Breakable sword prop

Breakable sword

This breakable sword prop was made for the 2004 State Opera of South Australia production of "The Ring Cycle". This breakable sword needed to be able to be swung about like a real sword and then, at the press of a button, break in two.


The mechanism was designed and built by David Wilson and was integrated into an existing sword handle. A spring-loaded collar holds the two custom built blade sections together. Pressing a lever on the hilt retracts the spring loaded collar allowing the end section of the blade to fall to the floor.


Breakable sword prop construction

All the steel parts for the breakable sword prop were laser cut from DXF files produced from the CAD drawing shown below. A more detailed description of the construction of the prop sword shows how the parts in the drawing relate to the finished item.


CAD drawing of sword
CAD drawing

This CAD drawing was used to make DXF files which were then used to get the parts laser cut in steel.

Polishing the steel parts
Polishing steel

Here David is using the draw filing technique to hand polish all the laser cut steel parts for the sword.

Sword hilt breakaway
Sword handle

This is an un-assembled view of the handle showing the release mechanism

Sword blade parts
Sword blade parts

These are the sword blade parts showing the actuating rod, its slot and the support collar.