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Johannes Zenker





Joined: 15 Sep 2014

Posts: 71

PostPosted: Thu 02 Oct, 2014 2:49 pm    Post subject: Darkwood Armory / Del Tin (?) blades for HEMA         Reply with quote

So I recently decided to order a complex hilted sword from Vladimir Cervenka for me and my wife as part of our wedding gifts. We're both HEMA practitioners and now we're looking to buy a decent quality and well-suited training and sparring implement with similar characteristics at a somewhat lower price point.

I found the offerings by Darkwood Armory pretty interesting. They even have a rapier hilt that looks almost like the one I'm having made, which would be fitted with a 36 inch blade. They're also pretty readily available, another manufacturer whom I talked to about such a sword would have "the usual" six month waiting period.

I have heard, however, that Del Tin blades, which Darkwood used, have had quality issues in recent years. Does anyone have recent experience with those blades and can alleviate my concerns? I know their rapier blades are now more or less their own, but does that also apply for the other blade types?

I'm also open for suggestions of different makers, although I have to limit the price range to 600$.

Regards,
Johannes

P.S: is this even the right subforum?
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Thu 02 Oct, 2014 10:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Darkwood Armory / Del Tin (?) blades for HEMA         Reply with quote

Johannes Zenker wrote:
So I recently decided to order a complex hilted sword from Vladimir Cervenka for me and my wife as part of our wedding gifts. We're both HEMA practitioners and now we're looking to buy a decent quality and well-suited training and sparring implement with similar characteristics at a somewhat lower price point.

I found the offerings by Darkwood Armory pretty interesting. They even have a rapier hilt that looks almost like the one I'm having made, which would be fitted with a 36 inch blade. They're also pretty readily available, another manufacturer whom I talked to about such a sword would have "the usual" six month waiting period.

I have heard, however, that Del Tin blades, which Darkwood used, have had quality issues in recent years. Does anyone have recent experience with those blades and can alleviate my concerns? I know their rapier blades are now more or less their own, but does that also apply for the other blade types?

I'm also open for suggestions of different makers, although I have to limit the price range to 600$.

Regards,
Johannes

P.S: is this even the right subforum?


I'm fairly certain Darkwood hasn't used Del Tin blades in many, many years. Even if they still have some Del Tin blades, they mostly have their own brand of Darkwood blades, and these are definitely good for HEMA. Happy

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


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Dan P




Location: Massachusetts, USA
Joined: 28 Jun 2007

Posts: 208

PostPosted: Fri 03 Oct, 2014 11:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Darkwood is great, their blades are great. I bought a Darkwood blunt rapier to fence with on the secondhand market a decade ago and liked it so much that my first custom sword ever was a Darkwood rapier. The hilt is solid as bricks, and manages to balance perfectly even though the blade I asked them to put on it is cut down to 30". Which is a good half foot off your "standard" rapier but it works better for me. Then a few years ago I bought a matching dagger from them to complete that set.

So you should email them and ask questions, I found Darkwood easy to work with, reliable on delivery date, and good work for the price.
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Greg Korns





Joined: 14 Sep 2010

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri 03 Oct, 2014 11:24 pm    Post subject: darkwood         Reply with quote

I would also throw my recommendation in for Darkwood. I own 8 swords (2 custom) and 3 daggers and have never had an issues with them. Several date back to the del tin days and even those blades are still around and used. The company is top notch in quality, customer service, and warranty. You can ask for much more.
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Sat 04 Oct, 2014 2:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm curious about the range of blade types that Darkwood offers.

DA1PR - practice rapier
DA2BR - bated rapier
DA3S - spada
DA4SS - sidesword
DA4BA - backsword
And others

They get stronger and beefier as you go from top to bottom. For the swords that DW classifies as rapiers, the only available blades appear to be DA1PR and DA2BR. Just ablut everything seems to be available under their swords classification. I wonder if they would be amenable to putting a Sidesword blade on, say, a Pappenheimer hilt.

What can any of you say about the pros and cons of these various blades. Since I am a stage combat person, my needs are a bit different from you folks that practice in earnest. I need something strong in the forte, but with a bit of bend in the foible, so that a messed-up lunge won't necessarily break someone's unprotected ribs.
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Johannes Zenker





Joined: 15 Sep 2014

Posts: 71

PostPosted: Sun 05 Oct, 2014 1:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
I wonder if they would be amenable to putting a Sidesword blade on, say, a Pappenheimer hilt.

That is kind of what I'm gonna have made. I've already had e mail contact with Scott, who seemed to have no problem with the idea, before I kind of got cold feet about the blade quality. As soon as I hear from him again, I'll order a DA4SS Sidesword Blade (http://www.darkwoodarmory.com/index.php?main_...ucts_id=74) mounted to a Ring Hilt with Shell Plates (http://www.darkwoodarmory.com/index.php?main_...ucts_id=66). It corresponds nicely to the Sword I'm having made by Vladimir Cervenka (a variation on his Cat. No. 2000221 (http://www.sword.cz/detail5c.htm)), in measurements as well as looks and protection.
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