Pair of wooden dao swords

Hey, maybe you’ve seen us hanging around?

My niece has been into a TV show lately, one of the main characters carried a pair of dao swords. Seemed like a good gift idea, so I went for it.


The mount was a fun experiment. More on that later, but I wanted them to hang parallel, more or less.


(Baltic birch plywood, padauk, leopardwood, walnut, figured bigleaf maple)

The handles are clearly the star of the show. I have had this leopardwood from Kim Oberlin hanging around for a while and could never find a project for it. It’s really striking when you polish it up.


(Baltic birch plywood, padauk, leopardwood, walnut, figured bigleaf maple)

The bigleaf might look familiar, it was the same piece that I used to make the blade to my bowie knife. The dao is a chinese sword, so I went with a good luck themed engraving on the grossguard.


(Baltic birch plywood, padauk, leopardwood, walnut, figured bigleaf maple)

The crossguard is engraved front and back, the design is slightly modified to make room for the blade or the handle, depending on which side. The walnut is sandwiched in the middle for some flair.


(Baltic birch plywood, padauk, leopardwood, walnut, figured bigleaf maple)

The edge grain of the maple makes for a pleasing “herringbone” look.


(Baltic birch plywood, padauk, leopardwood, walnut, figured bigleaf maple)

Another look at the handles, the leopard pattern is either very pronounced or quite subtle, depends on the angle of the light.


(Baltic birch plywood, padauk, leopardwood, walnut, figured bigleaf maple)

Speaking of lighting, here’s a more true look at the color when you’ve got better conditions.


(Baltic birch plywood, padauk, leopardwood, walnut, figured bigleaf maple)

The handle has a spine of padauk, enhances the strength of the assembly.


(Baltic birch plywood, padauk, leopardwood, walnut, figured bigleaf maple)

I did say we’d come back to the mount. The blades slide into the slot and then twist and lock into place. I’m pretty pleased with that design, it keeps the blades secure in one easy mount point.


(Baltic birch plywood, 0.2" cast acrylic)


Overall, I’m happy with how it came out. I don’t think I’d do it the same way next time, but that’s neither here nor there.

BTW, bonus fact, this was based on a 18th century dao in the “oxtail” style. It can be found on wikipedia:

I based the sword’s geometry on this almost exactly, and made an educated guess on the overall dimensions. Oh also, this is still a secret, so nobody tell my niece, k?

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A lot of good work in those. Great gift!

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Yeah, fantastic gift!

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I love the swords. But then I get down to the base, and I see how you have the twist-entry from the front… wow, I REALLY love this. Beautiful, just beautiful!

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Very sharp!

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Those handles… Wow.

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I love the leopard wood handles. Your choices of exotic wood combinations looks great. :blush:

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Beautiful wood, fantastic work, lucky niece!

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Good to see more lasered stuff inspired by the same thing :slight_smile: Check out my Pai Sho work if you’re interested! Pai Sho Board and Vagabond Pai Sho Tiles

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Yeah I remember your pai sho post, I put a like on this one ages ago:

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they look great. i presume you don’t have an allergic reaction to leopardwood?

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Not that I noticed. I used a respirator when I was sanding though.

I’m generally not allergic to anything though.

i cut a tiny test cut on the universal a year or so ago and realized i should be wearing gloves and a respirator even cutting it.

*sigh

maybe i should ship you the couple of pieces i have.

randomly related: don’t do CA flooding on copper powder w/o a respirator, or minimum with really good ventilation. i was on the back screened porch. flooded a small piece of wood with some copper powder in it. all was fine until i lifted it up and tilted toward my face to see if it had started to dry and whooooo did i get a harsh whiff of that stuff. not pleasant.

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Huh does CA react with the copper or something?

i think it’s more the flood of CA curing causing everything to overheat during the curing process. but that’s a guess on my part.

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CA puts out tons of fumes as it cures, and more surface area causes it to cure faster. We use it in modeling to create fillets with glass powder, for example, and it flashes pretty quickly. Many times you can see puffs of fumes that look like smoke.

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Beautiful work!

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Another outstanding project - lucky nice!

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Wow, these look amazing. Your neice is lucky. The handles are so nice!!

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Update: swords received and she loved them!

Hung on their wall almost immediately :slight_smile:

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