma

Hallo Mike.

Is it just swords yer doing, or does your creativity extend to other media?

What do your kids think of your job?

MichaelCraughwell25 karma

Hallo, I also like doing (like making/designing) Nerdy tabletop games and such. Here's a link to a prototype of a videogame version of a boardgame I made:

Windas: https://www.dropbox.com/s/p8fr11njr72ne8r/TheWizardGamePrototype_v01c_Windows.zip?dl=0 Mac: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gzu1d7and4mqfe9/TheWizardGamePrototype_v01c_MacOSX.zip?dl=0

bolivar-shagnasty21 karma

Of any of the swords you've made, which one do you think you could wield most effectively against a horde of attacking chinchilla?

MichaelCraughwell32 karma

Ehm... chinchilla's you need something with a lot of reach, cuz they're down low. So I'd go fer the Massamune.

ruaidhri19 karma

Have you stopped making regular sized swords altogether just to focus on the big giant ones now?

MichaelCraughwell44 karma

YES! There's lots of very talented people making regular-sized swords. The world des not need another person doing that!

EpykEnigma17 karma

Would you ever want to work with the Man at Arms team to make something?

MichaelCraughwell38 karma

Ehm... OF COURSE I would! I would have nothing against that. I would kill for access to the tools those guys have. Perhaps I will kill for access to the tools those guys have.

EpykEnigma9 karma

I mean, you do have a plethora of weapons that could easily kill someone.

MichaelCraughwell18 karma

Yeah but I don't think any of them are very efficient! Maybe if I tallied them all to a car and drove into the place... they have weapons too, and theirs are actually easy to use!

Bocaj648716 karma

How did your family come to be named after an Eldricht abomination?

MichaelCraughwell5 karma

When I went to sign up for a YouTube account, my actual surname "Craughwell" was taken.

I've never been happier since.

MichaelCraughwell2 karma

Happy circumstance.

FustyLuggz13 karma

There are a lot of YouTube personalities and some of the genres are very competitive. What do you feel makes you unique and sets you apart from everyone else in your niche category? Also, how does it feel to be given a TV show for being a complete badass?

XO's to you, A, N and C :)

MichaelCraughwell21 karma

That was a LONG question.

Ehm, I'm not sure what sets me apart. I just did the interviews and they thought I was fine, I guess?

The person typing for me says this: You've found something unique and run with it.

paperjack13 karma

What are your average prices? Did you have any project that you really disliked but did anyway? What kind of projects are you the most likely to reject? Do you have any bad-client stories to tell?

MichaelCraughwell30 karma

Everyone, so far, has been telling me i charge not enough. $2,000 gets you a nice sword. But maybe I should charge more.

Ehm... there's been 1 or 2 of the custom swords where I wasn't able to convince the clients that a certain element of the sword was going to make it inoperable. And they really wanted to go ahead and have it anyway, because they thought their understanding of physics was better than mine, but I won't name names...

Standard, historical looking swords. Even if it's from an anime or manga, if it's not obviously weird, I won't accept that commission. Like if somebody wanted me to make William Wallace's Claymore, which is no different looking than anybody else's Claymore, I was disinterested.

Ehm... I've learned to be incredibly stoic when people tell me that they train every day, or to channel their Chi* and they'll be able to wield that Darius Axe just fine...

tims00711 karma

Yes you need to charge moar ... like double that

MichaelCraughwell10 karma

WILL DO!

paperjack8 karma

Have you ever trained any martial arts?

MichaelCraughwell26 karma

No. (Wife in background says "ha"). Ludo.

quakelive10113 karma

if there was one midget you could turn into a fully functioning sword who would it be and why?

MichaelCraughwell22 karma

looks distrustful

One midget that i could turn into a functioning sword? I always loved Wee Man from Jackass? I'm not sure I understood yer question. Then Wee Man from JACKASS is my favorite little person.

quakelive10110 karma

basically add a handle to them and weild them like a sword

MichaelCraughwell16 karma

Oh, then the answer is still WEE MAN! He's the toughest little person I've seen!

quakelive1016 karma

hed make a great weapon in modern combat

MichaelCraughwell27 karma

Does it have to be a handle? Can i put him on the end of chain.

metalhead777712 karma

is this your full time job?

MichaelCraughwell26 karma

Like i told the other fella - it is now!!

fantastiquejacques12 karma

Favorite breakfast food?

MichaelCraughwell40 karma

Pfbbbbt. Caffeine!

SuperMoquette11 karma

Hi Micheal ! What is you favorite sword of all time and why ?

