Introduction: Making the Rune Blade

About: I am a prop maker and customizer with the goal of doing it as a career some day in the future. I do things from scratch but I also enjoy doing custom paint jobs and body work on Nerf guns and other such toys. …

This is my entry into the current wood contest. I made this sword from scratch out of a single board and a few nails here and there. As always i wont be providing any templates or designs for this, I'm making this to promote creativity in others. And i made it up as i went along, so i guess there aren't any templates anyways. I hope you enjoy reading, and i will be adding higher quality beauty shots of it to my deviant art soon so keep an eye out. The link to my DA page is on my profile here in case you are interested.

Step 1: Cutting Put the Pieces

I started by drawing the shape of the base piece of the sword onto the cleaner side of my board with a sharpie, making sure it was centered and a good starting length. I added some extra length to the handle so i could cut it down once i could feel how big it was. After that I simply cut it out using the jigsaw with a regular wood cutting blade. Once it was cut out I laid the base onto the board again and used it as a guide for designing the back piece. I wanted this piece to have a broken and repaired look, hence the separate pieces. Again it was cut out with the jigsaw. Finally I used both pieces as a guide to design the tip of the blade which was, again, cut out using the jigsaw.

Step 2: Belt Sanding

Once I had all three pieces made I took them to the belt sander to clean them up. I started by sanding both sides to smooth them a bit, then cleaned up the edges after. Now that I had them ready I set to work on the edge bevels, or the sharp bit of the sword. To do this I held the pieces at an angle and carefully pressed them to the belt, doing this along the entire edge on both sides until they met in the middle of the board. For the tip I simply did this to the front and back edges to give it a good point. Doing this can take quite some time, especially if using a harder type of wood. I wouldn't recommend harder woods because they are harder to work with, and will be much heavier in the hand. I also roughed up the inner edges, giving them a slight angle instead of just 90 degree ones.

Step 3: Cross Gaurd and Pins

Once all the pieces had their edges sanded on I cut out two small pieces and glued them on with epoxy to widen the cross guard, the horizontal piece of a sword right before the blade. I taped these down and let the epoxy cure for about a half hour. To hold all the pieces together I ended up using metal pins cut from nails to give the pieces more of a floating look. My original idea was to make some metal bands from PVC and bolt them down, but I thought it would take up too much of the blade faces. I drilled corresponding holes into each piece of the blade on the inner edges and cut pins to match them using bolt cutters. For now I left the pins un-glued for painting.

Step 4: Carving the Runes

Once all the pins were done i gave each piece a full coat of black acrylic. I did this first so i could see what i was carving out better. After the paint dried completely (over night) I used my Dremel with a small router bit to carve in the runes onto the blade faces. This is why i wanted to save space on the faces. For the runes i simply found a runic alphabet chart on Google images, so it most likely isn't accurate, but i wasn't going for accuracy with this sword. Some of the runes do spell words, some don't, they are simply decorative.

Step 5: Painting

Now onto the painting, as the title suggests. The first thing I did was paint the inner edges red, this took a few coats to get looking good. Once that dried I painted the rest of the blade silver and filled in the runes with more red. Finally i painted the handle brown.

Step 6: Weathering

Now that all the paint has dried its time to make this thing look old. To dirty it up I dry brushed all over the blade pieces with black acrylic to make it look used. Also do this to the handle to break up the brown paint. To make it look a bit more realistic I did a lighter coat of brown on the blade pieces to simulate rust. Some paint got onto the inner edges and runes, so i gave them another coat of red too.

Step 7: Gluing

I let the paint dry over night again and gave it all a good coat of matte clear coat to protect the finish. After about a half hour the clear coat was dry and the pieces were ready to be fixed together. I used the two part epoxy again, covering each end of the pins before inserting them into the right holes. I had to use a rubber band on the tip to keep it in the right place. After more waiting the epoxy was dry and the pieces were held together.

Step 8: Pommel

For the pommel I traces a circle onto a scrap from the cutting before, and used a 1 1/2" spade tip bit to hollow out the center. Then I rough cut around it with the coping saw as close as i could get, and rounded it off using the radial sander attached to my belt sander. I cut out a section of it, taking some inspiration from the weapon design of the Darksiders series, and sanded the top flat. I also sanded the edges to rough them up a bit, like i did with the inner edges of the blade pieces. Once it was all done i painted it the same way i did to the blade and epoxied it to the end of the handle.

Step 9: Handle Wrap

The final thing i wanted to do was wrap the handle. I cut a long, inch wide strip of black cloth from an old t-shirt for thins. I wrapped it a few times around the top under the hand guard and went down the handle at an angle. I went around the inside of the pommel as well before spiraling back up in the opposite direction and tying it off at the top again.

Step 10: Finished

That's all folks. I hope you enjoyed reading this, and feel free to post pictures of what you did with this instructable in the comments, I'd love to see them.

Wood Contest

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Wood Contest