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Alan Schiff
Industry Professional

Location: Las Vegas
Joined: 06 Oct 2008

Posts: 222

PostPosted: Fri 15 May, 2009 4:49 pm    Post subject: My first custom: BKS XIIa         Reply with quote

Thereís a long story behind this sword, but Iíll try to make it short. I read a lot of fantasy, and Iíve always liked stories with magical or special swords in particular. Iíve been collecting for several years now, and in the back of my mind Iíve always been looking for that super-special sword, one that I could believe belongs in a story. But Iíve never found a production piece that really spoke to me that way. Iíve seen a lot of customs like that, though. So last year I decided instead of continuing my search for a special production piece, I would just get the sword made custom. So I spent a month or two going through various designs, some more fantasy-like and some more historically based, and finally came up with a design that I liked more than anything else. Simple yet elegant is how I would describe it.

So last May I contacted Matt at Baltimore Knife & Sword, because I had seen some of their pieces in person at the ren fair here, and they always look great and the grips are really comfortable. The ultimate result is the best (IMO) sword in my collection. I received the sword on Monday, and it is truly awesome!

Here are the stats:
Overall Length: 44.75 inches
Blade Length: 34.75 inches
Blade Width at Base: 1.875 inches
Blade Width before Tip: 0.875 inches
Guard Width: 8.5 inches
Grip Length: 7.125 inches
Fuller Length: 23 inches
Weight: 3 lbs 3 oz
CoG: 2 inches from guard
CoP: 21 inches from guard

Considering that this sword is modeled after my own design, I pretty much have to say itís the best looking sword Iíve ever seen. Itís an Oakeshott type XIIa, type 6 guard, and a modified type T-ish pommel, maybe closer to type T3, whatever. The grip is a dark blue leather in their usual spiral wrap. The blade has a full mirror polish while the fittings have a satin polish, which gives a nice contrast between the blade and hilt.

This is probably the best-handling XIIa Iíve ever held. Itís a little heavier than some, but still light enough for one handed use. And with the CoG so close to the guard, this sword is really maneuverable. When cutting bottles, if hit at the CoP, I can barely even notice that Iíve hit something. The first time I cut with it I thought I missed, itís that smooth. The grip is long enough for both hands, with a little extra room, and is superbly comfortable. The sword works well both two-handed and one-handed. Itís a pretty good thruster too, although it tends to scrape along light targets if youíre not careful.

I think this is the best sword in my collection, and Matt did an absolutely great job on this one. If youíre looking for a nice custom, donít hesitate to contact him and Kerry. Theyíre communication is really great too. The longest period between emails was less than three weeks. This has the best feel of any sword of its type that Iíve had the opportunity to hold, and that includes a true Tinker longsword.

Here are pics and a link to a video of me cutting:

I'd like to give a big thanks to Matt Stagmer for this wonderful piece. Thanks Matt, I couldn't be happier with how this one turned out. It's totally sweet! Big Grin

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Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz

Location: Michigan, USA
Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 850

PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2009 7:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From one person who had been on a quest for that perfect -- relatively speaking, of
course -- sword to another, congratulations on your success. There is NOTHING like the
feeling of receiving something you've planned and mulled over for weeks, months, and
maybe years. Wondering if this design or that design is too much, too little, or just right.
Wondering if this person or that person might just be the one to deliver the goods; maybe
even hoping the craving would disappear because, after awhile, you're so frustrated with
the what-ifs, could-bes, maybe-tomorrows; tired of filling your mattress with every extra
dollar that comes your way in hope that one day, one day soon, you will have enough to
get it done right !!!

Ah, I still recall the morning one of my blades arrived, Alan. FedEx was supposed to
deliver before 10 AM and I was up at 7:30, all but planning the quickest possible route
up the stairs and to the front door when that fateful knock or bell chymed ...

Your sword does indeed appear simple and elegant, and perhaps you forgot, formidable
as well. B-)
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Alan Schiff
Industry Professional

Location: Las Vegas
Joined: 06 Oct 2008

Posts: 222

PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2009 9:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Matthew. I definitely know what you mean. It's a road filled with twists and turns, second guesses and what-ifs, to be sure. But the reward is most definitely worth it! Happy
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