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First sword project: making a new hilt for a really cheap sword


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I'm new this forum but I have have been making (or attempting to make) handles for knives for a few years. I don't have the tools to forge a blade nor have I built my forge yet.

I bought a cheap sword a long time ago. It's supposed to be like a claymore but it is too small and horribly balanced. I plan to cut off the screw tang and turn most of the 9" ricasso into the new tang, making it into a one handed sword with about a 24" blade.

My question is how do you know how big to make the pommel to get the balance you want?

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Try going to first principles. Cut it to the length and shape you want. Hang it over a bar at the balance point you want and add weight till it balances. Now you know what you have to add.

Simple and good luck, it will be a lot of cutting to change a claymore to a 24" blade.

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It actually isn't a full size claymore. It's just made to look like one. The blade after the ricasso is 24". I guess I over thought the balance question. Didn't think about something that simple.

Here's a picture of the blade. The red sharpie mark is what the final shape of the tang should be (the screw tang will be cut off). I wedged a 12" (30cm) ruler behind it for reference.


I haven't decided weather to use iron, copper or brass for the guard and pommel yet. The handle will be wood.

Edited by foil1more
picture way too big
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Welcome aboard Foil guy, glad to have ya.

I think Rob's mentioned the simplest method for balancing your blade though I'm no blade smith.

If you'll click "User CP" at the top of the page and edit your profile to show your location it can make a big difference. IFI is represented by members from more than 50 countries and a lot of info is location specific. Also if local folk know you're there they can invite you to gatherings, tip you to tool deals and offer hands on help.


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if you are going to make it a traditional sword of the midevil pereod i would reccomend steel (iron) guard and pommel . ive been reading accounts from 1500s where a sword smith had a fancy sword hilt that was supposes to be steel with silver decorations and was actually brass which was not the aproved method . he was fined for selling "infereor craftsmanship" or sum such anyway the gist of the comment was that only cheap junk of the time used brass for guards and pommels .actually makes sense if you want to stop enemys blade a brass guard might not hold up.

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Suppose I have to fess up that I am no bladesmith but balancing is balancing and not rocket science :)

lol Solutions where never that simple in AP physics. I was getting ready to get out the old equation sheet.

I believe I'll go with an iron or steel guard then. Another question though.
When steel is heated to about 575-600F (I think, correct me if I'm wrong) it oxidizes blue. How durable is that oxidation? I'd like to make the guard and pommel dark blue.
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