Introduction: Forging Links Master Sword - Twilight Princess Version

Okay so it's not literally forging because it's made from wood, but it sounds better then making.
I've been meaning to write this Instructable for almost a year after completing my Master Sword back in May 2009, but things have always seemed to get in the way until now.

I've always been a great fan of all of the Zelda games and I knew it was only time before I attempted to make a replica from one of the games.

So in this tutorial I will be showing you the steps I took to produce my Master Sword. I've gone for the sword from Twilight Princess as it's the most detailed Master Sword to date and it looks the best.

Update 27th May 2011
I've begun work on the Hylian Shield. You can follow my progress on my website http://www.jonsprojects.co.uk
I will be creating an Instructable when it's complete.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Tools
Sand paper
Sanding blocks
Files and rasps
Pencils
Set square
Coping saw
Drill with various bits
Craft knife
Dremel (rotary tool) with various bits
Clamps (and lots of them)

Materials
Wood glue
Wood filler
Pine strip wood
Basswood
String
Spray paint
Enamel paint


Step 2: Design

So the first step in any good project has to be design.
After lots and lots of research I came up with the design I wanted to go for. Using lots of reference pics I drew a scale picture.
Using the attached picture in this step you can see the dimensions I used for each part.

After a few comments I've found the original photo of the plans, tidied them up a bit and uploaded them to some of my web space. Links below.
Master_Sword_Plans.jpg

Step 3: Drawing and Cutting the Blade

After a lot of thinking I decided to make mine out of 5mm thick strip pine laminated together to make a total thickness of 1cm. I'm sure the actual sword in the game is a lot thinner but this is what I decided to work with.
So the first thing I did was two cut my long piece of strip pine in two and then laminate the two pieces together using wood glue and lots of clamps.

After it dried I proceeded to draw on the sword design with a pencil and ruler.

The piece of strip pine I used was nowhere near wide enough to account for the guard, but you'll see in later steps how I assembled it.

After I was happy with the drawing I cut out outline with a millimeter or two margin. It's always best to leave a margin and sand down to the line then go under the line and fill it in.

Step 4: Starting the Hilt - the Doughnut

The hilt on the Master Sword is made of two main parts, the wings and the doughnut.

I made the doughnut out of a piece of pine wood by:
-Drilling a whole in the middle
-Drawing and cutting a circle around the outside of the whole
-Using a coping saw to cut a taper on the top and bottom
-Sanding down the taper so it was uniform all the way around
-Adding wood filler to cover imperfections in cutting or sanding.

Step 5: Handle - Laminate Handle and Cut Wings

Next step I took was to laminate more strip pine onto the handle to help buff it out. After all the handle is round not flat.

After that I drew out the top part of the hilt onto a piece of strip pine, cut it out and then used it to trace another copy.

Step 6: Guard - Carve and Glue Wings

Now that the two wing parts of the hilt are cut I started to cut pieces to fit between the gaps on the outside. Since my original piece of strip pine was quite narrow I had to fill it out quite a bit. If you use a thicker piece then you may be able to skip this step.

Once I knew I had all the pieces I needed to fill it in I then cut the wing pieces into different parts (left and right wings and the middle diamond), and drew on the rest of the detail.
I also did some shaping to these pieces as it would be a lot harder to do it to them when they're attached.

Once I did the shaping of the inner parts I glued the wings on, and added the filling pieces on the inside.

I also shaped the handle using a rasp and file to round the corners, and gave and edge to the blade.

Step 7: Guard - Carve Wings

Once the wings were attached and the hilt was taking shape I proceeded to use a dremel to remove material to the wings, adding in the zig zag detail. These ended up coming quite wavy as the bits I used in the dremel were quite small, but this was easily fixed with wood filler.

I then attached the diamonds, the doughnut and blade walls which are just above the wings. These walls are small pieces of basswood cut with a coping saw and glued on using wood glue.

