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Dustin Faulkner

Location: BOERNE, TX
Joined: 20 Jul 2008

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PostPosted: Wed 27 Jan, 2010 11:43 am    Post subject: How do you make a wooden waster?         Reply with quote


I was wondering if anyone can show me pictures (or lead me to instructions) about how a wooden waster is made and assembled ... or how swords in general are assembled. I'd like to make my own wooden waster out of red oak or hickory. However, I can't quite figure out in my head what the assembly order is (and how they are assembled) between the blade, hilt, and pommel. For all I know, in the case of wooden wasters, the blade and pommel are one piece. Only the hilt is seperate.

I have a Hanwei "Bastard" sword, but I don't think I want to actually practice with it. Maybe against a watermelon, but not with a real person.

Also, who makes aluminum wasters? They are probably more practical in the long run, but I'd like the pride of having made my own wooden sword.

Thanks everyone! Big Grin

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Martin Wallgren

Location: Bjästa, Sweden
Joined: 01 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Wed 27 Jan, 2010 1:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nylon waister are quite popular nowadays in the HEMA /WMA community. There is a few alternatives out there!
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JG Elmslie
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Location: Scotland
Joined: 18 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Wed 27 Jan, 2010 1:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

well, the way I do 'em is pretty simple.

take a plank of wood - I preferred 20mm x 50mm (I use straight-grained ash personally.... for a few practice ones, before ordering a batch of wood from a sawmill, I used re-cut hickory pickaxe handles to make sure the shaping worked right)

plane it smooth, then mark your cross point, and the hilt length to the pommel end.
I generally was using a 25mm thick crossguard, and so mark 12.5mm on either side of the crossguard's median line.

then mark the hilt width for what would efffectively become the tang. I us about 25mm wide for that.
drill two 8mm holes in the wood intersecting the upper line of the crossguard, and the tang's edge, giving you a 4mm radiused chamfer.
then cut through the wood following the line of the tang mark, and the crossguard line, thus removing the excess from the tang. plane or file smooth if you're hand-sawing, a bandsaw should be nice and clean already.

then I'd generally work on it by hand rather than by machine, as a matter of personal taste, and plane in a profile taper to taste for the sort of blade I'm representing, and then turn to the faces, and plane in a distal taper taking the blade down to about 12mm at the tip.

then I'd re-draw a centreline down the blade, angle the plane, and narrow the edge down to about 8mm wide, following the centreline, repeat for each side in turn, and then if required, would pull a set of U section gouge chisels, and starting with a small radius guide line, chisel in a slight fuller if needed.

lastly, I'd plane accross the grain on the tang, and narrow that down on the distal to about 18mm, so there's a little step in the area where the cross will be.

bingo, a blade blank.

then take a section of 30mm x 40mm x 200mm timber, usually ash, though I did sometimes use flashier wood, and I'd create a simple cross. I'd generally put a slight flare into the cross arms, and taper them in a lenticular shape. I did a few that were effectively a concave arc, but that, I found was taking too much wood out and weakening them a tad. better to be overbuilt, than fail, I'd say. then it was bored out with a 18mm bit and brace, and then squared off to a through mortice slot.

then it's a case of using a block around 40mmx40mm or so, and either using a lathe, a fretsaw, or similar shaping, and making a pommel. then the pommel was bored down with a 18mm bit and brace, down to about 12-15mm short of the end.

then the end of the blade tang was clamped in a vice, and a rasp ran round the end to round it off. dead easy, quick and dirty, and the net result was a round post that the pommel can be placed down onto .

then take the cross, knock it down the tang to fit, and my general method of securing it was to then hammer a pair of small wedges either side, covered in wood glue. holds them in place firmly, and wedges the tang into position. then knock the pommel down onto the rounded part of the tang, with a good dollop of wood glue in place, and nice and secure.

at that point, I'd generally do a quick and simple chamfering on the tang peice, add a leather wrap if it was wanted, and then give all the peices a final fine sanding smooth, and a rubbing down with linseed or poppy oil.

worryingly, the actual shaping is'nt really any different to what I do for making steel stuff.....

end result something a bit like this.
his one's done with a cross and pommel in burled sycamore... because I had some bits lying around, and its pretty. need I give any more reason than that Happy

( for a larger res version )

if you need I could probably draw a blueprint, or some photos of "in-progress" ones.
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Augustinas C

Joined: 17 Jul 2013

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun 06 Oct, 2013 8:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Since i am not native english speaker i find it hard to understand your explanation, and the link to picture is not working as well.

Would you please give more guidance of how to make the wooden waster?
Any blueprints or photos would be highly appreciated, thank you in advance.
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