This evening I finished a small commission for a very good friend of mine:
His three children will be getting wooden swords for Christmas.
These are made from osage orange and walnut, and the two pieces are joined with a lap-joint. The handles were cut out with a coping saw and rounded over with a file, while the blades were shaped with a drawknife and spokeshave. The osage orange takes a beating without breaking (just ask my own kids!), and the walnut provides a nice color contrast and is easy to carve. I did carve the initials of each recipient into the handle.
Despite being somewhat ornate (as toys go, anyway), these swords are pretty quick to make. Once the stock is dimensioned, I can have one sword shaped and glued up in about half an hour. The carving on the handle takes only a few minutes more.
The hardest part? Getting the point to look sharp enough to satisfy a child’s demand for realism but blunt enough to satisfy mom’s demand for safety. I think I have it right now.