The Sword Happened

I think y’all have been waiting too long for this post. I apologize.

On the other hand, maybe you forgot all about it and are wondering what a Reflections of Renaissance email is doing in your inbox.

Or maybe you’re new here, wondering why a Sword Happened, and are eyeballing that whacky black construct I’m holding in the picture below thinking, does this guy even know what a sword is supposed to look like??

Allow me to alleviate some of your skepticism and doubt.

Because there is backstory. I promise.

This is a legitimate project, and it’s supposed to look like that.

At least, when it looked like that, before I fixed it, that was what I wanted it to look like … ? *shrug*

It’s better now.

For a little backstory/refresher-for-peeps-who-have-read-older-(deleted)-posts, I’m making a sword for the cover art of a book I’m writing, and it’s sort of based off the weapons from Princess Bride.

At any rate, I lost a lot of pictures while I was building the handle and the blade, so for this post I’ll mainly be detailing the guard (whacky black construct) and then present a slideshow of my finished work (with my mom’s excellent photography skills) at the end.


I could thoroughly explain all the steps that led up to this stage of the guard (measurements, cut-list, welding procedure, and all that) but I think it’s boring and you would probably think so too.

Instead, here are a few cliff notes for anyone who is wondering.

Material: 5/16″ cold-roll bar.

Four long pieces were bundled together, and welded together at the middle. In the picture you can see that four bars protrude from either side of the blade.

I heated up the welded section, pounded it down (basically what would be referred to as a forge weld, to solidify everything), and bored a hole through it so the tang of the blade went through.

And there we are! After lots of bending and grinding and some more welding, we arrive at this stage. Clean lines and smooth edges.

You noticed my blade is now blue. That’s masking tape, to protect the polished metal during the fit and re-fit process: the guard was on and off quite a bit while I was shaping it.

For the next step, I bought a die grinder. This actually turned out to be one of my favorite tools. It’s capable of intricate detail, and you can put all sorts of different fittings into it.

After three or four hours of working with a small diamond-carbide burr, I’d carved out a bunch of made-up foreign gibberish, which you can see in the picture below.

This one’s just another angle of the same thing.

Also notice the brass bar, which I’ll talk about in a second, and the brass washers sandwiching the handle piece.


When you’re working with polished metal in a vice, use an old leather glove to hold it! This prevents scratching from the vice jaw.

That brass rod you see is actually pretty cool. I ordered it off Jantz supply. In this picture you can see the cut-off end of it. Looks like a star. The rod holds the handle onto the tang of the blade.

At this point, I wanted to attach the pommel. But I think I made a mistake somewhere along the line, and the hole in the pommel was too big to thread for the bottom of the sword. So I had to make another one.

Here’s the replacement pommel in progress. I’m drilling a 5/16″ hole to receive the 3/8″ threads.

There are lots of charts–namely decimal and fraction equivalents to drill sizes, as well as one concerning the drill sizes relative to all tap dimensions–right next to the lathe, so that makes it pretty easy.

Hang on a sec. I just used a big three letter word. Most people think about the word tap as a verb synonymous with knock, rap, or click, but it has another meaning when you’re talking to a machinist. A tap is a tool you use to create threads on the inside of a hole, so that it’ll screw onto something.

Anyways, I took the new pommel home, tapped it, gave it a little sanding, and now the sword balances a little better. I should still take some weight off the blade by grinding it down more, but for the cover of a book, it doesn’t matter that much … so …


Thanks for visiting!

God bless,


7 responses to “The Sword Happened”

  1. Whoooaaaaa that looks AMAZING!! I can tell you put a lot of hard work into it. Great job!!


  2. *gasp* That. Is. AMAZING. Oh my goodness!!! It’s so prettyyyyyyy! That is SO COOL that you know how to do all of this. Awesome work! You could do this for a living. XD


    1. Thank you! I have definitely thought about it. Maybe someday:)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. AMAZING!!! I love all the foreign gibberish XD Does it actually mean anything? Do you know how many hours did it take you to build the whole thing?


    1. Thanks! Well parts of it mean stuff. I’m trying to remember now. Basically I broke up letters into fragments, eg., t would be written as l and then -, or R separated into the upright line, then the curve, then the leg. It just helped me come up with symbols to write. But looking at it now I can’t decipher what I wrote XD

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great job! Your photographer is amazing! Your pictures look fantastic; I love the slideshow! Amazing job on all the hard work.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s