Picture of Link's sword, scabbard, shield and slingshot

The protagonist of the Nintendo Legend of Zelda games is Link, who's a sword-waving cross between Legolas and Indiana Jones. He runs around in a floppy hat solving puzzles and dispatching bad guys while trying to save the eponymous princess. My sons really enjoyed Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, and were keen to get swords and shields so they could start pretending to hack apart hordes of minions in the back yard. This seemed a reasonable request, but making these safe AND strong enough to endure the depredations of two enthusiastic and energetic youngsters is not entirely trivial.
This instructable will show you how to make robust versions of Link's sword, a scabbard, replicas of his wooden shields, and fully functional slingshots. While this stuff is all part of a costume, it's also all quite tough enough to handle being bashed, scraped and abused in the course of a usual day's play.

Note: this instructable is four projects in one, so if I've blasted past something too quickly, post a question in the comments.

Step 1: Design

Picture of Design

Link's most well-known weapon is the Master Sword. However, it's a big fancy bejeweled and bewinged purple & green monster,* and the boys wanted swords that looked a bit more "real". They liked the look of the one that Link wears at the start of Twilight Princess - the "Ordon Sword" - so that's what I modelled these swords on (see screenshot above from IrateGamer's WiiU tech demo video). The shields I made are upgraded wooden shields from Skyward Sword, the banded shield and the braced shield (screenshots taken from zeldadungeon.net). The slingshot is the basic one from Skyward Sword.

* if you want to know how to make an awesome replica, see Jonny1983's beautiful hand-tooled wooden version.

alphawane9 months ago

cool but I don't own a workshop!!!! :)

Saw this come up again in an instructables Halloween costume e-mail. Still a really cool build. I ended up making my own Ordon sword a little differently and then had a DOH! moment when I realized (after gluing things together of course) that I had forgotten to route the fuller. *facepalm* I'm hoping to do something about it but haven't got around to it yet.

Anyways, here it is: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Links-Ordon-Sword/
makendo (author)  The Rambler1 year ago
Yeah, the fullers make the swords look cooler for sure, but they also weaken the blade a bit, so yours might be a little more hardy vs. abuse. I need to make some more...
cj86751 year ago
Uh oh the guard is on the saw they're unsafe I feel
makendo (author)  cj86751 year ago
Tablesaws *are* unsafe, which is why they have guards... but the circle cutting operation doesn't work with one on.
cj8675 makendo1 year ago
I got in an accident with a guard on because it caught a piece and jammed it into me I don't use guards anymore
makendo (author)  cj86751 year ago
Well, I *really* want to keep all my fingers, so I never cut without one if I can possibly help it. Best of luck.
cj86751 year ago
It's not really the safest to cut a circle on a tablesaw because of the size of the blade and the High chance that it will bind a safer method would be to use a bandsaw instead with a circle cutti pong jig
makendo (author)  cj86751 year ago
It's slow, but there is no chance of binding unless you try and raise the blade too far. 2 mm at a time is about right.
cj8675 cj86751 year ago
eth1232 years ago
So sweet
16lundgcodm2 years ago
Scabbard could be better (anything using duct tape for decoration could be better), but overall good.
rittersport2 years ago
Awesome!! I have The Game!!
This may be childish, but how could you make such good looking props, but not make the Master Sword? It's a classic. But you did GREAT work on these props :D
makendo (author)  Legoguylolforever2 years ago
I did, actually. The problem is that the Master Sword is really elaborate and it only looks OK using this method of manufacture, which is best suited to simpler designs. If you were prepared to do lots of filing and shaping, it could look good, but my freehand job with the router ended up a bit rough. And thanks!
poofrabbit2 years ago
Congratulations on being a finalist in the Halloween contest!!! Can’t wait to see if you win! Good luck!
makendo (author)  poofrabbit2 years ago
Thanks for the heads-up, cheers
The Rambler2 years ago
Very awesome. I've experimented with some wooden sword making, but I'm always interested in trying things different ways and I like the way you've done these. I was given a router but no bits so I want to get some and try using it on my next sword attempt. Let's hope that goes well.

Also, this sounds like a juvenile compliment but I always appreciate an instructable with an excellent vocabulary. I think this deserves five stars for that alone.
makendo (author)  The Rambler2 years ago
Thanks. This is a quick and easy method for sure. Post a picture if you get one done.
I bought a really cheap box of router bits initially, and then just replaced the ones I wore out with decent ones. That's worked out pretty well - you find out which ones actually get some use. I like the roundover and flush-cut ones the most.
When you say to use a guide, does that mean you're using a special guide tool for a router?
I did a blog of the sword I made but I haven't converted it over to an instrucable yet. Here it is.
makendo (author)  The Rambler2 years ago
Yes; the guide appears in the middle left picture on step 2. It allows you to run the router at a fixed distance from an edge. If one didn't come with your router, you can simulate the effect by clamping the workpiece down and fixing another piece of wood the right distance away.
Nice job on the sword, looks great.
Oooooh, that's what that is. I couldn't figure out what I was looking at until you pointed it out. I don't think I have that so thanks for the substitute suggestion. Thanks a lot, it took me forever.
vulcan242 years ago
You did a great job in making them look a bit more "real" especially for a cartoony video game
makendo (author)  vulcan242 years ago
Thanks. Yeah, I'm glad the boys were looking for that sort of look, easier to make than the more elaborate stuff.
That is awesome! So much work and detail; I love it!
Wow wow wow! I love this. Especially the slingshot and scabbard. :D