You will need:
- A couple of old toothbrushes (buy some new ones if you don't have any spare)
- Some thick baking foil
- A wire coat hanger
- A very short piece of garden hose pipe or something similar
- About 3 metres (3 yards) of electrical home lighting ring main cable (optional)
- A cupboard door knob
- A hot melt glue gun (with at least 3 long sticks of hot melt glue)
- Some strong cardboard
- You will benefit from being able to use an oven (on a very low heat)
Step 1: Bend a Coat Hanger Into Shape
You are going to be casting your sword in hot melt glue with a foil skin. But so that it will be springy like a real blade, it needs a stiff core. I used a bent wire coat hanger for my core, and that seemed to work fine. If you have other similar wire then you could use that instead, but make sure that there are no sharp ends near the tip of the blade, because they might poke through the plastic outer skin and hurt someone by accident.
Pull down the bottom bar of the coat hanger and push the sides in. Straighten out the hanger as much as possible, taking care to make sure that it is not twisted or bent. This is not as easy as it sounds, because the coat hanger wire is quite springy. We need this property for later to make the blade have a spring to it, but at this stage it makes it hard to work with.
Bend the coat hanger hook round so that it is a narrow loop but centred and in a straight line with the rest of the hanger. This will\mean bending it back slightly so that the centre of the loop is centred on the axis of the straightened out hanger.
Step 2: Make a Cardboard Mould for the Blade
Lay the straightened coat hanger on a piece of thick strong card (actually I used foamcore board) and draw a long thin blade round it. Bear in mind that you will be filling this with hot melt glue, so don't make it a wide broadsword. Mark up the piece of card with a marker and ruler and then cut out two identical pieces of sword shaped card.
Now put the wire coat hanger in the oven to warm up. Use one of the lowest settings your oven has. gas mark 1/2, or 120C or 250F. What you are doing is warming the wire up so that it stops the hot melt from setting when you glue gun it into the mould.
Now cut 2 thin strips of the same card and stick them to the edges of one of the sword shaped pieces of card to create little low walls. The depth of the mould should be between 5mm to 10mm (1/4 to 1/2 inch).
Leave the wide end open and leave a gap at the tip.
Step 3: Line the Mould With Baking Foil
make sure that it is nice and flat and that is carefully pushed into all the corners (but without tearing it).
This picture shows the mould lined and some glue gun glue already in it... in my excitement to get things done I forgot to take a picture of the lined empty mould, but I'm sure you get the picture.
Tuck the foil up at the ends so that when you come to fill it with glue gun glue, it won't run out all over the place!
Step 4: Cover the Bottom of the Mould With Glue Gun Glue
Be very careful when doing this step... Firstly, glue gun glue is hot and there is going to be lots of it, secondly, you don't want the glue getting on the sides of the mould or up the sides of the aluminum foil.
Carefully (using oven gloves or a tea towel) get the wire coat hanger from the oven (turn off the oven) and lay the wire coat hanger in your mould. Make sure you glue gun is nice and hot and then work quickly and steadily to cover the bottom of the mould with the glue. You don't need it to be too deep, because the blade only needs to be 3-4mm thick.
Leave the loop at the top of the blade without any glue on it.
Step 5: Fold Over the Foil and Close the Mould
Once the wire coat hanger is more or less covered in glue, and BEFORE it sets, fold over one flap of the foil and put the put the blade shaped piece of card you cut at the beginning on top of it and press it down into the mould. Press evenly along the length of the mould if possible. Pack the top of the mould so that it stands proud of the mould side walls and then rest something heavy on it while it cools down.
Now I have used foil to line the mould, because I made my mould out of cardboard to be quick. but if you have the time and inclination, then you could always make your mould out of wood or Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF). You could fill all the cracks with auto body two part resin, and grease the mould up with vegetable oil or mould release agent and then inject straight into the mould. This will give you a better finish and you can always paint the silver on the blade later.
When the blade is set, between 10 minutes and 30 minutes, carefully lift it out of the mould and trim off the wast foil and any glue gun glue that has squeezed out.
Step 6: Cover the Balde If You Want (optional)
I wanted a better finish than the one that came out of the mould. I said at the beginning that making this instructable had similarities with real sword making. In real sword making if the blade was cast to start with it would then undergo hours of post cast working to make it perfectly straight and shiny. So you can do a bit of work here it you want. I got the foil from some disposable serving dishes I kept for a kids party and covered one side in double sided tape and then after cutting them into strips, wrapped the blade to make it look neat. the foil was even slightly embossed, giving the blade a really tooled look.
Step 7: Now Make the Handle
The handle is easy, get a short piece of garden hose pipe (yes no one will miss a bit 4 inches long!), glue gun glue inside it and push the looped end of the coat hanger into it. Wait for it to set and holding it blade tip pointing up, fill up the remainder of the pipe end with glue. When that has set, turn it up the other way. Now get that cupboard door knob, screw in the fixing screw and glue that into the other end of the hose pipe.
now the little bit of hose pipe should be filled with hot melt and have the blade stuck firmly in one end and the cupboard door know in the other.
Step 8: Bind the Handle
Bare off about 3 meters (3 yards) some electrical cable. The way to do this is to make a longitudinal slit through the wire near its end, pull the bare earth wire free and holding it with a pair of pliers pull it along the length of the cable to split the cable.
use one of the wires inside to wrap round the sword handle to make it sturdy. glue one end and start winding, remembering to keep it tight. Glue a dab of hot melt every so often, to make sure that it stays in place.
When you've wound it all along the handle glue it off, then making sure to mask the pommel and the blade at either end, spray the wire handle black.
When the black paint dries, burnish gold or silver on to the top edges to give some distressing, a bit of age and some lovely extra detail.
Step 9: Make the Cross Guard
Now the blade is nice and strongly attached to the handle and all it really needs to finish it off is the cross guard.
You are going to be making it in two halves and sticking them round the blade.
Take two identical tooth brushes (although non-identical ones are ok as well), chop off their heads (got to say that at least once in an instructable on swordmaking...) and cut their other ends at an angle so that they will mate together in the middle nicely. Remember that they are left and right elements and so if you cut a slanting face it will have to be back to front on one of the tooth brushes.
Hold the two pieces together and offer them up to the sword blade and mark on them how far the blade comes across them.
Mark the thickness of the blade on the top of one toothbrush handle and on the bottom of the other.
Drill a large hole (its diameter should be the thickness of the blade) at the end of the piece to be removed and then saw down to the line to meet the hole and remove the central piece of plastic.
Step 10: Finish and Attach Cross Guard
Spray or paint the cross guard as you wish. I chose silver and gold to give a really regal effect, leave to dry and then glue across the blade, right up against the bottom of the handle.
I used the remains of the toothbrush to burnish the sword handle a bit and then I cut off all the bristles and used the brush head to cover the join between the to parts of the crossguard. later I coloured this bit in gold using a big tip gold marker.
Step 11: Show Off and Enjoy
Don't scare anyone, don't use it as a weapon, don't carry it in a public place if it is illegal to do so in your country... but other than that have fun and pretend to fight off hordes of Tellamarine soldiers in your bid to return the rightful heir to the throne and unite Narnia's diverse population.
Of course you can also have a look at my other instructables for more wizardry and magic related projects or visit dadcando for more including a printouts and templates.
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