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Peter Bosman




Location: Andalucia
Joined: 22 May 2006

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PostPosted: Tue 05 Feb, 2008 12:37 am    Post subject: Relative blade quality         Reply with quote

In a different topic the link to a taichi oriented site was given. Test cutting and testing products is carried out in a structured maner and results can be compaired. The best blades of chinese replicas turn out to be quite good. It is interesting too to read that a san mai or folded steels in these blades do not have an effect in this area ('only' in balance and resilliance).
The results are what they are and only ' worthwhile' when compaired to other products.

The material of the blades in current steel production standard and thus likely to be the same in swords produced by western replica producers. Howver, the same base steel can end up with vastly differing properties in the blade at the end of the production process.
This is all about moders steels and modern producers. It is therefor silly to pit these TYPE of blades against eachother to arrive at a ' best' . What I would like to know however is how the RELATIVE PRODUCT QUALITY of the product as a product compairs to other of these products on the market. How a quality chinese reproduction compairs to a blade with the mainstream western products.

Again: this is NOT about samurai versus knighly but simply about the relative blade qualities of good chinese replicas and the ones listed in the reviews section as products per se.
Is the blade material on par? How it's heat treatment if any?
How about the geometry of the cutting edge?
I do not want to mention brand names without data but: how does the blade from sword x from chinese swordmaker X compair to blade y of western swordmaker Y?

Has the vast quantity of collectors/users produced compaireable data?

peter
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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Feb, 2008 2:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Could you give the link in question again? I can't find it...

Given that I have not seen the link yet I can only give a general comment. I think devising a standard test for swords performance is pretty difficult. You have to choose standard target(s) and a set of techniques to test. There is also, in any cutting, the human factor...

It is easier to do when all the swords are intented for the same context, which might be the case for jians. But when you start comparing blades from different types I believe you start running into the context problem pretty fast. Michael Edelson's experiments with the jack and various types of swords is interesting in this regard.

Not to mention that there is more to a sword than raw cutting or thrusting performance. If the sword facilitates fencing moves that allow to hit the opponent more conveniently, hitting a bit less hard is not really a problem.

Without even entering the realm of test cutting, it should be noted that even the balance of swords (i.e. essentially mass distribution) is not commonly measured, and much less published, with any completeness. My personal opinion is that this would be a first, far easier step to take.

Regards

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Vincent
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Peter Bosman




Location: Andalucia
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PostPosted: Tue 05 Feb, 2008 3:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vincent Le Chevalier wrote:
It is easier to do when all the swords are intented for the same context, which might be the case for jians. But when you start comparing blades from different types I believe you start running into the context problem pretty fast.


Well, yes and no.
Obviously a curved single edge blade cuts differently from a parallel double edged blade. Wether the material of the bade gets scratched, deformes or in any other way gets damaged however is fairly objective data.

Your remark about geometry is very true and gives objective data as well.
It is fairly simple to measure key data such length, depth, weight, taper, distal taper and static p.o.b.
Swordmaker ZengWu p.e. states some data on the blades, quite a bit more than most, but even so still is incomplete.

Blade dynamics and the 'feel', the resilliance is pushing the envelop.

The way I see things I surprises me that there is so litle info on to all intends and purposes quite expensive consumer goods.

The link is http://forum.grtc.org/viewtopic.php?t=191 . I did not give it because I want to STRESS that my observation is NOT about the contents of this topic nor the tested blades!!! Wether this method is valid or the blades good is not the issue.
My point as a consumer is that I would like compaireable data on the product we all pay good money for.
Just take an objective look at the information you demand on say an 800$ chain saw before buying one....

Not even the lengths or weights are given as standard by all, let alone reliably. Several reviews show that the manufacturars do not even get the weight right even IF they state it their info!
Why do we accept that info on these rather expensive products does not even supply us with the most basic of data???!!!

As a former ISO9000 quality consultant I realy do not see the problem in giving reliable basic compaireable data on this product Idea
Now I can also understand that customised one-offs are something else but even so these should still meet the material requirements of the blade. Hardness p.e of the blade at various points is easy to determain on a compaireable scale.
It is known what is the range which is ideal so why not provide the data to the consumer?!

peter
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Peter Bosman




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Feb, 2008 4:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Let me put this into perspective.

