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Matt Lewis




Location: England
Joined: 01 May 2007

Posts: 43

PostPosted: Tue 27 May, 2008 10:20 am    Post subject: 'production' swords on 'custom' timescales,         Reply with quote

Not too sure how to frame this , needless to say the situation is getting me down .

I ordered a semi custom sword from a reputable maker/cutler which would be using a blade from a known production sword company. I ordered this and by default the blade about a year ago.

Now having done my research I am pretty well aware how long a blade from a production place 'should' take.

Apparently said production firm has been unable to get a certain type of steel stock for some months (ages actually) and my start date keeps getting pushed back.

The thing that confuses me is that said company is still advertising all it's wears as if its business as usual ( I am reliably informed that a lack of this stock would effect multiple products ). if they have no way of making said products should they even be advertising them still ? I think some kind of warning about delays on the product page would be in order at the very least ? It could result in alot of people ,like myself ,waiting a very long time for a production product ,if it has not already. I have no gripes waiting a year for a custom piece but my place in the cutler's commission Schedule came and went some months ago and not a drop of work has happened because we are still waiting for a blade that has an apparent turn around of some weeks, I think I was first told about the possible delays 3 months ago.

Thoughts,feelings and advice would be much appreciated as this is starting to really get to me, I would also like to know if anyone is in the same boat atm .

thanks,

Matt
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Naythan Goron




Location: ON, Canada
Joined: 03 Feb 2008

Posts: 40

PostPosted: Tue 27 May, 2008 2:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Matt
I had something similar happen to me once before like this, i ordered a sword from a company (i will not say names) and they kept pushing my date back further and further for completion. About 8 months after i ordered and i was getting a little fed up about the wait i came across a rant saying that the same company i ordered my sword from was scamming other people.
needless to say i filed a clime with my bank and gotten my money back.

I really hope this hasn't happened to you Matt,

But if the company is still advertising that the have the stuff in-stock they shouldn't be. maybe they just have poor management skills? or maybe the company really is getting material problems and should look for a new suppler?

times come and go but the blacksmith's spirit will live on.
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Chad Arnow
myArmoury Team


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Location: Cincinnati, OH
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PostPosted: Tue 27 May, 2008 3:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've had delays with basically every company I've dealt with: production, custom, semi-custom, vendors/retailers. It's the bane of this industry, honestly. I understand these are small shops with tight profit margins (if they turn a profit). But the simple fact is that good craftsmen don't always make good businessmen and vice versa. Nice people with good intentions abound, but missed deadlines do too.

I don't get grouchy until the maker starts missing deadlines. If they say something will take two weeks (for instance, since nothing every takes that small amount of time in this hobby Happy ), I'll give them three before I ask for an update. I start with the benefit of the doubt, then go from there.

Unfortunately, you're not alone. While it would be nice for more makers to have availability info on their websites, those lists take time to maintain. It's almost better to have no info than wrong info.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,438

PostPosted: Tue 27 May, 2008 5:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Although it sometimes stinks, in the end, it almost seems like you need to be able to just throw money over the wall and forget about it in this hobby. Don't hope for the best. Don't think about it. Maybe you get lucky and a package comes someday. Maybe you wait a long, long time. Still things seem to come more often than not. Eventually.

Its often complete rot but its probably not going to change until people stop buying.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Gary A. Chelette




Location: Houston, Texas
Joined: 29 May 2007
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 337

PostPosted: Wed 28 May, 2008 1:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I buy from the most reliable place. The ones that say "IN STOCK!"
Waiting a year is not what I'd like to do. If a bloke decided to take orders and skip the country, not much anyone can do.
I know custom work is "CUSTOM" work but it should not take a year to get steel that most can get down the road or on the internet. Houston has a dozen or more places to get any type of steel you want and next day delivery to boot!

I'd have to ask myself, "Is it that important to get a sword from XXX Maker and wait that long?" Some would say yes and I don't argue with them. If they get what they want and get it in the time they expect it, then fine. Otherwise I'll do my shopping at the places that say, "In Stock!"

Are you scared, Connor?
No, Cousin Dugal. I'm not!
Don't talk nonsense, man. I peed my kilt the first time I went into battle.
Oh, aye. Angus pees his kilt all the time!
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Wed 28 May, 2008 2:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Seven years ago, I placed an order for a basket hilt broadsword from a company in Great Britain. I sent them complete information, including my credit card #, expiration date, etc. I mailed it, but also contacted them via email to let them know what I wanted and what I was sending through the post. I am still waiting, as of today, to receive even an acknowledgement that they received my order, which I am reasonably sure they did - the letter did not come back. No letter, no email reply, no nothing. After a couple of months, and finding another, much less expensive basket hilt, I decided just to wait and see what happened. Nothing happened of course.

