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Custom Sword Blade

K

Kevin Davis

Guest
I am currently trying to create an item for my son's college graduation. The item is a very unique sword. I have to this point gotten the 5/32nds of an inch stainless steel cut to the shape of the blade and am looking for someone that has the expertise to polish the blade and bevel the edges to my specifications. To that end I have included a photograph of a portion the blade as it is and drawings of the way I would like to have it finished. One shows the edges I would like to have rounded, to belie the thickness of the blade and the other shows the edges that should be beveled to appear as if they are the sharpened edges of the blade. The company that cut the blade claimed they could do the polishing and milling then changed their mind. I would like to have straight and definite lines in the beveling and since I am not interested in making it a sharp blade I would like to see a reasonably consistent 32nd of an inch at what would normally be the cutting edge. I do have a drawing that I made in my photo editor that has all dimensions and specific details.

Any assistance you may be able to provide in bringing this project closer to completion would be gratefully appreciated.
 
K

Kevin Davis

Guest
Thanks John.

I didn't know about restrictions with pictures. This is a very unique blade and would be difficult to accurately describe in words. So until I am able to post a photo I'll try to get a hold of Anthony, but I have spoken with a few custom knife makers and they suggested a machinist would be best to do this design justice. I will check back often to see if others have posted a comment.
 
K

Kevin Davis

Guest
I found my way to AntCaps profile page and wasn't able, or as a non-member wasn't allowed to PM him. Please explain what I need to do to contact him.
 

Janger

(John)
Administrator
Vendor
Ah yes I didn’t notice you were a guest. Please sign up so you can post and PM. Then the machinists can weigh in better. Sorry about any hassle. This is an all volunteer forum so it’s best efforts. I’ll check with Anthony and get you his email.
 

AraK-noiD

Member
I have registered as a member, under the pseudo name of AraK-noiD. I have now been able to send a note to antcaps. Hopefully I'll hear from him soon. If it doesn't get me into trouble and he is willing maybe I could get him to post the pictures in this thread. Anyone that reads this thread will need to see the images to fully understand the scope of the work I am requesting.
 

Janger

(John)
Administrator
Vendor
Post a few more times and (3) and you should be able to upload pictures. A button will appear on the post to do so.
 

AraK-noiD

Member
I have noticed that quite a few people have browsed my thread. I believe I may now, finally be able to post an image of the sword blank so that any interested party will be able to see what I am looking to have done and make suggestions.
Cut Blade.jpg
 

Janger

(John)
Administrator
Vendor
Hi Kevin that’s pretty elaborate! How thick is it? Post again what fig 1 and fig 2 mean exactly? What plans do you have for the handle?
 

AraK-noiD

Member
As I mentioned above this project is a graduation gift for my son who not only is a fan of role playing video games but has already graduated and found work as a programmer with Electronic Arts, a video game developer. Something he's been aiming for since junior high.

The blade is cut from CM 154 stainless steel that has not been hardened as yet, this is a high grade knife blade steel. I also know that it is a rather brittle steel for a sword. That property is a little less important. Even though the sword is built with a proper tang extending well into the hilt, the design for the hilt is such that it will never be anything more than a ornamental item. I have attached a drawing of the hilt to this post. In the previous posted images the two drawings show the machining I am looking to get done. The greyed edges in figure 1 are edges that I would like to have rounded, this will simply smooth the edges and give the allusion that the blade is thinner. The other drawing, figure 2, depicts the edges I would like to see beveled to look like the cutting edge of the sword. I don't see a need for a sharp edge suitable for cutting, with that in mind I thought both sides beveled with a 1/32' flat surface left in the middle would have a satisfying look.

For those that are interested I will post a conceptual drawing of the hilt. I have been in touch with a artist who is waiting for the completed blade so he can create the hilt for me. Just to add a little fun to this, the etching on the shield of the hilt is designed to convey a message, try figuring it out.

One last thing I should mention is that time is of no importance with this project, I am more interested in the quality of the finished product, my hope is this will become a most cherished item and possibly, hopefully an heirloom.


