Introduction: How to Forge a Khopesh

Picture of How to Forge a Khopesh

Hello everyone! I have just finished one of my coolest projects so far (in my opinion). So my cousin being a blacksmith and me a carpenter, we often like to get together and combine our talents. This means, of course, SWORDS. And, me being of Egyptian decent, I decided to make one of the sexiest, and most well designed swords know to man: The Khopesh.

Over the course of two days, my cousin and I both worked on our weapons (his a Bowie knife), one day on the blades and the other on the handles. This Instructables, will be mostly pictures with a little text, however, I tend to ramble and will likely write a 2 page paper in the process. Anyways, enough talk, let's begin!

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Materials

Spring Steel

Wood for handle (I used rosewood as it contrasted the steel nicely)

Wood Plugs (optional but makes the handle stronger)

Epoxy

Wood-glue

Polyurethane

Tools

Forge

Hammer

Anvil

Power hammer

Long drum of quenching oil or water

Band-saw

Angle-grinder

Lots of clamps

Sander

Drill-press

Step 2: Flatten the Steel

Picture of Flatten the Steel

Using the forge, heat up the steel then unravel it and flatten it like a raccoon on the highway.

Step 3: Sketch Out the Outline

Picture of Sketch Out the Outline

This is pretty self explanatory, sketch out the outline. I just free-handed it from a picture on the interweb onto the worktable using a grease pencil. The overall length of this sword is around 43 inches.

Step 4: Bending

Picture of Bending

Begin to draw out and flatten the steel, then start to give the Khopesh its curves.

Step 5: Sharpening

Picture of Sharpening

Clamp the Khopesh to the table with the blade sticking off then, using the angle-grinder, sharpen the edge.

Step 6: Character

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Just to brake up the uniformity, I added a grove along either side of the steel between the blade and the handle.

Step 7: Distractions

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Of course, no project is complete without a few quality distractions, and in our case, it was one of my cousins goats getting stuck in a net. We had a fun time getting her out of that one.

Step 8: Make It Holy

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I apologize, but I got a thing for puns. Anyways, drill holes in the handle so that you can connect the handles to the blade.

Step 9: Tempering

To temper it I followed the advice of a couple instructables. Of course, tempering is not necessary however, if you plan on using this in battle or as a practice weapon, I highly recommend it. However, be warned, as this is a long sword it can be difficult to temper, and can be curved or cracked in the process, so proceed with caution.

https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Build-a-Kni...

https://www.instructables.com/id/Fixed-Blade-Knife/

Step 10: Attaching the Handles

Picture of Attaching the Handles

Trace the blade handle onto the wood. Then cut it out and get it as close to the blade handle as possible. The next step is to sand down the handle to the thickness and curvature you want, which must be done before the attaching, so any finishing you want done, make sure you do it now.

Then, once you have the wood handles where you want them, Clam one of the wood handles to the blade handle and drill holes into it from the steel side so the holes line up perfectly. Then epoxy that side to the blade. Once the other side is dry, take off the clamps, match the other wood handle to the blade handle, then clamp it and drill the holes threw the already drilled wood and metal handles and into the new wood handle so that the holes all line up perfectly. Then epoxy the other side to the blade as well, clamp it and wait till it is dry.

Once the handle (collective of all three) is dry put a little glue on the wood joiners (little wooden dowels) and hammer them through the handle. This gives it extra strength connecting all three pieces. Next, cut the excess of the joiners off and sand them down to be flush with the handle.

Step 11: Finishing

Picture of Finishing

To finish it put several coats of polyurethane on the handle. Let it dry and you're finished (last one I promise).

Step 12: Le Fin

Picture of Le Fin

Well, that's all folks, hope you enjoyed it, let me know if you have any comments or question.

Thank you and God Bless!

Comments

Cheezette (author)2016-08-14

I guess step 8 is Saint-like, because it's holy....

HeinS3 (author)2015-11-30

Super cool. Man ,I love your work.

sir_ghattas (author)HeinS32015-11-30

Thank you, I really appreciate it.

AllenInks (author)2015-04-14

So, i read in the Wikipedia entry that these weapons changed from bronze to iron in the New Kingdom period (between the 16th century BC and the 11th century BC). And now, in the 21st century AD, after only about 3000 years or so...it has changed to steel! Congratulations on a monumental step in weaponry evolution! But wouldn't it be cool to forge one of bronze?

sir_ghattas (author)AllenInks2015-04-14

I would love to forge one from bronze once my skill increases. If you ever do it I'd love to see pictures.

ArnoldS7 (author)sir_ghattas2015-07-12

There is several You Tube Video Documentaries on Bronze Forging you may want to have a look at those and if you are unsure if you can make it try it in mini scale (30 cm should be ample) if done right you will have a matching Dagger if not well just recycle and start over LOL, ;)

The Originals also did not have any hand grips but made use of checkering so by Egyptian Heritage do you mean one of your parents hails from Egypt or your Blood? (there is a difference) ;) just curios.