(My favorite is the Fierce deity sword from Zelda Majora's Mask)

MichaelCraughwell14 karma

I don't know that one!!! Ehm... my favorite sword of all time... is Atrox the junk sword, because it's supposed to look all bashed up, so it doesn't matter it if looks bashed up even more!

SuperMoquette3 karma

You'll certainly love Fierce deity sword. A giant double sword. What a good challenge for you.

MichaelCraughwell8 karma

I'm sure it is?

metalhead777710 karma

where do you make all of your swords?

MichaelCraughwell21 karma

In my workshop! On Martha's Vineyard.

metalhead77779 karma

thats awesome man, i live a couple hours away

MichaelCraughwell34 karma

In Ireland a couple of hours away is a huge distance. I'm still not used to the American scale.

MichaelCraughwell10 karma

Okillydokilly, thank you everyone (I might check in here laters) !

paperjack9 karma

What would you think about making a chainsword? It's... a working chainsaw sword.

MichaelCraughwell15 karma

I think it would be awesome, but I don't see how you could make it so it wouldn't get sucked out of your hands the second you touched something.

forest-life9 karma

[deleted]

MichaelCraughwell16 karma

I am not a blacksmith!

Also, I do not have time to teach people. But if somebody already KNEW how to build everything wanted to help... that would be cool.

Mediocre_Dane8 karma

Mike, what's the best cautionary tale you can impart on the subject of working with large metal things and/or industrial equipment?

MichaelCraughwell24 karma

Not really a cautionary tale but more an excuse to tell ye about an awful thing that happened to me. Once I was trying to use a tin-snips on a piece of metal that was far too thick. To get more leverage, I put it on the table and pushed my full body weight down on its handles. My testicles wandered in between the handles...and when the tin-snips snipped the piece of steel, the handles crushed my testicles.

Only use tin-snips on appropriate thickness of metal.

Mediocre_Dane7 karma

On the contrary, I feel extraordinarily cautious about the appropriate use of tin-snips now. Testicular trauma is among the greatest of behavioral motivators.

MichaelCraughwell12 karma

I felt immediately cold all over, but it didn't hurt until an hour later

Mediocre_Dane4 karma

How long were you out of commission for? That's a truly prodigious amount of force to take right on the beanbag.

MichaelCraughwell17 karma

Luckily I was young (18) and recovered. I have 2 kids to prove I recovered. Painful for about a week.

paperjack2 karma

This should be featured on an episode of your show

MichaelCraughwell3 karma

I don't want to replicate it in real life, and I don't think I'm good enough of a thespian to recreate what actually happened.

dnorman23238 karma

Who is your favorite sword wielding character?

MichaelCraughwell28 karma

CONAN THE BARBARIAN. Specially the way he appeared in the SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN COMICS.

noire_lightning7 karma

Are you a big gamer? And just saying, really excited to see your show tonight!

MichaelCraughwell18 karma

THANK YOU!!!

I used to play lots and lots of video games. Now I play mostly the small indie ones. Ye know, things like LIMBO and HOTLINE MIAMI and at the moment, I'm playing one called Volgarr the Viking - smaller indie ones that don't take much time.

Nascosto7 karma

I just want to say that every time I see a commercial for your show I end up grinning ear to ear and my wife scoots to the other side of the couch. I love the ridiculous extremism and the straight up "if brute force doesn't work you're not using enough" mentality that it and you seem to give off, and am stoked to see what this looks like in show format. How exactly did discovery contact you and ask this, and how did you react? We're you aware they were thinking about it or did this take you by surprise?

MichaelCraughwell5 karma

Someone sent me a Facebook message, I thought it was a scam, I ignored it for ages, but then the guy's LinkedIn account seemed legit.

So I responded. And so the rest is history.

Well, I thought it was a scam. So yes, i would say it surprised me.

metalhead77777 karma

do you watch other youtubers? if so who are some of your favorites?

MichaelCraughwell27 karma

I quite like Hank from SciShow... Crazy Russian Hacker, I keep up with Man At Arms... Me and the kids like watching videos of people falling down the stairs.

sboger7 karma

Michael, how the hell do you spell your own (stage) name wrong in your own AMA post?

MichaelCraughwell23 karma

The result of dictating to a Reddit employee. They are being whipped soundly as I type this myself. Later they might even be punished.

cvtele7 karma

Have you ever thought about what you will make when/if you get tired of giant swords? Armor maybe?

MichaelCraughwell18 karma

I could make armor. But being a giant nerd, I also have a million role play game and board-game type ideas that i occasionally try to publish.

Bubbasqueeze7 karma

[deleted]

MichaelCraughwell16 karma

You can have one if you have a big pile of cash! Also, desire to do metalworking: I always liked building things, and working with steel, I never had the tools till I went to Art College... and I think that ruined me. My time at Art College ruined me.

dragonfly19936 karma

favorite snack?

