How to Make Wooden Swords & Weapons

Written by mark morris
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How to Make Wooden Swords & Weapons
Swords and other simple weapons can be created from wood. (Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Many different types of play and prop weapons can be modelled from plywood. Find images of the weapons you would like to make. Straight side views work best. Many reference works have very clear drawings of weapons, explaining the details and even giving approximate sizes, which is very helpful. Once you have selected the weapon you want to create it is simply a matter of transferring the shape to the plywood, cutting it out and decorating it.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Images
  • 1/2-inch plywood
  • Table saw
  • Band saw
  • Wood glue
  • Pin nailer
  • Router table
  • Sander
  • Spray paint
  • Acrylic paint
  • Art brush

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Instructions

    Cutting the Blade

  1. 1

    Select images of the sword, axe, or other relatively simple weapon, such as a dagger that you want to reproduce. Use a copy machine to enlarge the image to the correct size and print it out.

  2. 2

    Use a table saw to cut a piece of 1/2-inch plywood just a little longer and wider than your image. Cut the paper image out along its outline, using scissors, and spray a light coat of spray adhesive to the back of the paper. Stick the paper onto the plywood.

  3. 3

    Cut along the outside edge of the paper template with a band saw, steering the plywood through the blade, sticking as close as possible to the outline.

    Adding Details

  1. 1

    Peel the paper from the wood, careful not to tear it. Cut the template apart at major joints in the weapons construction to create smaller templates for pieces that are thicker than the weapon's blade, such as hilts and guards.

  2. 2

    Cut plywood pieces for these templates with the table saw, as you did for the main body of the weapon. Cut them out on the band saw.

  3. 3

    Use wood glue and 3/4-inch pin nails to fasten them to the main body of the weapon.

    Routing the Edges

  1. 1

    Use a pair of wrenches to open the collet on your router table. The collet is the locking collar on the base plate that holds the bits. Turn the inside nut counterclockwise and the outside nut clockwise to loosen it.

  2. 2

    Insert the shaft of a 1/4-inch bevel or chamfer bit with a bearing, into the router and tighten the collet back to hold it, using the wrenches in the opposite directions.

  3. 3

    Set the depth of the router, so that the bearing's bottom edge is 3/16-inch above the router table. Start the router and run the blade of your weapon along it from right to left. Run around the blade on one face, then flip your weapon over and run the other side.

  4. 4

    Set up a 1/8 roundover bit with bearing as you did the bevel bit and cut around the handle of your weapon.

    Finishing the Weapon

  1. 1

    Fill any voids along the edges of the weapon with wood filler. Allow it to dry and sand the weapon smooth with a random orbit sander.

  2. 2

    Apply a coat of flat black spray paint to the entire weapon. Hold the can 8 to 10 inches from the surface, working in short bursts, with sweeping, brush-like motions. Overlap your strokes and avoid spraying in one spot for more than second or two to prevent drips.

  3. 3

    Spray silver spray paint over the black, allowing the black to show through slightly, to create a "burnished" metallic appearance. Allow the paint to dry, then paint the handle with acrylic paints and an art brush in your choice of colours, to add detail and contrast.

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