Also, there is a secret about where those Black Khopesh`s came from (the kind given to High Nobility and Royalty in those days) though I doubt a modern or even to Ancient Standards version would ever be made in the near future! it is still worth pursuing, it would be a challenge but the real problem I have in replicating one of those so far is money LOTS of money and I will need certain Documentation and Licenses as well MORE Money! but I do plan to pursue it and once I do end up makeing some I will post some pictures and perhaps (if possible/legal) send you one ;)

sir_ghattas (author)ArnoldS72015-07-12

That would be awesome if you could! And, by Egyptian Heritage, I meant that my Dad is Egyptian, and I grew up there.

ArnoldS7 (author)sir_ghattas2015-07-16

I, see well than if you REALLY want to be all technical and Academic than actually your blood line goes towards the Arabic Tribes more specificly the Pershian Blood Lines ;)

Why? Because the modern day Egyptians is really the Persian / Arabic Tribes who through some ancient contract was given Custodial Rights to Egypt to protect the land and its monuments until a specific time (more on this I can not reveal here) sufficed to say Egypt's current government and DR. Hawass both know of this contract and also who the real ancient Egyptians / Ergo Real Egyptians were and still are ;) in the end it all comes back to ones Blood Line and Heritage from a Genetic Stand Point ;)

At least if you want to be all technically correct and such! LOL :P I did not mention this to offend you though just to educate you a bit on the truth of the matter (blood lines is rather important even today and so it is only fair you get a real starting point should you wish to pursue your blood line through history ;) )

As for the Kopesh well it is not so much the money or making that concerns me but the Laws and Regulations on Exporting (of course it would not be sharpened) still we will see when I get there ;)

sir_ghattas (author)ArnoldS72015-07-16

Yeah, my Aunt always got offended when people called us Arab because our family is from pharaohnic times bloodlines, and Arab is from when the Muslim groups came into Egypt and aren't actually pure blooded Egyptian like my Dad's side of the family.

ArnoldS7 (author)sir_ghattas2015-07-20

Much like my own ;) speaking of which I think in that case the photos I uploaded to my profile and so also the part about my self I just wrote specifically for you (you will need to access your mind through your Genetic DNA/RNA Make up To access your Ancestral Knowledge to decode what I have REALLY Written) should prove that point and so also your claim of Royal Heritage to me (this is needed as certain things is best kept in the Sovereign Community) also, what made you choose that particular style of Kopesh? or was it Autosyncratic (meaning you went with your gut / Feeling)?

Should you need help with Accessing "the Red Path" as Cain called it send me a Private Message and I will assist you, I do not expect you to know how to do this due to certain aspects influencing life here at this moment in time.

jkelly45 (author)2015-04-12

A sword capable of snagging a shield and overwhelming the enemy with a forced opening. That is a very nice blade you created. Truly one the Egyptians who even use.

As a swordsman by trade, I would even use it. How much did that thing weigh? I favor light and long blades. Who knows maybe I'll make one soon.

sir_ghattas (author)jkelly452015-04-13

Thank you, it's a bit on the heavy side unfortunately, because I didn't draw it out as much as I would have liked. That's why I decided to make it a hand and a half sword, even though the originals were single handed because they were used with shields.

jkelly45 (author)sir_ghattas2015-04-13

That makes perfect sense. I might still try to make a lighter version of it. It still seems like a good blade to learn to wield.

ArnoldS7 (author)jkelly452015-07-12

Indeed, also another thing that is aparent from photos and videos is that the Khopesh should have a small pronounced point at the end makeing it possible to stab with it as well, the Shields were made by weaving Reeds from the River Grass growing in the Nile and than finished off by weaving Grass and Lotus Leaves over the Reeds all done when the material where still wet and given a final coat of a special mixture of Animal Fat and Candle Wax, if you are intrested in makeing a shield too LOL, ;)

ArnoldS7 (author)jkelly452015-07-12

The Real deal according to a documentary I watched and the individual who handled it said "it is surprisingly light ; it comes in to about the same weight of a Gladius even though you expect it to be closer in weight to a braod sword or claymore" hope that helps ;)

scrumptious (author)2015-04-25

How would one go about doing this without a forge?

ArnoldS7 (author)scrumptious2015-07-12

Try a blow torch, you will need a lot of gas canisters or two big canisters though you will be pressed into a corner as for work time I am talking a few seconds or if you are lucky enough to be residing in a warm / Sub Tropical or Tropical location with Dry Air you may get a minute or so to work on the Steel before it cools down to a point where you cant work/tool the steel with out re-heating.

Heating it past the actual point wont be a good idea either as it will start to harden as it cools down (annealing) it self also I would say: for swords like the Khopesh ; Saber and Cutlass variants with a curved blade don't waste time ; money and energy simply get a forge!

straight blade swords (nor including the Japanese Katana or the Chinese Variants of Swords) can be made this way Katanas and Chinese Swords are made specifically through the constant and quick folding of Cherry or Dark Redish/Maroon colored steel it also involves the addition of other specially selected metals melted with the original metal and folded so you can make it any way you want BUT it wont be a Katana or Chinese Sword just look like a well made copy as it wont have the correct patterning to it nor would it come close to the strength of an actual Katana.

