About three years ago, I was chatting with my boss after a cleanup at my old job and we had a stack of 1/4″ steel plates laying around in our outside shop. Knowing I like to fool around making stuff, he made an offhand suggestion that I should make a sword out of one of the scraps.
So, I did.
Here is the DISCLAIMER: I didn’t know ANYTHING about making a sword, and I don’t claim to know anything much more. I know that a real sword is forged using high carbon steel (not the mild steel I used), and advanced blacksmithing and forging skills are required for creating a real sword.
Mine, on the other hand, is based on a hybrid of a Roman Gladius and a European two-handed broadsword made from crappy mild steel (low carbon content), and it isn’t tempered or anything. At best, this is purely decorative. To learn more about bladesmithing on the cheap, I’d recommend you read a couple books,Wayne Goddard’s $50 Knife Shop, Revised and The Craft of the Japanese Sword.
You might also want to learn more about forging metal here.
That said, I think my sword could probably at least be stowed away as a survival weapon in case a zombie apocalypse should occur. It would also make a good theater prop or prop for a movie–you’d just need to NOT sharpen the edges.
Apologies in advance for my less-than-stellar video commentary. I am clearly not a highly-trained TV host. YET!