Making my first sword!

Discussion in 'Sword Discussion' started by David Mary, Mar 21, 2020.

  1. David Mary

    David Mary Moderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    Or maybe my second, because my first was this little 13" bladed short sword. Alright, I kid, this is more of a long knife.

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    It was a fun build and all, and since found a new home, and has left me with a thirst to make a legit swort.

    So I have profiled a blank today out of 5/32" 1084 steel, and have given it a double distal taper.

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    I have never ground double sided bevel before, and so I am a bit nervous about this build. Nevertheless, there is a first time for everything. I plan to give it a diamond cross section, put a G10 handle on and make my first ever wood and leather scabbard. It will be a while before it's done, but I wanted to put it out there.

    Thanks for looking.

    P.S. Question for makers: I think I should temper this at about 500 for about 55-56 HRC, or would 450 for 57-58 be tough enough for a blade this size? Thanks!
     
  2. Triton

    Triton Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 8, 2000
    I do not think you ever said how it was actually going to be? As a point of information, if you want to build a sword, a pommel is usually fairly important to bring the balance point back towards the hilt.
     
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  3. David Mary

    David Mary Moderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    How long? 37" overall, 26.5" blade. I will be using G10 for the handle, which is fairly heavy, and with the long handle, should balance the piece out nicely a few inches ahead of the guard. It will contain elements of a long sword and an arming sword. It's not exactly going to be historically accurate.
     
  4. Triton

    Triton Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 8, 2000
    Well I certainly look forward to seeing what you come up with. As shown it has a faintly Jian like quality.
     
  5. David Mary

    David Mary Moderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    Thank you. I actually was inspired by Chinese pieces! Except for the extra long handle. The tip is probably going to have more taper, and the blade become a little slimmer, as well as overall refinements for better symmetry. Thanks for your feedback!
     
  6. OutdoorsFamilyMan4

    OutdoorsFamilyMan4

    Jan 20, 2012
    I love swords! I’ve always wanted one. ( in sure the 12 year old in all of us feels that way lol)
     
  7. David Mary

    David Mary Moderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    Slowly but surely. It's been heat treated, I've ground a fuller (my first one! erm, two), ground the bevels, and satin finished them. Next will be the handle; I'm thinking black canvas micarta and stainless steel pins. I'm going to do a Kydex (or Boltaron) sheath because it's what I know.

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  8. Paranrs

    Paranrs

    17
    Oct 1, 2008
    Any updates yet?
     
  9. David Mary

    David Mary Moderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    Hi @Paranrs , thank you for the inquiry. Yes, I've been whittling away at this in between commissions. I have decided to go with black canvas micarta after all given the length of the handle. It's not yet finished to a presentable state yet, mind you, so pics will come later. Thanks for asking, and I hope you're well!
     
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  10. d762nato

    d762nato Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 16, 2009
    That's a sweet blade you got there Dave and I think your right going with the canvas micarta for being quite grippy and less slippy. Nice work I've been thinking about a longer blade as well...Hmm! Someday. I can't wait to see it all finished up and how will you test it.
     
    David Mary likes this.
  11. Black Cat

    Black Cat

    5
    Oct 14, 2020
    Wow! I’m also interested in getting started in swordmaking. What you have going on with this project is fantastic! Good job!
     
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  12. David Mary

    David Mary Moderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    Thanks a lot guys. It is fairly slow going, what with custom knife orders on the books, but I've got black micarta scales on there now, with aluminum pins. The scales haven't been refined to their final shape yet. They are a little blockish, but I think I will go for a more oval feel so it sits better in the hands and yet still allows intuitive edge alignment. They don't look good yet, so pardon me if I don't put a pic in here just yet. I have two urgent orders to finish before Tuesday, and if I can get ahead on them tomorrow, then I might be able to justify a bit more time with this one again.
    Thanks again for the kind words! :D
     
  13. Black Cat

    Black Cat

    5
    Oct 14, 2020
    Any update? How’s it look with the handle on? And how’s been your experience been regarding the differences in grinding and basically fabricating smaller knives in comparison to a much larger form in the sword you are making.
     
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  14. David Mary

    David Mary Moderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    Pardon the delay, but I wanted to wait until I had a meaningful an update.

    Grinding this was the same as smaller knives for me, except more tiring, given the broader motions I had to make with my arms. The double bevel wasn't too tricky once I got going, though I was dreading it every day until I actually got started. I had never done a fuller before this, so one side's fuller is a little bit wider than the other's, and the point by the hilt where they start is a little messy, but not terrible.

    I slightly miscut the micarta, so at the top of the hilt you can see it's a little asymmetrical, and in fact asymmetry runs rampant on this piece due to my initial failure to draw half my sword profile on folded paper, then unfold, and glue it to the steel before cutting. Lessons learned. I removed a lot of material on this thing chasing symmetry, and while it's not perfect, I am pretty happy with the end result.

    The handle is micarta, with aluminum pins, and is comfortable and feels secure. My initial thought that this extra long handle would balance nicely was partly right, though I probably should have gone with my initial thought of G10, as the extra weight would have taken it most of the rest of the way there. It pierces like all get out, and it is paper slicing sharp. ;)

    As it is, I would be more than happy to have this sword if faced with the zombie apocalypse or some wild wolves. I would NOT want to use it in a duel against a swordsman wielding a sword made for actual sword fighting.

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    I used to be in touch with a man from the now defunct Bodyweightculture forum where I used to be a member and moderator, and when I told him I was becoming a knife maker, he asked me to make him a sword. At the time (four or five years ago now) I did not have the confidence to approach the task, and sadly since then we lost contact, but I always had his request in my mind, and it was what motivated and inspired me to finally get this going. I have reached out to him today to give him first dibs on this one, and am awaiting his reply. If he doesn't want it, most likely I'll put it up for sale on the exchange, unless I am intercepted before then, haha.

    So, despite all my rookie sword maker blunders, not terrible for my first one? :thumbsdown::thumbsup:
     
  15. freefalltheyounger

    freefalltheyounger

    26
    Jan 10, 2018
    Can I have it?
    Perpetual first question when something cool comes to showantell.
     
  16. David Mary

    David Mary Moderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    Hahaha... Well, my acquaintance has actually turned it down, as he has sadly come upon hard times. I was gearing up to put it on the exchange soon, but if serious, shoot me an email to the email in my sig, and we can discuss it.
     
  17. David Mary

    David Mary Moderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    It's ready for action!

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    And it only took me 8 months, haha.
     
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  18. d762nato

    d762nato Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 16, 2009
    Hey you got it done that's what counts, now on with the testing. :eek::D
     
  19. David Mary

    David Mary Moderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    Sorry, no pig carcasses in this one's future.
     

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