How to Make a Wooden Combat Sword


While most people won't have the know how or tools to forge a real combat sword, just about anyone with a set of tools can make an attractive and functional wood sword. Whether you want a sleek Japanese katana or a devastating English broadsword the basic steps for cutting and carving a wood sword are the same.

Things You'll Need

  • Jigsaw
  • Pencil
  • File
  • Sand paper
  • Find a piece of wood at a hardware store that you want for your sword. Choose a plank that is longer and wider than you want the finished product to be. Pick a standard eight foot plank if you want a sword longer than four feet or if you want two swords of under four feet long. Check the board for any cracks, fragments or knotholes that will reduce the wood's structurally integrity. Choose a type of wood based on how you will be using the sword. Pick a stronger wood, such as oak or maple, for a sword that will be used in mock combat or any other type of cheap wood for a sword that will only be on display.

  • Use a pencil and a straight edge to mark an outline on the board where you will be making your initial cuts for the overall form of the sword. Keep the sword under four feet long if you intend to use it for mock combat extensively as anything longer than that will become too heavy to wield properly. Use a pencil to also mark the overall shape of the cross guard just above the handle if you will be carving it directly with the sword instead of making a second piece and attaching it later.

  • Set the board on a solid and stable work surface and hold it in place, either using simply your hand or something stronger such as a vice or rope. Use a jigsaw to cut out the penciled outline.

  • Use a metal file to file down the wood along the edges of the blade to give it the appearance of the type of sword you are going for. File down only one edge for a katana appearance or both edges for a more medieval European appearance.

  • File the edges of the handle and cross guard into the style that you want. Add in stylistic touches with a file or carving knife such as curved balls on the handle or arced edges on the cross guard if you want a more stylish and presentable weapon as opposed to a utilitarian sword meant for striking objects.

  • Use a piece of sandpaper and carefully sand the entire surface of the sword. Add in any additional details you want such as etching in designs or inscriptions along the blade.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your wooden sword will be for show instead of for use you can use an acrylic or oil based paint on the handle and cross guard to add in colorful designs.
  • For a more realistic look you can carve out a separate piece for the cross guard and then either glue or nail it to the blade itself.
  • Always cut away from yourself when using a jigsaw and remember to wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from any splinters of wood that may fly off.

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  • Photo Credit Medieval Fantasies Co.
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