Most sword parts today are either turned from solid or made as castings. Original Japanese sword furniture or "koshirae" were fabricated in sheet. This offered some advantages over solid in that it is lighter and advantages over cast because it is stronger.
The materials used in koshirae fabrication were varied. Steel, iron, copper, brass, silver, gold and a host of obscure alloys. The methods here are simple and adaptable. They are applicable to all the aforementioned materials and can be also used with stainless steel or damascus.
A :-- A strip of 1/2" wide 16 guage sheet is wrapped around the end of an axe handle which has been trimmed down to a suitable shape and size. The strip is cut at the red mark.
B :-- The other end is overlapped and both ends are cut simultaneosly at the red mark.
C :-- Both ends are clenched with a cold chisel to drive them home.
D :-- The cut ends are cleaned and trued with a needle file until they butt together properly. Then they are closed and welded together to form an oval ring.
E :-- An oval cap is cut from 16 guage or 1/8" sheet.
F :-- The cap is welded to the ring, the welds are ground off and the piece is polished.
The tools required for such behavior are as follows
One small vise.
One axe handle.
One mallet (optional )
One cold chisel.
One needle file.---set--)
One 2 pound hammer.
One set of welding equipment or a good friend with same.
One or two small G clamps.
Don't be surprised if you are a little frustrated the first time you try this. When you bend the steel put it and the axe handle in a vise. You won't do as good a job holding them by hand. Getting the steel to wrap around nicely takes a bit of determination and practice. Pull hard on the strip as you bend it. A gentle persuader such as a mallet is usefull for getting the metal to go where you want. If the ring comes out too big the first time, trim down the handle some more and try again. Keep the ones that don't turn out right as you will often have another project down the road that they suit just fine.
With practice you can make fittings up to two inches deep from stainless or other sheet. When you use the cold chisel to close the gap position it close to the edge, so that if you damage the surface of the steel the damage will be covered by the weld. Care must be taken to fit all joint mateing surfaces before they are welded to ensure a good weld. Materials like copper are much easier to work than the steel in our example, so you might want to practice on it. Do all your piercing before you polish.