Step 8: Guard - the Finer Details

Once the blade walls were dry I used wood filler to fill any gaps, then sanding it smooth.

I then had to come up with a way to do some of the swirly golden detailing on the hilt and the best idea I could come up with to achieve it was to glue string. Once dry then cover with wood filler and sand smooth. This actually works very well as long as you don't sand down to the string itself.

After the golden swirls were done on both sides I moved onto the Triforce symbol on the blade. This was simply cut from the same basswood I used for the blade walls. Then sanded on the front to round the edges. Once glued to the blade I then used more wood filler to fill any gaps, then sand down.

Step 9: The Pommel

The pommel is made using the same techniques as the doughnut. I then used more string, and wood filler to finish it off. I find the string helped give more defined edges.
Once I was happy with the shape I glued it to the end of the handle.

Step 10: More Golden Detailing and Blade Sharpening

The final bit of golden detailing appears just above the blade walls. Again I used more string, glued then covered in wood filler and sanded down.

I then went on to measure the blade bevel and used a combination of rasp and file to bevel the edge.
Something to note about the picture thought, I ended up going for a deeper bevel in the end. The depth pictured was far too short.

Step 11: Sanding, Priming and Painting

Once finished with detailing I then spent a good hour at least using a high grit sand paper and sanding sponge to go over the whole sword to get a very smooth finish.
I then did three coats of primer with light sanding between the coats.

Once happy with the primer I then sprayed the metallic coats on the blade, followed by painting the enamel gold and purple on the hilt and detailing.

Step 12: Finally the Handle Grip

I wanted the handle to have a soft grip, so I looked around for coloured leather but couldn't find any at a price I could afford. So plan B was to use tennis grip tape, and I found some in blue and green but the tone wasn't quite right.
I found that the grip tape took the paint well, so I proceeded to use it and then painted on top of it.

After all the paint was thoroughly dry a few coats of lacquer was applied to help protect it.

And that's it!

Anyone got any questions just ask them and I'll do my best to answer them.

Comments

author
porgo0 (author)2017-01-31

Nice tutorial!
I'm thinking of making one for my uncle as wedding present ^^
Do you also have a tutorial for the sword sheath?

author
Zelda_Fangirl (author)2016-10-02

Are your things for sale? I'm obsessed with Zelda, and I need to have a cosplay by halloween. Please say Yes!

author
LeonaK6 (author)Zelda_Fangirl2016-12-03

i am biggest fan of zelda series and also having many collection of replica swords and shields, are you interested to buy this sword OR shield ?

author
Jonny1983 (author)Zelda_Fangirl2016-10-03

Hi there,
I still have the Master Sword and it still is for sale. Where about's are you from? It's rather heavy so shipping could be quite costly.


Jon

author
Zelda_Fangirl (author)Jonny19832016-10-03

I'm sorry, but I am not allowed to tell my location to anybody. (Stranger Danger)But I am in the USA

author
Jonny1983 (author)Zelda_Fangirl2016-10-03

Lol, I was only after the country to see what shipping costs would be.

With shipping you're looking at over $300

author
dominik ribas (author)2016-11-09

How thick is the blade and the handle?

author
Jonny1983 (author)dominik ribas2016-11-09

It's in the steps of the Instructable:

"After a lot of thinking I decided to make mine out of 5mm thick strip pine laminated together to make a total thickness of 1cm."

Handle thickness can be seem in plans: 3.6cm

http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=15s7909&s=6#.WCMSBC2LSCg

author
dominik ribas (author)Jonny19832016-11-09

Ok thank you :)

author
SebastianF32 (author)2016-05-16

What are the measurements for making the donut?

author
LinksTwilight (author)2016-01-10

Awesome!!!

I'm making links full costume and sword with the scabbard for my class 8 end of

year project I'm an absolute link and zelda fan :)

One question: what colour paint did you use? And how do you paint one section without getting the paint on another section that's a different colour?

How long did it take to make?