Hilt.jpg
 
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AraK-noiD

Member
Thank you for the compliment. Took a lot of time and start overs to develop this concept. But trying to find the right people to make it a reality is becoming a little frustrating. Anyone who sees this deign will understand why I am looking for people who are very good at what they do. As my mother used to say "If you are going to do something do it well or don't do it at all"
I half hope that once my son is recieves this gift and is moved from a support role to programming the games this might become the sword of some fantasy hero. (How's that for wishful thinking)
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Its not the best timing but ~September there has been a metal artisans show at Reynolds museum. It attracts a lot of local knifemaker types & I'm pretty sure I saw some decorative swords & related stuff among the regular blade maker folks. That would be 1-stop shopping to meet the people & see their work simultaneously. If you click on Exhibitor Booklet of this older link, it will show some of the folks who were there & possibly help link websites.

I think the edge bevel grinding would best be done by someone like this. Are you doing the engraving or that will be jobbed out too? I really think you should be dealing with someone reputable from that background. Backing up a step, I could see where someone with pure CNC machining background could possibly do both milling profiling (in a roughing sense) & also the decorative work in one go. Some fixturing would be involved to flip align & repeat on the other side & that's not exactly trivial. If its already cut out as a blank, well that ship has sailed & you are now talking hand work like a conventional blade. They say grinding but what its typically power belt sanding & its very time consuming work, hence the price. Materials are the cheap part.

I'm not a blade guy but I had some parts hardened by one & have some general knowledge of the process. Hardening will be a whole another issue IMO where you really want to ask lots of questions & see work examples beforehand. A lot (most?) blade makers outsource hardening because its kind of a process unto itself. Its usually tricky enough to get 'solid' somewhat uniform blades done without potential for warping, but you also have some decorative features / shallow engravings that might aggravate or at least influence this. Especially of they are non-symmetrical from side A to B. If the sword is not for cutting & you are already contemplating safe edge etc. do you really want to go down that hardening/tempering path?

https://reynoldsmuseum.ca/events/metal-art-show-and-sale
 

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Janger

(John)
Administrator
Vendor
Kevin I think you need a master blade forger from Japan or Turkey or somebody following those traditions to execute that design. Lord of the rings armourers in the movie credits?
 

Bofobo

M,Mizera(BOFOBO)
Im seeing a table grinder and an angled magnetic plate as a machinists possible solution, i dont have one but if i did ..... awaiting moderation today as my premium membership expired o_O:oops:
 

AraK-noiD

Member
Thanks for your reply Peter.

I followed the link to the art show and then from there to the vendor list and a few of their websites. There were plenty of knife makers but all the knife makers I've messaged say this job is more suited for a machinist. Even though I am in Calgary IO may wander up there next September. If I haven't been able to get thid done by then it will be a topic of discussion.


This entire project will have to be farmed out. I have little knowledge of metallurgy. I barely remember sitting in shop class let alone the lessons taught or the practical work on the machines. This has been a learning process from the time I started looking for people to do the work for me. As far as the hilt is concerned I have been in conversation with a artist who works in bronze and can add a patina or chemically induced colouration, to the different portions, ie yellowish for the dragons and reddish orange for the pommel and etch the design onto the shield. He has made several swords and assures me that even though it is more fantasy than he usually does he can do the casting, attach it to the finished blade and etching. So that portion of the job is all handled by one person. He wants to wait till the blade is in his hand before he starts work.


As far as the hardening goes, I may not bother. I feel that the delicate nature of the hilt and brittle property of stainless steel precludes any actual swordplay with this item. Thank you for your input on this phase of the job. I had no idea there was a chance of warpage if not done correctly by a seasoned professional. That is one of my worries, how to tell the pros from the cons.


I am a little confused about what you are getting at in the second paragraph.

I could see where someone with pure CNC machining background could possibly do both milling profiling (in a roughing sense) & also the decorative work in one go. Some fixturing would be involved to flip align & repeat on the other side & that's not exactly trivial. If its already cut out as a blank, well that ship has sailed

I did send messages about this project to shops with CNC machines and they said it could be done as I wanted it, BUT, the cost is well above what I can afford to pay. That is why I am looking for a hobbyist. Many of these people are very fussy about their finished product and as a result of extremely low overhead, as compared to a commercial shop, don't need to ask such a high price for their work.

Thanks again Peter.

AraK-noiD
 

AraK-noiD

Member
Thank you Bofobo for your contribution;

I could see where that would work quite well. Just a thought, if you had several strong magnets would you be able to jury rig something like that. Magnets out of dead hard drives are about the strongest magnets I've seen and are attached to brackets with mounting holes. If you would like to try I do have several old hard drives.

Thanks again.

AraK-noiD
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
His blank is stainless so might not magnetize too well, although I'm familiar with that alloy. Some stainless are mildly magnetic.
 
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