Introduction: How to Carve a Sword

Picture of How to Carve a Sword

How to carve a woodensword from a pole of greenwood. Using only simple tools.

Step 1: The Tools

Picture of The Tools

This is the only tools you need.

Step 2: The Pole

Picture of The Pole

I cut this tree to make spoons from the thick part of the log. I have already showed how to make a spoon here Viking spoon

But the thin part of the tree don't have to go to waste. Here I show you how to carve a sword from the top of the tree.

Step 3: The Rough Carving

Picture of The Rough Carving

I use my axe for most of the shaping. You can carve all the steps where I use the saw with the axe. But it is much more easy to do it with the saw. That way your sure that the cuts are straight.

Step 4: The Fine Carving

Picture of The Fine Carving

When the sword have the rough shape I use the knife to finish the carving.


LordSchoenfelder (author)2013-10-12

This is NOT a Viking sword, at all. trust me I'm a nerd, who is also a Viking history expert.

morfmir (author)LordSchoenfelder2015-08-26

you are very right. And nowhere have I stated that this is a viking sword. Just some of my tools is viking replicas made by master smiths in the spirit of the viking tools.

A sword like this is only meant as a toy nothing special

nice axe though.

Blazing_Glory (author)2012-11-22

Do you know how to forge blades and other viking weapons?

The Rambler (author)2012-10-11

Very cool.

bendog38 (author)2010-03-24

 Is it possible to use pine or mesquite or even a pole from rocklers or ace or home depot????????

Iridium7 (author)bendog382010-04-15

 You will have the hardest time using mesquite. I think it is on of the hardest woods in the world.

smpash (author)Iridium72012-02-02

yup it is incredibly hard if you are working with it sharpen your knives alot i know this from personal experiance

lunius (author)Iridium72011-02-27

Definitely. Take this from a guy who has to use a machete to weaken mesquites at the deer lease. However, if you do decide to do it, it makes a very durable sword. I will have to try an 'ible on that..

damascus freak (author)bendog382011-04-28

hey ben i wouldnt use pine to weak. go for hickory or oak

Hiroak (author)bendog382010-08-31

Use an AXE handle. They have a cool shape to them already and are cheap. A little carving and I had some swords for my kid's Bday party and that wasn't a good idea.

zombie1212 (author)2011-07-22

that is a great sword nice job

damascus freak (author)2011-04-28

hey man nice carvings ive been carving swords for about 3 years now, and yours look pretty good. have you tried selling them? i sell them on ebay and at craft festivals.

morfmir (author)damascus freak2011-04-29

yes I sell my swords. I work in this place
during the kids holidays I make all kinds of viking toys. The swords are very popular. I make them on the viking marketplace. And sell then fresh made. The visitors can see how I make the things, and can buy the one that they have seen being made.
I use a little different technique than the one I describe in this 'able. When I work my viking craft I only use axe, adze and knife, no modern tools are allowed.
The toys I make at the viking place is inspired by all the different funding of viking toys. We have findings of toyswords from Dublin, Hedeby and Novograd. And we have some toy horses and other carved animals from many vikings digs.
I also make small viking boats carved from one piece of wood.
I have never tryed to sell my things on Ebay. Because I get payed from the Sagnland and what I get from selling the things goes to the Sagnland.


What kind of wood would you recommend? Is there any thing that I shouldn't use?

balsa is what i would use. its durable and easy to carve

macgyverfan (author)Capt. Fat2010-11-20

I'm not so sure about balsa wood, try oak!

Capt. Fat (author)macgyverfan2011-01-01! :O

bendog38 (author)Capt. Fat2011-04-09


hi ... i wouldnt recormend balsa for pure reason its weak and has a tendency to spit if un fire and treated ... id recormend oak or ash for the fact that when they dry (well in the case of oak) become as hard or harder than iron ... but word of advice axe + oak = alot of wear on the blade .. so ash seems like a better choice for you but personally i just love oak and the way it ages ..

hope it goes well for you all the best jack

djr6789 (author)2009-09-01

could you use this as a wepon ?

morfmir (author)djr67892009-09-01

no, it is a toy. But any thing can be a weapon in the wrong hands. /Thomas

djr6789 (author)morfmir2009-09-01

yep that is so true ive witnessed a bicycle being used as a weapon. lmao

macgyverfan (author)djr67892010-11-20

I've got to learn to do that.

