Step 2: Design and Shaping of the blade and Crossguard
I went off a quick rough sketch for designing this sword. So I had a rough idea of what I wanted to make and I improvised from there. If this was a commission or something more specific I would probably have had a more strict design to work from.
*When working, my system is to rough cut then refine it as i go. So for rough cuts i'll use the 4 1/2" grinder with a cutoff wheel. Then shape it down with that grinder with the stone wheel on it. Then use the sanding discs or the air angle grinder with 36 to 80 gritt or finer all depending on the size of the area your working on.
*remember it's easier to take a little more off, then to add more on.
*Another tip is when making and fitting anything you want to make it tight. almost if not absolute zero clearance to where you have to tap the pieces into place with a hammer and a piece of wood or a nylon plastic punch. The pieces can then be wedged in place easily in the final step.
* Time to work.
#1 *Starting the Blade*
- First, Taking the 2" stock, I cut it to the desired length. Then I cut the tip to a point, then round it off a bit. don't worry about trying to give it an edge yet.
- Next Cut the handle area down to size. (Be sure to leave it thick enough for strength, but also for a comfortable grip.)
This one i notched either end of where the handle would be with the cutoff wheel then ground down the area between the notches. (note to leave the space for your pommel to attach to and be sure you know how you want to attach it before you cut that area.)
If you know that you're going to have the handle area all cut down as i did later then you could remove all of the excess with the cutoff wheel.
( after rough cuts, it's good to smooth sharp edges with an angle grinder and an 80 grit disc.)
#2 * Start the crossguard*
- I start with the basic shape of how it's going to look and build from there.
- First i took the 1"x 1/2" piece of steel and cut the the length of what i wanted for the crossguard.
- next, to make the opening so it will fit over the handle and fit in place, Cut the crossguard piece in half. Then cut a 1/4" notch in either center inner side of each piece half the width of the handle. fit both pieces back together on the sword handle to ensure fit. a file can be used for minor adjustments.
- once these are fitted and can slide on and off snugly, tack weld them back together with them in place on the sword then remove it and fully weld them back together being carefull not to weld the opening closed.
* (tip) when welding thicker pieces together it's good to grind a V in the joining pieces to allow for weld penetration. this helps ensure a good strong weld.
- now grind the welds smooth so that you have a solid crossguard that now has an opening to slide over the handle and into place. ( a small file can make quick work of removing any burrs or weld that may abstruct the opening.)
#3 Adding to the Blade and Crossguard.
- After the crossguard was fit i decided to add more to the blade and crossguard. below is pictured where i set it up and marked it with a sharpie how i wanted it to look.
- once i knew what i wanted, I cut, welded the added pieces on each part and ground them smooth and to shape.
#4 Give the blade it's edge
- Now it's time to give the blade it's edge. I made a blade clamp out of the ibeam seen in the picture below to make easier work of this long grinding process, but a vice can work as well.
-With the piece clamped horizontaly, use the 4 1/2" grinder with the grinding stone disc on it, start grinding the edges down. ( using a fresh grinding stone helps ensure a straighter edge.) You will want to hold the grinder fairly flat on the surface with it slightly down and away from the center of the blade.
- Don't make it sharp yet! You want to give it a nice even edge on both edges on both sides. the more even you make it the better it will look. the key it to just do a little bit at a time checking often for eveness and symetry on both sides.
- Once it is close to meeting to make the edge i switch to the sanding disc with 80 grit on the 4 1/2" grinder to smooth and even out all the edges to a nice symetry and to just barely not sharp. (sharpening, if desired, will come once the whole sword is complete.)
*if you do make any part of the edge sharp in this process dull it with some 150 grit and a backing pad. you don't want it sharp while working on it.*