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Matthew R.





Joined: 28 May 2007

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PostPosted: Thu 25 Dec, 2008 9:33 am    Post subject: Albion Baron for Christmas - Some first time concerns         Reply with quote

Hello all,

I just opened my Albion Baron (I received it on the 18th but was forced to wait until today to open it) and I am very impressed by it. You can read the reviews of the sword yourself so I won't bother writing one here.

I do have some minor concerns though. This is my very first sword so please bare with me.

What bothers me the most is the pitting. There are 3 small pits on the hilt and one really large one that you can truly feel if you rub your thumb over it. The pommel also contains 4 small pits. There is also a dent on the side of the hilt. Furthermore, there was what seemed to be oil stains on one side of the pommel that I removed using an eraser, though I had to press somewhat hard. There also appears to be a similar stain on the blade, which is otherwise perfect. I dare not try to remove it from the blade as I am afraid of damaging it.

Is it normal to have this many pits and stains on a brand new piece? I have to admit that it does bother me especially after reading that some swords that are being sold on the forums have no pits even though they are well-used. I know some people like to have a sword that looks used, but I am not one of them, especially one that is straight out of the box. Also, you have to realize that I live in Canada and this sword cost me around $1400 after shipping, duties and taxes, and the exchange.

I wouldn't say that I am disappointed with the sword at all, it is everything I expected it to be. It is really the one large pit on top of the hilt and the dent that bother me the most. If I could just get the hilt replaced I would be truly extatic. But again, shipping to Albion back and forth from Canada is very expensive. I also feel that maybe a hilt with two pretty big flaws should not have gone out.

Again, all these things might be normal. Any opinions would be greatly appreicated.

Happy Holidays!
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Dec, 2008 10:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew,
I've had a few Albions and some have more pits and issues with hilts than others. My Regent's hilt is flawless. The Sovereign is almost flawless; same with the Gaddhjalt. The Sempach has some flaws/pits. The pommel on my Baron looks like it had a large casting flaw that someone attempted to fill via welding. The end result is noticeable.

I don't mind it or I would have returned it. Some people would be bothered by it.

Some small pits are par for the course on cast fittings. Albions have them, so do Del Tin, A&A and others. A few small pits don't concern me and can add to an authentic look. Too many or too large, and that's a different story. A dent might bother me, depending on where and how much.

Any chance you could post pics?

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Thu 25 Dec, 2008 4:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Most of my albions have a few pits. You can use the most fine sandpaper and a gray scotchbrite pad to remove the stain on the blade. You will not damage it. You may have to run the scotchbrite over the whole side of the blade to match it up but I don't wory about this as the difference is so negligible. Gray scotchbrites match the finish on Albions.

Jeremy
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Jeff Kaisla




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PostPosted: Thu 25 Dec, 2008 4:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Might be worthwhile to point out, make sure you run the scotch brite pad from guard to tip.....this way you keep the finish uniform instead of just one small area where it may be noticable. I believe there is a video on youtube that shows an Albion employee polishing a blade. I believe its the "How its Made : Albion Swords" clip.
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Matthew R.





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PostPosted: Thu 25 Dec, 2008 7:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi guys,

I was going to post some pics of the sword on here to augment my post, but a recent discovery has convinced me to return the sword.

I found a small chip in the blade. While some people might just fix the problem themselves, I believe that given the fact I am not equipped, skilled nor do I desire to fix it, I will be returning it. I don't even want my money back, I just want the exact same sword without any of these major flaws.

I might post pics of the chip and the other flaws later. Right now, I have an E-mail to write.

Take care.
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Thu 25 Dec, 2008 9:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If there is damage to the edge I completely agree that this is the appropriate action and I know that albion will be more than pleased to make you happy.

Jeremy
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Matthew R.





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PostPosted: Fri 26 Dec, 2008 6:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, I am sure everything will be handled fine, I am not worried about that. I still have the utmost confidence in the company. It is a small chip, but a chip nonethless. I will b posting pics later today.

What hurts the most is that despite these flaws, the sword is the most beauiful thing I have ever seen (next to my girlfriend). I just know it should/could be better.
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Edward Hitchens




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PostPosted: Fri 26 Dec, 2008 6:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Matthew,

I'm sorry to hear of your sword's flaws and I hope it gets resolved. I've owned quite a few Albions and A&A's over the years and pitting here and there is not unheard of; not even unusual. Though the assembly process of an Albion sword does involve some use of machines, their swords are mostly made by hand. And like any handmade object, there may be some geometrical flaws and pitting.