Neovenetar (author)2010-10-30

So, out of interest what kind of sword is that supposed to be? It looks japanese, yet is thick like a broadsword. Just what you came up with while you were making it?

morfmir (author)Neovenetar2010-11-01

I just came up with it. The shape of the wood sets its limits. If the wood is bend I make a scimitar like sword, if it is thick and straight I can make a two edged vikingsword. And some times I just make something crazy fantasy like sword.


Neovenetar (author)morfmir2010-11-01

nice, your instructable helped me make plenty of different swords, although at the moment i'm trying to make a giant one out of a huge log, but unfortunately i can barley lift sed log :P

captaincoolness55 (author)2009-08-06

how long should the sword be according to a persons size? arm length from fingertips to shoulder?

for a short sword from the end of the hilt to the tip of the blade shoud be the length of your leg works quite well.
a long sword is the same but it shoud be the blade that is the same length of your leg.
well thats what I use anyway =)

For Katana (japanese swords) the rule of thumb is that the tip is a half inch or so off the ground when the grip is held in your hand, sword tip pointing straight down.

I don't know any other "normal" standard for things like this english style sword. Experiment!

mikeanator55 (author)2010-09-26

do you use any protective coating for any good ones you make?

skimmo (author)2010-06-25

your last statement is wrong, a swords length and shape is 100% dependent on its perpose, for example a 10ft rapier wouldnt be any use at all, if length was always better every they would have just stoped at claymoures.

Iridium7 (author)2010-04-15

 Saw in an earlier comment that your base is in denmark. That is cool as hell. Vikings are cool as hell. 

Water Child (author)2010-03-27

i have a block of 2x4  can it be used istead of a pole?

Iridium7 (author)Water Child2010-04-15

 You wont get that round handle, In fact it would be easier to just make it this way.

Jdogg55 (author)2008-11-12

This is a sweet Instructable... my son and I will be making one this weekend. on a side note do you have an Instructable for your viking axe?

blackemerald24 (author)Jdogg552010-03-27

dude that would be awsome a axe like the ones in lord of the rings...that would be sick

stuntdude47 (author)2009-10-19

How long Does this Take you? 

morfmir (author)stuntdude472009-10-20

I went on a viking marked this weekend, I was making swords like this. Just with out the use of a saw, but just an ax and a knife. The sword I made I sold fresh from the ax :-) One of the guests timed me carving a sword with out me knowing. And when I was finished told me that I had carved it in 18½ minute. One day I made 26 swords.


zatsx (author)morfmir2009-11-09

thats inpressive :D 

Capt. Kidd (author)zatsx2009-12-10

can you sell one to me? im horrible at handling wood.

morfmir (author)Capt. Kidd2009-12-10

no problems, where do you live?
It is quite expensive to send things from denmark, but if you are willing to pay postage I will sell you one.
Please contact me at thomas.handy(a]


ajn142 (author)2009-05-01

Did you forge the axe yourself, or did you buy it? If you did it yourself, or know how, an instructable on how to forge one would be nice.

morfmir (author)ajn1422009-05-02

I have not made the axe. A very good blacksmith made it for me. /Thomas

NATIVEBOY (author)morfmir2009-10-15

where was the blacksmtih?

red-king (author)morfmir2009-10-08

 it's a really nice axe.

matthiasofgondor (author)morfmir2009-10-01

that is a very beautiful nordic axe

timebandit00 (author)2009-09-28

Thank you for your guide. I have been making walking sticks for years and have been looking for something else to do and plan to start tommorow.

oldanvilyoungsmith (author)2009-09-02

Is this sword tough enough to spar with?

Yes, I think so. But it depends a lot on what kind of wood you use to make it.
I consider this at toy, and my boys use it to play with. I have showed them how to fight with it, but most of the time they just pose with it, playing it is a light saber or what ever. The sword in this instructable is mostly used to kill slugs :-) I have an invasion of killer slugs in my garden
And my boys love to help beating them to death with a wooden sword.


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