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Chris Fields




Location: Tampa, Fl
Joined: 03 Aug 2008

Posts: 114

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PostPosted: Sat 27 Sep, 2008 10:30 am    Post subject: Sterling Armory swords         Reply with quote

Hello all, just wanted to post a little thread here to show some of the stuff I have been working on.

First off, a little back ground on myself. I am a 27 year old mechanical engineer, martial arts instructor, JSA and WMA practioner, and stage combat stuntman down here in Tampa Florida. I have been in my style of Kung Fu for 18 years of which I am now an instructor, and I have been training with almost all varieties of swords for about 17 years. I have been in stage combat, wether it be empty hand martial art fight shows or sword on sword fight shows, for about 10 years. I have gone through it all when it comes to swords. From learning about slo's when I was ten, to learning about stage weapons opposed to real weapons, how western swords compare to eastern, etc... I have always wanted to make swords for a hobby, and now I am making that dream a reality.

This is me, I am the one in the air:



Ok, now alittle about the company I am in the process of starting up. I want to create Sterling Armory for a few reasons. My main reason was that I was unhappy with the quality of "Stage Combat" blades on the market. Most of which have welded guards and pommels, and look pretty plain. So that is where I started. I have since learned that there are really 4 markets that exist for the sword enthusiast, they are:

Stage Combat
Martial Arts sparring use
Martial Arts cutting use
Wall hangers

My goal is provide good quality hand made swords for the first 3 markets listed. Many people list stage combat, and martial arts sparring use as the same market. This is an error though, as most sparring blades are so obviously blunted, and stage people do not want the audience to be able to tell the blades are blunt. So a stage blade has a different purpose, it must look real while remaining safe for stage use.

The swords on the website currently are all stage combat swords. However, I am currently making a few sharps, and a few sparring blades for some customers. I also have a press to layer and curve my own plywood, so I can make shields as well. The stage pieces shown may seem heavy according there numbers, this is because they are stage pieces and are not distal tapered. Before you yell at me, most stage pieces will be distal tapered form hear on out, form 30 to 50%, as I have figured out some new manufacturing techniques. Also, all sharps will be distal tapered as well. =)

I am mainly using 6150 now, although I use 4140 and 4130 occasionally for stage pieces. My blades are made by my own processes. 1st, each blade is modeled up in 3D autocad, to varify design, wieght, balance point, etc.. before I start touching metal. (the engineer in me) Once the design is complete, I get the basic blade shape laser or water jet cut out of a plate of 6150, 4140, or 4130 directly from the cad file. From here, I take the blade blank, and mill the blade to shape on my little hand crank mill using fixtures I created. This part sucks... eventually I'll have a CNC, lol. After this, the blades are professionally heat treated to rc 48-52 at Braddock Metallurgical. Once heat treated, I do a finish grinding and polish on them, and then they are ready to be hilted. I hand mill each guard and pommel on my same little hand crank milling machine. I can use a variety of metals for the guards and pommels, from plain mild steel, to brass, bronze, and I personally like stainless for stage combat and sparring blade hilts. The grips are fashioned one of two ways: for stage or sparring use, I use an aluminum or stainless steel thin wall tube wrapped in leather, this allows for the widest tang possible, or I will use hickory sandwiched and wrapped in leather for more authentic pieces. For the final hilt contruction, I slide the guard in place, and weld a stainless 3/8" bolt into a 1 inch long U shaped cut out at the end of the tang (tang is as long as the entire grip). I slide the grip and pommel over the tang, and the welded bolt stickouts out past the pommel, where it recieves a custom hex nut. I choose 3/8" over the standard 1/4" due to the higher retention force, and greater thread strength. This may be over kill, but thats ok by me. =)

This is still just a hobby for me, as I am at my engineering job 40 hours a week, teaching martial arts 4 hours a week, and with my fiance most of our free time. I find time to work on pieces on the weekends and some nights. I hope to eventually have a standard line of simple stage swords, sparring swords, and cutting swords, as well as continue to offer custom hilts for those blades, as well as completely custom swords. The goal of the standard sword lines will be to keep the cost low and provide some good pieces for under $300 for all types of usage.

Below are some links to pics of past pieces I have made.

Web Site:
www.SterlingArmory.com

Swords currently available:
http://www.sterlingarmory.com/6.html

Some custom pieces:
http://www.sterlingarmory.com/7.html

Shields:
http://www.sterlingarmory.com/3.html

And here is a link to my photobucket account of alot more pictures of past pieces, many are on the website, but there are some that are not.

http://s18.photobucket.com/albums/b115/crfields/swords/?start=0

Thanks for looking, and I would love to hear any and all feed back (yes, even negative feed back, you can tell me I suck, as long as you state why, lol) from the family here at myArmoury.

Although simple, is still my favorite sword I have made to date.
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Allen Foster




PostPosted: Sat 27 Sep, 2008 2:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Sterling Armory swords         Reply with quote

Chris Fields wrote:

Thanks for looking, and I would love to hear any and all feed back (yes, even negative feed back, you can tell me I suck, as long as you state why, lol) from the family here at myArmoury.

Although simple, is still my favorite sword I have made to date.


