How to Forge a Sword

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Lovers of the Renaissance enjoy collecting swords. They look for swords at renaissance fairs, and craft shows. These swords are usually pricey, and often not anything special. Although it can be tempting to purchase a sword, it will be much more enjoyable to create a design of your own. Your friends will be amazed at the handmade sword you have on your wall.

Things You'll Need

  • Fire pit
  • Wood
  • Non-hardened steel bar, 6 inches longer than desired sword length
  • Pencil
  • Band saw
  • Rough and smooth files
  • Two wood blocks, 2 inches longer than desired handle length
  • Wet/dry paper
  • Long-handled pliers
  • Tall bucket, as long as sword
  • Epoxy glue
  • Metal clamp
  • Wood-burning kit (optional)
  • Start a fire in an outdoor fire pit. The wood should fill the pit to the halfway point. Do not move onto the next step until the fire is blazing.

  • Place the bar into the fire. Bury it into the wood. The steel should be covered completely.

  • Leave the bar in the fire until the fire goes out and the embers have cooled down. This will most likely be overnight. If you can't wait, get up early in the morning, before the sun comes up.

  • Use pliers to remove the steel from the pit. It should now be soft. With a pencil draw the shape of the sword and tang (handle).

  • Cut the outline with a band saw. A hacksaw will work as well. Use a file to smooth the rough edges.

  • Shape the sword using a file. During this time you will also create the sharpness of the sword. For display purposes, many crafters leave the sword dull.

Temper

  • Light the pit. When the sword turns red remove it with pliers, and plunge it into a bucket of warm water.

  • Keep the blade in the water until it is completely cooled. Once it has cooled remove it and clean it with wet/dry paper.

  • Relight the fire pit. Heat the blade until it turns a dull red. Remove it with pliers and plunge it point down into the water. Move it up and down in the water. Clean it with wet and dry paper.

  • Light the pit once again. Insert the blade, leaving only the point sticking out. Watch as the blade changes color. When you see the first sign of blue, remove the blade with a pair of pliers. Allow the blade to cool down.

Tips & Warnings

  • Purchase extra steel in case you make a mistake.
  • Do not let the blade heat past blue section 2, step 4.

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  • Photo Credit Fyrius/Wikimedia Commons
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