Bar stock counterweighting can be one of the most affordable methods of counterweighting, and the simple construction is easy to learn and durable. Its best to do this process after a blade and guard are built, but before a pommel is attached. Keep in mind that using Bar Stock will shape the handle and contribute to Oblonging.
- Steel Bar Stock. The size of the rod is dependent on the thickness of your core and what you can find. Local metal yards might have good deals, but bar stock is pretty affordable to start with. Double the length of your handle, that’s how much bar stock you’ll need.
- A strong tape. Electrical, athletic, duct, and strapping tape all work.
- Double sided carpet tape, DAP contact cement, or super 77 spray glue.
- (Tool) A hacksaw or other method to cut the bar stock. We don’t recommend a snip, since bar stock is thick and the deformation might affect the handle’s durability.
1. Measure two pieces of barstock to fit your handle. You’ll need an equal amount on each side, unless you’re trying something tricky like a non-symmetrical handle for a single edged weapon. Make sure to leave enough space at the bottom of the core for a pommel if its not already attached. Depending on the overall weight of the weapon, you might need less than a full handle’s worth of barstock. Experience and step #3 will help in determining this.
2. Cut the barstock. A hacksaw works fine. It might be useful to clamp things down. It takes some time to get through the thick metal, be patient. Take a break if you get tired, its easy to make a mistake and snap the blade if you’re out of breath.
3. Test your balance. Lightly tape the two pieces of barstock in place and find out where the balance point is. Too close to the handle? Cut off some metal. Too far from the handle? You might need add more weight using Lead Wrap Counterweighting or by cutting larger pieces of barstock.
4. Apply glue or double sided tape to the core. Our order of preference is Carpet Tape>DAP contact cement>Super 77 spray glue. Use what you have, step #6 is more important structurally.
5. Place the barstock on the handle. You’ll want the pieces to align with your sword’s blade. Make sure they’re straight on the handle.
6. Tightly wrap the barstock down with tape. Electrical tape is a good option.
7. Move on to shaping, then covering the handle!