My first sword a Shikomizue a sword cane(Pic heavy)

Martin Schutte

Well-Known Member
Good day gentleman

I have not posted any knifes in a long time but did try my hand in making a sword with a WIP or show and tell (it is also a lot of work the Wip) seeing that some guys do them for us to learn from.

You can call this a Shikomizue or a Sword cane.
It is most famous for its use by the legendary fictional sword master Zatoichi!
I wanted to put a twist on this cane and make it with a local flavor of a "knop kierie". In SA it is fighting cane with a fat knob to clobber you're enemy with or toss it at them but with no blade, that's why they had the spear.

I also felt like making a waki blade (I just felt like getting out of my comfort zone and walk on jello with ice skates and blind folded!)

Oh yes this was also a sword build off for the South African Blade Smith Association in short SABA, all swords was on display at the SA knife Guild show and for a non-guild member this is a great opportunity for exposure aka a hobby knife maker namely me!

Ok let's get to the step by step guiding!

This picture shows that I wanted to forge it, boy I was in for a surprise and decided to go with the stock removal way, I had a bit of a time restraint (this sword was created in a 3 week time period after hours).


The next picture shows a large piece (stock 8mm thick 13cm wide and 1meter long) of 1070 that I cut out on my band saw.


Finished cutting, now design and grinding time!


Rough shaped



I went to a friends place for HT and they were playing with some Damascus steel on his little hammer namely …..

This is the handle material that is Rhodesian teak 6-7 cm diameter ready to drill for hidden tang handle
Drilled and checked for correct fitment.



Now its heat treatment time my friend Samurai Stu is helping out with that, (somebody must take the pics) the blade is at +- 5 to 6mm thick here.



Directly after HT no grinding only cleaned with a cloth almost no scale.


The wood was split in the middle for the sheath part and the blade marked out for “carving” with a router

Carved / Routed

Side 2

Drilled some holes for strength and grip when I epoxy it

I use long curing epoxy Epidermix 372 on the sheath and am now ready to put them together and clamp it down!

All clamped now have to wait approx 24 hrs

I grinded the blade up to 400 and hand sanded to 600#

Now its time to grind out the handle part with the knob design included


The curing is now done and I am busy grinding the sheath

Here is a friends little dremel tool I used with a adapter as a router, it is to carve into the handle and sheath to insert a “washer” of brass on the handle and a piece of stainless on the sheath with computer hard drive magnets underneath them for a locking mechanism when the sword is closed.

Carved the handle


Brass and stainless washers cut out for the blade fitment and filed down!

Magnets inserted in the handle

Handle, blade ready to be glued together, I used a 5min epoxy and have to work like the devil before the epoxy sets and take pics.


After gluing I found that the blade were not straight and tried to bend it, BEEEEG mistake my tempering was done for a knife and not a sword and I Snapped it


At this stage I sat down all energy drain and no hope for tomorrow:hang:, with a lot of self petty:noway:!!
I phoned a friend Neels and he said not a problem I must come to his shop and we will arc weld a piece of mild steel on for the handle part and do a better tempering cycle for a more flexible blade. This means a little less blade, 25mm or so that is not much at all. With this process of recovery I did not take pictures I arrived 13H00 at his shop and left at 18H15 the blade welded and a new handle drilled and ready for epoxy!

I glued the handle once again and finished the blade 2 o’clock in the morning. This was the same day as the SA Guild show.


Oh that is me with the Shikomizue, the clock show almost 2 that’s 2AM.

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PS: My locking mechanism is not working as it should so I’m still trying to create a new lock for this cane that I can use it!
This was a huge learning curve for me as knife maker and I have found out its not that easy!

These are the swords we (SABA) had at the Guild show on display!



Thank you for watching and hope for any feedback to better me as a knifemaker

Greetings Martin
Very nice WIP and the final sword looks really good to me. sucks that you snapped it off like that, but the final proportions seem to still be good.
Great Wip and she came out great.

Still a Tad short for your palm to floor. You might make a large brass or Nickel Silver or even Damascus crown for the top, That would add 2-3 inches and make the length just right!

Great work and thanks for sharing.

@ Stefan Thanx I love this 1070 it gives the nicest Hamon when doing an edge quench!

@ Brad yeah it sucks but I’ve learned from my mistake, luckily I could save the project.
I forgot to add the proportions it is: total length is 1 meter blade length is 45cm and handle 30cm Sheath 70cm

@ Laurence Thanx for the kind words, I will look into some dimensions for canes .
Hi Keith no the other blades is from other members of South African Blade Smith Association, it was done as a built off for this year the guys really support it!! I appreciate the kind words Ps I love your`e work!