How to make a Wooden Sword (or Gunblade)

There are plenty of ways to make swords, but this is how I've made swords, and I know it works.

  • Find a number of good, clear reference pictures, ideally from different angles.
  • Draw the shape of the sword, life-size, on a large piece of paper.
  • Cut a piece of pine to the right length, then use a bandsaw to cut out the basic shape of the sword, omitting any fine or fiddly details
  • If the handle must be of a separate piece of wood, attach the two pieces by making a joint (so one piece of wood fits inside the other) and using carpenter's glue to make the joint strong
  • Carve the blade into the right shape using a pushknife
  • Sand the blade smooth, starting with coarse sandpaper and moving to progressively finer grits
  • Build up the details of the handle using Paperclay and a Dremel
  • Sand everything smooth using extra-fine sandpaper
  • Paint entire sword with a few layers of gesso, sanding with extra-fine sandpaper between each layer
  • Paint sword with metallic enamel (paint-on or spray), then a few layers of clear enamel/shellac to protect it

    Examples of one of my finished swords: