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Luke Zechman




Location: Lock Haven Pennsylvania
Joined: 18 Jan 2009

Posts: 278

PostPosted: Mon 21 Dec, 2009 3:04 pm    Post subject: Bronze Age Swords         Reply with quote

Has anyone ever purchased a sword blade from Neil Burridge? If so what are your thoughts on the product?
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M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
Joined: 07 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Dec, 2009 3:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have one. They're great.

M.

This space for rent or lease.
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Bennison N




Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Joined: 06 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Dec, 2009 5:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah... They are really good quality, and he has recreated quite a wide variety as well.
"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

अजयखड्गधारी
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Geoff Wood




Location: UK
Joined: 31 Aug 2003

Posts: 634

PostPosted: Tue 22 Dec, 2009 7:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've got one of his Ewart park style blades. Decent bloke to deal with, product very good value, and very nicely done. I'd recommend his products.
Geoff
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Luke Zechman




Location: Lock Haven Pennsylvania
Joined: 18 Jan 2009

Posts: 278

PostPosted: Tue 22 Dec, 2009 7:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I ordered the Ewart Park unfinished, hilt less model and plan to finish it myself. I just recieved a tracking number from Neil this morning . The waiting game begins... Thanks for the input and I will post a picture of the blade when arrived and once I am done with it. Can't wait to experience my first bronze blade!!!
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Dec, 2009 11:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have 6 of his swords and counting... Big Grin

They are really some of the best reproductions of bronze age swords currently on the market. They have both the correct weight and the correct alloy. They are not made completely authentic (doing so would be cost prohibitive), but they are gravity cast in upright standing moulds, as was probably done originally. The edges are also workhardened, which was also done originally and makes a lot of difference in usability of the swords.

And Neil is a really nice guy as well.

The Ewart Park is one of my favourites as well. Very quick but still sturdy sword.
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Eric Sherwin




Location: Texas
Joined: 31 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Dec, 2009 11:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just bought the Witham antenna sword from Neil and I love it. I'm definitely planning on buying more pieces from him, and I also found him to be a great guy.
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Eric Lu





Joined: 22 Dec 2009

Posts: 27

PostPosted: Tue 22 Dec, 2009 12:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I recently bought a Mycenaean type G from him, and it's become my favorite sword in my collection. Definitely the best bronze sword maker out there in my opinion, and there aren't many doing that!
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Dec, 2009 2:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric Sherwin wrote:
I just bought the Witham antenna sword from Neil and I love it. I'm definitely planning on buying more pieces from him, and I also found him to be a great guy.


Eric, do you have any photos of the Witham? Can you tell us your additional impressions of it? I really like the look of that sword - I want it!

Has anyone encountered any problems having these swords shipped to the USA from Britain?
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Luke Zechman




Location: Lock Haven Pennsylvania
Joined: 18 Jan 2009

Posts: 278

PostPosted: Tue 22 Dec, 2009 2:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In my research on the subject of purchasing a bronze sword I had encountered one thing about someone receiving a bent sword from Burridge. This had by no means been his fault, but rather the postage system mucking about as they might sometimes do. That review also include the consumers comment about how Neil spent a lot of time on the phone with him trying to correct the problem. From what I understand his swords are stronger then I had originally imagined a bronze sword would be. There is also a paragraph or two on his web page involving the pitting of a Bronze Age reproduction sword up against a early Iron Age reproduction sword. The results might not be what you expect, but I don't want to ruin it for you.

All in all my experience with Burridge was great. I had encountered many problems with the people at Western Union and he was very patient with me. When all was said and done he had shipped it to me before he received my wired money. Great guy.. and I will be buying from him again in the future. I am even thinking about attending the Bronze Age festival he hold every year.
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Dec, 2009 3:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luke Zechman wrote:
I am even thinking about attending the Bronze Age festival he hold every year.
If you can, you should, because it's great fun!
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Eric Sherwin




Location: Texas
Joined: 31 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Dec, 2009 10:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger, I'm waiting for a decent day to snap a few photos of the Witham and when I do I'll make sure to post them. What I can say first about the Witham is that the website pictures don't do justice to it. It's graceful and shines like gold. I haven't handled any other bronze swords, but I've read that they're tip heavy. I don't find the Witham to be overly tip heavy, in fact it seems pretty agile to me. I would highly recommend buying this beautiful sword to any one who's interested.
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Dec, 2009 11:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, we definitely need more photos of the Witham sword, especially from different angles. So far I've only seen a straight on shot.


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From the Bronze Swords website
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,306

PostPosted: Wed 23 Dec, 2009 7:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congrats, Luke! You are going to love your new sword. I did try to answer your private message, but we were having connection problems for a couple days... Looks like you got the answers you needed, though!

