Introduction: Excalibur Letter Opener

Picture of Excalibur Letter Opener

Drknotter made an awsome Lord of the Rings Sword. Following his lead I decided to make a sword myself. I got on the internet and searched "excalibur dimensions". I divided what I found by 9 and got to making this tiny sword. It comes in useful when I want to get midieval on my letter opening. To make it I used a piece of 3/16" steel rod, a 1/4" shelf pin, a bullet shell, and a little polymer clay. 

Credit goes to my seven year old son for setting up the sword to "look cool" for the photo shoot.

Step 1: Hammer Out the Blade

Picture of Hammer Out the Blade

Heat the dowel until it glows and hammer it about 1.5mm thick. For these dimensions you’ll want to hammer out at least 10 centimeters. As you hammer, check the blade against the edge of a ruler to make sure your sword is strait.  To do this you have to hit the rod squarely. If you hammer off center the rod will hook to the right or left.


Step 2: Shape the Blade

Picture of Shape the Blade

Use a sanding attachment to rough shape the sword. Don’t “sharpen” the entire blade. Leave a section square. Use hobby files to further refine the blade.

To get a consistent bevel on the edge use a marker to color the entire blade. As you file away it’s easier to shape in a strait line. 

Use a grinding disc to remove material for the handle. Don't forget to wear your safety googles.


Step 3: Form the Guard

Picture of Form the Guard

Heat a shelf pin until it glows. Hammer both sides flat. Use a grinding wheel to rough shape and files to refine. Once you have the shape you want curl the ends downward with round nose pliers and some torch heat. Drill a hole in the middle large enough to fit the handle.

Step 4: Cut the Pommel

Picture of Cut the Pommel

Just like the shelf pin, use what you have on hand. In this case I have a rifle shell casing. I mounted it in my drill press, spun it round and used a file to cut a piece off. I then drilled a hole and placed it on the handle.

Step 5: Solder, Polish, Clay

Picture of Solder, Polish, Clay

Solder both the guard and pommel in place.

Use progressively finer sand paper to polish the sword. I start with 400 grit, then move on to 1000, 2000, and finally polishing compound on a polishing wheel.

Form polymer clay around the handle and through the pommel. Smooth it out before you bake it in the oven. 

Thanks for reading.


CJStephens (author)2015-03-31

Really cool little project!

Qwertyfish (author)2014-11-19

Where did you get the dowel?

Qwertyfish (author)2014-10-21

Could I make this from a nail if I hammered it out the same way?

Mrballeng (author)Qwertyfish2014-10-22

Yes. Have you seen this instructable?

BiscuitMaker (author)2014-07-23

Great thank you! Will do.

BiscuitMaker (author)2014-07-16

Hi there, sorry I'm late to the party, but I'm making something similar and I'm having a very hard time getting solder to stick to the steel. Any tips/ideas?

Mrballeng (author)BiscuitMaker2014-07-22

The metal must have oxidized. Use sand paper on the surface you are trying to solder before you try the process again.

spockthemanatee (author)2013-08-10

You nerd! You are my hero! Amazing.

teodoropires (author)2013-02-01


Dusk Shadows (author)2012-07-13

Love it!

ThatKnottyguy (author)2012-04-10

Please reply!

Would you mind if i made a stand for this, mentioning your instructable and giving you full credit? Can you give me the dimensions for the width?

Mrballeng (author)ThatKnottyguy2012-04-11

PS. You don't have to feel obligated to mention me. I post my instructables under public domain.

ThatKnottyguy (author)Mrballeng2012-04-12

Do you have these for sale at your site?

Mrballeng (author)ThatKnottyguy2012-04-18

Not right now. For as much time as it takes to make it makes for a better gift then something to sell.

ThatKnottyguy (author)Mrballeng2012-04-18

Would you want to sell one of these privately?

Mrballeng (author)ThatKnottyguy2012-04-11

That would be awesome though I don't have the sword anymore. I gave it to my sister. But If I was guessing I think the blade was 5mm x 1.5mm.

TheAmateurArtisan (author)2012-01-06

I remember having one and then throwing it at crab apple trees when I was younger. Was really good at it but then... meh.

But then...

you took an arrow to the knee

curvy77 (author)2011-11-21

i commend you on being one of the few to go into detail about angles measurments and dimensions. you truly make a fine artisian in the metalworking arts. Amazing!

