Making a Wood Sword: The Blade

This post is part of a three posts on how to make a sturdy, good looking wooden sword.

  1. Putting it all together and Lessons learned
  2. Making a Blade (This post)
  3. Making the Guard

I am making two blades with the same piece of wood, because I have two boys.  First, the dimensions.

Length per Sword, Handle and Blade: 20 1/2 Inches

Wooden blan, 1 1/2 by 1/2 inch

Wooden blank, 1 1/2 by 1/2 inch Figure 1

Grip: My boys will be 5 and 3 1/2.  Given the size of their hands, I decided on a 3 1/2 inch grip.  I don’ t want them to be able to take big two handed swings.  I added another 1 inch to fasten the hand guard.

Blade: I measured from their waist to a couple of inches above the ground.  For my boys it was 16″.

I used a table saw and a planer to get a piece of wood I had to the right size, total length, 41 inches.

Time For Shaping

Guide Marks, Figure 3

Guide Marks, Figure 2

Then I went to work on shaping.  There are a few different methods that can be used.  You can use a hand plane, a file, or a sander.  I found a belt sander worked splendidly.

Using the Belt Sander

Using the Belt Sander Figure 3

In order to guide my sanding, I made a mark down the middle of the board, and also I made marks that showed where the blade would actually be.  You can see these marks in figure 2.  I left both swords in the single piece of wood to make clamping easier. I clamped one end and worked on the other.

You can also see that the wood is very rough in figure 2.  I used some 220 grit sand paper on a random orbital sander to clean it up.

The Blades were now effectively done.  I just had to do some cleanup, and this is what I ended up with.

The swords, before disection.

The swords, before disection.

The Finishing Touches

I took the swords out to the miter saw and cut the piece in half. The blade was complete, but the hilt did not leave enough to be grabbed in this form, given that it was only half an inch thick. I planed down a 1 1/2 inch wide piece of oak until it was 1/4 inch thick (or you could buy it like that). This short board was cut into pieces the length of the grip, in my case, 3 1/2 inches. This gave me an extra quarter inch on each side, for a total of 1 inch thick. I glued these pieces on, making sure the tops were flush, and left them overnight in the clamp as shown in the picture below. It looks kind of dopey now, but when it is rounded and cleaned up it looks nice.

1/4 Inch Pieces Glued On

1/4 Inch Pieces Glued On

Next, we will work on the hand guard.


2 Responses to “Making a Wood Sword: The Blade”

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