How to make a Wooden Katana from hardwood flooring // Woodworking | I Like To Make Stuff

Hey, I'm Bob, and I like to make stuff today, I'm going to use hardwood flooring to make a katana (intro music) Ever since we watched Iron Fist on Netflix I've been wanting to make a practice katana, and then watching Alex steel make an actual real katana Recently really pushed me over the edge I don't know anything about swords, and I don't speak Japanese So I'm not gonna call these parts the right names or anything like that This is really just for fun and to make it even more fun I'm gonna make the whole thing out of hardwood flooring while we were looking for hardwood flooring for our house We ended up with a bunch of different samples of different species of wood I'm going to use these for different parts of the sword you can use this one for the blade guard these for the handle and Then what we actually bought for the house.

I'm going to use for the blade and for some fancy inlays alright Let's get to it I only did a tiny bit of research on katana But I did find a reference to the length of the handle usually it's about the same length as your forearm I made some reference marks for that and then I used some pinstriping masking tape to lay out the shape of the blade It's pretty thin. So it makes it really easy to get a nice consistent curve I went back with the measuring tape to make sure that the blade was about the same thickness from top to bottom I Use the bandsaw to cut this out cutting on the outside of the tape to make sure that I had plenty of material to cut down later If you don't have a bandsaw you could also use a jig saw for this.

It would just be a little bit more work I cut on the inside of the tape to the shape of the tang Most of the flooring that I had was three-quarters of an inch thick which is of course way too thick for a blade of a sword So I drew a line down the length of the blade and then set up the table saw to resaw it down to the right width When I cut out the outline of the blade I tried really hard to stay right on the outside of the tape But I didn't get it perfectly smooth, so I used Sanders to get it a nice even curve from end to end If you were working a blade and steel you would use a grinder much the same way This is a good way to get a nice consistent curve before adding the bevel on the table saw To safely add the bevel to the end of the sword I used a sander, but this time I use my belt grinder instead because the sandpaper is a smaller area and ahead a little bit more control I Went back and forth from side to side sanding it down to try to get an even Bevel right in the middle of your blade Also because it's a thin piece of sandpaper I could make micro adjustments to the back to any areas that were flat or needed to be even down And finally I used an orbital sander to remove the original finish from the top side of the wood This makes the entire thing raw wood and ready for even finish later The Tang was still as thick as the thickest part of the blade And they needed that to be thinner so that it would fit on the inside of the handle So I used the table saw in the bandsaw to trim it down trying to make it even from side to side Getting an even cut on both sides of this was actually a little bit harder than I expected And I had to do quite a bit of trimming and then come back with the chisel to even it up The outside cuts in my Tang were not perfectly straight and parallel and since this was going to go inside the handle later I decided to use the sander to flatten them out and After those were down to size I used a chisel to square up the corners in between the blade and the tank This will make sure that it's a nice snug fit when it goes into the tsuba or the handguard to make that piece I used some calipers to figure out the outside dimensions of my tang and then Mark those onto another piece of hard wood I just connected those dots with a pencil so I had a reference point making sure to only cut away material on the inside of that box I used the drill press to hog out most of it And then went to the tedious work of actually clearing it out and making it the right size Most of this was done with the Dremel being really really careful to just go up and down and not drag it along the face But then eventually I had to move past that to use a file The first thing I really did with the file was trying to square off the corners to make sure that it would fit at all Once I got it squared off I could get the end of the Tang in place then it was a matter of clearing out more material I Went ahead and ran it through the table saw to thin down the overall material.

So there was actually a lot less to sand This was trial and error in every few minutes I got the Tang to go in a little bit further and a little bit further and eventually there was a really nice fit I Traced the outline of the blade and this was actually really important because I needed to be able to find the centerline of where the blade set in relation to that piece of wood I drew a centerline along those two marks and then printed out a template of an oval that was the outside shape I Put a centerline in the template and lined it up with the marks that I had made so I knew the hole was right in the correct position I Cut this piece out on the bandsaw staying on the outside of the line but trying to get as close as I could a Disc sander is great for being able to sand right up to the line and get a nice even curve I also used the sander to flatten out the cut side of this wood to make sure that it was perfectly flat But it has such a heavy grit that I used an orbital sander with a higher grit paper to smooth it out and get rid of any burn marks I Did some test fits to make sure that it was right in place, and it was starting to actually look like a sword next it was time to make the handles I Used two different types of wood for this and a resaw them on the table saw to get him about the right thickness Josh, has been helping me out in the shop and he ran the CNC work for this making an inlay pattern He used the inlay generator in the program easel to make some pockets and some diamonds to fit inside them When we made the handle pieces we also had the CNC score in the outline of each handle piece So that the pockets were perfectly centered when we cut the pieces out on the saw When you cut pieces out on the CNC one of the problems is that once they become loose they fly all over the place so For the diamonds we didn't cut all the way through the piece of wood and left just a little bit on the backside I laid Some blue tape across the front to hold all of those pieces and then sand it off that thin layer on the backside This makes it nice and easy to get all the pieces out without having to cut out tabs on each one I Send it off the outside edge of these and then added lots and lots of glue to all the pockets before pressing each one of these in place After the glue dried on these it was time to cut them out to their final shape The lines came in really handy here to line up with the saw blade to cut each one of them out we intentionally left the diamonds a little bit proud of the surface so I could use a belt sander to flatten them out and remove all the glue squeeze-out This actually was a little bit harder because of the type of wood so eventually I just ran it through the table saw and got Rid of anything that was hanging over the front face I set one of the handle pieces in place all the way up against the tsuba and clamped it on It really needed to stay right in place so I could mark its placement on the bottom of the tsuba And then use a marking knife to mark the outside of the tank I took that one off and use the markings.

