A Method for Counterweighting a Flatblade
One method for simultaneously counterweighting your sword and making an oval cross-section for your handle, by Arrakis.
- A sword to counterweight
- Double-sided Carpet Tape
- Steel (or other metal) bar stock, masonry nails, round bar stock, or other flat(ish) or skinny round pieces of heavy stuff
- Black cloth tape
- 1/8" - 3/8" rope (up to your preference and your desired final handle thickness)
1. Build a sword.
2. Put a layer of carpet tape on the handle and stick short (~1/3 handle length) sections of barstock to the edge sides of the handle.
3. Add short segments of barstock to the pommel area until you get the balance just a little bit in front of where you ultimately want it to be.
4. Wrap the whole mess in hockey tape a couple of times to keep everything solidly in place.
5. Put down a strip of carpet tape (just a strip down the whole length of the handle, it doesn't have to cover the whole surface) and wrap the handle in rope to get it up to a healthy diameter. Remember, gripping skinny things is bad for your hands! (So cook for your woman more often!)
6. Double check that it balances just about where you want it to and make any adjustments with Gorilla tape or metal wire in the pommel area. Build a good, solid pommel ~2.25" across in at least one direction and with a couple layers of blue on the bottom of it, wrap the handle and pommel in another layer of hockey tape, for grip and purdy, cover your sword, and roll out!
PS: You can use masonry nails in place of smaller grades of bar stock, if you don't require as much weight as barstock will provide. For example, I'd never use 3/8" barstock like that on a kitespar sword (it would be excessive); I'd use masonry nails or 3/8x1/4" stock, if I could get it. Or, possibly, use a section of barstock at the bottom of each side of the handle and use sections of wooden dowels or wooden square stock (you can find it sometimes) for the rest of the oblonging.
NOTE: Another option I've found useful recently is ~5/16" round steel stock. Cut into 4" pieces and applied as above, only double-wide down each blade-side of the handle produces an excellently rounded oblong grip that doesn't take as much effor to apply (less trying to force a flat thing and a curved thing to mate, more using properties of round things to your advantage. This also allows you to use a piece of 5/16" steel stock and a piece of a chopstick for each "layer" if you want, instead of 2 piece of steel stock, for when you don't need as much counterweight, but want the same handle profile. This has worked to my advantage on recent builds on .524 kitespar.