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How to Make a Sword Part 3 -Blacksmithing up the sword

Ok, now lets do some smithing work on this sword. We established the shape of it with some hand tools now we need to put in the bevel and then harden and temper it.


Heating the sword

Ok, crank up the forge and let's get to shaping out the bevels on this sword.

different edges diagram


Now, we have a few choices here but what we are trying to accomlish is a beveling along each side of the sword ( the blade edges)

The convex shape is the easiest and that is just a matter of careful and uniform hammering along both edges and of course on both sides of the blade. So that is what I am doing here.

The flat edge is a great edge but it takes some skill to keep it very straight.

hammering the bevel

We do this by heating up the sword in sections and hammering in the bevel. Remember that you have to do both the top and the bottom side of the sword. So do the left/right then flip it over and do left/right on that side too. You have to slowly work your way up and down the length of the sword. Typically I like to start near the tang because it is easy to overwork the point of the sword.

the sword on the anvil

I also do another pass over the whole sword using a smaller hammer so I can refine that bevel and that edge.

Distal Taper - Now this is a little bit of an advanced topic but it is something you might want to know. I made this sword so it tapered just a little bit toward the tip. In other words the tip end of the sword is thinner than the handle end of the sword. It is not mandatory but it is nice. If you do this then just carefully hammer the surface of the sword along the last 6-8 inches where the tip of the blade is. And it is not a lot of taper. don't get carried away with this action. You could thin out and weaken the tip too much.

heating the tang

OPTIONAL - Now this is an optional thing and I don't do it for this sword. But, you can heat up the tang and on the anvil round out the last inch or two of it. Making it round like a rod.

Doing this means that you can actually use a die to thread the end of it. Then when assembling the sword you can put a locking nut right on the end of it. Looks great and is an easy way to assemble together the handle.

One thing to think about when attempting to do this is that the rounded end has to be a pretty accurate circle with a specific diameter if you want to get a threading die over it. But, you can rough it into the round shape at the forge and then use a grinder to round it out and get it to the right size.


These next two pictures show the pommel of a sword that had the tang threaded and a locking nut put on it. Looks pretty good and it saves on the need to pin down the pommel and crossguard.


The pommel  Side view of the pommel


NextOk, continue with the tutorial and do the final shaping of the sword then harden and temper it again at the forge



The Complete Bladesmith

The Complete Bladesmith: Forging Your Way To Perfection

Looking for instructions in bladesmithing that'll put you on the cutting edge of the custom blade market? Then this definitive guide to forging world-class blades is for you. Written by a master bladesmith, this book tells you how to set up your forge, select your materials, fashion grips and hilts, grind edges and much more!


Techniques Of Medieval Armour Reproduction: The 14th Century (Medieval & Renaissance)