I think Joe and Chad summed it up pretty well in their posts. If you try to understand how custom makers work and then make allowances for it, you will develop some patience and may be rewarded for it some day. However, I fail to understand how any maker who fails to even get close to a delivery deadline, ever gets a good reputation with his/her customers, no matter how fine the product produced.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Matt Lewis




Location: England
Joined: 01 May 2007

Posts: 43

PostPosted: Thu 29 May, 2008 4:09 pm    Post subject: Thanks         Reply with quote

Thanks for getting back folks.

I have discussed my options with the cutler , and I have started making moves to find an alternate blade.

I got quite angry today when I checked my email history of the project and realised we had been outright lied to on TWO occasions on delivery dates , Ie,(I think this was december) "we have nearly completed your blade and will be sending it to your workshop shortly" and
a while later (feb) we are' just starting another production run and will have you the blade within 4 weeks"
to a while later(March) being told that no sword could be delivered as they could not make it now due to a steel shortage. that has now lasted several months.

A blade we were lead to believe had been already manufactured for us and was due to be shipped out ?!

I'm so angry and feel very let down.

I have decided to stick to whole custom pieces in the future at least then I expect delays . My entire reason for going production has been royally blown out of the water.

This is not the first time this has happened either but it is much worse than last time and I was compensated for the mess by a person who's direct fault it was not ,I would love to give him an honorable mention but I cannot for obvious reasons.

Thanks

Matt
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Stu C




Location: Western Australia
Joined: 11 May 2008

Posts: 46

PostPosted: Thu 29 May, 2008 5:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lin Robinson wrote:
Seven years ago, I placed an order for a basket hilt broadsword from a company in Great Britain. I sent them complete information, including my credit card #, expiration date, etc. I mailed it, but also contacted them via email to let them know what I wanted and what I was sending through the post. I am still waiting, as of today, to receive even an acknowledgement that they received my order, which I am reasonably sure they did - the letter did not come back. No letter, no email reply, no nothing. After a couple of months, and finding another, much less expensive basket hilt, I decided just to wait and see what happened. Nothing happened of course.


If you didn't get charged anything on the card and they didn't confirm receipt of your order, then I think after seven years, you probably don't need to worry about it! Happy Email is unreliable (spam filters often take legit messages and conveniently lose them), and even undelivered international post doesn't always get delivered/returned. I think unless you gave the maker a call and talked to them, you probably can't be sure whether they even got your order.
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Stephan Hall




Location: Germany
Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 41

PostPosted: Fri 30 May, 2008 6:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is disgusting to wait a long time and one of the faults of some manufacturers is that they donīt tell you Whats going on How long is their waiting list are there delivery problems steel for example the steel demand is higher than the production and countries like china emptiing the market if the exchange rates are on their site. A shop ordering only few 6m long steel shapes of spring steel are sometimes laughed at because steel traders count in tons not pounds. Also the budget of the small manufacturers is tight they canīt afford to buy tons of steel only to have enough for their buissnes the next half century. and they also canīt afford to have employees to care for orders and the whole stuff around. An old German saying is
" Gut Ding will Weile haben" Aka: A good thing needs time. upps i have to go to work , later iīll write more
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Michael Edelson




Location: New York
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Fri 30 May, 2008 9:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is why I don't order swords anymore and never will. I can't stand waiting, and I can't put up with delays. I haven't mail ordered a sword for some time (years??) yet I keep buying Albions. Some on the classifieds, though most directly from them.

How can I buy Albions from Albion without waiting? Well, once a year they are nice enough to come to me (New York Custom Knife Show) and bring all of their goodies. I see something I like, I walk away with it. Now THAT is how it should be done in this business. Happy

As for customs...well...I have an insight on that too. Custom designs by others...I've yet to see anything I like that isn't based on something historic and available in some form from Albion. Custom designs by me? Who the hell do I think I am? Peter Johnsson? Happy

New York Historical Fencing Association
www.newyorklongsword.com

Byakkokan Dojo
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Justin King
Industry Professional



Location: flagstaff,arizona
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Reading list: 20 books

Posts: 551

PostPosted: Sat 31 May, 2008 6:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Edelson wrote:
This is why I don't order swords anymore and never will. I can't stand waiting, and I can't put up with delays. I haven't mail ordered a sword for some time (years??) yet I keep buying Albions. Some on the classifieds, though most directly from them.

