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Swords Answered

I recently have re-awoken a serious interest of mine: swordsmithing. I am in contact with a swordsmith and his apprentice,but they are both a bit far from me. If you have any expirience in bladesmithing, swordsmithing, blacksmithing, or are an apprentice, I would like to hear about your expirience and how you got started. Or if you are at least educated in this feild, I would like to hear about it, or get recomendations on what books to read. I have a basic outline about how the blades are made, but that's about it. Or, just converse among yourselves, there is a serious lack of REAL swords on instructables. I mean, I look up the word 'sword' and I get tips on how to make replicas and models. That's just fine, but I intend to be making a living offa these things. Among other things... Also, I am talking about the Japanese method of swordmaking. Not necessarily katanas, but the method seems to have great quality to it. *a side note* A quality blade is at least $200-up, and I'd be working with tamahagane. I would not buy one for any less.


Agreed! It would be good to have a real sword 'Ible.


4 years ago

Great idea!

I know you guys are talking about real swords but I made this really cool Sword from one of my favorite games and would appreciate it if you guys could give me a Vote to win this contest. Swords are really cool and I think this one deserves to win! :)


I know you guys are talking about real swords but I made this really cool Sword from one of my favorite games and would appreciate it if you guys could give me a Vote to win this contest. Swords are really cool and I think this one deserves to win! :)



7 years ago

Jesus Hernandez - Master Bladesmith working in the Japanese style,good tutorials.


If anyone has some good, cheap tutorials on Medieval weapons i would be greatly appriciative :D


7 years ago

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You might contact "Do-Not-Turn-Off-The-Power". He's into swords. I think his dad (or grandfather) was a serious swordsmith.

He's been banned, and he's one of the "manga sword" crowd. I could beat him in a confrontation, actually I could beat most people in a sword confrontation....

Most have a slightly warped sense of reality... our friend Do_Not_Turn_Off_The_Power was a good example of this. I'm personally most fond of the rapier, hand and halfer, then katana.

Well, that's why they're in manga, not made. I've drawn swords like that, but they're on deviantart. I like the katana, but I'd elaborate on the design. What I'd do I can't quite explain. I'd have to draw it. I saw his page, he's a bit...out there. There are also different kinds of manga swords. Some are those insanely huge ones, while others are so friggin elaborate I don't how you'd sharpen them. Also, a lot of manga swords would actually break apart if they were made. What I'm looking to do is combine the look of a manga sword, the grace and functionality of the Katana, and the quality of modern metallurgy(e.g., stainless steel, carbide, tungsten, or maybe even an aluminum compound.)

Heads up on the alloys, most of them cannot be safely forged, especially not stainless steel, but must be cast or machine made, which limits their effectiveness. I hear titanium can be forged, but it's wicked hard to do, and it's ridiculously expensive.

Time. Lots and lotsa time. There is a reason high-quality blades are expensive, ands part of that is that the blades have to be forged and reforged and reforged and reforged...etc. The Japanese style especially requires the blade steel to be folded both horizontally and vertically and welded together at least 30 times each. This reforging actually causes the metal to lose around a third of its weight by forcing out impurities. Also, for the making of weapons, expect to spend at least a week to forge, grind and shape the blade, and then another week to sand, polish, and then fit the blade to the other components. The real secret? Make sure you normalize the blade several times in the forging WITH THE BLADE ORIENTED NORTH/SOUTH! This will cause the crystals in the steel to orient along the length of the blade rather than just randomly, making it much stronger. Also, the final quenching should be in oil. I like to use Automatic Transmission Fluid for smaller knives. It can be reused for more projects though, which is good. That stuff ain't cheap. This is called Heat-Treating, and will make the blade both resistant to heat, and far more pliable. A quality longsword should flex to at least a 30 degree curve without breaking or bending the steel. From there on out, the only advice I can give is to make it as beautiful as possible. the more aesthetically pleasing it is, the happier you and your customer will be. Even if it is simple, make it elegant. As my smithing master used to say, "The pretty ones work best." Be a craftsman who takes pride in his work, and you'll go far.

You could also check out Ben Potter he has some really nice blades. I am also getting into bladesmithing but i am just a beginner so my experience is fairly limited, but what really helped me understand was taking the 2 week class in Washington, AR which is where the ABS school is really located. Try and get the class with Jim Crowell and Tim Poitier.

website: http://www.seekyee.com/Bladesmithing/index/

instructables: https://www.instructables.com/member/ben+potter/

Hmmm....that's a tall order you've placed; I've some experience with forging but it's mostly been limited to decorative iron work with a few forays into small blades and experiments with stock-lamination.

Considering that you've had the blade-making passion for a while, it's likely you've already done at least a little research on the subject.  However, just in case you haven't already read them, I highly recommend "The Craft of the Japanese Sword" by Yoshindo Yoshihara and Leon Kapp for in-depth literature on the same as well as "The Complete Bladesmith" by Jim Hrisoulas for general guidelines on practical shop set-up and as source material for ideas on short-cutting to speed production and keep a high quality of product.  They're expensive books, but well worth the price. 

Good luck and keep swinging that hammer.

One source is the Combined tomes of The Art of Blacksmithing, which goes into a lot of detail one all forms of the trade.

Also one could look online for info like this for some eBooks (some free, some not) on the subject. I did a little smithying back when my back was a lot stronger (over 30 years ago), but I have forgotten some of the details on curing or hardening the blade.

Also, there are some really DECENT books out on Knife Making that could help...

Any regular books? I am more inerested in the Japanese method over the European methods. Besides, Blacksmithing and swordsmithing are kind of different.

Yes, there are several different types of smiths (a farrier is another specialized form)

Also, there seems to be quite a bit of info when "knife making", blade smithing, and sword making, are Googled.