Hey Gang, This Instructable is different from my usual. I wanted to take a short break from my normal projects. I am hoping that I am not the only one that watches a show or movie and says "I need that". I am an anime nerd and have a short list of props that I want to build for no reason other than to hang on the wall. I have built several props in the past, mostly gun related props. I made the batman weapons from batman vs superman knightmare scene, several harley quinn guns, and a few others. The zabuza executioner sword is one of the props I have wanted to build for a while. Here is the step by step on how I built it.
Step 1: Materials and Tools Used
This is a list of the parts / materials and tools that I used to make the zabusa sword.
Materials / Parts
1. 1in Foam Board -- I bought this from Home Depot it came in a 4ft x 8ft sheet and cost $19.99 and I actually had to break in half long ways to get it to fit into my jeep,
2. 4ft 1in wood Dowel Rod -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
3. 1in Inner Diameter Pipe Insulation -- Here is a link to it on Amazon
4. 3M Rubber Tape -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
5. 1/4in MDF -- I bought this for another project from Home depot
6. 1/8in MDF -- I bought this for another project at Home Depot
7. Bondo Lightweight Filler -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
8. Bondo Glass -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
9. Great Stuff Expanding foam -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
10. 1/4in wood Dowel Rod -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
11. Loctite PL 300 Foamboard glue -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
12. Rust-Oleum Bright Coat Metallic Color Spray, Aluminum -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
13. Rust-Oleum Automotive Wheel Spray Paint, Steel -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
14. Mod Podge Clear Gloss Acrylic Sealer -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
15. Liquid Nails Construction Adhesive -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
1. 3M paint Respirator -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
2. Dewalt Orbital Sander -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
3. Dewalt 20v Multitool -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
4. #11 Scalpel -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon I use my scalpels every day, These are way better than xacto. Each blade is individually packaged and 100% sterile, and it is cheaper than xacto blades. I stock like 4 different blades and buy them 100 at a time with a handle, usually for about 10 bucks per pack.
5. Black and Decker Jig saw -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
Step 2: Drawing the Shape
I started on the Foam , and I needed to decide the size. I watched several scenes with the sword and found a scene where Kakashi Hatake is using the sword. I determined that in most of the pictures the sword is about shoulder height. I decided to make the sword blade 60in long. The rest of the shape of it was just guessing mostly. I would draw it, step back and look and then revise it until I was happy with it. The hole in the blade I decided to be 7in Diameter, and the half-hole I decided to be 12in diameter.
Step 3: Cutting the Foam Core
Once I had the shape drawn out I used my #11 Scalpel to cut the sword out of the foam. This went pretty quick, I just made sure that if I snap the chunks off that I have cut enough of the way through that it will break cleanly.
Step 4: Strengthen the Foam Core
I wanted to strengthen the foam to make it so that the bondo was not the only thing that giving the sword strength. What I ended up doing is I cut some V-paths into the sword so that I could place some 1/4in dowels into the V-paths. I was not sure if I should use the foam-board glue, or the great-stuff to secure the dowels into the paths. I used a test patch of foam and tested both substances. the great stuff seemed to work the best and was incredibly strong. The method I used for the foam is to spay it, wait until the foam had a thick skin on it and then smoosh it down into the V-paths on top of the dowels. This made it a much more dense foam. Another thing that I learned is that the same effect can be achieved by not shaking up the can before spraying it. That makes it not expand as much and makes it more dense.
Step 5: Cutting the Hilt
I just guessed on the dimensions of the hilt. I used an empty cotton candy container I had sitting around to make the circle. the I measured and drew a rectangle over the center of the circle and then cut it out with a jig saw. Then I used a 1in Hole saw tou cut a hole in the center of the hilt.
Step 6: Adding the Handle and MDF
First I measured and cut a chunk of 1/8in MDF and used the foam glue to glue the MDF to the back of the sword. Then another round of clamping and waiting. Then I turned it over and cut the foam out to put the handle in. Once i layed the wooden dowel handle into the groove and used a healthy amount of foam glue to glue the handle into the space. Thinking back I could have used the expanding foam to secure the handle in as well.
Next I measured and cut another piece of 1/8th in MDF and glued and clamped the handle, and both pieces of MDF together and left it overnight. I wanted everything to set up right before I took off the clamps.