How can I buy Albions from Albion without waiting? Well, once a year they are nice enough to come to me (New York Custom Knife Show) and bring all of their goodies. I see something I like, I walk away with it. Now THAT is how it should be done in this business. Happy

As for customs...well...I have an insight on that too. Custom designs by others...I've yet to see anything I like that isn't based on something historic and available in some form from Albion. Custom designs by me? Who the hell do I think I am? Peter Johnsson? Happy


For those who can swing it this sounds like the ideal way to collect, spend the money you have today, not what you are hoping to have later. This last bit is even more complicated when completion of even a production sword can often be unpredictable and the cost of living is increasing by the month if not by the week. Don't want to hijack this thread but I can't help but wonder what the higher-end sword market will be like in the months and years ahead.
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Gordon Clark




Location: Purcellville, VA
Joined: 28 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Sat 31 May, 2008 10:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Edelson wrote:


As for customs...well...I have an insight on that too. Custom designs by others...I've yet to see anything I like that isn't based on something historic and available in some form from Albion. Custom designs by me? Who the hell do I think I am? Peter Johnsson? Happy


Albion has no daggers, polearms, rapiers, ...

Custom orders are also just fun - you get surprised, get to be part of a team with the maker, and I get something that only I have.

Gordon
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Sat 31 May, 2008 10:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stu C wrote:


If you didn't get charged anything on the card and they didn't confirm receipt of your order, then I think after seven years, you probably don't need to worry about it! Happy Email is unreliable (spam filters often take legit messages and conveniently lose them), and even undelivered international post doesn't always get delivered/returned. I think unless you gave the maker a call and talked to them, you probably can't be sure whether they even got your order.


I'm not worried about and in fact had forgotten it until I saw this topic. However, I am pretty sure they got the order. Why they did not acknowledge either the email or the letter is what I don't understand. But, no harm, no foul.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Bennison N




Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Joined: 06 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Jun, 2008 4:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary A. Chelette wrote:
If a bloke decided to take orders and skip the country, not much anyone can do.


There is something you can do. Finding somebody for someone and getting their money back is what I do for a living. It's a very lucrative trade... It's easy enough, once you know what you're doing, and it pays very well... And with a specialised craft like sword-making, it makes it much easier to find them... unless they just stop doing it, of course.

Everyone leaves a trail... especially in these days of credit cards, cellphones, car registrations and the internet.

Gordon Clark wrote:
Custom orders are also just fun - you get surprised, get to be part of a team with the maker, and I get something that only I have.


I couldn't have said this better myself. Especially the "get something that only I have" part.

With custom pieces, you get it how you want it, not how somebody else tells you that you want it. And if you order a common enough type, the smith knows what they look like. He can find or estimate dimensions, balancing and the like... And if you design something that won't work as well as something else would, the smith will usually tell you.

I prefer custom to production any day of the week. In most cases, you don't have to pay the whole sum until the piece is how you want it to be. And you receive a one-of-a-kind personalised weapon. I personally feel that the sense of owning a custom piece is superior to that of owning a mass-produced one.

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

अजयखड्गधारी
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Clayton Woods
Industry Professional



Location: Verona, WI
Joined: 22 Sep 2007

Posts: 14

PostPosted: Sun 01 Jun, 2008 8:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not to give any specifics, but I was discussing the shortage of particular types of steel with a Marine friend of mine, who seems to think that certain types of 3/8" thick steel plate are what are being used for up-armoring humvee's and in the production of the new V-hull anti-IED troop transports for the US military. It is also entirely possible that he's just yanking my chain.

Sword steel shortage, yet something else we can blame on George W.

However, all that aside, getting 3/8" steel stock in certain alloys is very difficult right now. From what I've gathered, it won't matter much who you ordered from, if the blade you're waiting for is based on that type of stock, it could explain the delay.

But, from what I've heard, the shortage should be clearing up soon. Let's hope, yes? Big Grin

-----
Clayton R. Woods
Buckleheads Casting Dept.
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Matt Lewis




Location: England
Joined: 01 May 2007

Posts: 43

PostPosted: Sun 01 Jun, 2008 9:56 am    Post subject: hello again         Reply with quote

Thanks again for the feedback.

I think from what I have been told and what Clayton has added here that the problem could well be sorted soon. Big Grin

Does not mean I'm now happy happy about the ridiculous wait ,but at least something might happen and this project might get started,which is all I wanted in the first place.

it was supposed to be a special project to me, and some of that 'specialness' has been lost in the wash and turned more to "god I wish this was over".

I hope the 'christmas is coming' feeling comes back, It will be very sad if when I eventually get it in my hands that it just reminds me of all the negative feelings that have built up...............

Kind Regards

Matt
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