I love knives and swords, but I do not have the equipment to make a larger knife, so I started making mini swords out of nails. Let's get started...
Large nail (I used a 4" double headed nail, which worked quite nicely)
Blow torch (or something to heat the nail)
Pliers (for holding the hot nail)
Anvil (I used a 3 lb. sledge hammer)
Bench Grinder/disk sander
Rubbing compound (optional)
Metal polish cream (optional)
Step 1: Flattening the Nail
First off, we need to flatten the nail including the head (or heads). To do that, we need to heat the nail until it is glowing red and then hammer it flat. So go ahead and fire up your torch (or furnace), and start hammering.
In this step you could heat and hammer the nail a little bit at a time, or do it all at the same time. I had to do it in sections because I do not have a good way to heat the whole nail. If it is not completely straight, you can use the vice and pliers to straighten it.
Step 2: Shaping the Blade
Use a bench grinder to shape the nail into a blade. Once you are happy with the shape, start sharpening it.
Step 3: Sharpening the Blade
I first used the bench grinder to give it a general edge and then switched to my disk sander with 220 grit sand paper. I then used a sharpening stone to further sharpen it.
Step 4: Polishing the Blade
To polish the blade, I first used rubbing compound to get some of the remaining sand paper scratches off.
I then polished it with metal polish.
Step 5: Making the Hilt
Now that the blade is finished, we can work on the hilt of the sword. Since we flattened both heads of the nail, it already has the general shape of the hilt. All we have to do now is refine the shape and polish it up. I used a file and some sand paper to get the desired shape, then I polished it the same way I polished the blade.
Alternative Hilt idea:
An alternative for the hilt is to make the grip smaller in diameter and wind something (for example some fine copper wire) around it to make a more pronounced grip. If you use copper wire, you could wind it around and then cover it with clear nail polish to glue it.