I will walk you through the untraditional way of makeing a 100% real katana
The Quality depends upon you!
I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY MISUSE OR INJURY CAUSED AND OR INFLUENCED BY THIS INSTRUCTABLE.
making swords in some countries is illegal without an arms license, and you can get fined and possibly charged for wielding a weapon if someone sees you in public with this
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Two vice grips, you can probably get by with one pair and a friend.
Pliers with cutting edge
One handed sledge hammer
Power drill with a drill bit(s) as wide as the nails and dowel rod you have.
Vice with anvil on the back
Anvil if you don't have a vice with one.
Large sledge hammer if you don't have the two above.
Power grinder or belt grinder
You can get great steel deals at www.admiralsteel.com
20 gauge sheet metal for Tsuba(Guard) ,habaki (blade collar) ,and for the pommel witch I have not figured out how to make.
1/4 inch by 1 inch wood for handle
Steel pictured in thumbnail 5.
Flat and wide shoe laces black are best but you can use any color.
Step 2: Plan.
Step 3: Building Your Forge
You may want to put bricks or concrete slab over the top that you can take off to feed the fire to keep most of the heat in.
I just re built my forge yesterday and built it a bit taller with a top on it and a small chimney like hole in the top.
pic 2 is a forge I just made i havent tested it yet but it think it'll work really well.the air comes up through the bottom thus not blowing the coals everywhere. it's smaller for concentrating on only 3-6 inches of the sword at a time. it's basicly a box of bricks a piece of metalth holes in it and a little hood on top. (powered by a fan or a hair blow drier)
Step 4: Decideing What Size Your Blade Will Be.
My blade is 27 inches long discluding the metal that's in the handle.
Your handle should at least be 10 inches long 12-14 is great , note you'll need one extra inch for the tsuba and habaki to go.
So you know your blade will have to be as long as the handle, chose your handles length then wright it down. then decide how long your blade should be. Wright that down add them up and vwala! That's how long you have to cut your metal strips.
You will probably end up cutting off a bit off the tip unless your a good blacksmith ,so factor that in.
Cut the metal cut the length of metal you want 4 times over maybe 5 times if you want a thick sword. and 5 would help because then it would have center cutting edge. if you hammer it enough it gets a lot thinner too so keep that in mind.
Step 5: Riveting
1.Drill holes in the blade trough the 4 pieces of metal don't zigzag like I did just go strait.
2. insert a nail
5.slowly pound it down hit the nail very lightly.
Step 6: Forgeing!
From my first day of hammering with my sledge hammer my wrist was sore for a weak so this is pretty tough work.
Now that we're all riveted and have our forge going full throttle stick the tip in the hottest part of the fire.
wait for it to turn bright red/golden....
Don't hammer too hard or you'll cause blemishes that are very hard ,near impossible, to work out Just take your time consecutive softer hits are more effective.
Then take it out and hammer the middle of the blade don't hammer the edges or it will cause it to curve. make sure you flip it over and hammer it equily on both sides.
It may/will start to corkscrew this happens a lot it's from making one side longer than the other from hammering thus causing it to be pushed into a circular shape. try to stay on top of the problem and you'll be good.
Don't worry about hammering the shape into the metal just yet at first we want to just fuse the metal all together.
Now move on to the next 6 inches down the blade and repeat the proses.
5.hammer (middle) until flat You may need to flip several times.
7. move to the next 6 inches.
Repeat when you get to the very bottom of the handle.
Picture 3 is the shape your going for.
you can ether cut the handle to be shaped like that ,or if you have mad skillz you can do it just with your hammer and heat.
Step 7: Curving the Blade.
Then use the same proses as before but on the edge instead of the center.
1.hammer (edge) lightly we only want a slight curve and we want it t take 2 passes.
4. straiten the blade if it cork screwing at all.
5. move to next section
if it is not curved enough start over and do it again.
Step 8: Annealing.
This will involve first heating the entire thing up to a uniform heat about 660*C or 1400*F degrees I think is what you want ,usually called critical temperature.