Most of us have a wrist watch and sevral of us will have a nice wristwatch. Even for the most basic of those we will not accept is if it does not reliably indicate the time spot on. This is taken for granted as after all this is what it is assumed to do.
Why are FUNCTIONAL swords not looked at this same way?

What do you expect from an 800$ wristwatch?
I know this is completely bogus as a test but the case of my 150$ watch scratches the blade of a 150$ sword blade sold as functional; most expressedly positioned as suiteable for USE.
The watch is pretty good quality against whatever objective criterium for watches and the sword is crap against whatever objective criterium for functional blades.

At the moment I am looking to buy a good quality sword and half of the budget is a present by my positively interested wife. She cannot beleive the lack of information and poor quality. She defines, like I do, quality as the measure of meeting the specifications.

peter
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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Feb, 2008 4:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Bosman wrote:
My point as a consumer is that I would like compaireable data on the product we all pay good money for.
Not even the lengths or weights are given as standard by all, let alone reliably. Several reviews show that the manufacturars do not even get the weight right even IF they state it their info!
Why do we accept that info on these rather expensive products does not even supply us with the most basic of data???!!!


For what is worth I completely agree with you on this point. I have raised this question several times already here... I think slowly we will come to this, but the process seems driven by the demand of the consumers. I suspect Albion for example has more data on their sword than they put on their site. At least, from what Peter Johnsson said before, the swords are conceived while paying attention to more than what is shown.

Unfortunately there is no general agreement on what objective data is relevant in order to compare swords. Worse, there are apparently quite a lot of people that do not want to have this data... Here are some of the attitudes I've encountered so far:

- Swordsmiths are artists and you cannot compare works of art
- Sword use is so complicated and subjective that no objective data is going to give any reliable info on it, ever
- Comparing swords would allow to determine the best one, and we all know it does not exist

I think each of these point of view is flawed in some way, and I believe you can find why yourself...

For the moment, your best course of action is find what data you'd like to know, and find someone owning the sword that is willing to measure it. In the end there is a definite hope that you succeed in making meaningful comparison, then if you share your conclusions maybe the method can be adopted by others, and finally, when there is enough support, manufacturers will start to publish the relevant data. In the long run it can work Happy

I know getting an idea of the dynamics (through measures of pivot points) while choosing my first Albion helped me make a more informed choice. So I hope you can obtain the data you'd like, but unfortunately you will probably have to design your own standard...

Regards

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Vincent
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Peter Bosman




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Feb, 2008 5:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vincent Le Chevalier wrote:
For the moment, your best course of action is find what data you'd like to know, and find someone owning the sword that is willing to measure it.


Thanks for the reflective and contributary support Vincent.

I have read several reports in which the blade did not, not by a long run, meet the specs. of the maker nor the specs. one should expect from a functional sword in hardnes. The maker's response is about standard to claim an individual product exception and to exchange the sword. Even without the suspect number of failures found whenever hardness happened to be verified the excuse is lame and simply a confirmation of insufficient quality control.
The hardness is not exactly a minor detail and even so only an example.....

I simply cannot beleive I will just about NEED to invest in http://67.59.156.7/merchant2/merchant.mvc?Scr...Code=18750 to ascertain that I will receive the catalogued product I pay say 1200$ for.
I have every intention to ask for a test report on the actual sword I will be delivered IF I can find confidence to fork out this much money. I doubt that I will receive it.....

In the topic about old versus new the standard reaction is that a new replica is safer. Is it?

peter
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Peter Bosman




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Feb, 2008 6:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vincent Le Chevalier wrote:
For the moment, your best course of action is find what data you'd like to know, and find someone owning the sword that is willing to measure it. In the end there is a definite hope that you succeed in making meaningful comparison, then if you share your conclusions maybe the method can be adopted by others, and finally, when there is enough support, manufacturers will start to publish the relevant data. In the long run it can work Happy


What I would like is simple realy:

Weight.
Total length.
Point of balance.

Length of blade.
Width and depth at guard.
Same at 50% of length.
Same where tip begins.
Specifics like profile and curvature.
Hardness, wether differential or not.

