One of my favourite YouTube channels is AME Man at Arms Re-forged. On it they show how to make amazing swords from games and movies. The swords are forged and are made from scratch. It blows me away how you can take a piece of rare metal and turn it into something beautiful.
Unfortunately I don’t have a forge, or tools for forging or any of the other things needed to create a real sword. We do however have some wood working tools (not many), and my dad who is pretty handy with using them. My dad and I decided to build some swords out of wood instead.
I am really happy with the way that these came out. The first sword we made was based on a sword known as a Katana One of the black smiths on re-forged is Ilya Alexseyev and I love listening to him talk about the Katana
We also made a couple of shorter swords more like daggers. I’ll go through how we made each one but there are many similarities in the make so we have given more detail to the first sword.
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Step 1: Watch the Videos
The first video is where we kill some food, the second is where we try to kill each other
Step 2: Designing Your Sword
Check out the internet for some inspiration. There are a million different ways you can design the sword and handle. I went with something pretty simple as the blade is only wood and I didn’t want any weak points, plus I really like the Katana. Here are a few that I came across on my research that I thought would work well make out of wood.
Step 3: Selecting the Wood
The parts are very basic in this build. Actually you will only need a couple pieces of wood and some wood glue. What you need to do however is to choose what type of wood to use. I went with some hard wood for the blade (oak) and some pine for the handle. I figure I would be bashing a ot of things with the blade section so the harder the wood the better.
1. 50mm x 10mm hard wood. Length of the sword was…but you can make the sword any length you choose
2. 40mm x 10mm rounded pine. This is used for edging and can be found in most hardware stores
3. Wood glue
Step 4: Tools
You don’t need any tools for the build either. Actually you could do the build with only a hand saw and some sandpaper. It makes like a lot easier though if you have a drop saw, jigsaw and electric sander
2. Electric sander
6. Wood file
7. Clear oil for painting
Step 5: Making the Tang
The tang is the section where the handle is joined to. As the wood that makes the handle is not as wide as the blade wood, you will need to reduce some of the wood on the handle section of the blade.
1. Mark out on the wood how big you want the handle to be
2. Place the handle onto the tang and mark the sections to cut
3. With a jigsaw – make the cuts. Don’t cut right against the line. You want to leave some slop as it is better to leave too much and sand it later than take too much off.
Step 6: Designing the Blade
I decided to copy the simple curved end of a Katana for mysword.
1. Mark out the area to cut.
2. Clamp the wood to a flat surface, and with a jigsaw cut out the section marked
3. Don’t worry if the end isn’t smooth or cut very well. You will later be sanding anyhow so any rough sections won’t be an issue.
Step 7: Sharpen the Blade
To shape the edge of the wood into a blade, we used a wood file. You could also do this with sandpaper but if you have a wood file it’s much easier
1. Place the blade into a vice and with the wood file held on a 45 degree angle; start to remove the side of the wood.
2. Work on one side for a while and then swap over to the other, making sure that you do even and smooth strokes.
3. Once you have an even, sharp edge along the wood, take it out and look down the blade. This way you will be able to see whether it’s straight of not. Keep on filing until you have a blade like edge.
Step 8: Make the Handle
Making the handle is pretty straight forward, you just have to make sure that when gluing, you have everything straight before clamping
1. Cut 2 identical pieces of wood for the handle.
2. Add some wood glue to the back of both pieces and carefully clamp into place
3. Leave to dry for 24 hours and un-clamp
4. Grab your sander and remove any excess wood from the tang. Use a high grit paper first to help remove any large bits of wood and then move onto a lower grit paper. I also sanded the entire blade and removed any glue or stains. It also prepares the wood for the oil.
Step 9: Staining
To help protect the wood and give it a nice finish, I stained it with some oil.
1. Dip a rag into the oil and rub all over the sword
2. Leave to dry for 12 hours and add another coat if necessary
Step 10: Making Some Smaller Swords
I also wanted to have a couple of smaller swords that I could give to my brother and fight him. I didn’t want to give him too much of an advantage so we made him a couple of small dagger like swords. These were pretty easy to make and I won’t go through all of the process as it was very similar to the first one.
1. Come up with an awesome sword design and mark it on the wood
2. Make the cuts with a jigsaw
3. Do the same for the handle
Step 11: Sharpen the Blade
The 2 small swords have a dagger like curved blade and I decided to sharpen both the inside curved section and the blade section. This worked really well but we had to take our time with the curved section as the wood file wasn’t really suited to do the job
1. Put the sword in a vice and with the wood file, start to remove the edge. Make sure that it is held on a 45 degree angle. As on the original one, take your time as you don’t want to take a giant chip out of the wood.
2. Turn the blade over and do the same thing to the curved section
3. Keep on checking your work until you are happy with the edge
Step 12: Adding the Handle
1. Cut the handle pieces of wood to size and glue onto the tang
2. Sand, sand, sand
3. I also rounded off the end of the sword handle to give it a better look
Step 13: Go and Swordfight
Participated in the
Hand Tools Only Contest 2016