Introduction: Lord of the Rings Wooden Sword
I have always liked the shape of this sword from the Lord of the Rings, it appears briefly in the movie but it instantly caught my eye. It is called a High Elven Warrior Sword. I made this from a scrap piece of 1x12 pine board that I had left over from a project. I also used an aluminum tape technique to make the wooden blade look like metal. I first saw Adam Savage use this technique to enhance a wooden sword that he had purchased. So without further ado lets talk about how I made this.
Video of the build:
The first thing I did was find an image of the sword that I could enlarge and print out. I'm not sure how large the sword is actually supposed to be so I decided to error on the larger side it ended up being just over 45 inches long.
For full instructions on how to enlarge an image and print it out on multiple sheets of paper please check out this Instructable https://www.instructables.com/id/Spider-Man-Wall-... I cover this in-depth in Step 1.
Once I printed out the image I trimmed the excess and taped it together. I made sure to tape the front and back of the sheets together as well.
Since the image was enlarged there was some pixilation of the edges. So I used a marker to trace over all the edges and details of the blade. Then I used a razor to cut out the template.
Next I taped the template to the wood and traced it. Once I was done tracing I used my jigsaw to cut out the rough shape of the sword. Since the blade of the sword was a little thicker than I liked I used my table saw to rip down part of the blade. I only cut down to the hilt and then used a hand saw to finish the cut. Ideally this would be done on a band saw but I don't have one so I made due with what I had.
Now it was time to refine the shape of the sword. I used my belt sander to clean up the shape.
Once the shaping was done I drew where I wanted the bevels to go on the blade. Here again I used my belt sander to add the bevels to the blade. I would sand in the bevel on one side and then move on to another bevel once I was happy. Take your time here it is easy to get carried away and remove too much material.
This project requires a lot of sanding. I used my small belt sander to round over the handle section. Once I was happy with it I did a lot of hand sanding on the entire sword. I sanded up to 220 grit on the entire sword.
To figure out the length of the handle I lay the paper template back on to the sword and made a mark. Then I mask off the blade section. Now I move on to painting the handle. I used brown spray paint and spray the entire handle then I take a rag and immediately wipe away the excess. I was trying to reveal some of the wood grain I didn't want it to be a solid brown color. I still wanted it to look like wood.
In order to figure out the spacing of the scroll work I taped a piece of rope to the handle and then wrapped it around the length of the handle. Then I adjusted the spacing so that it looked even. I used a pencil to mark the position of the rope on to the handle. This would serve as my guide for when I draw the scroll on the handle.
Here again I use the paper template to help me determine where the rest of the decorative work of the handle should begin and end. Once I have drawn in all the decorative features of the blade I used a Metallic Gold paint marker to draw in the details using my pencil lines as guides.
This is the technique that I saw Adam Savage use on his "Hero" Sword build on Tested.com. He used aluminum foil tape to give the blade portion of the sword a metallic look. Its a pretty straightforward process you basically just cut strips of tape and apply them on to the blade. Then you cut off any excess. There will be seams visible but the effect is very realistic especially at a distance.
After applying the foil tape its time to weather the blade. I tried several different things to weather the blade. First I scuffed the blade using some '0000' steel wool. This gave the blade a brushed looked.
To add a little more character I sprayed some black spray paint on a cotton rag and rubbed the paint on to the blade. It had a small effect but it did add another layer of weathering to the overall look.
Lastly, I used a product called "Never Dull" which is a metal polish. I used this on the bevels of the blade only. I wanted the bevels to be a little shinier than the rest of the blade. This adds a nice contrast and yet another layer of weathering. I used a cotton rag to buff out the polish as much as I could.
I included an image of the sword minus the aluminum foil so you could see how it looks in wood. I am really happy with the overall look of the sword. My six year old called dibs on it before it was done so in my mind that's a success. I hope you enjoyed this write up. Please remember to vote if you are so inclined.
Video of the build process.