Mr.Sanchez (author)2011-09-28

What about a Stone Stand for excalibur...? that would be awesome.

mcshawnboy (author)Mr.Sanchez2011-11-05

Hide in the stone an electro-magnet activated via remote to remove or prevent removal of Excalibur by the unworthy?

Mr.Sanchez (author)mcshawnboy2011-11-05

So clever pls try....=)

mcshawnboy (author)Mr.Sanchez2011-11-05

I'd have to build Brent's sword first. I'm limited in what I can do here as my brother-in-law's fussy! I wanted to build a small version of Kiko Denser's "Earth Oven" & he wouldn't allow it.

Mr.Sanchez (author)mcshawnboy2011-11-06

Wouldnt allow it..?..well...Its his creation but once the instructables is submited anyone could reply and why not better up the Project.Good luck...!!

mslaynie (author)2011-10-02

Oooh, congrats on getting featured in the email digest!! :D

Mrballeng (author)mslaynie2011-10-03

Thanks! I'm not sure why but I don't get those emails.

mslaynie (author)Mrballeng2011-10-04

Check your settings. I know I didn't get them for a long time, but now I do. I'm not sure if I changed something or not. They might also be going to your spam folder.

Hi there, i was juts wondering what kind of torch you used for the project, propane, mapp gas etc.? Thanks

It's a common propane torch. I bought it in the plumbing isle at walmart for $15.

Thanks so much. I've been looking at your 'ibles, and the way you can transform common items into masterpieces such as this one is incredible. You sir, are a very talented and brilliant person. Hope to keep seeing more from you and keep up the great work!

mjursic (author)2011-10-02

Lovely little instructable. When hammering it out, here`s a piece of advice that runs counter to your experience: Hammer on an angle. Flip. Hammer on an angle. Flip. Etc, etc. Keep repeating and you`ll get a tapered profile and a ridge up the middle that looks swell. probably not as swell as yours, but it`s worth a try. That`s how I make my blades, and it`s easier to grind them if the profile is already tapered. Please don`t take this as criticism. It`s a beautiful little project.

Mrballeng (author)mjursic2011-10-03

Thanks for the tip. Next time you make a blade snap some pictures. I'd love to see your methods.

domestic_engineer (author)2011-10-02

very cool.

you should make a polymer clay "stone" to hold it in. then every time you open a letter, you can remove the sword from the stone. Should make paying the bills a little more adventuresome.

Great idea.Thanks for the comment.

brssnkl (author)2011-10-01

Do you think about making more of that and selling them, i would love to buy one

Mrballeng (author)brssnkl2011-10-03

I would have to get more efficient at making them. That way the time and effort would more reasonably match the price.

SNACKS (author)2011-09-30

This looks like fun I use to make little Swords out of nails good job...

gamos (author)SNACKS2011-10-02

That is a great idea, i will try it.

deathnotx101 (author)2011-10-02

If you make a slot into a little rock you can become the king of kings every time you use it. :)

whiteoakart (author)2011-10-02

Very nice, Mrballeng. The finished piece looks great and your directions are easy to follow and look quite do-able.

mr.squeakers (author)2011-10-01

I actually have purchased one of these.

bconway1 (author)2011-09-28

What size shell casing is that?

Mrballeng (author)bconway12011-09-28


mcshawnboy (author)Mrballeng2011-09-29

Until I saw the picture on the plate I thought you were cutting up .50 cal brass ! Another nice job Brent ! Are you open to trades? Lots of friends like copper necklaces & crosses I've made as gifts for friends that've asked if I could make one from seeing somebody else's. I do wire-wrap & lost wax casting too. I'd love a Spaceship Photo-holder from the master!

jsomerhalder (author)2011-09-28

you always make awesome stuff, and yes...props to your son for awesome photography styling. Think he has a future career there...

mslaynie (author)2011-09-28

One of these days we're going to have to work out a trade... maybe exchange a hand-crocheted, custom scarf or maybe a sculpture for a pendant. You make the COOLEST stuffs!! This is gorgeous, and you make it look so EASY!

Mrballeng (author)mslaynie2011-09-28

Deal. That would be awesome.

mslaynie (author)Mrballeng2011-09-28

Sweet!! Also, I'm working on my first photo instructable, a show and tell of a bead set I made several years ago. Polymer clay for the win! ;)

Thanks for the inspiration!

askjerry (author)2011-09-28

It still amazes me... I have a shop full of tools and have not made anything that kool... hats off and two thumbs up.


Mrballeng (author)askjerry2011-09-28

thanks for all those nice words.

About This Instructable



Bio: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.
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