Enjoy,

Matthew
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Luke Zechman




Location: Lock Haven Pennsylvania
Joined: 18 Jan 2009

Posts: 278

PostPosted: Thu 24 Dec, 2009 12:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes I had looked at you Bronze Age site. Your sites are always such a resource for me. When I first joined this forum, I had no idea what I was really interested in specifically. I tend to get drawn to these earlier times. Roman, Greek, and the more ancient cultures. Although next week I will probably be drooling over antique sabers again, or some other new interest.
This Bronze age project is a good next step for me. The riveting is my main concern. I can see myself splitting the wooden slats that I carve. Peening the gladius was not as bad I thought it would be, but getting these slats to fit tight and secure might be a challenge. I guess trying is the only way i am going to learn.
I remember seeing somewhere that you should heat the handle with a torch and burn boards to either side. Cut out around the burn marks. Round over the edge. The burning ensures a solid fit. The pommel also makes me nervous. I am afraid it will just come flying off without a peen or a rivet.
Matthew, where did you get bone slats for the handle that bronze sword you hilted?
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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
Industry Professional



Location: Netherlands
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Dec, 2009 1:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luke Zechman wrote:
Yes I had looked at you Bronze Age site. Your sites are always such a resource for me. When I first joined this forum, I had no idea what I was really interested in specifically. I tend to get drawn to these earlier times. Roman, Greek, and the more ancient cultures. Although next week I will probably be drooling over antique sabers again, or some other new interest.
This Bronze age project is a good next step for me. The riveting is my main concern. I can see myself splitting the wooden slats that I carve.

That's always a risk, so be prepared that you may have to redo a hiltplate. However, I find that by changing the way hammer down the rivets, I've not had any problems anymore. Previously I'd compress the entire rivet between hammer and anvil. Nowadays I use a ballpeen hammer and gently tap down the edges, which works a lot better. I also make sure to anneal the rivets, particularly on commercial bronze rod that's a must, as they are sold nearly fully workhardened.

Quote:
Peening the gladius was not as bad I thought it would be, but getting these slats to fit tight and secure might be a challenge. I guess trying is the only way i am going to learn.
I remember seeing somewhere that you should heat the handle with a torch and burn boards to either side. Cut out around the burn marks.

That's a possibility. Mind that when the bronze is red hot or above, it's very brittle. So if you overheat it, or put too much force on it, it will break. But lately I've been burning in slots for grip-tong swords by hammering the wood over the heated tangs, and that works fine, as long as the bronze is not above red.

Quote:
Round over the edge.
Just make sure that you don't end up with a rectangular cross-section with rounded edges. The grips were generally oval in cross-section, sometimes with flat sides though. But the top and bottom should be nicely curved. The same goes for the pommel too, make sure it's oval in cross-section, not rounded rectangular. I've made that mistake myself too, and it doesn't look right.

Quote:
The burning ensures a solid fit. The pommel also makes me nervous. I am afraid it will just come flying off without a peen or a rivet.
You need a good sticky glue to fix it. I've used hide glue in the past, but that's no good. I've recently been using resin based glues, which if you get the mix right, provide a very strong hold. You could go for modern glues though if you don't mind the glue not being historical.
Jeroen Zuiderwijk
- Bronze age living history in the Netherlands
- Barbarian metalworking
- Museum photos
- Zip-file with information about saxes
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Fri 25 Dec, 2009 9:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glad to be inspirational, Luke! Yeah, get used to the mood swings, they never go away. Always keep a list of "to do" projects that covers a number of eras, so you'll always have something to work on no matter what century grabs your attention that day!

The bone I used was just a large dog-chew bone from a pet store. It can take some hunting to find one large enough to make two hilt plates. Definitely avoid the filled or flavored ones...

I've never tried burning my hilt plates to fit the tang, but I have a feeling it would make more sense if the tang has flanges, which the Ewart Park does not. Still, burning will probably make the wood fit more snugly to the tang. Just don't set off the smoke alarm. Or set fire to your hilt!

Khaire,

Matthew
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Eric Sherwin




Location: Texas
Joined: 31 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jan, 2010 12:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I finally got a chance to take a few snaps of my Witham. Please pardon the cheap cloth background, it's the only thing I could find that was a solid color. The closeup of the blade shows the beautiful central rib, grooves and work hardened edge. The blade has a distal taper but I couldn't get a good picture of it. Oh, and I also show it side by side with my Albion Allectus for a scale comparison (sorry it's sideways).


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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jan, 2010 1:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, Eric for those photos. They give us a better idea of what that sword is about.
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Luke Zechman




Location: Lock Haven Pennsylvania
Joined: 18 Jan 2009

Posts: 278

PostPosted: Mon 04 Jan, 2010 9:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I received my Ewart Park sword this morning. The quality is splendid. I ordered the unfinished blade, but realistically Neil has done the majority. The edges have been work hardened and the hole for the rivets have been drilled. All I will have to do is hilt it and polish the blade.

To anyone that is considering owning one of these awesome sword... I will highly recommend a Burridge blade!!!!

Top notch!!!!!
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