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Basic Katana Template
By Solvash   |   Watch
81 37 17K (2 Today)
Published: October 24, 2014
Download the Template on my Etsy! 

Basic Wakizashi Template
Basic Tanto Template
If you'd like to see how the Katana, Wakizashi, and Tanto look together check out this Deviation

EDIT (1/30/2018): Returning viewers of this deviation may notice that the original link to the PDF has disappeared. I am now only offering the PDF on my Etsy store. 

A long time ago someone asked me if I could create a template for a basic katana. I agreed at the time, but I ended up not really knowing a good way to draw or share it. But I want that person to know that I never stopped thinking about how to draw and upload a template like this. I'm truly sorry it took me so long! A katana is very popular weapon across many series but it is very difficult to make due to it's curve. I hope this template will help many people in the future!

This is as basic as basic gets in my opinion. The handle length (10 in.) is average, the blade length (28 in.) is average, and the curve (or sori) is average (5/8 in. deep). Even so, I included a lot of measurements in this image as reference because to make a convincing looking katana there are a lot of subtlties you have to account for. There is a slight taper in the profile of the blade from 1-1/8" at the base to 1" at the tip. As well as a taper on the end of the hilt and scabbard. You may notice that in the PDF, I have excluded the kashira (pommel cap), fuchi (hilt collar), tsuba (handle guard), habaki (blade collar). That is because those elements are built around the blade and are very customizable. I've tried making a simple, yet easily modifiable template. For all of these smaller pieces, a lot of those measurements I give above are suggestions.

Recommended Materials:
- 1/4 in. wood for the blade. Poplar or aspen wood, available at Lowes or Home Depot, works well.
- Either 1/4 in. or 1/2 in. wood for the hilt/scabbard. Depending on whether you use the "sandwich" method or carving method.

Recommend building process:
Unless you've got everything figured from the beginning, I also recommend always building the blade first! Everything is built around the blade! Then you should build the habaki next if you want one. Then the guard! And that's when you should make the hilt. You can then build the fuchi (hilt collar) and kashira pommel cap) around the hilt. And the final step should be the scabbard.

I also HIGHLY recommend that people look at chioky and piratecaptain galleries and tutorials on building a katana.
And if anyone wants me to create modified templates for, say, a different type of hilt or a much longer/shorter type of katana, feel free to ask!

Have a prop in mind that you need a template/blueprint for? Feel free to suggest it in the comments or through a note!

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Comments (35)
Housenflou's avatar
Hey, love your work. Used quite a few of your templates on a few of my builds. This will certainly come in handy for making the katana for my SAO Klein cosplay.
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Solvash's avatar
Solvash|Professional Artisan Crafter
I'm happy to hear it!

