How to make a roman sword out of wood

Written by chrysostom graves
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The typical sword of the Roman infantryman was called a gladius. According to Nigel Rodgers, it was worn on the right side. This made it easier to draw because of the soldiers' large shields on their left. It was less than 3 feet in length and had a double-edged blade that was effective in both slashing and thrusting. With a little effort you can make a wooden replica great for display or to impress at a costume party.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • One sheet of ¼-inch plywood
  • Pen or pencil
  • Jig or circular saw
  • Curtain rod
  • Two 3.5-inch, wooden finials (ball-shaped)
  • Wood glue
  • Rotary tool with sanding band
  • Paint (silver and bronze)
  • Tennis grip tape

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  1. 1

    Draw a rectangle on a quarter-inch plywood sheet that is 2 inches wide by 21 inches long.

  2. 2

    Make a mark on both length-sides at 15 inches. Make another mark on the top (width) line in the middle. Draw a straight line between each side mark and the mark at the top---this gives you the triangular edge of the Roman gladius.

  3. 3

    Use a jig or circular saw to cut out the blade.

  1. 1

    Use wood glue to attach one finial to the end of the curtain rod. This is the pommel.

  2. 2

    Cut the protruding rod at 7 inches length. This is the hilt.

  3. 3

    Cut the ball tip of the remaining finial in half horizontally. (Think latitude not longitude.) This is the guard.

  4. 4

    Use wood glue to attach the hilt to the base of the guard, inserting the rod about ½-inch deep.

  1. 1

    Cut a hole into the centre of the flat surface of the guard. It should measure 2 inches long, ¼-inch wide and ½-inch deep.

  2. 2

    Use a rotary tool with a sanding band to smooth out the edges.

  3. 3

    Insert the blade into the hole in the guard and attach using wood glue.

  1. 1

    Paint the blade silver.

  2. 2

    Paint the pommel and guard a bronze or golden colour for a realistic look.

  3. 3

    Wrap brown or black tennis grip tape over the hilt if you desire a more comfortable grip.

Tips and warnings

  • If you feel the pommel is too bulky, you can cut it in half or use a smaller finial.
  • Always take precautionary measures when handling a saw. Cut away from the body and wear protective eyewear.
  • Even a wooden gladius can be dangerous and should not be used as a toy.

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