But I agree, extensive pitting and nicks would bother me. The folks at Albion have always been very helpful. I hope you had a Merry Christmas!

"The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest." Thomas Jefferson
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Matthew R.





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PostPosted: Fri 26 Dec, 2008 7:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am also worried about having to ship the sword back to Wisconsin. I live in Canada, and had to pay duties and taxes as well as brokerage fees to get the sword over the border. I hope I don't have to pay these hings again. I do have a receipt for the payments I made, so I am hoping I can just attach it to the box. I also hope I don't have to pay shiping and handling as that is another $100 for me.

Has anyone had any experience wth returning items across the border?
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 26 Dec, 2008 9:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Resmini wrote:
I am also worried about having to ship the sword back to Wisconsin. I live in Canada, and had to pay duties and taxes as well as brokerage fees to get the sword over the border. I hope I don't have to pay these hings again. I do have a receipt for the payments I made, so I am hoping I can just attach it to the box. I also hope I don't have to pay shiping and handling as that is another $100 for me.

Has anyone had any experience wth returning items across the border?


Well technically there are no duties because of the Freetrade agreement but the GST and Provincial sales taxes make it seem like the same thing.

The brokerage fees are much lower with Canada Post/USPS but I think Albion should cover the shipping costs at least on the way back to you !? Oh, make sure you contact Mike at Albion before you ship it to establish the best and least costly way for you and for Albion to ship and to explain the problems.

Mike might know what paperwork to put into the package or on the package so that you don't end up paying those taxes twice ! There is probably a procedure/paperwork for that but I found that most of the shipping places don't have a clue if you use a convenience store pick up or shipping point: Try asking the head offices of either UPS or Canada Post at a full service Canada Post staffed by Canada Post employees.

This may or may not work but it's worth a try and also being in Canada it makes all the shipping back and forth much less appealing ! Minor pitting might not make it worth it but a nick in the blade does make it worth while sending it back if it's something you can't fix yourself. ( Very small nicks or dull spots are no problem for me but a deep nick is not something that should be there in a new sword of this price: Failure of quality control or it could be damage in transit or if some customs guy damaged it when inspecting it i.e. couldn't resist to swing it around and hit something hard ? ).

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Matthew R.





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PostPosted: Fri 26 Dec, 2008 11:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Jean,

Thanks for replying. I was hoping you would as I know you are a fellow Canuck.

I have E-mailed Mike and listed all the flaws with the sword. He always gets back to me in a day, but its Christmas so I am not expecting something soon. I really feel The problem will be handled well.

Minor pitting really would not be worth it. There is just one really deep pit that bothers me and the chip in the blade's edge kind of sealed it for me. Also, the staining which I can't seem to get off.

I would feel bad returning the sword if the damage was caused by a customs person. But there is no evidence that the box was opened as it was strongly sealed with no indication of tape being torn from the surface.

Just another question: To where do you get your swords shipped? Directly to your house or somewhere in the US close to the border? Is there even a border crossing close to you?

Thanks again for replying.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 26 Dec, 2008 5:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Resmini wrote:

Just another question: To where do you get your swords shipped? Directly to your house or somewhere in the US close to the border? Is there even a border crossing close to you?

Thanks again for replying.


Directly to the house and with tracking I usually am home when it gets here, and no there isn't a border crossing near me.

If the package wasn't opened by customs and wasn't damaged on the outside then the probabilities are high that the problems were there originally except maybe for the stain if the sword stayed in the package for an extended period of time and if some humidity got at the sword: Leaving it in the package may not have made a difference but it's better to check out a sword as soon as one gets it to avoid rust that might start and be unnoticed until one does open the package.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 26 Dec, 2008 6:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Calling a few pits and a small chip "major flaws" is a bit of an overstatement, isn't it? It is, to me.
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Matthew R.





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PostPosted: Fri 26 Dec, 2008 6:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Nathan,

Yes you are probably right, it is an overstatment. But in the end, I suppose it is all a matter of perspective.

If I had the know-how and tools to fix these defects they certainly aren't flaws at all. If I don't have these tools, and knowledge, they are flaws. Not major, for sure, that was just my emotions getting in the way. But i still feel they warrant a return.