Because I only have 14 weeks to make the hole thing :)

author

i say go for it dude

author
jbowlingbca (author)jbowlingbca2016-04-19

i would love to see it

author
kbodie1 (author)2014-05-19

I'm going to be using this tutorial to make myself a sword for next years Anime Central in Chicago, but I'm wondering what you used the basswood for. Its one of the materials listed and i didn't see it used. also what was the thickness of string that you used? Thanks

author
Jonny1983 (author)kbodie12014-05-20

The basswood was used for the Triforce detailing on the blade.

The string was probably about 2mm thick.

author
jbowlingbca (author)Jonny19832016-04-19

hi author jonny i am asking because I am seeing this 2 years after it was made but i live in ohio and how could i get all of this stuff?

author
jbowlingbca (author)Jonny19832016-04-19

hi author jonny i am asking because I am seeing this 2 years after it was made but i live in ohio and how could i get all of this stuff?

author
Bigbonetony (author)2015-10-23

Great tutorial. I used the plans you made and was able to make my own out of steel and cast aluminium.

author

hey buddy, would you be willing to share those plans?

author
Jedi_zombie85 (author)2015-11-06

Nice work mate looks great

author
BigUglyMan (author)2015-10-22

That's not forging, it's whittling. Accomplished whittling, but whittling nonetheless.

author
mark.glinatsis (author)2015-04-04

So are you going to be making a tutorial on the Scabbard?

author
goboy3133 (author)2015-03-02

This is really awesome! I'm going to have to try it myself once I start my Link Cosplay!

On a side note, do you have a instructable for the Scabbard? Also, do you know if the sword is Con safe or not? Thanks!

author
DevonE1 (author)2015-02-12

will u sell that one im interested if so im a big fan of zelda

author
knexmaster9 (author)2015-01-15

link's master sword in the twilight princess is purple not blue, but good job on it looks good :D

author
Ilionej (author)knexmaster92015-01-24

If you look closer, especially those two photos from the painting process taken with a flash on: it is exactly that bluish purple it's supposed to be, it's even metallic! The blue tone is due to this colour being one of the most troubling colours to take proper photos of, especially with cheaper digital cameras. In neon light, it's purple, in sunlight or without flash, blue. It's the same issue with bright red, whether it'd be paint, fabric or wigs. Wavelength of the light reflected by the object, I just say...

author
Ilionej (author)2015-01-24

Hey! (Listen! *lol*)

Firtst of all, thanks for the tutorial! You did some amazing work there!

The only thing I wonder is whether you can easily pull it out/stick it in when you wear scabbard? That's something that always troubled me ever since I saw Link doing this awsome swinging and - bam! Though the lenght just wouldn't allow him to. You know what I mean? Physically impossible. So, in case you managed to, how long is your arm from the middle of your armpit to the middle of your palm?


Greetings, Ilionej =)

author
JapaneseEmperor (author)2014-12-16

Can you please make one of the scabbard because I think it looks awesome

author
george.king.77312477 (author)2014-11-27

How long would it take to make?

author
MoFracka (author)2014-10-30

im thinkin make a metal blade piece

author
Cr33per_kill3r1 (author)2014-10-25

It's very good u should make a shieth tutorial

author
Rhetorical_Save (author)2014-10-16

Man this is amazing!

author
Sargment (author)2014-10-04

He man are you planing on adding a tutorial on how you did the scabbard? because It would be really helpful!

author
mrdanishman (author)2014-09-30

I love the detailing. Could you by any chance, give me the Imperial measurement for the wood?

author
the_sloot (author)2014-09-10

How did you make the scabbard?

author
samct98 (author)2014-08-10

I can't read the deminsions on the drawing :/

author
Aiden26 (author)2014-07-09

How come you didn't add the winged hand guard to the blade piece? When you glued on 2 other handles/hand guards to the top and bottom there was an empty space in the middle. Why did you make that separate from the blade?

author
mhorst (author)2014-06-12

How much to sell it for?

author
nqtronix made it! (author)2014-04-16

I proudly present you my version. I even made the matching hyrule shield.

