#1 Posted by KevlarGorilla (3 posts) -

Hello all! I decided to use my Mechanical Engineering education, Solid Works training, and millwright industry contacts to work in building my first Master Sword. I learned a lot from this project, and plan on iterating my processes until I can make a really great steel sword, perhaps even every one from each Zelda game. Somewhere in my mind is the idea to sell them too, but there are a few obstacles, like copyright law and my own confidence, that make me wary. Please look at the album, and ask me anything!

Album: http://imgur.com/a/XcwxJ

I've had some questions about cost. Let's see if I can break this down:

  • The raw steel cut to shape was $15 per sword, and I cut 6. Three are sitting at my brother's garage. Aluminum costs about the same by volume. The steel grade is 44w, or A36, which is a common structural carbon steel. Stainless is 3-5x more expensive and a bitch to grind and machine.
  • The liquid plastic cost $80 for those two gallons, one each of Part A and B. $10 for the dye, which helps hide painting flaws and will last forever. $10 for mold release.
  • A couple of trips to the dollar store for odd supplies, like cups, spoons, measuring stuff, knives. Pipe was cheap too.
  • Gold leaf is about $10 for a booklet of sheets.
  • I now have a collection of about a dozen spraycans and small bottles of grey, silver, chrome, gold, blue, and clearcoat, testing out different combinations. $10 each.
  • The wooden molds, I traded $400 worth of modeling work for him to machine it all; I just sent him the files.
  • Other supplies include some bondo, wax, sanding sealer were about $10 each.
  • Blanchard grinding the one sword was about $25. I like the finish, and it makes it level to within 0.010". The hand-ground sword was sand-blasted first before hit by me with a grinder for 60 seconds, because I wanted to see what resulted which was about $10.
  • My brother ground the edges in 30 minutes, I paid him in computer tech support, which is worth like a million dollars.
  • And I spent way too much time developing, designing, and troubleshooting, and obsessing about mistakes, and learning. I'd be surprised if it wasn't hundreds of hours.

If I wanted to budget to sell them, and could take care of some other start up costs:

  • $15 - material
  • $25 - Blanchard Grind
  • $20 - Triforce engraving
  • $30 - Grind Edges
  • $50 - Hilt and pommel, including casting time, glue, bondo
  • $30 - sanding, finishing and paint on hilt
  • $20 - Pipe, leather, gold leaf, epoxy, clear coat to prevent rusting
  • ~$80 - labor, offset startup costs, and.. profit?

So, ~$250-300 per sword. I don't think that's bad. I'd want to get the quality right, because I don't think I could handle returns at all, nor would I want to feel the wrath of the internets.

#2 Posted by Reisz (1527 posts) -

Pretty interesting, as far as form and proportions go this looks mint, bravo. There are a lot of Master Sword reproductions out there and I haven't seen one that looks this good.

What's the overall weight like? your method for shaping the blade seems pretty similar to knife making techniques, Aluminium might be the way to go for a display sword, easier to get looking nicer. If you really like the steel though and it's overly heavy you may want to give it some distal taper. That could prove difficult though, grinding down from what I assume was sheet metal.

none of that withstanding those proportions are excellent. Can't wait to see ver.2

#3 Edited by KevlarGorilla (3 posts) -

@reisz:

Thanks a pile! The weight is about 9-10 lbs, and I really can't wield it with one-handed. I find it kind of ironic that the master sword is one of the relatively smallest swords in fantasy and video games, but really isn't practical as a weapon because its still too heavy.

#4 Posted by jewunit (1064 posts) -

@kevlargorilla: What a neat project! The end product looks very nice, especially for a first shot. Is the sword sharp? If so, consider bringing it into a field and chopping up some tall grass. It would make for quite a picture.