I didn't want to return the sword to Albion without consulting the community first to see if these things are normal. Pits are normal, a single large pit on the sword's guard might be normal, a small chip on the blade might be normal, stains all over the sword's furniture and some on the blade might be normal, a dent on the sword's guard might be normal, an unevenly sharpened point might be normal given that it is done by hand, a piece of leather not securely glued to the handle might be normal, but all these things combined, to me anyway, equal a sword that is not up to par with what I paid for it nor what I have learned about these swords in reviews and statements by others.

Unfortuneately, I can't post picture right now because I don't have the nessecary cables to hook up to my computer, but I will when I go back to my house on the 28th.

This really is a personal dilemma for me. On the one hand, I very much appreciate that companies like Albion even exist. I know they are a small company and I don't want to increase their costs, especially in this economy, by returning the sword. On the other hand, I have come to expect alot from the company both from their prices and the reviews by others on this website. I also want a product i can be proud to give to my children when I am old. If these defects had been caused by me, I would have no problem, and i would simply chaulk it up to wear and tear. But the fact the sword arrived to me in this condition is something that does not satisfy me. I suppose that is all it comes down to in the end: all things considered, I am not satisified though it does hurt me to have to return it.

Jean,

The sword was shipped on the 15th and arrived at my house on the 17th. I opened it on the 25th. Is that enough time for stains to set in? The sword was covered in oil when I got it and I had to wipe it down all over.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 26 Dec, 2008 7:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew-
My suggestion is not to let this stress you out too much. If you're not happy with the product, please feel comfortable returning it to make the manufacturer fix it to your satisfaction.

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Jason Daub




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PostPosted: Fri 26 Dec, 2008 8:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew,

A company as reputable as Albion should have no problem with the touch-ups, I have seen myself how even the best QC people can miss stuff during the holiday rush. There is one important thing to watch however, make SURE that when the sword is being shipped back to you that the customs paperwork is filled out with the value of the item for insurance purposes and marked WARRANTY - NO CHARGE, or you may get hit for the GST again (PST too?) on the full purchase price. I have had this happen to me on at least two occasions with other material that I had sent to U.S. manufacturers, Canada Border Services Agency saw the value of the item and charged accordingly, missing the fine print.

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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Fri 26 Dec, 2008 9:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Also worth putting an address label, letter with shipper and receiver information (or something) inside the box...the ones on the outside can come off.
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Matthew R.





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PostPosted: Fri 26 Dec, 2008 9:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you Jason and Joe for your advice ;-)
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Dec, 2008 1:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Resmini wrote:

Jean,

The sword was shipped on the 15th and arrived at my house on the 17th. I opened it on the 25th. Is that enough time for stains to set in? The sword was covered in oil when I got it and I had to wipe it down all over.


Can't tell you for sure if a few days or a week to 10 days extra left unpacked did make a difference in this case but rust and stains can happen quickly if the conditions are right ( Or rather wrong or bad ) for it to happen or if some corrosive stuff touched the blade in any way and left a residue.

As an example when one wants to cause rust or artificial patination to antique a piece it only takes an hour or contact with lemon juice or yellow mustard to deeply stain a blade.

Check out this article: http://www.myArmoury.com/feature_antique.html all the things you don't want to happen to your new sword if by accident, done on purpose, to make it look either old, or more lightly done, as if it had seen some use but had been well maintained in period i.e. what the sword might have looked like after being in use after some years.

A dirty finger print on carbon steel can cause a rust spot rather quickly if not wiped off right away and if left for a 10 day shipping time + another 5 to 10 days in the package ....... bad things can happen to good steel !

All the damage you mention is minor but all of them together is not normal and if you can't easily fix it yourself then sending it back is the thing to do.

You might get a new and different sword back or it might be the same sword, but unless the damage is serious and deep Albion should be able to make it look good as new and as it should have been in the first place with only a few hours of work I think.

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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Wed 31 Dec, 2008 5:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
Calling a few pits and a small chip "major flaws" is a bit of an overstatement, isn't it? It is, to me.


Most originals today would be rejected by some "beyond the pond" customers.

Flawed fullers, a bit on the snake trail, non millimetrically aligned hilts, what else .. pommels slightly askew, non symmetric engravings, etc.
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