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Rajavidya Das Hargreaves




Location: Washington State, USA
Joined: 27 Aug 2008

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Thu 04 Sep, 2008 5:30 am    Post subject: Custom Sword Makers         Reply with quote

Hi,

I'm looking to get some custom Medieval swords and daggers made, so can anyone recommend a good sword smith who does custom work?

Who is the best sword smith and why? I realize that this question is quite relative to each individual's view of what makes a good sword.

I just want to hear about people's experiences with different smiths and opinions about who they think is the best and why.

Thanks very much!

Raj-
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Sep, 2008 6:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We have a number of custom smith covered on our Reviews page. It's worth a look if you haven't been there already.

I've had good experience with Tod (Leo Todeschini) of Tod's Stuff. I've reviewed two of his products and we have 3 reviews of other products on that reviews page. I've also received good products from Arma Bohemia, though they've been late and communication can be frustrating. Their items are farmed out to several custom smiths. I've only bought daggers from them, but the work has been great.

Arms & Armor in Minnesota does nice custom work in addition to their production stuff.

It really boils down to your interests and budget. Some smiths, like Patrick Barta, can smelt their own steel and make very accurate pieces. The price is just somewhat high and the wait somewhat long.

And there are so many others. Peter Johnsson is one of the tops out there (many would put him at the top), but his stuff is hard to get.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 774

PostPosted: Thu 04 Sep, 2008 11:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I may be biased, but I'd say of all western-style custom smiths, the two best right now are Patrick Barta and Vince Evans.

Here's Patrick Barta's site: http://www.templ.net/english/

Here's Vince Evans' Picturetrail site: http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?username=vevans

(WARNING! Make sure your keyboard and/or laptop are "drool protected" before viewing either site) Laughing Out Loud

And as you might tell, both artists have a fairly diverse repetoire. Both are masters of pattern-welded steel. Vince Evans is also well-known for his excellent Middle-Eastern, Turkish, and Chinese -style swords.

BUT -- and this is the sad part -- Vince is not taking any new orders, and probably won't for a while.... but you can check on what he has available...

David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

Now available on Amazon: Franklin Posner's "Suburban Vampire: A Tale of the Human Condition -- With Vampires" https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072N7Y591
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Rajavidya Das Hargreaves




Location: Washington State, USA
Joined: 27 Aug 2008

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Thu 04 Sep, 2008 11:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Chad and David for the information and links!

*Drool protection mounted*

Anyone else have any opinions, suggestions, thoughts or experiences that they would like to share?

Has anyone here had any work done by Rob Miller of Castle Keep over on the Isle of Skye?
How does he stack up to smiths like Patrick Barta, Vince Evans and Peter Johnsson?

Thank You!

Raj-
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Lee O'Hagan




Location: Northamptonshire,England
Joined: 30 Sep 2003
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 509

PostPosted: Thu 04 Sep, 2008 2:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Raj,
Thats a hard Q to answer as the pricing between the mentioned smiths is pretty different,also adding the availability of said smith,
PJ's work looks fantastic,he's a fine and generous fellow too,
PB,
i have no experience with personally,his work looks very nice,but for me from pictures seen a tad overbuilt or hefty,and yet other examples of his work look divine,i would really like to see his work in person to form an honest opinion.
VE,
I do have experience with,a fantastic sword maker that adds little things like silver coils to scabbard stitching at his own cost,just because he can and he knows the customer is going to appreciate it,
for all the positive comments you can read online,it's nothing like the service you actually receive when you deal with him,i honestly couldnt say enough nice things about Vince without sounding biased,he's one of two makers that have actually kept me in this hobby when things have gone awry with other reputed makers,and you wonder why you bother with custom swords,
Vince undercharges for his wares knowing full well he could get more,but he has a sense of pride-honesty in his work that shows in the item,from the making on through to the pricing,a very fine fellow
Todd,
another fine chap,
i have seen quite a few beautifull pieces of his at different shows,good guy,well worth a look,
Rob, Castlekeep,
The only maker i can say imo has service to rival Vince,his work is a little behind Vince,but the pricing is different,i have six swords from Rob,a few bare blades in differing stages of finish due to my time,but 3-4 finished from him himself,great work that could and should cost more,also of note is the dramatic leap in the quality of his work the last18-24months,
he delivers when he says,doesnt charge till he's finished your sword,i'd say overlooked and maybe underrated too,he's the other maker that keeps me in this hobby,actually the main one in all honesty,
one really fine decent individual,

The only other name i'd throw in is Simon from Raven Armoury,
i have four of his early works,fantastic swordmaker,his work is not too often seen on the net,why i dont know,
if you can wait three to four years and have a decent budget,,,,
i have two single hand western swords and one hand and a half that fit this thread,
amazing work,lazer beam lines,beautifull handling quality of finish second to none...
and again another fine chap,

all of the above is just my opinion,from what i've purchased-used or seen firsthand,apologies if i havent included everyones favourite smith.
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Taylor Ellis




PostPosted: Fri 05 Sep, 2008 3:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think Kevin Cashen deserves to have his name here too, his ability, customer sevice and attention to detail is second to none. Pattern welding is a speciality of his.

