Swords are generally made out of some sort of steel, but if you simply want to stab backyard plants, pewter (an alloy made primarily out of tin) will do the trick. USF student Kevin Kohler, home for the summer, decided to try his hand at casting metal, and decided that pewter was an excellent material for a casting “howto” video.
His process, though it might not produce a combat-ready sword (or dagger), is quite simple, using sand and styrofoam to form the mold. The material is procured by heating scrap pewter up to around 600°F, then removing the slag that floats to the surface.
To form the mold, Styrofoam is first cut into shape, then buried with sand. A channel is also formed for the pewter to flow into. The metal is then poured into this chamber, melting the Styrofoam and leaving only the sword behind. After 10 minutes, the sculpture can then be removed. After some cleanup, it’s ready to stab innocent plants!
You can see the imgur version of the process here, or check out the video below for a longer explanation of how it was made.
If you’re wondering, Kevin’s dog Duffy really liked the “I <3 U” casting. Unfortunately for Duffy, so did Kevin’s girlfriend who ended up with it! Hopefully he was given a treat in exchange, or at least a pat on the back!