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Michael Pikula
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Location: Madison, WI
Joined: 07 Jun 2008

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PostPosted: Mon 27 Apr, 2009 6:33 pm    Post subject: Shop update, +smelting+scabbards+shipping+         Reply with quote

Hello everyone, I haven't been posting much since I have been keeping busy in the shop and trying a few new things to be able to offer a wider range of techniques in my work. First off everything purchased will be shipped in a new custom made box which will protect the blade in shipping and also make an excellent storage box if you don't have the blade on display. The top slides in a groove and has a snug fit so there are to latches or nails that need to be worried about.

Secondly I have started to experiment with smelting some crucible steel and I got a nice looking ingot, the carbon content is at around 1% and I haven't had too much time to try to forge it into anything, but putting a heads up that there might eventually be a piece or two that pops up from some home smelted steel!

I have started to work on some basic scabbards, nothing really fancy, but something that I can offer as a extra "bonus" for the time being. Once I get a better handle on the whole process and can start to do more intricate designs and work that may change, but for now it is my way of saying thank you for supporting me and my work! I'm including pictures of a scabbard that I finished for the pattern welded viking sword in this thread: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=15955. Of course, as a shameless self promotion, the sword and scabbard are up for sale Happy

Lastly I have been reflecting on what direction I want my work to go, and what kind of work I would like to be offering. While I have tested my blades and am happy with the handling and the performance of them, there is no way to portray this in a simple thread. The best way to do that is to get my work into your hands, and get feedback from you as to what you like and don't like. I have a few options that I am playing with in order to get my blades out there, so stay tuned!

Here are a few shots of the scabbard and the pattern welded viking sword plus the new shipping box design.



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M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
Joined: 07 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Mon 27 Apr, 2009 8:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is a rather nifty box AND a beautiful sword.

M.

This space for rent or lease.
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Mon 27 Apr, 2009 8:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That looks great for the sword and the scabbard as well the box is a great idea for shipping and for storage.

Making basic scabbards is also a great idea as way to many swords are sold without a scabbard and then the buyer has to find someone to make one ! ( Well, good for custom scabbard makers. Wink ).

As you get better at it maybe you will want to make scabbard as involved and expensive as the sword it comes with but many just want something simple but functional and you may want to put more effort in time in forging your blades and making the swords themselves as high end scabbards might end up consuming too much of your time and slow down the swordmaking ?

One option might be to make the fitted wooden core that might suffice for storage and where the customer could send the core to a custom maker for the covering, belting and scabbard furniture ? ( Assuming that it's dimension remain stable i.e. no changes due to climate where the scabbard might be made ? ).

So you could:

1) Make some full effort scabbards for some projects or customs orders.

2) Make scabbards as you show in this Topic that look very nice to me but don't monopolies too much of your available worktime

3) Make naked core scabbards intended for storage only but that could later sent by the customer for upgrading by a custom scabbard maker or as a DIY project.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Adam S.





Joined: 01 Sep 2006

Posts: 146

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PostPosted: Tue 28 Apr, 2009 7:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
3) Make naked core scabbards intended for storage only but that could later sent by the customer for upgrading by a custom scabbard maker or as a DIY project.


This is an interesting suggestion, Jean. It would be a bit like a Euro-style shirasaya. With the time it takes to make a scabbard I can say that, in my experience, the core is the most annoying thing to have to put together. Once it's done the rest is just a matter of leather, steel and patience.

Mike,

Very nice work. The scabbard looks good and clean, and I think the box idea is a good one. May I suggest making the box an optional add on? The cost may be prohibitive to those who don't care much for something like that.

Otherwise, good to see you're truckin' along!
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Michael Pikula
Industry Professional



Location: Madison, WI
Joined: 07 Jun 2008

Posts: 411

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PostPosted: Tue 28 Apr, 2009 8:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the input guys!

Jean, I agree with providing options for scabbard or scabbard parts. I think it would be easier to go about options on a commission basis. Doing work that isn't sold can be tricky because it has to find just the right customer and fit their vision. I will be thinking about how I want to apply scabbards in terms of product line, that is all still in the works though so I'll spare the online brain storming!

Adam, I counted out the cost of materials for making the box and the time and my vision is to absorb that cost at the moment since it isn't all that much for me. The presentation and statement that a sword makes when arriving in a nice wooden box verses wrapped up and in a box stuffed with news paper and cardboard will be worth the hour it takes to put it together. aka if the box will have no effect on the price that you pay Happy
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