Wooden Scimitar

“It is called the Baleful Crescent, woe to those who see it unsheathed.”

I continued my sword explorations, this time experimenting with a more decorative grip and unusual blade/guard style.

Quick notes:
Overall length 38" / 71cm. All materials except the guard were 1/8" thick, stacked for proper thickness. Sanded to 600 grit and finished with wipe-on satin polyurethane. Lots of the techniques here were similar to my previous swords, check them out if you’re curious. You can find them here:


The overall proportions are such that someone with medium sized hands can use it either one or two handed. It’s versatile that way.

(Baltic birch plywood, Mahogany, Walnut, Cherry pins)

The guard is engraved with a bit of decoration, but the best part about it is that I made a custom plywood with 1/16" thick layers, mahogany/walnut/mahogany. It gives a really nice little decorative pop on the edge, while the crossed grain alignment is exceptionally strong.

(Baltic birch plywood, Mahogany, Walnut, Cherry pins)

The engraved motif is on both sides of the guard. This is one of the few times that I think using 1/4" hardwoods would have been a better call, at least from the perspective of simplicity when assembling. The scales (handles) are made of a total of 6 layers of hardwood and plywood, it was fiddlier than it needed to be – 1/4" hardwoods would have made that part simpler. I’m still really happy with it, but just something to remember for next time probably.

(Baltic birch plywood, Mahogany, Walnut, Cherry pins)

Quarantine times, I’m not as flush with bananas as I would usually be. But, when life gives you lemons… It’s a surprisingly substantial blade when you pick it up, deceptive. From a distance it looks compact, but then you pick it up and realize you’ll (I’ll) put someone’s (my) eye out if you’re (I’m) not careful.

Final notes…

Other then the 1/4" wood change I am not sure I’d do anything differently here. It all came together really smoothly, I glossed over some of the details about how I managed to make the handle and I skipped the entire “this is a lot of sanding” bit entirely… but yeah, I am pretty pleased.

Special shout out to @shogun for gifting me this excellently dark walnut. He resawed and planed it himself, it’s really nice stuff. He’s an ok guy, I guess. :slight_smile:


Very nice! A great addition to the sword collection. Glad you like the walnut. You made it look so good!


wow…that is beautifully done. The detail really makes it, but what happens if you are naked? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Fair point. It’s like when you’re cooking bacon, just wear pants.


All the lovely little details… Nice.


I love the lamination on the handle!!! That is really cool!


It shares that basic idea with the Kukri-style short sword. It’s a bit more complicated because I did the segments, but it’s the same idea.


This is the kind of thing where I say; I have the tools, I have the materials, I just don’t have the patience. That’s just gorgeous. That it looks like it’s only a letter opener size, and then you read and realize it’s over a yard frikin’ long! Swoon!


Looks amazing!


I’d say it was probably 10 hours worth of work. 3 hours of design, 1.5 hours of cutting (passthrough is still a bit slow, though it’s faster than it used to be and the results are very very good), 2 hours to do the glueups/pins, then about 3.5 to sand/shape and finish.

Of course, the 1 hour of cutting is pretty passive, and I left out the “leave the glue to dry” time, as I just let that go overnight.

The sanding part is mostly fun, though a little tedious at the very end as you work out the last of the scratches. That being said, if you have the wrong tools it will be a nightmare. I wouldn’t do this without a bench vise, belt sander, a dremel, a few sanding blocks and thin strips of sandpaper to finish shaping the handle. It’s definitely labor, but the end result is pretty satisfying.

I’ll also add that you don’t have to sand that much, I just have a specific way I want these to end up. I spend a lot of time sanding the grips so they feel really comfortable in hand, ymmv. You don’t necessarily need to “sharpen” the blades, though I find that it really sells the look if you do. There are corners you can cut, all depends on what you’re trying to make.


Fierce looking!
Also like the change in lemon vs banana…


This is definitely a terrific addition to your sword collection. 3.5 hours of sanding is so far beyond my patience level, but obviously it is worth it.


Well the thing is it’s not just 3.5 hours of the same thing.

First you rough shape the blade with a belt sander. You take the edges of the blade down.

Then A quick light sanding of the surface of the blade just to prep it for later.

Next up a quick sanding of the guard piece. I sand the edges first and the quickly do the flat surfaces up to 600 grit.

Then I glued the crosspiece and handle parts in place. Let it set.

Now I go after the handle with a dremel, roughly knock the corners off the edges. This is all done by eye, it’s more like sculpting than sanding.

Once the handles are roughly rounded then I go in with strips of sandpaper that I use to “buff” the handle, almost like I’m shining a shoe. I use really aggressive grit (120) to remove material quickly, I am trying to get the basic handle shape worked out. This is all done by feel, I run my hands over the edges, looking for corners that are too shape or uneven, it’s actually really simple, only takes 20 mins on something like this.

Once the handle is roughed into the correct shape then I hit it with higher grits, refining the shape and working out the scratch marks from the previous grit. I go up to 240 then 320 and finally buff it with 600. It goes very quickly now, progressing the grit only takes 20 mins.

Now it’s inspection and touch up time. Look for anything I missed and sometimes go back on grit to repair a spot here or there and polish back up. You can spend a lot or a little time on this. I spent probably 20 - 30 mins total until I was happy with it.

Now a final sanding of the blade with 320. Not going for ultra perfect here, the blade just needs to look smooth at this point. 5 mins tops.

Last minute inspection, if it looks good dust it thoroughly and then hit it with your finish.

That’s where I am now.

There are two more short steps to go: once the polyurethane fully dries I will lightly hit the entire blade and handle with 600 grit sandpaper (5-10 mins) and then add a second coat of polyurethane.

Once it dries then it’s done.

So you can see there’s no step that is so long that it’s a slog. You’re constantly moving through the process and seeing real progress. It’s fun. :slight_smile:


Oh man, now I want one!

What’s with the lemon? Some kind of metric system thing? :slight_smile:


I guess he didn’t have a banana?


Yeah, he did say that, but that didn’t stop me from making a smart a** comment anyway.


Yes, the overall sword is about 1,000 centilemons long.


Ah, the citric system.


I mean… dayum. Outstanding.


Looks amazing. I love all the little details.