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Bad Leaf Springs Make Good Swords

Note: This project is essentially for novelty purposes only. We do not recommend using a homemade knife or sword for any practical purpose.
In our office we always thought 5160 Carbon Spring Steel was just used to make trucks springs and suspension components. However, spring steel is also used for other purposes. Blacksmith's commonly use 5160 Carbon Spring Steel as it is much more durable and less prone to breakage than a high carbon steel (aka: 1095 to the blacksmith's of our modern world). Where do hobby style blacksmiths get this material? You guessed it - leaf springs from or old cars & trucks like chevy or ford leaf springs.

YouTube Video's show pictures of swords, knives and even axes crafted at home from amateur blacksmiths and also the pro's; but, how do they really do it, and why the sudden increase in its popularity? Well who doesn't want a cool sword? And its recycling which is a hot topic these days. So staff thought we would take a further look into this, and see if any of our viewers had heard or even done this, or maybe we've intrigued you into how its done...

Sword Diagram Once you've found yourself an old leaf spring, get ready to make new use out of it. There are 2 ways to do this. You can use the traditional hot method; heating the steel until it glows & then taking a sledge hammer and pounding it straight. This is a method that has been used by blacksmith's many years for bending steel.

Heating Leaf Spring Steel I have also heard of people going a different route, but since I have not tried this myself I am not sure if this is as effective with spring steal as using heat. This method involves placing your spring on an anvil that is set on a very hard flat surface; you'll use this as your guide to making the spring straight. You then take your sledge hammer or steel hammer, and begin to smack the curved metal along the anvil making it straight. Either of these methods will provide you with a solid steel base to start your sword.

Now all that's left is giving your leaf spring sword an edge and select its length. Some people have make knives, daggers, axes or huge swords using spring steel, so make appropriate judgments for size based on your design. When selecting your size always keep in mind that your length of the sword includes the length of the blade, and the width of the guard, length of the tang and a 2-inch pommel stud. After cutting you then lay out a sword profile using a fine tipped marker. Once you have your cut done and up to your desired specifications, use a bench grinder to rough grind the edge angles of the blade. Then you can finish grind the blade and tang with an 80-grit abrasive. After you finish grinding all that is left is selecting your handle. Many people have used wood, more steel, or even bone to construct a durable and nice handle.

Finished Leaf Spring Sword This creativity is amazing and just goes to show you that almost anything can be recycled and given new use. We have scoured the net and these are some of the blades forged from old car & truck leaf springs we thought were awesome and the best we've seen. Contact us if you have done this before or, if you have pictures of your own sword, or maybe even your own DIY video you want to share with us.

Some finished swords and knifes:


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