This is how I made Sting out of aluminum. Sting is the sword that Bilbo, and then Frodo carried in Middle Earth. It really is a very beautiful blade. I'm not claiming to be making an exact replica by any means. The actual blade is much larger, and it also has decorative parts to it.
To make the wood pattern, I first found a picture online and cut it out with an exacto knife. Because it was so large, I had to print it on two sheets of paper. I then taped the two pieces together.
I then traced it onto a piece of wood that was large enough to carve down into Sting. I then cut it out on the bandsaw. You might notice in the picture below how there is a line exactly in the middle of the wood. That's because I glued to pieces of wood together to make it thick enough. The line was incredibly helpful though. It helped me keep everything centered, including keeping the blade edge straight. If I make more blades, I'll probably do the same thing.
The next step was to rasp it down till I got close to the lines. These are the before and after pictures.
Because the wood pieces I was using were too thick, I needed to shave down the everything with my rasp until it was the right thickness. I started with the handle, and then went to the blade.
The next step was to carve down the cross guard. I first got it into the shape I wanted, and then made it thinner. Unfortunately I failed to take any pictures of making the wood pattern from here on out. You can see what I needed to cut away though. I did everything by the handle with my dremel.
I then carved down the blade to put an edge on it, rounded the handle, shaped the pommel, and sanded everything very well. I ended up with this. I'm sorry about the lack of pictures. Sometimes I get so focused that I forget to take them.
Because I couldn't wait, I immediately made a mold and casted it. However, some pieces of sand broke off when I made the mold. I didn't put enough draft on the crossguard. This is what the resulting casting looked like.
I figured it would be a pain to clean up the mistake on the aluminum, so I instead decided to put some draft on the wood pattern. I then casted it again. Unfortunately, this time the casting came out with shrinkage in the handle. So I tried one more time (third times a charm?). This time it came out very well. After cleaning it up and polishing it, I ended up with this:
It was so shiny, I had a hard time getting a good picture. I really like how it turned out though. I plan on making some more in the future.