A. an e-mail to "qborg:"
>i was thinking about trying to make swords and i was wondering if you could
>help me get started
Unfortunately, there's not a lot to tell.
1. Look at all the pictures (or real swords!) that you can find. Study
carefully - they only show one side! For rapiers, they're not symmetrical
and it's hard to just guess what's on that back side, especially when you're
trying to make pieces of steel look like that original hilt!
2. Learn to weld, if you don't already know.
3. Bend and weld, copying your favorite simple hilt.
4. Try again.
One big difference between my attempts and most people's idea of swordmaking
is that I gave up trying to forge blades. Too much work! Or I'm not tough
enough. Especially in the right arm.
A band saw will cut out a nice blade from spring steel bar stock, and a belt
grinder will finish the shape. And it won't bother the neighbors. It does
cost more for the equipment than using a home-made forge, though.
You'll need a number of files as your primary hand tools. Those welds take
a lot of dressing to make them invisible!
What kind of sword do you want to start with, and what do you have to make
A good source of steel is Admiral Steel. The have a web site, are located
in Chicago, and don't have a minimum order. If you check there, start with
a bar of 5160 spring steel. They have some that's just under 3/16" thick
and comes in various widths. I bought a 2" wide piece. You have to buy the
whole 22 foot bar, but they'll cut it up so that it can be shipped by UPS.
It'll cost roughly $50 for the bar.
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