Tolerances of all the above. And I do not mean you will now know that a mace quoted as 3.8 lbs. can arrive weighing 2 and a bit Eek! but that wether the product is within 1 of within 5% of total spread per example. A tolerance of 5% can lead to quite different swords p.e.

The well known saying that you get what you pay for does in no way apply at the moment as generally we have not got the foggiest what we are paying for nor what we are getting.....

Peter
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Steven Reich




Location: Arlington, VA
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PostPosted: Tue 05 Feb, 2008 7:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Bosman wrote:
What I would like is simple really:

Weight.
Total length.
Point of balance.

Length of blade.
Width and depth at guard.
Same at 50% of length.
Same where tip begins.
Specifics like profile and curvature.
Hardness, whether differential or not.


While this is all nice-to-have information, it still won't ultimately solve your problem any more than does having all of the specifications on a grand piano solve the problem of whether or not you'll like how it sounds and how it plays. Ultimately, only handling the sword will tell you what you want to know (and if you don't have the experience, then even handling it won't tell you). While I'm not trying to discourage this type of information, there are three things beyond all others that determine whether or not you get what you want in a sword:

1. The expected quality of the piece as determined by the manufacturing process. If you buy a mass-production piece from a mass-production maker, then that's what you're going to get. Some of them will be better than others, but excellence will generally not be the end result in any case. However, you'll likely be getting what you paid for.

2. The knowledge of the buyer. If you really know what you want, then you're more likely to be able to clearly communicate that to the maker. For example, if you say, I want a well-balanced rapier, then you really haven't communicated much at all. If you say, I'd like a three-ring swept-hilt rapier with a 40" blade that weighs no more than 42 oz. total, with a balance point 2.5" forward of the end of the ricasso and with a blade that does not weigh more than 20 oz. (I made these up, so don't check for accuracy), then you've given the manufacturer something to work with (although I'd still say that you want to give him more information). Note that this point is often overlooked--too many people don't tell the manufacturer what they really want, either through poor communication or lack of knowledge. However, understand that some of this is only learned through experience; that is, inexperienced swordsmen often don't have a good idea of what they really need in a weapon.

3. The knowledge of the manufacturer. A good (i.e. knowledgeable and experienced) sword maker will know enough to question anything outrageous that you ask for or to be able to make suggestions. Get to know him before you spend a lot of money. Ideally, handle other pieces he has made so that you have an idea of the characteristics of the weapons he makes. If you know him and trust him, give him some room to use his expertise to make a better weapon.

Note that points 2 and 3 are heavily influenced by point 1. If you order a mass-produced piece, then the specifications given above (i.e. Peter's) are about all you'll be able to expect in a best case.

Steve

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Ken Speed





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PostPosted: Tue 05 Feb, 2008 8:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter wrote:

"What I would like is simple realy:

Weight.
Total length.
Point of balance.

Length of blade.
Width and depth at guard.
Same at 50% of length.
Same where tip begins.
Specifics like profile and curvature.
Hardness, wether differential or not.

Tolerances of all the above. . ."

I don't necessarily disagree with you but I fail to see how you're going to get what you're asking for. Who would do the testing? Who would pay them? Why? Who would keep the testers honest? We, in the U.S. can't even get true gas mileage ratings when we go out to buy a new car! A friend of mine who was a gunsmith for a major manufacturer told me about a meeting he attended about a handgun that malfunctioned. The gun was made for police and self defense and yet one of the attendees asked, "How often are they going to use it, anyway?" Scary stuff indeed!

The consumer should be able to get objective criteria about virtually anything they buy but that is certainly not the case. I almost never eat hotdogs because I have no idea what is in them! I think I'm afraid to find out!

I'm not speaking from personal experience but from what I've read on this forum it seems that many of the reputable manufacturers are prepared to provide any information you want. I also get the impression that the products which were bad have greatly improved in the last few years. The custom builders are even more dedicated to their client than the manufacturers. As well, I think buying from a reputable dealer can make the purchasers life a lot easier too. Again from reading here, most of the product complaints that I have seen mentioned here have been addressed pretty quickly. I think this is as much a testament to the quality and management of this forum as it is to the manufacturers concern for their customers.