MichaelCraughwell11 karma

Sugar or caffeine. I like chocolate. Candy. I'm not big into real food.

metalhead77776 karma

whats your favorite genre of music/favorite bands of your favorite genre?

MichaelCraughwell20 karma

My favorite genre: I like heavy metal, I like 8-bit... like retro 80's and 8-bit style stuff. I'm not sure I have favourites? DeathClock are funny but I don't know if it's just cuz they are funny. I probably don't need to shout!

mogodesade6 karma

Hi Mike, Long time fan here. How come you can't spell your own han-dal?

MichaelCraughwell24 karma

Because you touch yourself at night.

MohawkAlbannach6 karma

Besides Swords, is there something else you've been itching to summon to reality?

MichaelCraughwell12 karma

Pyramid heads helmet.

MohawkAlbannach5 karma

Oh I can see it now! That'd be FUCKIN' BRUTAL!

(Figured you may appreciate this animated gif)

MichaelCraughwell4 karma

That is a pretty cool gif. Is it part of a longer video? If so I would like to see it.

AxelMunde5 karma

Any enthusiasm for Ulfbehrt swords?

MichaelCraughwell23 karma

I appreciate them as nice historical objects. But that's really different to what I do. A historical sword is like a well-made sports car. The things I build are more like the crazy contraptions you see ridin' around at Burning Man.

AcidzDesigns5 karma

I seen a picture of Darius Axe, what was the hardest part when making it?

MichaelCraughwell9 karma

Strangely enough, the little decorations on the handle took a long time and were boring to make - those zig-zaggy wrappings on the handle.

Ce11arDoor4 karma

I'm sure every sword is different but on average how long does it take from concept to finish?

MichaelCraughwell8 karma

A super simple one is a week. A fairly complicated one, like the Crisis Core Buster Sword, is a month. A super complicated one would be 2 months.

the_guy_over_there94 karma

Will you only prioritize giants swords or will there be other weaponry(i have seen you have made the darius axe so i am wondering) or perhaps even armors(but like, badass impossible armors)?

MichaelCraughwell10 karma

YES! I will make anything that is WEIRD or unusual or it feels like somebody else wouldn't make it. I'll even make small weapons if they're weird enough!

imgurist3 karma

I've been a fan of your YouTube channel for a long time and I think it's great that you're finally getting to do what you love to make a living.

About how long do you think it'd take for you to make the original Buster Sword from FF VII? (without the intricacies/details of the Crisis Core version)

And would you ever be interested in making smaller-scale, more affordable versions for people who can't afford the giant ones?

MichaelCraughwell5 karma

I could make the original version in a week or less (I'm all booked out at the moment though). I pride myself on making actual replicas, so while I've made smaller buster swords in the past, I don't really want to do it again. There are some swords I'm sure, that are weird enough they'd interest me but simple enough they'd be affordable. It's not my job to find those, dear reader, that's your quest.

drupido3 karma

What inspired you to start maing swords? A videogame, a comic, a tv show, etc? You seem to be the nerdy type (like most of us, I'd guess)

MichaelCraughwell8 karma

Maing swords? When I was growing up in the 80's there was a lot of fantasy films etc. Child of the 80's. Yes. I am nerd. FF7 was the start of me being totally in lust with giant swords.

Mediocre_Dane3 karma

Is the Darius Axe the heaviest weapon you've made thus far, or has something else been more unwieldy?

MichaelCraughwell6 karma

No - it is definitely been the heaviest weapon I've built thus far. Back in the day I used to convince people to make things smaller, but I'm more concerned about authenticity and keeping to original proportions, hence it being ridiculous.

Mediocre_Dane3 karma

You should see if Discovery will pony up the money to find a guy big enough to swing it and fly him out. Like one of those dudes that pulls train cars with his teeth.

MichaelCraughwell10 karma

That would be nice, I guess. Maybe next season, if there is a next season.

Themonkeylifter3 karma

I've watched your youtube videos for a while and I think you are an amazing craftsman.What's your favorite steel to work with?

MichaelCraughwell9 karma

For most of my giant swords I use a type of hardened plate called "Hardox", it's hard enough to make a good blade, but not so hard that it makes brittle welds.

Mhaelful2 karma

I love swords and have been following you forever. Could you make me one? I know you make giant ones and all but I could settle for a regular sized one... or even a tiny sword. I could settle for a tiny sword.

MichaelCraughwell2 karma

I have currently no interest in making regular or tiny swords. Maybe someday.

titfarmer2 karma

I am not one for TV shows much, but my children and I have enjoyed watching yours. Does Discovery Channel pay you enough to pursue your art without worrying about taking commissions anymore? Your blacksmith seems to be smitten with you.

