This is an attempt to create an all steel replica of the sword called Dragon Slayer from the comic book series berserk. In the story it is wielded by a man named Gutts and it scales to 78" long. My goal was to try and make it as accurate as possible while scaling it down as much as possible making it only about 10 inches from top to bottom. The topic I chose was popular media and the challenge was make it portable. The overall function is to be a decoration for someones desk, but depending on how successful one is when sharpening it it can also be a good pocket knife.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
The tools and materials needed aren't hard to find at all, and they are not to big to move around if you need to move them at some point.
- Angle Grinder (polish pads and cutting discs)
- A forge or a blow torch
- A hammer
- A grinding wheel or a belt sander
- Two part epoxy or high temp hot glue gun
- Power drill
- A block of wood
- A steel file
- A sheet of wool fabric
- A steel button or screw
- A sheet of metal
Step 2: Getting Started
The first step is adding some wear and tear to the overall look of the file, so to begin you will take your blow torch or forge and heat up the file till it is nice and red hot. If you are using the blow torch make sure it is clamped down vertically so then it is easier to work your way down. If you have a forge, heat it till its read hot, take it out, and hit it a few times on each side. you should see some scales flying off. That is great but do not brush it off we want the scales to add the look of aging to the piece. As for if you are using the torch you can get a similar effect but it has more to do with the coloring of the steel, while the forge allows you to change both the color and texture of the piece. now once you have completed that it is time to move on to step two, cutting.
Step 3: Cutting to Shape and Shaping the Grip.
This step we will be taking the measurements of how much blade you want and how long the grip/ tang needs to be for you. Grab the file once it has cooled and see if the grip is long enough for you to comfortably grab it, but there is about an inch of clearance at the bottom. that is where we will be welding on the one of the metal buttons. If you need more clearance mark how much space you need on the file and clamp it down in a vice or clamps. Now it is time to use the angle grinder. Put on the cutting blade and cut off the amount you need to make it comfortable for you to grip the piece. Then to clean up the grip a bit move over to the grinding wheel and touch it up or you can us the polishing pad to do the same thing. Once that is complete you are now going to work on the blade's shape. find the middle of the file and mark it down, from the top go down one inch, then vertically mark that point across, and finally from the edges of the vertical lines to the middle line you marked before connect them and you should have a triangle drawn out at the top ready to be cut. This here will be the point of the piece.
Step 4: Cleaning Up the Edges
Once you have it all cut to shape lets start putting on the blade or faulty edges depending on what you are wanting. If you want a real blade head back to the grinding stone and woke on the edges evenly, and consistantly to develop a fine blade. If you are working on a desk piece you can mount it to the vice or clamp it down some way and clean up edges of the blade only. By doing this it will be getting rid of the scales and worn out coloring that we developed in the first step. This step to a point in very make or break because if you have a miss step with either of the tools you will have to go back to set one to re-age the steel. Now once you have cleaned up the edges time to apply the guard for the blade.
Step 5: Making the Guard
The guard is very important for this piece if you decided to go for a real knife. the guard will protect your hand from slipping up and cutting yourself. For this step you will be taking the sheet metal and drawing an oval some where and marking a hole in the middle. that is where you will be putting the tang in there. once it is drawn out you will clamp it down, cut out and use the drill to drill a hole wide enough for the tang to slip in. If you have a forge you should be able to forge weld the guard to the blade. But first hammer the guard on to the blade. now you will stick it in the forge and watch for both the guard and the blade to get red hot. When that happens you will take it out quickly hammer it down onto the blade wrapping around the blade. in a since it should look like pac man has started to eat it. As for if you don't have a forge you should be able to heat up the metal enough to bend it around the blade and then you can weld it on the tang side and clean it up. The button that will be welded onto the guard can be placed on either side, you may want to clamp it down if possible. It did slip around for me a few times until I was able to make a decent tack between the guard and the button. Now that that is done you should be on the final step of making the guard.
Step 6: Finishing Touches and the Guard
You made it to the final step, here we will be making the handle, wrapping it, and adding the button at the bottom of the guard. To start off lets take the block of wood and and cut it size. We want it to be able to slip over the tang, but we don't want it to take up all of it we want a little of the take to come through for the button. Once that is all marked up, clamp it down and cut it with the angle grinder and cutting blade. Now mark the center of where the tang should go and start drilling into it as straight as possible on both sides until you are able to safely put the tang in all the way. Another way is cut it completely in have vertically and carve out space for the tang. once that is done we will be welding on the button to the bottom of the tang. First double check and see that the wooden handle fits well and has room to be slipped on if you cut it in half. now weld the button on to the bottom of the tang. Now we will slip on our handles, we will put epoxy or hot glue where the tangs will be place if you are sliding it in you will hammer it down as much as it can go. If you cut it in half you will clamp it shout until it is dry. If you decided to slide the wooden handle on you will have to weld the button on now. This can burn the wood, but a little bit of burnt wood can actually look cool if you look at one of the pictures. The finishing touch now is wrapping the wooden handle in the wool fabric. cut it into strips and tie them tightly around the handle so you hand won't slip. And there you go you have finished your replica/ practicle Dragon Slayer knife.