Introduction: Forging Links Master Sword - Twilight Princess Version

Okay so it's not literally forging because it's made from wood, but it sounds better then making.
I've been meaning to write this Instructable for almost a year after completing my Master Sword back in May 2009, but things have always seemed to get in the way until now.

I've always been a great fan of all of the Zelda games and I knew it was only time before I attempted to make a replica from one of the games.

So in this tutorial I will be showing you the steps I took to produce my Master Sword. I've gone for the sword from Twilight Princess as it's the most detailed Master Sword to date and it looks the best.

Update 27th May 2011
I've begun work on the Hylian Shield. You can follow my progress on my website
I will be creating an Instructable when it's complete.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Sand paper
Sanding blocks
Files and rasps
Set square
Coping saw
Drill with various bits
Craft knife
Dremel (rotary tool) with various bits
Clamps (and lots of them)

Wood glue
Wood filler
Pine strip wood
Spray paint
Enamel paint

Step 2: Design

So the first step in any good project has to be design.
After lots and lots of research I came up with the design I wanted to go for. Using lots of reference pics I drew a scale picture.
Using the attached picture in this step you can see the dimensions I used for each part.

After a few comments I've found the original photo of the plans, tidied them up a bit and uploaded them to some of my web space. Links below.

Step 3: Drawing and Cutting the Blade

After a lot of thinking I decided to make mine out of 5mm thick strip pine laminated together to make a total thickness of 1cm. I'm sure the actual sword in the game is a lot thinner but this is what I decided to work with.
So the first thing I did was two cut my long piece of strip pine in two and then laminate the two pieces together using wood glue and lots of clamps.

After it dried I proceeded to draw on the sword design with a pencil and ruler.

The piece of strip pine I used was nowhere near wide enough to account for the guard, but you'll see in later steps how I assembled it.

After I was happy with the drawing I cut out outline with a millimeter or two margin. It's always best to leave a margin and sand down to the line then go under the line and fill it in.

Step 4: Starting the Hilt - the Doughnut

The hilt on the Master Sword is made of two main parts, the wings and the doughnut.

I made the doughnut out of a piece of pine wood by:
-Drilling a whole in the middle
-Drawing and cutting a circle around the outside of the whole
-Using a coping saw to cut a taper on the top and bottom
-Sanding down the taper so it was uniform all the way around
-Adding wood filler to cover imperfections in cutting or sanding.

Step 5: Handle - Laminate Handle and Cut Wings

Next step I took was to laminate more strip pine onto the handle to help buff it out. After all the handle is round not flat.

After that I drew out the top part of the hilt onto a piece of strip pine, cut it out and then used it to trace another copy.

Step 6: Guard - Carve and Glue Wings

Now that the two wing parts of the hilt are cut I started to cut pieces to fit between the gaps on the outside. Since my original piece of strip pine was quite narrow I had to fill it out quite a bit. If you use a thicker piece then you may be able to skip this step.

Once I knew I had all the pieces I needed to fill it in I then cut the wing pieces into different parts (left and right wings and the middle diamond), and drew on the rest of the detail.
I also did some shaping to these pieces as it would be a lot harder to do it to them when they're attached.

Once I did the shaping of the inner parts I glued the wings on, and added the filling pieces on the inside.

I also shaped the handle using a rasp and file to round the corners, and gave and edge to the blade.

Step 7: Guard - Carve Wings

Once the wings were attached and the hilt was taking shape I proceeded to use a dremel to remove material to the wings, adding in the zig zag detail. These ended up coming quite wavy as the bits I used in the dremel were quite small, but this was easily fixed with wood filler.

I then attached the diamonds, the doughnut and blade walls which are just above the wings. These walls are small pieces of basswood cut with a coping saw and glued on using wood glue.

Step 8: Guard - the Finer Details

Once the blade walls were dry I used wood filler to fill any gaps, then sanding it smooth.

I then had to come up with a way to do some of the swirly golden detailing on the hilt and the best idea I could come up with to achieve it was to glue string. Once dry then cover with wood filler and sand smooth. This actually works very well as long as you don't sand down to the string itself.

After the golden swirls were done on both sides I moved onto the Triforce symbol on the blade. This was simply cut from the same basswood I used for the blade walls. Then sanded on the front to round the edges. Once glued to the blade I then used more wood filler to fill any gaps, then sand down.

Step 9: The Pommel

The pommel is made using the same techniques as the doughnut. I then used more string, and wood filler to finish it off. I find the string helped give more defined edges.
Once I was happy with the shape I glued it to the end of the handle.

Step 10: More Golden Detailing and Blade Sharpening

The final bit of golden detailing appears just above the blade walls. Again I used more string, glued then covered in wood filler and sanded down.

I then went on to measure the blade bevel and used a combination of rasp and file to bevel the edge.
Something to note about the picture thought, I ended up going for a deeper bevel in the end. The depth pictured was far too short.

Step 11: Sanding, Priming and Painting

Once finished with detailing I then spent a good hour at least using a high grit sand paper and sanding sponge to go over the whole sword to get a very smooth finish.
I then did three coats of primer with light sanding between the coats.

Once happy with the primer I then sprayed the metallic coats on the blade, followed by painting the enamel gold and purple on the hilt and detailing.

Step 12: Finally the Handle Grip

I wanted the handle to have a soft grip, so I looked around for coloured leather but couldn't find any at a price I could afford. So plan B was to use tennis grip tape, and I found some in blue and green but the tone wasn't quite right.
I found that the grip tape took the paint well, so I proceeded to use it and then painted on top of it.

After all the paint was thoroughly dry a few coats of lacquer was applied to help protect it.

And that's it!

Anyone got any questions just ask them and I'll do my best to answer them.