I want to make my own sword, has anyone done this?

Discussion in 'Weapons' started by Stolenbjorn, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. Stolenbjorn

    Stolenbjorn Valued Member

    -Just asking :whistle:

    What kind of forge?
    What temperatures?
    What tempering-procedure?
    What kind of coal?

    And to keep in with the safety-loving inquisitive part of this community, I can inform you that:
    *I live in norway where swords are OK, as long as they are not sharp
    *I have trained HEMA (Fiore/Liechtenauer) for 10 years. I can list my first teacher, if you demand it ;)
    *I have no intention to kill anybody
    *I have a safety-mask
    *I know i can buy swords, but I'd like to try to make my own some day
    *I know I can get this info elsewhere, but It would be interresting to know if any sword-makers frequent MAP

    I wonder if I will get 7 pages as well :jester:
  2. Atre

    Atre Valued Member

    Good thing you've posted on this kind of topic before otherwise you'd get shot down as a troll :p.

    I know that the phase transition that's of use to you makes a colour change to the iron alloy (the glowy thing glows a different colour at the exactly correct temp)... But otherwise I have no idea.

    If you really want to push the boat out, learn how to make yourself a single-crystal sword :p http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superalloy
  3. Taizu

    Taizu Valued Member

    Yes, and it wasn't forged per se. More like a metal pipe cut and hammered into a sword-like shape.

    I had a big imagination when I was young :p

    On a more serious note I would be curious if this thread actually goes somewhere. I don't have the opportunity right now, but I am interested in metalworking. So Stolenbjorn, you have a (to be) silent supporter. :)
  4. Princess Haru

    Princess Haru Valued Member

    I made a broadsword once, though cheated by using 50mm x 7mm spring steel. It was a good sword but only lasted 18 months or so, broke at the tang. Just wasn't hard enough, or so I thought, but reading this maybe it was too hard and so brittle in the end. I think it was a full tang
  5. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Swordforum has an active Bladesmith forum.

    I've made a couple of knives in the past and tools.

    Probably couldn't do it now though :D

    Edit: You might find some Smiths will look at a n00b asking those questions a bit :eek: :bang:

    Might be best just to do some serious background reading first, if you haven't already?
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  6. Stolenbjorn

    Stolenbjorn Valued Member

    I've allso banged out the odd arrowhead and knifes, but that stuff is too soft when you want to make a proper blade. Particularily untempered spear-tips are too soft, and bends on all throws.

    I know some friends who work in metal-industry, and have access to steel and the tools to cut out some deacent stuff that can be used, but it isn't the same as standing in the forge, getting sore muscles banging on hard metal :)

    I've mostly wandered the threads on "weapons" and "WMA", and I must have been pretty ignorant not having noticed the forge-subforumm here. I allso know about other smith-forums. I have allso noticed how smiths come out as perhaps a little grumpy (probably fed up with answering the same questions + a thousand stupid ones to people who only talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk...)

    The super-alloy-link was interresting, but I'm unsure how a swordblade from superalloy would come out, I imagine jet-engines endures high temperature-stress, but perhaps not so much kinetik impact-stress? It allso seems a little long way to go from my home-made forge with a vacum-cleaner-engine for draft :D

    I must admit that the title on this thread is a little reaction to the response the nunchaku-sister-thread have had, but people are probably too polite with me to give me the same treatment, perhaps if I asked if anybody had made katanaS... :p

    Puns aside, I honestly am curious if anybody in my corner of MAP have any experience with making metal-thingies; and I actually would like to try to make a sword some day :)

    Probably smart to try to temper the spear-tips I have the skillz and equipment to make, and then increase length as my skills improve. -So have any done any tempering?
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  7. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    I got taught the basics a long time ago but really have forgotten most of it.

    I started training as a farrier so blacksmithing was part of it but unfortunately at the time getting a full apprenticeship was very hard.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  8. Atre

    Atre Valued Member

    You're right that it's a bit beyond a standard forge :p... Can discuss my fairly superficial knowledge of the subject if you're interested - How good are you on materials science and solid-state physics?

    A single crystal would endure kinetic impact very well IMO, no grain boundaries/fracture planes so to first approximation it only gets damaged if you can shear all the atomic bonds across the material in one go.