Your instructions and espscially the dimensions helped me a lot, thank you! Mine might not be as perfekt as yours, but I'm fully satisfied with the outcome. You can't expect more when you rush through the whole process in only 6 days, I had to get my costume ready for use. :P Unfortunatly I had to carry it while the paint wasn't fully dried, so some blue of the guard went off.

Origionally I planed to paint the blade and handle as well, but I thought it would be a shame to cover the nice acorn blade with any paint. I left the handle blank for a better feeling while holding it. I might add a pommel as soon as I have some spare time, but untill then it stays as it is. Appart form that all changes are minimal.

Both, the sword and the shield are base on an arwork from the official Hyrule Historia. For the shield I roughly trace out the pattern on paper by hand (upscaled by ~10x), transfered the individual pieces on wood with different thicknes, cut the parts out and finished them with a dremel, files and sandpaper. The inner parts are coated with 2-3 layers of primer, than either a layer of silver paint or two layers of acrylic paint with a gloss finish. The outer ring was first glued to the board in order to sand level the edge. Primer was applied over the whole board exept the places where the other pieces went later. I masked the ring to paint the inner parts blue, later I did it other way around for the silver. Unfortunatly the blue wasn't completly dry so some stuck at the mask. The shield can be hold by two stripes of artificial leather hot glued to the back (nothing fancy, so no picture).

The only thing left to say is that ist was definitly worth all the efforts I put in it, it looks and feels amazing to hold it.

Today the Master Sword, tomorrow Hyrule :D

member.Jonny1983 Forging-Links-Master-Sword-Twilight-Princess-ver 01.1.jpgmember.Jonny1983 Forging-Links-Master-Sword-Twilight-Princess-ver 01.2.jpgmember.Jonny1983 Forging-Links-Master-Sword-Twilight-Princess-ver 01.3.jpgmember.Jonny1983 Forging-Links-Master-Sword-Twilight-Princess-ver 01.4.jpg
author
azayas1 (author)2013-11-30

Hi man, awesome job. I don't know if you're still answering this but I have a related question. All I could find in town was pine stripes with 1.4 cm. thickness. Which would be the best way to take it down to 1 cm. like yours? Maybe saw it then sand it? It's 4 mm. not much margin there.
Thanks! The tutorial is amazing!

author
Bazzatron (author)azayas12014-04-15

Run it through a thickness plane - or plane it by hand.

In all honesty though - it would be easier to find the right size board or find two 0.5cm boards and laminate them together with wood (PVA) glue.

author
Bazzatron (author)Bazzatron2014-04-15

oops - just noticed this was 4 months old!

author
Jake1562 (author)2014-03-26

I started making one but the blade was too thick for the handle so it wouldn't stick, what do I do

author
Jonny1983 (author)Jake15622014-03-26

Would be good to see a picture of what you mean.

My blade and handle were made from one piece. The handle was then built up so I never encountered this issue.

author
Roen106 (author)2014-03-20

I'm curious. Do you actually mean 5mm board? That seems incredibly
thin. Could it be that you meant 5 cm board, with a total width of 10
cm?

Fantastic job by the way. Making one myself, which is why I ask about the thickness. You wouldn't happen to have the dimensions (interior and exterior) for the sheath would you?

author
Jonny1983 (author)Roen1062014-03-25

Think you might be mixing up thickness with width.

If it was a 5cm thick board you'd end up with a fence post as a the blade.

author
natedoddle (author)2014-02-19

If you make the shield then you should do 3 layers. It would go cardboard,wood,cardboard

author
natedoddle (author)2014-02-19

I meant to say I'm

author
natedoddle (author)2014-02-19

Sorry l wrote LM

author
natedoddle (author)2014-02-19

I think LM. Just gonna use ribbon

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