Which brings me to this site. My impression is that this site is very closely monitored by the manufacturers. Its very good business for them to see what their customers are saying. Also somebody reading here has owned/examined/tested/used an example of practically anything you can name that has a pointy end or a sharp edge and are more than willing to tell you all about it.

The reviews here seem superb. If I were to make a criticism it would be that it seems more high end products get reviewed than the more affordable items.

If it seems that I'm jumping on you, I'm not. I think this less structured, less industrial way of doing things is a lot more fun and seems to work pretty well. If everything was weighed and measured to the last jot and tittle what would we have to talk about?


Best,



Ken Speed
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Tue 05 Feb, 2008 8:37 am    Post subject: Quality         Reply with quote

Dear Peter

I understand your desire for a consistent product to the item you are ordering. As someone who deals with this on a daily basis I can hopefully give you an insight into the challenges and rewards of this process for the modern sword maker.

You are interested in some specifics
Weight.
Total length.
Point of balance.

Length of blade.
Width and depth at guard.
Same at 50% of length.
Same where tip begins.
Specifics like profile and curvature.
Hardness, whether differential or not.

These are pretty straightforward and I do not know any maker that would not respond with this information, if asked. Why some of us do not list all the specs of things on the web is probably more a function of time and money for doing the web work than not wanting people to know something. While some would look at the above statement and say that’s crap, cause it is so easy to do and relatively cheap. I would suggest they might not understand the margins that a modern sword producer in the US is working under.

For us personally we have done our best to replicate the dynamics as well as the structure of a specific sword to the fullest extent of our talents. As we have a lot of hand labor in our items there are slight variations in each example. We strive to make these minimal but also purposely incorporate this idea in our crafting method so any variation would be similar to those one would see from a medieval shop producing the same sword design. Thus micro measurements might fluctuate some, hopefully not 5% though.

As far as the temper would be considered, I would suggest that the confidence in the maker to give you a good temper is what you are looking for. Hardness files will not help much with this (if interested in this subject I would suggest checking out this article Sword Hardness, caveat I wrote it). A differential hardening is not well understood by sword consumers in general and is often used as hype by some makers to make people think they are getting something special. Most hardening is differential by the constricts of physics. When the blade is quenched the hardnesses achieved vary by the thickness and dimension of the blade at the time of heat treat. The inner core of a blade will always be a bit softer than the outer skin and edges just because it is the core. The manipulations done to the blade after heat treatment will also affect this. There is also the depth of heat treat that can be controlled and altered by some heat treat methods. In comparison to the period methodologies the modern heat treatment of blades is vastly more consistent and controllable.

If you are looking for a certified hardness on a particular piece most makers can probably arrange for this to happen but I would expect to pay more such services. Those who use commercial heat treatment will have access to Rc testers that will give very specific results but the industry itself will usually allow one or two point ranges as being spec. So any given blade maybe slightly different. For those who do their own heat treatment having an RC tester on hand is pretty rare. They are expensive, prone to variation and only as good as the operator and controls allow. Most Rc testers can operate only in the vertical plan with right angles so trying to get a reading on a diamond cross section of any sort is probably not happening.

My personal opinion is the modern consumer puts to great an emphasis on the Rc hardness.

I think one of the commitments you need to look for when purchasing a sword is a maker who is willing to make you happy as a customer as opposed to just getting your money. We are all trying to make a living doing this but the production of these pieces is about making a good sword each time we do one as opposed to just meeting the specs for an individual set of parameters we are working towards. There is always a touch of variation. What is acceptable in that end is different for each maker and their style.

While I fear I have not answered your question really I hope I have increased your understanding of the challenges sword makers have in meeting the expectations of the modern mass market consumer in making a good quality sword.

Best Regards
Craig
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Peter Bosman




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Feb, 2008 8:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

All I am asking is BASIC product information. I accept all the variations in the end product, resilliance, balance, whatever.

I want the gross vehicle weight, horsepower/torque, payload of the vehicle which without the say the overal reduction of the total power train does not tell you all that much.
Even knowing the king pin inclination, track, wheelbase, suspension design the proof of the car is still in the riding.

What THIS community by and large is doing is buying the illustration.

