Doug's Swordmaking ON-Line Info Sources

First, you could read my


Mostly e-mail comments I've made to other or potential swordmakers.

 Also check out these

ON-Line Information Sources

 << Medieval swords, history of various types
<< Comments on the care of steel swords
<< Making sword scabbards. Different types
Here's an example of an alt.armourers posting:
Author: david_gallowglass author profile
Email:david_gallowglass@my-dejanews.comDate:1998/08/23Forums:alt.armourers view for 
In article <6rnvhi$rvt$>, wrote:
> Actually, Iain, I can talk about mail as well, but I'm trying to learn about
> plate armour myself..... how *DO* you cold dish knees and elbows? I have a
> quite damned limited supply of tools, (that, and my 7 year old seems to have
> been playing with my tools and lost my favorite 7 pound round-face sledge)
> <pout>	I use disgarded Aluminum street signs as my working
material...(about > 12 to 14 gauge) 

------------------------------ You're driving down the
> road and instead of street signs you see Armour Trees....
> ------------------------------
Cold-dishing, Huh? First you need something to use as a dishing stump. This
is usually a wooden stump, about 16" high with a diameter of 10 to 18". A
curved depression is carved in one face (semi-hemispherical), about 6" across
and about 3" deep for knees and elbows. A sheet of metal is cut to the
approiximate flat shape of the desired piece. Hold the metal over the
depression, and beat it with a round-faced mallet until in the desired shape.
Lots of little tricks involved. A broad faced hammer is slower, but gives a
better finnish. ( I use a wooden mallet, 2 1/2" across, hemispherical face,
about 7 ounces on a 16" handle to work 16 gauge stainless.) Start in the
center of the peice and spiral in and out. Don't rush. If you start to get a
wrinkle, work on that area to remove it before continuing.
-----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==-----

 There's a really good but huge FAQ-type file (about 3 or 4 megabytes) from another armour discussion group at the Arador Armour Library. You can find the (new) Arador Armour Library at It has a terrific amount of information! Also if you would like to know how to make, or already make, armour and would and would like to learn or talk about it stop on by the discussion
forum at

I copied a collection of discussion-group postings about bladesmithing from the SCA system called RIALTO.

Excellent websites to visit:

Added 1/2/1999 Grinding the (Japanese style) blade: read the article by Bob Engnath on the problem of creating taper in a long blade with ridge line. Go to and read it. He has an article on "sword proportions: at as well. There are about a dozen knife and sword making pages all together at this site, .

Added 1/2/1999 There's a new online magazine for sword people! And sword makers, not just "players!" Be sure to check out

  Added April 12, 1999 Some more links from my favorites folder:

Sword Class - D. Fogg Knives: (see below!)

Added June 13, 1999 The Japanese Sword Index. A very large site devoted strictly to Japanese Swords. Even some info I still have to investigate about identifying and translating Japanese sword signatures. Also see

A page like mine, from Germany, called How to cast a Schläger Swept Hilt Rapier is at It's really about bending and welding one, just like my Rapier Hilt Page, not about actually casting with molten metal.

Added June 14, 1999:

Sword Forum Online Magazine articles:

Basic Japanese Sword Forging

Differential Heat Treating on Broadswords

The Making of Medieval Swords

Sword Shop: Basic Forging of a Katana Blade Form - An illustrative guide to forging a Japanese-style blade. by Randal Graham

Is Stainless Steel Suitable for Swords?

And there's more!

  North Texas Blacksmith Association web site has projects and plans at, with information on types of scrap steel at and even plans for gas forges at Be sure to check out their plans for the simple home-made bending jig at

 Warner Custom Knives - Beginner's Instructions [very helpful! Includes lists of needed tools, help on learning forging] and be sure to check out the rest of the site too.

 Added March 30, 2002

A blacksmithing website with lots of info, including a new page about armor and swords.

Here's a quote from the page:

Anvilfire Armoury

We get a lot of questions about armor at anvilfire. Probably more questions about swords than any other. We have now posted our first sword article and promise more in the near future.

NEW! Swords of Iron, Swords of Steel (Part 1)
By Bruce "Atli" Blackistone
Raising a Norman Helmet
By Eric Thing: Step by step raising of a one piece steel "pot" helm. Includes everything from the raising process and necessary tools to polishing and fiting a liner.
Eric Thing Armorer Part I: The Tools
By Bruce "Atli" Blackistone: Article about Eric Thing and his unique Arizona Armory.
Eric Thing Armorer Part II: The Method
By Bruce "Atli" Blackistone: Eric Thing demonstrating raising a helm. This article is the precursor to the detailed step by step article above by Eric.
Atli and Tadgh Make a Helm
By Bruce "Atli" Blackistone: Atli and Tadgh Make a Helm in the style of a mid to late 8th Century Coppergate helm. This is a relatively low tech pieced helmet of a style suitable for the amature to make.
Atli and Tadgh - Addendum, Source and Tools
Historical helmets, Atli's shop and tools
Photographs of Armour and Anvils
Photos by boudeeka of the tools and work of Cleland Nelson Weller III
16th century armoury Old Engraving from site above.


Added November 11, 2002

Making a sword scabbard pt.2


Discussion Groups On Line

A sword discussion bulletin board called Medieval Sword Reader's Forum is and it would be worthwhile to check there for more information. Several people on it say that they make swords.

Added June 14, 1999:

Another sword discussion bulletin board, called The Internet Sword and Medieval Weapons Discussion Group has some NetSword Discussion Forums. It has a section on 'Simplifed Weapons Making.' There is also a long series on modifying an inexpensive Katana blade and making a new hilt and scabbard for it. There is and the discussion forums selection at The 'Technical Discussions' section includes such topics as Weaponsmaking Simplified and Weapons Performance. NetSword has swordsmen, sword smiths, armourers, weapons makers, collectors, re-enactors, historians and enthusiasts all posting to our little group, so come and join in. You are always welcome!

 Added June 16, 1999:

 Don't even THINK about skipping over Sword Forum Online Magazine's Café . It's for bladesmiths! If you don't read this, there's no hope for you as a swordmaker! (There's a separate group for general sword discussions.) I saw threads on making your own anvil (which is simple and does NOT need a horn!), detailed discussions on the different types of steels and their suitability and heat treating, and other very useful topics.

 Added June 25, 1999:

Blade steels, steel analysis and heat treating methods


Added November 1, 1999:

Videos! I just ran across an announcement for a series of several videos dedicated to sword forging in great detail. The put lots of photos AND a couple of video clips on their page, though, so it takes a very long time to load! Here's their description:

Video sales of Making Charcoal, Folding and forge welding the steel, Forging a Tanto to shape, Clay coating the blade, final hardening, are available at $35 each that details the process and tools from beginning to end. Currently five VHS tapes are available, each about an hour long. Other Subjects to follow. Email for mailing address

Read his description in a newsgroup posting at or go to to see for yourself.

For hilt pictures for patterns, check these sites:

Black Rose Creations Be sure to see the 41 styles on the 'hilts' page and the descriptions and dating on the 'documentation' page.

Alchem Incorporated has some nice 'Re-enactor Fencing Rapiers and Bucklers' including two cup-hilt rapiers, two side-ring daggers and a Main Gauche dagger.

Swords From Toledo has some beatuiful color pictures. They also have prices shown in US dollars, although their address is in Spain.

Swords and rapiers in pictures at <A HREF="">Darkwood Armory - Directory</A>

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