I checked out your gallery but it looks like you don't upload here. I'd love to see what you ended up making with my templates.
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Housenflou's avatar
I will upload some pics once they're done.
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OmegaStormblade's avatar
Speaking of katanas, I was wondering if you could make a template for Genji's sword, the "Dragon Blade" from Overwatch?
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OmegaStormblade's avatar
To go along with this Basic Katana Template, can you make one for the Japanese long sword called the nodachi? Cause, that could help alot for anyone making any kind nodachi like Trafalgar Law's sword from One Piece.
Reply  ·  
Solvash's avatar
Solvash|Professional Artisan Crafter
Yeah! I've been meaning to do that for awhile actually. A wakizashi length one as well.
Reply  ·  
OmegaStormblade's avatar
Oh yeah, I forgot to ask if you could also make a tanto length one too?
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Solvash's avatar
Solvash|Professional Artisan Crafter
Haha, sure.
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CosplayKai's avatar
CosplayKai|Hobbyist General Artist
Good day I was wondering if this template is used to make the katanas of roronoa fox?
Reply  ·  
Solvash's avatar
Solvash|Professional Artisan Crafter
I'm sorry, do you mean Roronoa Zoro from One Piece?
But if you do, then, yeah! Sure! Zoro's katana's are all average sized katanas
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AttackOnDrawings's avatar
AttackOnDrawings|Hobbyist Interface Designer
is this the same as bakuzan from kill la kill?
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Solvash's avatar
Solvash|Professional Artisan Crafter
The Bakuzan from Kill la Kill is a fairly standard katana aside from all the superfluous details on the outside. So...yes, this template should work rather well!
I was actually working on making a specific template for the Bakuzan a while back, but I've never gotten around to finishing it. I really should at some point. Haha...
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AttackOnDrawings's avatar
AttackOnDrawings|Hobbyist Interface Designer
okay, can you maybe (if you still have them) send me the pictures of how far you are because i am really struggling with finding blueprints for the sword
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themasterwhovian's avatar
I'm cosplaying as Rin and I need to make this sword. Did you use wood for the whole thing? I need to make mine out of foam so I can actually bring it into the convention building haha. Would it make a difference if I made it out of foam? Would any of the measurements or steps be different at all? I've never made a sword or anything like this before so I really don't know how to start.
Reply  ·  
Solvash's avatar
Solvash|Professional Artisan Crafter
Yes, I made my Kurikara's entirely out of wood.  And yes, you would definitely need to make some modifications to this template to use foam. Also, you're going to have to figure out what kind of foam you're going to use. Insulation foam or EVA foam, or something else. There isn't really a point to making the more delicate details separate out of foam.
You could try and use this template to make a sword out of carboard or foamboard, although it may not turn out as nice without some extra work.
The measurements still would work out though, they are the actual measurements of the average katana after all.
If you're really new, I suggest going to: www.cosplaytutorial.com/
And it may be useful to check out fixinman's tutorial here: fixinman.deviantart.com/art/Fo…
Although his method makes a katana that you are not able to draw out of the sheath.
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farukpeker's avatar
Hello there, thank you for useful much valuable informations.
I have a 50cm 1095 carbon steel and I want to make a wakizashi from it. I have been looking for a template but I couldnt find one. If you can make a template for such measurements I would really appreciate it.
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alexsusanoo900's avatar
I like the way you can create blueprints to swords, but I was wondering if you could do the same with a sword from Naruto. I'm talking about the Executioner's Blade. Do you think that you can do the blueprint to that sword?
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twitchet66's avatar
Hi there,

I'm looking into making the Murasame blade from Akame Ga Kill. As I understand it the Murasame blade has a slightly shorter handle - maybe 8 or 9 inches - than the standard Katana and a slightly longer blade - maybe 35 - 36 inches -, also there is a bit of detailing on the handle and the end of the scabbard. I was wondering if you could please help me out with a template for it? - as I really suck at that part :)

akamegakill.wikia.com/wiki/Fil…

akamegakill.wikia.com/wiki/Fil…

Thanks
Reply  ·  
Solvash's avatar
Solvash|Professional Artisan Crafter
Sure, that shouldn't be too hard! I'm quite busy right now, but it should be out there eventually.
Reply  ·  
twitchet66's avatar
Thank you heaps! No real rush as I've got a few months before the con and I'm still working out other details as well.
Thanks again! :)
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Lalazor's avatar
Thank you for templates! 
Have a question: could you help me with template for Shamshir? Really want to make one!
Thanks
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oinak's avatar
I used you image as an illustration to my blog post here: www.oinak.com/2015/07/develope… were I was looking for a katana image with a "technical" feeling, due to the post theme.

I have credited on image footer, using your devian-art name and a link to _here_.
If you want it done otherwise you can contact me at "me at oinak dot com" or oinak at twitter

Very good work and Thank you for sharing!
Reply  ·  
Solvash's avatar
Solvash|Professional Artisan Crafter
Ah, I see, thank you for letting me know. I really appreciate that.
And it's fine so long as you credit me.
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ayahchan's avatar
Hello! Your template is really good! 

I have a question, I'm planning to make Namazuo Toushirou's sword from Touken Ranbu, and although I plan on using light materials to make it, I really have no idea what's their sizes ;A;

Touken ranbu is a game of sword-turned-to-boys and Namazuo is in the wakizashi category, and I have no clue of their difference in size to a normal tachi ;A; 

His pic is this: vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/t…

Can you please help me with a template for its size? ;u; 
According to wikia, his size is about 38.5 cm but i dunno if that's the whole length or if its just the blade without the handle ;A;

Thank you very much! ^_^
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