It is all too easy to find examples of a 1000+ $ product tested to have a 40-45 cutting edge and although the vast majority of buyers will never find out if their sword is up to spec. the sample is worrying to say the least. Worrying ME that is. If it does not worry the market then the makers, of whom most will probably be bona fide, are not motivated to get their product more alike original blades.

Somehow I think that Beowulf would not have responded with ' well, its a craft so I will make do' if newly delivered his sword would have sounded with a dull thud instead of a ringing tone, but stuck the thing where the sun does not shine Evil

I am no Beowulf and my dragonslayer is expected to chase off the odd feral dog only apart from me trying to wave it about 'elegantly' so my life will not depend on quality BUT: If this industry expects me to invest in a replica sword, I expect to know in WHAT and want to be able to trust I get THAT.

I would like to refer again to the remark that a newly made replica is safer than an original and repeat my doubting that if the industry as a whole does not provide basic data nor produce according to those.

'Quality' implies you can state pretty well defined what you make and then guarantee to make that . Wether you define low or high specs. is something else. Please note that the delivery process and after sales are part of the product!
At the moment I am confused by this industry as is seems that a quality replica as in term of definition does not seem to exist Idea

Meanwhile I have been informed by a maker that for me and my skills a mono-steel would be better than the far more expensive laminates he also makes. This for me proves that the individual makers in majority are bona fide persons, yet this same maker is not producing with anywhere near an acceptable quality control and I choose not to throw that dice.

Peter
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Tue 05 Feb, 2008 1:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Bosman wrote:
All I am asking is BASIC product information.


If that's the case I'd suggest picking out your maker of choice and asking them for the specs of a particular piece. As Craig noted I suspect that pretty much anyone will be glad to provide you with those specs. Those specs might be slightly different then what is advertised on their site incidentally. I wouldn't take variation in reviews too seriously, it a sword's weight is off by a gram or two or is a tenth of an inch longer or shorter it could just as easily be measurement method (or error) that causes the difference as anything else.

Machinelike precision just isn't in the cards for this segment of the industry, there is to much hand work involved. (Even guys that do their blades on CNC machines still do hand finishing.) Historically this was also the case. I suspect that Beowulf would have wandered into the smithy several times to check on his sword's progress... and could have asked for modifications if he didn't like something about it after the fact. Those options are available today as well... at a price.

Several outfits are in the business of creating mass produced western swords that probably are closer to spec (even though this isn't even always true) but I personally wouldn't want one.

TRITONWORKS Custom Scabbards
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Ken Speed





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PostPosted: Tue 05 Feb, 2008 2:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter & Russ,

Russ said, " I suspect that Beowulf would have wandered into the smithy several times to check on his sword's progress... and could have asked for modifications if he didn't like something about it after the fact. " Nah, I think Beowulf did it the old fashioned way and snuck up behind a guy who had a sword and hit him over the head with a club.". Its a lot cheaper that way!

Peter, I certainly agree that we should be able to get reliable information about what we purchase. I think when a perspective buyer can't get the info from the manufacturer he should look to the dealer or buy something else. Let the market take care of it.

Best,

Ken Speed
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Feb, 2008 2:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

At one point, I felt pretty much the way Peter seems to be describing himself. I offered an extra $300 to have a sword nearing completion hardness tested prior to shipment. The better machines do cost several thousand dollars, require knowledgible calibration, and a block matching the blade contour so that the impinged surface would be perpendicular to the tester is going to be required for most testing services. As Craig pointed out, this will only give a surface indication, and does not really represent the overall performance of the blade structure. Regardless, the manufacturer declined my offer.

Basic specs in my mind are the materials used, style of heat treat (is it a salt bath that gives a good deep conditioning?), qualitative "fit and finish" as this forum subjectively assigns to various makers and models, and easily measured stats (weight, dimensions, points of balance, etc.)

Sitting here looking at my growing collection of tools gearing up towards making a blade myself, I can relate to how hard it is to give an accurate and meaningful tolerance on something as complex as a sword, particularly if produced in small numbers. How would they assign geometry tolerance to a "perfect" Flamberge?
Even with careful hand grinding and polishing, I have found some of my Albions to be something like 1/8 to 1/4 ounce different in weight than the published weight. I have good scales (can go down to tenths of a grain or 1/70000 of a pound in fact) and know that such variation is simply inevitable even if model X is accurate within a millimeter of an original.