    Basically a single crystal is impossible to make unless you can sneak into Rolls Royce for a few months, and whilst a single crystal is like a magic material from a sci-fi novel, if you end up with 3 crystals instead of one then the sword will break at the slightest tap due to the very large planar grain boundaries.
  9. mr nate

    mr nate Valued Member

    I went on a sword making course with Owen Bush a couple of years ago. It was great fun. Perhaps contact him as he really knows his stuff and might be able to help.


    Otherwise this is a great forum full of bladesmiths of all types

  10. ScottUK

    ScottUK More human than human...

    Heh, you meet all my requirements, with the exception of the "don't try this at home, kiddies" caveat!

    Am actually interested in a) what you plan to make, and b) how it comes out.
  11. Stolenbjorn

    Stolenbjorn Valued Member

    I think I should try to work with tempering first, trying to temper things that needs tempering. At this stage in my days as a smith, it would mean iron-age-spear-points like theese:

    If things work out fine, it would be great to make an iron-age-broadsword, not nessecarily to fight with it every day until it breaks, but of sufficiant quality to at least say it's safe to fight with. Norwegian "viking"-swords are quite well documented, as they are abundant in pre-christian-graves, and are mentioned in written sources. They seem to have been of various quality, some of quality allmost equalling the Frankish swords, others pretty cheap(as in bendy-bendy, not damasc)

    I am working on a migration-age re-enactment-character based on finds not far away from where I live. And Im working on copying this sword with gold and silver grip and pommel, and it would be very cool to be able to actually smith out the blade as well as casting the grip, pommel and crossguard:

  12. StevieB8363

    StevieB8363 Valued Member

    Sadly I can't offer any advice on construction/forging, but I'd love to see you go ahead with this. It would be tremendously satisfying to swing a sword that you forged yourself, hammering it out on an anvil.

    Bonus points for cool factor and general manliness.
  13. Stolenbjorn

    Stolenbjorn Valued Member

  14. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Active Member

    I love these old threads, wish I was on this site back when these discussions were happening.

    I’ve never made a blade, I don’t have the training in steel work, nor the room to set up the equipment for that kind of work.

    However, I’ve been making hilts and scabbards fitted to blades for a bunch of years. I’ve been inactive for a number of years, but Covid- 19 has given me the time to get reconnected to it.

    In the past I have made the guards and pommels and scabbard fittings with bronze casting, and just recently I’ve begun experimenting with shaping guards and pommels from steel bar stock that is available at places like Lowe’s and online steel suppliers.

    Grips and scabbard are usually done in maple.

    Gonna try to post a few examples, one is unfinished and I just cast the scabbard fittings yesterday but haven’t yet polished them and put them on the scabbard.

    Attached Files:

    Nachi likes this.
  15. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Active Member

    Here is the one I’m working on, not finished yet but the guard and pommel are steel. Wood is maple and will be finished with linseed oil. Scabbard fillings are not ready yet, but we’re cast in bronze yesterday.

    Attached Files:

  16. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    I have used blade sharpening file to make throwing knife, short sword. Since it's already in the sword shape, very little work will be needed. The steel is too fragile. It requires to be heated up and then soaked into oil to make it softer.

    The interested work is to build a handle. If you collect whole bunch of plastic bags, put those plastic bags in a can and heat it up on fire, you will get black color glue shape of plastic. Wrap those hot wet plastic at the end of your sword, when it's dry, you can use knife to make it any handle shape that you may want to.

    Of course, you will also need a hand grinder.

  17. Anth

    Anth Daft. Supporter

    Since Stolenbjorn was here (there's a name from the past!) there's a lot more information readily available on making blades. Forged in Fire being on tv getting people interested in it and the judges (Dave Baker, J. Neilson, Jason Knight and Ben Abbott) sharing videos of their work on Facebook and Youtube is just the start of it.
  18. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    Man at Arms is great on youtube.

    Alex Steel is quirky and experimental.

    Bladesmithing is one thing I always wanted to learn but really wouldve been a hobby and classes were 100s miles away and bit out of my price range.
    (And i just wanna hit stuff with a hammer)
    Flying Crane and Anth like this.
  19. Anth

    Anth Daft. Supporter

    They had a series on History with Danny Trejo presenting. Ilya from that forge is a former Forged in Fire champion.

    I'd love to learn bladesmithing too but like you it would be as a hobby and I doubt the neighbours would like the sound of a hammer all day.
    Mushroom and Flying Crane like this.

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