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How to Make a Sword Part 5 - Making the Handle parts

Ok, we are making some tremendous progress with this sword. Now we need to make the parts of the handle assembly.


There are three parts to the handle assembly: From left to right they are the Pommel, the handle, and the crossguard. You can see them in this picture:

The handle of the sword

Ok, let's start with the Crossguard

I used a bar of O1 steel. I cut off a piece that is 7 inches long. (7" long, and the bar is 1" wide and 1/2" thich)

I checked for this exact steel that I ordered. They currently do not have 18" lengths in stock but they do have a 36 inch piece. You can always give it a check.


Starrett Tool Steel O1 Flat Stock, Oil-Hardened and Precision Ground Finish, Annealed Temper, Oversized Tolerance, ASTM A681, 1/2" Thick, 1" Width, 36" Length



Drill the crossguard

And we want it to be a crossguard so we have to cut a slot in it that is the size of the tang. I did this by drilling a series of holes like you see here. Measure the width of the tang and drill your holes to that width.

Using a jewelers saw to make the slot

Now we have a series of holes but we need to make it a slot so it fits on the tang of the sword. I did a lot of this work with a jewelers saw. Use any tools you want. You can use a drill to drag out the holes and work away at the steel. Even small files. This will take some effort because it is steel! Keep at it. And keep sizing it on the tang. You want a comfortable fit and not very sloppy.

File the shape of the handle

I used files and emory paper to shape it out and polish it. Totally optional but it does look much better if it is not just a bar shape.


the handle

The handle is a very similar process to the crossguard. Except it is a lot easier becausee it is wood! Measure it out and trill it out so it is slotted. You want a snug fit on this too.

Once the slot is drilled you can shape the handle using a wide variety of tools. I started with a belt sander then I moved on to a rasping file. And to get the fine shape I then used emory paper.

Mark the center

Mark the center of the handle block both on the top and bottom. Use this to drill your first holes. Then just like the crossguard drill more holes as needed. Remember that there is a taper in the slot. It is thinner at the bottom near the pommel.

Drill the handle

Depending on the length of your handle you might not be able to drill it all with a regular drill. Of course you drill one end then flip it and drill the other end. But you still may need to buy a longer specialty bit.

Rasp the shape of the handle

Here is a pic showing me rasping the handle into shape.

Burning in the handle

One more thing I want to talk about in terms of the handle and I don't have a picture of it but you can heat up the tang of the sword with a blow torch and force the handle onto the tang. This burns the wood and makes a really good and secure fit. The handle will be well seated on the tang.

Tung oil on the handle

Once the handle is done you can apply multiple coats of tung oil to it. That will bring out the rich texture of the wood. I use tung oil on all my swords and knives. Love it!


NextOk, continue with the tutorial. We are almost done. Let's make the pommel and finish the sword


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