Welcome and thanks for posting. The swords look awesome. I love the detail work in the handles, pommels and guards. I wouldn't mind driving over from Orlando to try some of them out. I'm trying to think of a reason to explain to my wife that I need another sword.

I do need a heater shield however. I didn't see a price on your website.

Thanks,
Allen
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Chris Fields




Location: Tampa, Fl
Joined: 03 Aug 2008

Posts: 114

Feedback score: None
PostPosted: Sat 27 Sep, 2008 11:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not sure if I can post prices here, but I pm'd you. I need to get the shield prices up on the website and more shield examples. Thanks for the reply! Big Grin
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Grayson C.




Location: NCF, Sarasota, FL
Joined: 25 Oct 2006

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Posts: 223

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PostPosted: Sun 28 Sep, 2008 12:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

VERY cool!

I'm at school at NCF, about an hour south of you or so.

I wish you the best of luck in your endeavor!
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 28 Sep, 2008 12:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris Fields wrote:
I'm not sure if I can post prices here, but I pm'd you. I need to get the shield prices up on the website and more shield examples. Thanks for the reply! Big Grin


You can post prices. This forum, the Makers and Manufacturers forum, is intended for promotion and sales. Of course you can post prices. Why not?

.:. Visit my Collection Gallery :: View my Reading List :: View my Wish List :: See Pages I Like :: Find me on Facebook .:.
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Chris Fields




Location: Tampa, Fl
Joined: 03 Aug 2008

Posts: 114

Feedback score: None
PostPosted: Sun 28 Sep, 2008 10:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, ok, most shield blanks (bare wood with hard mount handle or leather handle, leather arm strap, and padding) are under $100. Just send me the shape you want and I'll curve the layers of plywood and cut the shape out. I am limited to 2.5 feet x 3.5 feet. Thanks
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Chris Fields




Location: Tampa, Fl
Joined: 03 Aug 2008

Posts: 114

Feedback score: None
PostPosted: Mon 20 Oct, 2008 11:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey there, here is a unique piece, a Espada Daga, that is a built to a customer's design. The hilt is bronze, hickory, and Walnut, and "skull crusher" is stainless steel. Let me know what you think =) The tang bolt is hidden under the Skull Crusher, so the piece is dismountable.









Here is a pic from before I finished the skull crusher and walnut


Thanks
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Chris Fields




Location: Tampa, Fl
Joined: 03 Aug 2008

Posts: 114

Feedback score: None
PostPosted: Fri 14 Nov, 2008 9:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I wanted to post some pics of a variety of pieces I just finished up that will be used in stunt shows for the Florida Pirate Fair. Hope you like, and please feel free to comment.

First is a Chinese Jian where the customer wanted a Jian handle with more of a small sword blade. She also does alot of chinese fan work, so she wanted me to incorporate a fan into the design. Here is what I came up with:







Stats:
Blade lenght: 30"
Blade width at base: 1.125" Tip: .625"
Distal Taper: .2" at base to .1" near tip
Blade Material: 6150 HT to RC 50-52
Guard and Pommel: Brass
Grip: Hickory
Total wieght: 1 lb 14 oz
POB: 2" from guard if I remember correctly


Here are some cutlasses. Both use my basic 28" cutlass with no fuller. First is a English slot hilt made off a design given to me by hte customer, and second is a more fanciful piece made for an Irishman, who came up with a clover leaf design idea that I brought to life.








Stats:
Blade lenght: 28:
Blade Material: 6150 HT to RC 50-52
Distal Taper: .2" to .125"
Guards: slot hilt has a stainless guard, Clover leaf has a brass and stainless guard
Total weights: Slot hilt: 2.5 lbs, Clover leaf: 2.75 lbs
POB: approx 4 in from guards

And here is another more fantasy-ish piece. This is short sword, that will actually be paired up with a twin after tonight, design was doen between the customer and myself, purple leather was all her. =)



Again, hope you like. I have a nice type XVI sharp in the works that I'll be posting soon. Hopefully with some test cutting videos to go along with it.
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Chris Fields




Location: Tampa, Fl
Joined: 03 Aug 2008

Posts: 114

Feedback score: None
PostPosted: Tue 18 Nov, 2008 11:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is a Custom Cutter:

Below are some pics of piece I just about have finished up. It's close to a Type XVI, and I think I would put it in that category. Some may put it in a type XIV, but the tip section is robust for thrusting though it doesn't taper as acutely as most XVIs. The edges geometry is convex, not secondary beveled. The guard was quite fun to make, as I cut the basic shape out of stainless and forged the ends to a flair. The pommel is stainless as well. Let me know what you think. I cut up a few bottles with it for fun, and I hope to get some cutting on video with it fo tatami and other stuff. I need to finish polishing it up and put my mark on it, and it will be sent out. It may be shown at the Florida Pirate Fair if anyone makes it out to there. Thanks













Stats:
Blade Material: 6150 HT to RC 50-52
Blade Length: 27"
Distal Taper: .2" at base to .095" near tip (2" from tip)
blade width at base: 2" near tip: 1" (2" from tip)
Guard and Pommel: Stainless steel
Handle: Leather over sandwiched hickory
Total lenght: 34"
Pob: 2" from guard
COP: approx 9" from tip (a few inches from the ed of the fuller)
Total Weight: 2lb 10oz
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