Finishing Touches

­Once the blade is tempered, the bladesmith adds the rest of the sword. The g­uard and pommel are usually forged by the smith at the same time that he creates the blade. The guard is welded into place on the blade, or simply snugged against the shoulders and held in place by the hilt.


Photo courtesy Don Fogg Knives
A wooden block is prepared for use as a hilt.


Photo courtesy Don Fogg Knives
The finished hilt

The hilt may be one of several materials:

  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Wire
  • Bone
  • Leather
  • Plastic

The hilt is usually slipped over the tang to rest at the blade shoulder on a sword. (Knife hilts are normally riveted or glued on.) It is held in place by the pommel. The pommel either screws on to the end of the tang or it is slipped over the tang, in which case the end of the tang is flattened out to hold the pommel on. A few swords have the pommel and even the guard all created as one piece with the blade.


Photo courtesy Don Fogg Knives
Detail of the guard on the blade from this page

After the guard, hilt and pommel are added, the finished sword is buffed and polished. Finally, a whetstone is used to sharpen the blade. The completed product is a testament to the hard work of the bladesmith.

For more information on sword making and related topics, check out the links on the next page.