Arabic Swords and nearly all middle eastern designed swords uses Damascus steel (which is a daunting task to make even for experienced black smiths with all the required knowledge and tools!) it too involves pretty much the same process as above though the added metals that are selected is larger in scale.

Ergo:

Any sword you wish to make for decoration AND use should be correctly made or else made as a decoration ONLY and kept as such.

But in the end you will need a forge it is simply one of those can not do with out tools though of course much later on when you start to get to specialized swords.

P.S.:

Katanas is not the Traditional Ninja Sword either the Real Ninja Swords of Tradition was called: "Shinobe" and was far less complex to make though as strong as their more complex variant the Katana another feature of the Shinobe is its lack for hand guards other than small rounded triangular edges at the front of the blade to stop the users hand from slipping and/or impacting on the blade.

Its handles/scales where also simple bamboo Strings/Strands drenched and soaked in luke water for 3 days than soaked in cold water for another 3 days and than wrapped around the grip and left to dry (another 3 days) well that is the one way I know, there is of course many other ways it varies from Ninja to Ninja and from Clan to Clan even.

Than of course there is another part ALL Shinobe`s and Katana`s of Tradition also had that is obviously lacking in these modern times the spiritual aspect as in the sword would be Enhancted with a Soul or even a host of Souls spesific to the Clan/Family or Military Unit useally High Ranking Officers that has fallen or in the case of the Ninja Clans Djinns/Deamons better known as Demons where sealed into these swords through an Ancient Magickal Art Called Enchantment which in it self is as complex or even more complex to follow/do and takes longer than it would to make the sword.

Trust me on this: THOSE swords have a different feel to them in weight and the way it feels in your hand when you move your hand over the sword especialy the blade it feels like some sort of electrical current not very strong but noticeable running up your hand and through your entire body. It also make you feel dizzy and off balance because you are not the owner and thus master of the sword.

THAT is why a hand guard is not needed because "there is no way you can even see us coming let alone get close enough to attack us" or so I was told well I can not say more about this! LOL, I do love and treasure my life so I digress.

hope it helps ;)

sir_ghattas (author)scrumptious2015-04-26

Would i would try first, if you wanted to do it cold is get a piece of flat bar, then hammer it on one side of the bar to stretch out that side and give it curves in the needed places. That should work, but not near to the same extent, also it may be weaker depending on your steel. All the other steps would be the same. Hope that helped.

amberrayh (author)2015-04-12

Really cool. Your forge is awesome. Thanks for sharing your build!

sir_ghattas (author)amberrayh2015-04-13

Thanks, it's actually my cousin's forge, I only have a woodshop, so he let me use his forge to make the blade.

epaulson2 (author)sir_ghattas2015-05-06

how to make that forge?

ArnoldS7 (author)epaulson22015-07-12

You cant, well let me rephrase you need certain industrial tools (which would require the size of a room per machine/tool and at least 3 such industrial tools where used which would set you back about $100,000 + why?

Because it was build in a shop it would be better to ask where he bought it.

Well of course you could cast it but you will need a big forge for that any ways so what is the point just buy it, if you can or look at forges that where self made. I have found 4 instructables on forge makeing and countless millions of results on Youtube good luck it is not easy selecting the best forge for your needs ; space and buget and PLEASE if you do make your own get an experts assistance! and get several fire extuigishers both foam and water based as well as keep a sand box near by in case you need to extiguish a fire neither fire exstuighers can handle.

Didgit (author)2015-05-08

Great job on the build of the blade! its certainly not an easy design for a first project. If you are looking to make it a lot cleaner looking, you should consider draw filing and sanding it with a sanding block it will undoubtedly improve the overall look of the blade. It gives it a brushed metal(at low grit) up to a satin or mirror finish that really improves the look of the blade. Draw filing also helps to even out any small bumps or ridges in the blade. Again, Great job for your first project! the handle in particular looks wonderful.

Lachlan Van Vliet (author)2015-04-20

Mate, one question. You ship these?, cause i want one

Unfortunately not, sorry.

Project 23 (author)2015-04-20

You, respected sir, made me laugh more than once while looking at your instructable (distractions and make i holy steps). Looking forward to seeing more things from you. Anyways, for this one, you didn't quite hit the final look for the Khopesh.

sir_ghattas (author)Project 232015-04-20

Thanks. Yeah, I didn't really use that as a final product sketch, it was more of a pattern just to get the curve right.

Doc Cox (author)2015-04-15

Fascinating project, spring leaves are very usefull for all sorts of projects, have never heard of a Khopesh sword before, will be going straight to you tube to find out more, will you be polishing and embellishing the sword a bit more, regards Doc Cox

Mihsin (author)2015-04-14

I'd like to be on your side, however, what you produced didn't look even near the drawing you drafted on the sheetsteel. It would've been a piece of pride if ended up like in Egyptian weaponry. Let's see some of your wood projects. Good luck

sir_ghattas (author)Mihsin2015-04-14

I understand, however, keep in mind this is my first forged flat sword.

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