Oct 26, 2011

Bring me my broadsword.

I've always had a liking for cold steel weapons, and with some cheap source it's easy to make one of wood (or more, eh?). Only a few steps.

You're going to need:
  • soft wooden slats (pine does well for me, if you want to put your sword to more use make sure to choose a harder type, but it takes more work to shape the actual weapon)
  • saw - any type to cut the slats' length to measure
  • rasp and sandpaper - to shape the sword
  • cardboard - for the hilt (or whatever it's called :D) - it is as well possible to make it of wood if you've got proper equipment, but it spares a lot of time if it's made of cardboard actually;
  • scissors - to cut the cardboard paper
  • stapler and duct tape - to fix the hilt (stapler can penetrate pine, but any other tool would make)
  • (wooden) varnish and metal paint - these are optional to make the look good and the blade's lifetime longer

In this step by step presentation I'm going to show how to make a broadsword. - The basical ideas are the same if you like sabres or any curved blades more. (Obviously, my liking to broadswords comes from reading a lot of Sharpe books :) )

1. Cut your material for the future sword to the length most fit for you (or for whom you are making it :b)
Mark the end of the grip - remember to leave some space (about 1 inches) at both ends to your desired lenght because both will be worked on.

2. Shape the point and the end of the grip with the rasp. It is advised to do some filing to the grip itself to make it fit to the palm (elsewise it can be unwieldy or cause blisters)

3. Work out the edge by pulling your rasp over an acute angle at the shaped area. It doesn't need to be (and actually shouldn't be) very sharp, as the more sharp it is, the higher is the chance it will be damaged or broken. Try to keep the angle the same at every point so the surface would be even. You can do the blood drains with an old ball-point pen and a ruler (though it's not really much necessary with this type of sword).

We've gotten through the woodwork (unless you still have the will to do the hilt of wood as well). Now take the cardboard to finish the hilt.

4. Cut a fitting length of cardboard - about twice the length of the grip. Width is about to be 2-2,5 inches. Cut it to some shape - optional.

5. Do cut in a bit off to some side of the paper away from the middle - make sure the cut would be longer than the width of the top and bottom of the grip as it angles the blade.

6. Cut perpendicularly to the previous one to the width of the blade. This way you've got 'flaps' with whom you can fix the hilt to the blade.

7. Fix the flaps with nails/ the stapler - bend the hilt to its desired shape

8. Add more layers of cardboard to the inside of the hilt for extra strenght, combined with duct tape.

If you're going with a wooden hilt, you may use a rectangular-shaped block of wood - with more skills and tools of carpentry a compound hilt from more pieces.

9. Paint and varnish the blade to look cool. Varnish also protects it from damages until you handle it with care. The ones made from pine aren't that long-life as one could desire I can say.

Also, when you make a two-handed sword, be aware as the pressure point where the blade and the grip meet is extremely damageable - and this is the part where you actually use your weapon to block or parry enemy strikes - I used to have a two-edged claymore and this is my saddest experience. The reason is that the opposite direction forces of the wielder and his/her opponent meet at this point - so try to strenghten it someways. The hilt on my claymore was on the two sides of the blade like on the image below.

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