Since the creation of swords and advanced weaponry, wooden training variations have been utilised for experimenting with and applying fencing techniques. From the samurai "bokken" carved from a single length of wood for Kenjutsu and fencing practice, to the elaborate wooden "wasters" used by knights and aristocracy in Western Europe, the use of wooden swords has been a common practice throughout history. With patience, creativity and some basic supplies, practically anyone can craft his own simple wooden sword.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 6-foot 2-by-4 plank of desired wood
- Table Saw
- Band saw
- Electric sander
- Measuring tape
- Sharpie pen
- Pencil with working eraser
- Safety goggles
- Safety glasses
- Broomstick (optional)
Select a working surface of ample lighting for crafting your wooden sword. Ensure that the surface is clear of any dirt, dust and debris and plug in all power tools.
Decide on the width for your wooden sword handle. Practice gripping a broomstick or other item and test the comfort of handle thicknesses in your palm. Gauge how wide or thin you want your sword to be and measure that width in the centre of the wood plank at one end. Lift the board and gauge how long you want your sword to be. Measure your estimate from the end of your wood plank and mark that length up the board.
Put on your safety goggles, glasses and earplugs and turn on the table saw. Carefully cut the wood plank at the desired length mark. Turn off the table saw and return the plank to your working surface.
Draw an outline of your desired sword shape onto the wood, being as simple or elaborate as you wish with your design. For the simplest sword, draw out a basic handle and straight blade ending in a point. For sword designs involving a curved blade, handle guard or unique shapes, practice your design on a sheet of paper until you are confident of what you want. Erase any mistakes in the wood and darken the drawing with a sharpie pen once you've finished your outline.
Return to the table saw and carefully feed the board until all of the wood within a half inch of your outline has been cut. Take the wood to the band saw and create a precise cut along the exact outline of your sword shape.
Hold the sword in one hand while sanding all of the edges with the other, using an electric sander. Sand the wood down until it has reached the desired width, curvature and smoothness. Hold the blade by the handle and test your handiwork.
Tips and warnings
- Always choose a durable yet flexible wood for swords that will be used in combat training.
- Always remember: Even a wooden sword can be very dangerous. Never practice at full force while using a wooden sword.
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