Then we will be sticking the blade into an insulated box maybe build a brick box that it can fit in with a few blankets over it.
I've heard boiling it in 600*F oil is best.
Second best would be wrapping it in gauze and then wrapping it in an old blanket then a in a box.
The goal is to keep the blade hot for 18-20 hours to let the metal soften for ease of sharpening , polishing ,and to relieve stresses in the blade.
Step 9: Grinding and Cutting.
If not, well it was nice knowing ya lol the second best way is to get a grinding wheel for a drill and then use that.
You'll also need some kind of saw... hack saw works great.
First off we need to cut the tip into the katana.
2. while you have your saw out cut off some excess form the handle.
3.You want want to try to grind just one angle into the blade all way to the tip don't worry about it being sharp just try to get this shape throughout the entire blade.
4. use this picture to help with grinding the tip don't grind away from the tip or it will cause it to become rounded only grind on a 35* angle downward. See the line that points to the word Boshi that is the angle you want to grind the very tip on. Away from the top not the handle.
You may see the HI witch is the grove that is usually ground down the katana they do this for 3 reasons 1. it's looks 2. it makes it weigh less ,and 3. it improves cutting somehow.
5. polish the blade using various grits of sand paper start with 400 down to 100 grit paper change the angle of your stroke with each change of sand paper.
400 / diagonal 300 | up and down 200 \ diagonal 100 grit -- left and right or up and down the blade. Maybe go back with even lower grit paper and sand left and right if you're not satisfied.
Step 10: Heat Treating
1. Prepare the forge get some charcoal and light it in the forge with the fan on low or off wait till they get very hot then add more turn the fan on high
2. stick the entire Blade in the coals then add wood on top of the forge don't let it get less than an inch or 2 away from the blade it needs space for air circulation to get hot enough.
3. When the blade becomes orange allover dunk it in water very quickly.
4. Pray that the blade doesn't crack... It shouldn't with this metal but there's that chance.
Step 11: Sharpening and Pollishing
That should get all the brown stuff off.
Then go back with less course sand paper and so on stop sanding it when it gets shiny.
Sharpening it depending on how much you have to sharpen it you may need to use the grinder or you can use a hand sharpener. Use the coarse side first if it has a coarse side then switch to the smoother side.
Step 12: Carve the Hilt
The hilt for me was a lot of fun because i got some wood that I could carve very easily.
1. carve out the inside of the wood enough for the blade to fit in very snugly with with both layers of wood on top of each other. Outline the hilt on the blade to the handle to carve out only where you need to.
I used this knife to put a 35* angle on each edge of the wood ,then filed it smooth with a course and smooth file.
lacquer the wood with 4-5 coats , if you want a very nice shine.
Don't put your handle on yet this is not the step for it.
After you carve it all out and you're sure you can get the blade in without the handle parts coming apart epoxy the handle together //WITHOUT\\ the blade in it.
Step 13: Habaki or (Blade Collar)
1. a great diagram of what the habaki does looks like and how it functions.
2. my habaki
3.google image result.
4. My new katana modeling the habaki an showing that it holds the entire thing together.
Step 14: Tsuba (guard)
2. Plot out a center point , by messureing both sides. then drawin lines throught hte mid points on each edge.
3. cut it out and clean up.
4.drill a hole in the center. makes sure the hole is skinnier than your habaki
5.cut a rectangle out with your a jig saw. then go shape the rest with a metal file until you can fit it on to your blades handle section.
6. add design to it however you like.
7. mine 6 holes in a hexagon arrangement and some side edging
Step 15: Put Yor Brand New Katana Together!
Guess I'll complete this when I make a new habake and tsuba.
but it should be pretty self explanatory. if you manage to get here before I finish then wow.
follow the lil gif i made of the katana magically assembling itself
Step 16: More Parts of a Katana That Were Not Included
1.A seal that goes on the top of the handle ,to give it a nice appearance ,that is usually engraved.