I think its easier to suggest smiths if you are more specific to what you are after. For example, for a medieval european sword nobody comes close to Peter Johnsson IMO, whilst Patrick Barta's rapiers and complex hilts are astonishing.
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Rajavidya Das Hargreaves




Location: Washington State, USA
Joined: 27 Aug 2008

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Fri 05 Sep, 2008 10:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks to everyone who contributed so far!

Great information!

Raj-
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Gordon Clark




Location: Purcellville, VA
Joined: 28 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Fri 05 Sep, 2008 1:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You could add Peter Lyon to your list: http://www.swords.co.nz/
He has been doing custom work for awhile, but in the last several years is "famous" for the Lord of the Rings and other movie swords. He does very nice work!

By the way, if you have not seen it, here is a post containing pics of three custom swords, one from Patrick Barta, one from Peter Lyon, and one from Arms&Armor: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...p;start=20

Gordon
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Herbert Schmidt




Location: Austria / Europe
Joined: 21 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Sat 06 Sep, 2008 4:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If money doesn't matter then I would go for the following (best on top):

european medieval swords:
1. Peter Johnsson
2. Stefan Roth
3. the rest...

scottish swords and stuff:
1. Vince Evans
2. the rest

migration area and maybe rapiers:
1. Patrick Barta
2. the rest

But the problem might be to get some pieces becaus apart from the price tag these people tend to have a long waiting list if accepting any work at all...
Of course this list is just my experience and opinion.

greetings

Herbert

www.arsgladii.at
Historical European Martial Arts
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Rajavidya Das Hargreaves




Location: Washington State, USA
Joined: 27 Aug 2008

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sat 06 Sep, 2008 4:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you Lee, Taylor, Gordon and Herbert for all the great information!

This is helping me a ton!

Raj-
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David Stokes





Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 250

PostPosted: Mon 08 Sep, 2008 8:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

DUDE! Try John Lundemo!

www.odinblades.com

I have seen John do just a bit of every style....
i doubt many here would disaggree to Johns wide range of sword styles...
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Rajavidya Das Hargreaves




Location: Washington State, USA
Joined: 27 Aug 2008

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Tue 09 Sep, 2008 11:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all of the replies guys!

Has anyone ever had any custom work done by Mark Marrow of Morrow's Blade and Blacksmith Shop?
What about Jake Powning? Any experience with him?

Thanks,

Raj-
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Martin Buckley




Location: Wales, U.K.
Joined: 23 Jul 2006

Posts: 82

PostPosted: Tue 09 Sep, 2008 12:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You could also try Tom Fiocchi at fiocchiswords.net. Lovely rapiers and smallswords.

Martin
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Eric W. Norenberg





Joined: 18 Jul 2008

Posts: 265

PostPosted: Tue 09 Sep, 2008 12:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Raj!
If you are in the greater Seattle area, you might consider Michael "Tinker" Pearce, for the advantage of possibly viewing your commissions in progress from time to time (that and the fact that he's a right nice person, in person!). And if you happen to be on the east side of the Cascades, there is always Christian Fletcher, in Idaho...
Best wishes,
Eric
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Chase S-R




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 31 Jan 2008

Posts: 166

PostPosted: Tue 09 Sep, 2008 2:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The finest swords money can buy....
JT Palikko
http://www.kp-art.fi/jt/index_eng.html

Charles Stewart Rodriguez
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Sep, 2008 3:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chase S-R wrote:
The finest swords money can buy....
JT Palikko
http://www.kp-art.fi/jt/index_eng.html


Chase,
Have you seen any of JT's work in person? I've always been curious about his stuff, but haven't heard many first-hand reports from people who've owned or handled his items. In fact, searching for his last name on our forums only yields a few results.

I'd love to know more about his stuff. So please share your experiences. Happy Thanks!

Happy

ChadA

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Thomas Jason




Location: New Joisey
Joined: 28 Jul 2004

Posts: 230

PostPosted: Tue 09 Sep, 2008 7:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rajavidya Das Hargreaves wrote:
Thanks for all of the replies guys!

Has anyone ever had any custom work done by Mark Marrow of Morrow's Blade and Blacksmith Shop?
What about Jake Powning? Any experience with him?

Thanks,


Jake's work is second to none.

His work is not 100% historical, and has artistic elements, but they are all extremely functional and extremely well made.

I highly reccomend him.
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