MichaelCraughwell3 karma

It's the first season of a reality TV show, so I'm definitely not rolling in the big bucks yet, maybe someday.

bentwhiskers2 karma

My husband and I are LOVING the show. Not a huge fan of Eric, but Jamie seems like a great kick back and have a beer sort of chick.

Have your orders gone nuts since the show has been on for about a month now? Have you started CHARGING MORE?! Gotta keep Mrs. Cthulhu happy!

MichaelCraughwell2 karma

My inbox has indeed become a scary thing to behold. Yes I should charge more I know.

icepick_method2 karma

Who won the winkle race?

bentwhiskers2 karma

I need to know the answer to this!

MichaelCraughwell2 karma

Amerimike. While his volume of urine was poor, it was exceedingly dark, which is actually better for my purposes.

CTRL_ALT_FALCONPUNCH2 karma

Irish Mike! Love the show and can't wait to see more of your shenanigans and work! You and Ameri-Mike have the most hilarious interactions in the show. Has he gotten his driver's license yet?!?

MichaelCraughwell3 karma

Nope to the nope.

the_guy_over_there92 karma

Ever heard of the game Kingdoms of amalur reckoning?That game is like a giant sword heaven.

MichaelCraughwell4 karma

No I haven't but maybe I should. What system is it for?

the_guy_over_there92 karma

Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360,and in game the greatsword is the category you will be looking for

MichaelCraughwell8 karma

Unfortunately, I have a Steve Jobs machine so no game for me.

the_guy_over_there92 karma

well at least if you have the time give the swords a look,i have linked just a few of them(these are ingame menu screenshots,the character with the weapon is on the right) http://i42.tinypic.com/9h74b8.png http://i.imgur.com/nylFK.jpg http://i.imgur.com/ki4mQ.jpg

MichaelCraughwell4 karma

Purple is a hard color to do.

DivergentMind2 karma

Are you worried that the reality TV producers and directors are going to make a mockery of you and what you do?

MichaelCraughwell4 karma

Surely they couldn't do any worse than I do already.

Mediocre_Dane2 karma

Have you played any of the Monster Hunter series? It could, in my opinion, be one of the greatest repositories of improbably-giant swords in gaming today. A lot of the designs utilize large pieces of dragons/dinosaurs/large beasties, so they might be no good, but there are several interesting designs (like this) that are purely metal.

MichaelCraughwell11 karma

People have asked me about that sword before, it's cool looking, although a genuine replica, much like the darius axe, would not only be unwieldable, but unliftable.

CptJustice2 karma

Just watched the episode, and I gotta say, it was WAY more entertaining than I thought it'd be. I'll be watching this moving forward. Good job.

My question is, did you meet your wife here in America, or in Ireland?

MichaelCraughwell3 karma

In America! I met her at a nerdy sci-fi convention called BosKone in Boston. She did not believe I was Irish. She still suspects nothing.

550_Cord2 karma

If you made giant metal dildos do you think you would still have a show?

MichaelCraughwell2 karma

Yes, but it would be on a different network.

beyondbeans2 karma

Will you have already solved the Riddle of Steel when you face Crom in the afterlife and have you heard of the band Helcaraxe's album Children of Ygg?

MichaelCraughwell6 karma

Ehm... Yes! But that's boring.

I certainly hope so.

But I'm nowhere near there yet.

No! Post me a link!

topgirlaurora2 karma

Just watched the show, congratulations! Your sense of humor (the kind that makes me want to facepalm) reminds me of Mick Dodge, onNational Geographic Channel. Have you ever been to a Renaissance Faire? I think your swords would be a huge hit at one of those. Pun not intended.

MichaelCraughwell2 karma

No, maybe someday I will have enough time to set up a stall at a Renaissance faire. But at the moment, the demand for my swords is too high, and I have no spare ones sitting around.

Fuddleton1 karma

How do you do a lot of your fabrication? Guessing bandsaw cut outs and then belt sand and angle grind to size? Or do you have mills and lathes?

MichaelCraughwell6 karma

I wish I had mills and lathes. Plasma cutter, angle grinders, mig welders. That's about it for me and tools. If this show is successful maybe I can get a mill.

Spodson1 karma

Did you come from a family that worked with metal or is this something you found on your own?

MichaelCraughwell7 karma

No. No one in my family, as far as I know, worked with metal.

JGP7930 karma

Did you get any inspiration from AWE Me? Or have you even heard of them?

MichaelCraughwell6 karma

Both of us draw inspiration from the same source, not from each other. Although, to be fair, I was doing it first.