To create Master Yi’s blade, I’ll be using 3.5 inches of 4140 stock. I’ll be knocking this down, getting it down to a bar form using the Nazel power hammer. It’ll take me about a half an hour to get it down to a bar and then we’ll work from there. Now that Kerry’s done a lot of the brute forging and really broken down this round stock into a nice long bar, Ilya’s going to take over here and start forging the blade. He’s going to continue drawing it out.
He’s going to work on both the flat and on the sides to make sure everything stays nice true as he draws it out. Here, you can clearly see where Ilya’s spraying water onto the blade as he’s working and the scales popping from the surface. The reason we want that scale to pop off is it can leave really deep pits in the metal. We have a really limited amount of material to work from this time. We’ve got to make a pretty large blade so we can’t afford any loss. You can see now, Ilya’s turning that symmetrical point that he forged in into the more Tanto, katana-like point that we’re used to seeing in the game art.
You’ve seen Ilya do very similar work on the Kill Bill katana episode. Ilya’s quickly become one of the major masters in this country at forging super large blades. Not too many people even take those commissions.
Many customers come, asking all different sword makers if they’ll make super huge large blades like you guys request. Ilya has now forged more than probably any of them in this country, maybe worldwide. He’s quickly become a master and it’s fun to watch him work. At this point, Ilya’s removing the handle section so that he can define the tang. Doesn’t need that handle on there for leverage anymore now that the blade’s drawn out so long. He’s flipped it over.
He’s using a hot cut tool underneath the power hammer. He’s just going to remove that material, allow him to forge that section. Now that the power hammer work is done on this blade, Ilya’s going to move to the anvil and start forging in the bevels. You can see, as he works to get these really steep bevels, he’s working on the very edge of the anvil. This is so that when he holds that blade at an angle and strikes it matching that angle, he doesn’t hit the face of the anvil, dinging it or possibly chipping the anvil. To give you guys a sense of time, Ilya’s been hand-beveling now for about an hour.
He’s now at the point where he’s joining the tip bevel into the shoulder bevel. He’s got about a six-inch section to go. This is a long process, takes about 20 heats to get the bevel forged in on a big blade like this, so he’s just going to stay at it and then I’ll be ready to do the grinding. Now that the forging is done, it’s time to start the grinding. I have a few things I gotta work out before I start.
This is a hybrid between a Chinese ring sword, which has nine rings down the back of the blade. this only has two, and a Japanese katana. The Chinese ring swords are very flimsy and very light, used in traditional forms. Japanese katana’s very thick and has very prominent edges so I have to do a blend of them both. I’m going to start by profiling just slightly and then start on those heavy bevels.
Today, I’ve been working on the League of Legends ring sword and I’m doing the rings that are going to hang from the sword. We’re going to do them out of bronze and we decided to do them as the stylized snake that’s eating its tail. Now I’m in the process of carving the scales on it and once the scales are carved on it, we’ll cast it in bronze and then finish it tomorrow and any place where I’ve lost the scales, I’ll be able to put them back on with the chasing tool. We’ll be doing these castings with lost wax. First we take the waxes and screw them into a tree.
Then they’re set into a flask and plaster is poured around them. It’s a special plaster called investment. It’ll go into the kiln.
We slowly ramp up to 1350, lowered to a thousand. It’ll be placed into the casting machine and then I’m going to bring in molten, 2100-degree bronze and pour it into the vacuum machine. After it reaches 900 degrees, we’ll take it to the water, it’ll steam off the investment, and show us our bronze. The last step before heat-treating the blade is to get those holes located and drilled in where our rings will go after. Now that we got our blade ready for heat treating, its time to move onto the guard portion.
Just like in some previous League of Legends builds, the splash art doesn’t always match with the end game art so I’ve had to do a little figuring out, see where I want to go with this guard. This is the main splash art for Master Yi for his basic standard skin and this is what we’ve based our design off so far. Unfortunately, all the pictures I can find of it have that guard and the blade off angle so what I had to do was kind of zoom in here, take a good look at everything, and I just freehand drew what I thought the guard would look like. What I’m going to do now is I’m going to mirror it over from the center point here.
Just gotta fill in a few lines. The blade will come out of this section. Probably going to set a stone or something like that in the middle, cut some overlays to make those borders rise out. We’ll be good to go. So we have six different pieces that make up this guard. We have our central wings, we have the quillon block, and then the outer pieces which are going to make it look like a nice rise border.
What I have to do now is I gotta take both of these quillon block pieces and instead of them being nice and flat, we want them to angle towards the blade so they’re thicker at the handle and thinner at the blade. (suspenseful music) (mumbles) heat treat Master Yi’s sword, his Da-dao. This blade is made out of 4140 steel. It’s an excellent steel for jackhammer bits, hammer dies and other impact tools. 4140 has approximately 0.4% carbon, means I don’t have to watch my temperatures as carefully as some other higher carbon steels but it has tons of manganese and tons of chrome in it.
