Sword Art Online - Elucidator
Feb. 2015
After watching the first episode of Sword Art Online i was hooked. And after watching the first few episodes, i knew that i MUST have the Elucidator sword!

Of course i could just go buy one online or at ComicCon. They range anywhere from a cheap $25 plastic prop to an actual battle-ready $1000+ metal sword. And i probably will buy one (something nicer than the $25 sword and a little more affordable than the $1k sword), but i also want to make my own. This will document the journey of my first cosplay sword.

First, some pre-requisites that will explain the Elucidator:
  • Go watch Sword Art Online. You can find some of it on Netflix (season 1 at least). For the rest, there's a great website that has all of the episodes. http://sao-episodes.com/
  • Check out what Man At Arms did with the Elucidator. I would LOVE to have their resources, skill, and experience someday. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obw19lRWO-Y
  • But since i need to start a little more humbly, the first step was to find a tutorial that i actually COULD follow and have a prayer of completing. Here's the best one i found: SAO Elucidator Tutorial

I downloaded and printed out the blueprints from the tutorial. This was actually harder than it sounds, because there was no good way in OSX (that i could find) to print something that was 5x6 pages with slight overlap. I finally found a decent 3rd party app that worked for me: PosteRazor (do a google search, there are several sites for downloading).

I then placed the paper templates on the wood and spray painted their outline. I find this technique is much easier and more accurate than trying to trace the outline with a pen or pencil.

I then used a skill saw to cut out all the pieces.

And here are all the pieces. Obviously they still need to be sanded smooth, but i can finally see things taking shape. Now if i only had a belt sander...

The next step is to glue each of the pieces together. I used wood glue for this. And then clamp the pieces together nice and tight while the glue dries.

At this point the sword is finally starting to take shape.

Things are finally taking shape. The end is in sight. It looks like a sword.

Now it's just a matter of putting the pieces together. I finally got to use the drill press. Delicate work. The hole can't be crooked or else it will cut through the edge of the blade! The handle rod is glued using expanding gorilla glue to really hold it in place.

Wood Filler for the edges title=
using a metal rod for strong support title=
handle rough-cut title=

The build is done. Now on to painting!

First off i applied a flat black primer. This took several days and several coats because the wood kept soaking up the paint. *slurp*

Then i got some painters tape and blocked off the black part of the sword in prep for painting the edges with a light grey. Even with all of the primer, this still took several coats because it kept being absorbed into the wood.

And finally, after the paint was all dry, i made stencils for the decorative bits and painted them on.