He’s Feeling Gladius All Over

OK, now that we’ve shown our age with a pop-music pun that 90% of the audience will not get, we want to send you to the imgur link where  Sir Keyboard Commando, whoever he may be, converts this piece of steel stock:


…to this replica of a Roman gladius, the short sword of the legions.



SKC made the sword from 1075 steel alloy by, essentially, cutting away everything that didn’t look like a Roman sword.

The page shows a photo essay of the whole process:

  1. laying out the outline with machinist’s layout die and a scribing tool;
  2. cutting the shape with a bandsaw;
  3. grinding to section;
  4. draw-filing to a smooth, ripple-free surface;
  5. heat-treating in a homemade furnace;
  6. quenching;
  7. tempering in a kitchen oven.

And best of all, he can say, “I made it myself!”

9 thoughts on “He’s Feeling Gladius All Over

  1. Ken

    He did a real nice job on it and proves that a fellow with a little determination can do good work without a bunch of specialized power tools. Add another couple hours work and it could have been cut out with a hacksaw.

    Even better, with that sporty homemade forge he could have beat it into some shape to start with.

  2. Y.

    This seems just wrong, to use cutting and grinding tools to make a sword.

    Would forming the shape by forging be that difficult?

    1. Dave

      Having tried my hand at forging without many of the tools used by for-really-real blacksmiths, I can say… Yeah. Yeah it is. I use the stock-removal method (same as the gladius guy) which comes with its own problems, but there’s a level of artistry needed to forge correctly that only comes from experience.

      1. Y.

        That makes sense. I imagine forging something into the correct shape is easy, but making sure the material stays in the desired state is way harder.

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