This means if I were to try to hamon this blade, it would not show any hamon because it’s a deep-hardening steel and the quench goes all the way under the clay to the spine. Ilya now goes into our long furnace brings this piece up to critical temperature to where it’s non-magnetic, brings it out, and takes it to the quench. So I quenched Master Yi’s Dadao.
It is at full hardness now. However, because it’s 4140, it doesn’t get hard as the high-carbon steels. Check this sound out. It doesn’t have that glassy sound because it’s 4140. Its highest hardness I can get on this blade in oil quench is about let’s say 55, 51 Rockwell.
The highest hardness it can get out of 1075, 1095 can be up to 60-61 Rockwell in an oil quench. Master Yi’s sword has been in the tank for about an hour already. In the tempering, this is actually the last opportunity to straighten out any warps produced in the quenching.
So, I’m going to take it out and go to the vise to quickly yank some of them straight. So Master Yi’s sword is basically straight. Any other warping along the edge will be fixed in the grind when it’s being made sharp. Now that we have Master Yi’s Wushu blade completely heat-treated and tempered, I can move onto the polishing.
My first goal is to start at the 80 grit and remove all the deep scale and then I’ll go through the grits from there. All right, so I just ran this blade through the grits, 120, 220, I got a little more polishing to do before I move onto the Scotch-Brite but I was able to define that kissaki, which is where the two different bevels come together. I add a small back bevel on the spine. Just think it looks a little more aggressive and I like it. Really happy with it so far. Time to get that hilt and the pommel on.
The pommel for Master Yi’s sword will be constructed from three pieces of black iron pipe and a couple pieces of round bar. It’ll be forged into two arrowhead finials. When forging finials like this, the pre-form is very important. So I’m going to take a piece of this round bar and I’m going to flatten it out, and then I’m going to form two shoulders and then using the edge of the anvil, I’m going to buck that shape to get a shape like this.
And then from there, I’ll bevel them and draw that point more and then it’ll get cleaned up to look like that. So one, two, three. So for the pommel on Master Yi, Sam’s already forged out a couple of the points that go to the left and right. I’m going to be basically turning a spike out the top and then we’ll probably do some faceting on it to get the fit.
It’ll lock down into a pipe section that’ll become the main part of the pommel. All that’s going to get welded solid and that’ll hold the whole sword together. [Matt] For the construction on our pommel, we’re going to use two pieces of pipe. One’s going to get a notch in it, the other a V. They’re going to be put together and welded solid. We’ll start by cutting the two pieces of pipe on the saw.
Then I move to the sander to sanding the notch and the V shape that will allow these two pieces of pipe to join together. What we have is a cross-pipe with a notch in it and a top pipe with a V in it. It’s going to get welded solid. Then we have these nice arrowheads that Sam forged. Then the lathe turn spike that Kerry did. It’ll go in the top.
Now that the base of our guard is polished out, it’s time to add those borders on. John’s going to use the MIG welder and weld all the way around the perimeter and then he’s going to move to the sanders and blend that weld off. WIth time winding down, the pressure’s on.
No time for us to go one at a time so while John’s fastening the pommel, I blend the welds on the guards. We’re going to put some bright green paint into the background on this piece. But before that, the entire piece has to be brassed because that’s going to be the highlight on the raised sections and all the way around the border.
After pre-heating the guards, Sam takes a solid brass wire wheel and runs it over the surface. The friction from the wire wheel and the pre-heat on the material lays the brass permanently onto the guard. So for the handle on Master Yi, we’ve got this small flange that mounts here that goes on top of the guard. I’m going to be cutting that on the lathe, just a couple steps in here, and then we’ll take it over to the mill and make a larger slot to go over the tang. We use a three-eights cutter on the Gorton mill, make a slot where I’d placed the hole using the lathe.
So we’ have a small area that we’ve cut. It’s about a half inch. These are 12 millimeter stones. We’re going to be setting sterling silver bezels in place. Then we’ll drop the stones into them afterwards. I’m using a torch, low temperature solder, about 500 degrees here, and an acid-based flux.
That’s going to burn that surface nice and clean for us. As soon as I feel like I’m getting the heat, I’m going to put a little bit of solder in the bottom, pick up the bezels, put a little flux on the bezel and drop them right onto the solder and they should adhere perfectly. Afterwards, I’ll use a bezel pusher to lay in the edge and keep the stone in place. It’s time to move onto our handle portion. The handle on Master Yi’s sword is a very long, spiraled handle. It’s in two parts but I’m going to make my job easier by leaving it one part to start with.