I'd made to line up the other side and mark it the same way when I make these projects I intentionally don't go around and look at other people's videos to see how they did things so that I Don't accidentally steal somebody else's ideas well last night YouTube recommended a video to me on making a wooden katana I broke down and watched it and it's from a guy named geeks woodshop And it's a great video and although we are doing a lot of similar things Including the handles he does some things I didn't even think of he does a really cool effect on the blade And you should definitely check it out I'll link it down in the description so if you liked this project be sure to go watch his with the inside of both pieces of the handle ready to cut out I used some double-sided tape to hold these pieces down to the Table I set the depth of my router to half the thickness of the Tang so that it would only be halfway into each handle This took a little while, but I plunged out all of the area on both of the handle pieces I stayed well on the inside of the line so that I could go back and clean up those lines with the chisel just Like with the supe before I wanted this to be a really tight fit, so it was a lot of very small changes and trial and error I Laid the Tang in place and found the places where it overlapped to the handle piece mark those So I knew exactly where to cut away.

Eventually. I got a really snug fit on both sides Once I got the tank to fit into both sides of the handle I pulled both of those pieces off the table and fit them together The next step was to put the tang in between them and by doing this I found that it actually wasn't half way in on either one of these there was a little bit of area that needed to be cut away because of inconsistencies in the thickness of the Tang itself After I got that cleared up. I used a router to add a round over to the outside edges of the handle My router always adds a little bit of burning to so an orbital sander got rid of that pretty quickly The morris ended these pieces though I found that there were some small gaps from the CNC inlay that didn't quite get filled in To fill those in I use the sawdust from the sander and some CA glue this isn't a perfect solution But it makes it better than just having a gap there by using the same sawdust It's generally the same color as the wood that you're filling Once that dried and I got it sanded down eventually the handles were just about ready to put on My plan was to add a kashira or a cap to the end of the handle and to do that I had to line up the handle pieces using the top face as a reference Taping them together and then cutting a flat edge on the bottom with the miter saw then it was finally time for the glue up I Added lots of glue to all of the surfaces that were going to be attached Inside the handle all the way to the edge to make sure that everything was glued together and there were as few gaps as possible With everything lined up and glued.

I just added lots of clips And since I wanted to minimize the amount of sanding I would have to do on the handle later I used a wet rag to wipe off all the glue squeeze-out that I could get then it was time to make the cap with a kashira that went on the end of this I used a small piece of hickory flooring for this and cut out a shape that was generally like the shape of the handle I also used the sander to remove the relief curves on the bottom that most pieces of hardwood flooring have I found the center of the bottom of the handle and drilled a hole that matched up with the size of a wooden dowel that I Had then I found the centerpiece of my kashira and drilled a matching Hole I used lots of glue to knock these pieces together Glue all of the surfaces before putting the cap into the bottom of the handle You'll notice here too that I left the kashira bigger than the handle so that I could shape it down to match later on And of course I added a couple more clamps to hold this in place while the glue dries (victory sounds) The disc sander made it really easy to make this piece down to the same size as the handle I just use the handle as the reference making sure not to sand any off of it as well Eventually I used a sander to roughly round over the corners before Clamping it to the table and using an orbital sander to really smooth it out and shape it Now the only piece of this sword That's not made out of hardwood.

Flooring is a piece called the hibachi and I made it at a bamboo veneer I cut two pieces soak them in water, so they were a little flexible and then clamped him around the blade and let him dry After they dry in this position they hold the shape just enough so they won't crack when I glue them on For these pieces I use CA glue and activator, so they would quickly set in place and I could keep moving This was a little bit messy, and I wasn't super happy with the results I'll think a little bit more practice with the veneer getting it cut and shaped to fill all the gaps would make it look that much better I Intentionally left these pieces a little bit proud as well, so I had plenty of area to sand down I wanted all of the corners to be smooth I Used a sanding block to round over the rough edges and try to join up these pieces as well as I could and eventually Used a popsicle stick wrapped in sandpaper to get fine adjustments after that it was all done and ready for finish Before this I used a mixture of beeswax and linseed oil We tested out several different finishes with this and this combination brought out the color in the woods better than anything else It does stay Orly for a little bit So you have to let it soak in for about 24 hours before you want to handle it Check this thing out I'm super happy with how it turned out of course There are some little issues with it and problems and stuff, but I've learned a whole lot putting this thing together And I love the way it looks It's supercool that this was made out of just flooring and I think anybody can get access to some scrap pieces of flooring to make Something like this if you want I found a chart online that talked about the length of the sword blade based on your height and according to that chart this one's About six inches too long for me, but I just love the fact that it's such a long sword Let me know what you think about this video down in the comments and don't forget to go check out both the video by geeks woodshop, and the series by Alec Steele all about katana I've got lots and lots of other videos that you may be interested in I'll have some of those right here and don't forget to Subscribe, that's it for this one guys.

Thanks for watching. I'll see you next time (plays with katana) (hits light) (both laugh).

As found on YouTube

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