Step 7: Adding the Bubble Above the Hilt
On the zabuza sword there is a bubble like half oblong shere on either side of the sword above the hilt. I wanted to give it a general shape before applying bondo. I ended up using a subway plasic cup cut in half. I also wanted to securly attach the hilt to the sword so I added a small peice of 1x1 pine under where the cup-dome was going to go. I countersunk and screwed the 1x1 to the handle and then screwed the hilt onto the 1x1. This way the hilt would not move while the foam glue was setting and I would not have to worry about the hilt coming loose. I set the half-cups over the 1x1s that are now screwed to the hilt. Then I cut several holes into the top of the plastic cups and filled the cups with the great stuff expanding foam. This will hold the cups in place and give me a firm foundation to add the bondo to it to shape the bubble thingy.
Step 8: Bondo,, Ehh Not Again
Bondo sucks. It just sucks. No two ways around it. there is definetly an art form to using bondo, and I am a slow learner, lol. There is no easy way to do bondo, it requires a lot of patience, and a fair amount of skill. One thing that I learned the hard way about applying bondo is that you are better off to do many applications of smaller batches than to try to mix a large batch. The bondo hardens fast, too fast for a larger batch. So it is a game of 1. mix a batch, 2. apply the bondo as smooth as possible, 3. after the bondo hardens sand the bondo, 4. mark the spots that need touch up, 5. return to step 1 and repeat. I did this for several days before I was happy with the way that it looked. Another lesson I learned is that it is better to apply it a little heavy and then sand it down rather than trying to get it perfect with a spreader and haveing to touchup spots.
First I started with a thin layer of bondo glass to give the part of the blade not covered by MDF the strength to not flop around. Then I moved on to the regular bondo.
No matter how you look at it this is a time consuming step. It took me several hours a day for about 5 days to get this step done.
Step 9: Paint
I had a few different choices for paint. I bought some Rust-oleum custom shop wheel paint and Rust-oleum Mettalic Finish Aluminum. I sprayed both on a patch to see what it would look like. I decided that the mettalic finish aluminum would look good for the "sharp" part of the blade, and the custom shop wheel paint would be used for the rest of the sword. I started by painting the whole sword with the wheel paint and then taped off the areas that I wanted the shiny paint to be. I painted everything with several coats to make sure that it all looked even.
Step 10: The Handle
I wanted to make sure that everythign would grip onto the sanded wood dowel, so I painted the wood dowel with black plasti-dip to make the surface grippy. Then I cut 4 pieces of the pipe insulation and tapered the edge of them using the #11 scalpel. I used liquid Nails Construction adhesive to attach the pieces of pipe insulation to the handle. Once the liquid nails was set up I started filling in the parts of the handle that did not have the pipe insulation with the rubber tape.
Step 11: Gloss Sealant
I wish I would have put a little more thought into this step before I did it. I wanted to use some clear gloss sealant to protect the paint and keep it from getting scuffed up. Unfortunately the mod podge acrylic sealer eats foam. This is ok for most of the sword, but there were a few little spots on the edge of the blade where the foam was close enough to the surface to get eaten a little. It is not too bad but lesson learned. Also the mod podge does not give it a hard surface, once dry, it is still soft enough to leave fingerprints. Your experience may vary. I ended up using a water based poly that worked much better.
Step 12: Laser a Wall Hanger
Now that I had the sword done I wanted a way to display it. I needed a hanger that could support the weight of the sword (I would say it is 20- 25 lbs). I could have bought a bike hook - kind of hook that would have worked, but I am always needing one of these so I decided to design one in coreldraw X7 and laser it out. I designed the hanger to support a good amount of weight. Once it is cut out it just press - fits together. I used wood glue to hold it together. It holds the sword like it is nothing, I have no doubt that it can hold something much heavier. So if you need a wall hanger for something I have the pattern and the Corel file below that you can download.
Step 13: All Done
I had a lot of fun making this. Im not planning on taking it to any conventions or anything, they are not my scene. But I think it looks just great hanging on the wall. Now I have to do the rest of the seven swordsmen of the mist swords. Thanks a lot for checking out my instrucable.
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