How to Make a Minecraft Sword with Real Wood that Glows

I constantly search for ways to get my kids to create things with me in my workshop.  I feel it is important for them to learn how to use tools and work with their hands.  In an effort to get some Father/Son time, I offered to show my son how to make a minecraft sword with real wood that glows in the dark.

Introduction

My son has been into Minecraft for quite a few years now.  While I think it is a cool game for kids to play, I do not like it very much.  Mostly because of the irritating and redundant sounds that come from the game.

Those with kids who play Minecraft know exactly what I’m referring to. The sheep baa’ing, cows moo’ing, wood being chopped &, most of all, the voice of ‘Stampy’ (the famous Minecraft Youtuber from England).

Despite my personal feelings towards the game, I knew this project would grab my son’s attention and get him to participate in this project with me.

I find it more beneficial to utilize the ‘design as we build’ strategy when doing projects with my kids.  This helps them stay engaged because they are involved with each stage of the project by providing input/opinions instead of simply building something someone else designed.

I had an idea of how I wanted to build the wooden sword based on a few examples I found on YouTube & Pinterest.

However, Shane took me in a completely different direction – of course.  I only had 1 rule:  we had to build the sword with material I had in the shop.  In other words, we couldn’t buy anything to complete this project.

Shane and I agreed on a general design of the sword.

This part of the process is so valuable for Shane.  It teaches him how to share ideas with a team, translate his mental picture into words, & negotiate possibilities.

 

 

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Draw Outline

We drew the outline of the sword on a piece of scrap 3/4″ plywood in a ‘T’ shape.  Next, I used my combination square as a guide to draw my lines.

 

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Cutout Outline

I cutout the lines we drew on the table saw & completely forgot about the ‘T’ shape at the top.

Shane tried to tell me as I was ripping this piece of plywood on the table saw, but I didn’t hear him.

This was the only piece of 3/4″ plywood I had that was large enough for the sword.  So, it was time to improvise.

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I ripped 3 more strips of birch plywood:  2 – 6″x4″ strips for the sword’s cross-guard, 1 – 10″x6″ piece for the grip (sword’s handle).

By the way, I had to lookup the proper names for the different parts of the sword with Shane to figure the proper name for the horizontal piece, which is the cross-guard.

 

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Second Layer of Sword

I found some leftover pieces of bamboo I used to replace carpet stairs with wood a few years ago at our old house.  Additonally, I found some basswood scraps laying around as well.

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I learned very quickly that bamboo is really really hard, so it is best to take very light passes when running it through the planer.

Next, I planed down the leftover bamboo flooring and ripped about 1/2″ off the sides and ends to make it a straight board.

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Glue Up

Shane and I glued 2 pieces of bamboo and 3 pieces of basswood together, clamped the faces together and let it sit overnight.

Once these dried, I cut them into strips to be the second layer of the sword that will sit on top of the birch plywood.  More on this later.

 

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Draw Lines

Once the glue dried, I ripped the bundle into 1″ wide on my table saw, which left me with more than I needed.

I noticed Shane was getting bored, so I chopped up a few of the bundles into blocks to let him play while I worked through the boring steps.  He was still paying attention to what I was doing, but I wanted to give him something to do before he completely lost interest.  Needless to say, the blocks kept him very busy.

Next, I drew 45 degree lines across the face of the sword going both ways to form a diamond pattern.  This left me with 1 full diamond in the middle and 2 half diamond shapes on each end.

 

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Cut Diamond Shape

I took the sword over to the bandsaw and cut out the half diamonds to make it look more like it belonged in a Minecraft world.

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Second Glue Up

I ripped the the middle piece of basswood out of the wood bundled we glued together in a previous step on my table saw.  These 2 end pieces would covereach side of the diamonds I cut out and leave a 1.5″ channel in the middle.

Next, I glued these in place, clamped them and let it dry overnight.

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Cut Out Top Layer

I took the sword over to the bandsaw and cut out the strips following the diamond-shaped lines I cutout in a previous step.

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Next, I used my Japanese saw to trim of the excess strips at the base of what would be the sword’s cross-guard.

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Build the Cross-Guard

I cut 4 pieces of bamboo (2 on each side) to from the sword’s cross-guard and grip and glued them using wood glue to the plywood, clamped them, and let them dry overnight.

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Then, I used a round piece of sandpaper from my spindle sander to draw lines and rounded them out on the bandsaw.

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Paint Middle of Sword

Shane wanted the center of the sword to be blue.

So, I used left over chalk paint I purchased at one of the big box stores for a previous project to paint the middle of the sword.

I wanted to put some color on the bottom of the sword.  However, I was not certain if the epoxy resin with glow powder would cover the lines I drew on the sword.

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Drill Holes for Cross-Guard

I took the sword over to the drill press and used a 1″ forstener bit to drill 3 holes a 1/2″ deep into both sides of the sword’s cross-guard.

 

 

For those who watch my video, I forgot to turn the camera on for this step.

I taped the end of the sword using HVAC tap