I think that in the end you may have to trust subjective opinions of independent customers. Are the maker's blades visually perfect (need calipers to find problems), or are defects obvious. Do they have a reputation for consistency, or are some model X blades good while others are flawed?

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Peter Bosman




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PostPosted: Wed 06 Feb, 2008 11:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jared Smith wrote:
I think that in the end you may have to trust subjective opinions of independent customers.


I would rather be able to trust the maker's objective quality control as HE is the expert after all.

As stated I understand about craftsmanship and tolerances and as stated understand that there is a difference between mass production and craft.

The vast bulk of the blade market is not different than half of a large pair of scisors dressed up. This segment should have NO problem with quality control.
At the other side of the market are highly skilled swordsmith producing tailored masterpieces and those will not have problems to deliver customer satisfaction either.
Obviously there is a world of grey sandwiched beween those two.

The way I perceive the industry the quality issues are NOT with the pieces most subject to variations in the work of the craftsman nor is my critisism aimed at this end. IF there would be an issue with those I have no doubt this will be solved before it surfaces. THAT is quality CONTROL.

My criticism adresses the not-wallhanger but still production-line swords. Too many, not all!!!, are either not to spec. or not consistently to spec. and I do understand this but do not accept it.
It may very well be, and probably is, caused by outsourcing or ' develloping' industries supplying this market but that does not change the result.
There is no doubt that the develloping manufacturors will get their act together as they learn as they all strive for a piece of the cake. What I am stating is that the market, we, should provide them with an imputus to get their process under controll at a level WE are satisfied with.

The long established makers of higher spec. products (I deliberately name none as not to undeservedly discriminate by omission) will have no problem providing customer satisfaction just like the artists.
I fully realised that 1000$ is not high end budget but not cheap either and that is exactly the point Idea

Cheap mass production should have NO problem meeting their specs AT ALL but do and get away with it because of the low value.
High specs sword makers should have no problem either and from what I perceive do not.
It is the section in between that has the greatest challenge AND is expected to deliver as this customer is probably the most critical one. Difficult? Maybe so, but so what?!

As it stands I am not prepaired to throw the dice and am considering a different type of blade from one of the established reputable sources as that will be what I pay for. That is called rewarding the wanted behaviour; the marked mechanism mentioned. The problem with it is that it will not be the type of blade I am looking for Sad and I think 1000$ is a bit much for that and that would be a bit of a cutfoot (pun intended).

peter
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Thu 07 Feb, 2008 2:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I actually share with Peter a similar desire for precision, repeatability, and accuracy in manufacturing. Frequently I engage in posts about possibilities for better statistics (CoP, where it is measured from...intended grip center or the guard, etc.) that more clearly convey in minute detail what one can expect from a sword model, even if they have never held it.

Peter,
Have you considered clearly spelling out your "wish list" for published statistics, aspects of the sword that belong in basic descriptions, acceptable tolerances, as well as specific methods by which "low budget" manufacturers should be able to achieve this consistent quality assurance? Also, what do you consider a reasonable price to pay for this (mainly your own prescription for tolerances) when perhaps less than 500 will be made over the course of a few years?

Take this one step further. Ask yourself a hypothetical question; "What if you were given a billion dollars to set up your own dream sword production company how would you do it?" Bear in mind, automotive makers and other modern mass producers often spend around 1/4 billion to set up and fine tune a good mass production program for something like one totally new engine. Even then, with robotic operations, tool checks, etc., they resort to CNC sorting and matching of parts requiring match-up precision (pistons, rings, block bores, rods, shafts, etc.) on the order of 0.005" to 0.010" because these high tech operations generally produce significant variations in parts (such that is not economical to insist on higher perfection even when selling billions of dollars worth of product ). Many precision parts I deal with are only produced once. These, if comparable in complexity to a sword, but held to aerospace standards, would cost around $25,000 minimum at many facilities that are ISO 900X qualified. If you are only going to make 100 of something, or you only expect to sell 500 at a gross price of ~$750,000, the fraction of sales price devoted to your quality assurance should be in line with what you could spend while still making a profit.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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