Making a Custom Bayonet

With the right tools, and adequate welding skills, you can transform pretty much any type of blade into a bayonet. I have done this with a machete and a katana, but it would work with pretty much any blade. Before you begin, there are a few things you should consider about the blade you are using...

  1. is it at least 1/8" thick?
  2. is it made of high carbon steel?
  3. will the curve of the blade interfere with mounting it to a rifle

If you want to use a machete, I recommend the Ontario brand. They are made of 10 gauge 1095 steel and are very strong. If you want to use a sword, make sure it is high carbon steel.

There are also some things to consider when choosing a bayonet to cannibalize for parts.
Note: If you have a mill, you could hypothetically make the guard and clip from scratch, thus saving $20-$50 on a surplus bayonet.

  1. can I take this bayonet apart with out destroying it?
  2. is this the most cost effective model of bayonet that fits my rifle?
  3. if it is a repo, is it made to spec? if not, can it be corrected?

I prefer the US M7 bayonet (Vietnam style m16 bayonet) for this type of conversion. They are reasonably cheap, the grips are removable (and therefore reusable), and they fit securely on any AR15 style rifle with a mil spec bayonet lug. I have attempted to take apart AKM/AK47 style bayonets, and find it can't be done without destroying the grip. I consider the M9 bayonet and OKC03 bayonet to expensive, but both would work for this type of conversion.

Required Materials

Step by step instructions for making a katana into a bayonet with the M7 bayonet

This is a comparison of the Sword and the bayonet i will be using.
Remove the grips from both blades
this is the pommel of the bayonet and a cut off disk in a roto tool.
This is the pomel of the bayonet that I am grinding the ears of the peen off of.
The pommel of the M7 is peened on. You need to remove the excess material to slide the pommel off.
this is what the handle of the blade looks like with the pomel removed.
The guard of the M7 is held in place by a steel clip, cut it off and the guard slides right off.
I traced the shape of the bayonet onto the blade of the sword with a marker.
Use the tang of the M7 as a template to mark the point on the blade you want the handle to go.
I cut the sword blade down to 18" to be more mannagable
Cut off any excess material so that the blade is easier to work with, leave an extra 1/2 inch.
Im grinding material off the blade where the handle will be.
I use a grinding wheel to cut out 90% of the excess material.
I'm sanding the rest of the material off to be more preceise.
I use a belt sander to remove the next 9% of material.
I'm fitting the handle back on the blade to enshure proper fit.
The remaining 1% of fitting is done with a metal file to get square corners. When the guard and pommel slide on and off with out getting caught, fitting is done.
these are the parts of the bayonet clip in the pommel.
I recommend removing the clip springs and roll pins from the pommel before welding.
spot weld the guard a pomel back onto the blade to ensure they fit properly before doing perminat welds.
Use small spot welds to make sure the blade, pommel, and guard all line up on the rifle barrel first. Once the parts line up, use stronger welds to set them in place.
I use a torch to heat the handle red hot to anneal it.
optional step: use an oxyacetylene torch to get the tang red hot and keep it there for several minuets. Let it air cool and it will anneal, making it less likely to snap.
put the grip back on the handle to figure out where the holes will go.
Place the grip back on, use it as a template to mark the holes to be drilled. Use carbide drill bits, as high carbon steel is extremely hard to drill.
this is the finished blade mounted to a rifle.
Once the bayonet is assembled, polish it with finer and finer sand paper until you reach the desired finish.
this is an older bayonet made from a machete mouted to a rifle.
This is an older bayonet I made from an Ontario machete.