I have been making props for over a year and a half now and I was recently commissioned by my friend to make the Elucidator from Sword Art Online. This was a fun commission for me to do and I want to share how I made it and how you can make one yourself!
This build is relatively easy, even for beginners and only requires a couple of basic power tools which are widely accessible to most people. (chances are you already have the power tools needed in your household) This entire build was made only with hand tools, but if you have access to big tools, (like a band saw, or a drill press) take advantage of using them.
This build uses a layering process as opposed to a solid piece being carved; this means that layers are applied to build thickness. This process is a great way to build lots of different kind of props because it means that symmetry is maintained and accuracy for detail is easier to control.
This build took me about 30 hours from start to finish over the course of 2 weeks so don't expect to make a decent prop if you rush it! Take your time on this build and the pay off will be much better.