STEM: The Making of a Sword

What does cardboard, duct tape, a dowel and a ball of yarn have to do with each other?

It's a weapon for an 11 year old boy that's what it is.   My son has been making or using swords for a very long time.   As he gets older they are getting more elaborate with better details.  He has a weapons book that is frequently a source of inspiration.


Take one dowel, add some cardboard and wrap it with yarn.  Judicious use of duct tape is must.


Make sure you craft your cardboard carefully so you can make a good hilt.  Protecting one's hand while swinging a sword is vitally important.   A good grip equally so.

Take time to form your foam to make your sword blade.  Think enough to provide cushioning, thing enough to not look horrible. 


Safety is very important...no accidental injuries needed.

After applying the foam to either side of the dowel there was a space in either side that just didn't look right.  Here is where some thin foam came into play.


And of course, no sword is complete without the knight to go with it eh?


He used to have boots and leg protectors but they just proved a pain to deal with so he discarded them.  His shield can take quite a beating. His gauntlets provide a good range of motion and give him more protection then you'd think.  

The sword, unless swung with determined force, doesn't hurt when it hits, but is long enough that we need to be mindful of lamps, candles and overhead lights.  :)  I'm looking forward to the spring when I can use my scimitar the lad is going to make me, against the lad's sword.  :)

The Lad is getting practical experience in how difficult it would be for students of the knightly arts to control what their sword was doing.    He's built a sheath for it (needs a bit of fine tuning so no pictures allowed).

I love how my lad will spend hours creating, changing, adding, and learning about the armour and weapons of old.   Doing STEM and not even realizing it.   AND it works and works well.  He's due for a refit of his chest-plate etc and he's gone through a growth spurt and is finding it just a tad bit tight now....  

So tell me... would you want to face this young warrior in battle?? 

If my son has peaked your interest, some books that might appeal.  Affiliate links used to help my family without cost to you.
 

8 comments

  1. We've only made swords once, they were more craft projects/props for playing and they broke on the first real swing LOL!

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    1. Alison, we have been through many renditions of swords in our house, the key is a GOOD dowel and foam... this is packing foam that the lad used. It works the best.

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  2. I think I need to dig out the instructions for duct tape swords that I got in a bundle a couple of years ago. Seeing your very serious knight makes me think that I have some girls that might enjoy being a knight for a day.

    He did good! - Lori

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    1. Ah Lori...it's much funner to make them from scratch! And they work better too! (at least that's what my lad says). The hardest part is in finding the foam.

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  3. How fun! I love the creativity and how he keeps improving and refining his design. That's what good scientists and inventors do!

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    1. I know, the learning never stops, he figures new ways to rework it and make it better all the time. :)

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  4. Oh my goodness, how fun! I'm sure the boys in my home would love it!

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    1. they most likely would! :) Get the ingredients and put them to work eh? :)

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