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Jasper B.




Location: Europe
Joined: 09 Dec 2014
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PostPosted: Sat 21 Mar, 2015 8:36 am    Post subject: Jiri Krondak/Fabri Armorum - anybody know his quality?         Reply with quote

Hi,

I came across this smith: Jiri Krondak - (Fabri Armorum), who seems to have been making sword for quite some time now. His prices seem quite reasonable and I was thinking of maybe ordering a sabre from him, but I can't find any references or reviews from people who bought his creations.

Is there anybody on these forums who's ever ordered something from their workshop? Or otherwise came across his work?

Edit: The sabre I'm interested in:


Regards,
J.B.



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Johannes Zenker





Joined: 15 Sep 2014

Posts: 77

PostPosted: Sat 21 Mar, 2015 10:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jiri Krondak is a rather well-known maker in Europe. Their work generally caters to stage fighters and reenactors who don't strive for perfect historical authenticity, beauty and amazing handling, but rather want something rugged and reliable. In that regard their reputation is stellar. They know their tempering and their steel.

They are all ugly in my opinion. I have never seen a JK sword that impressed me in terms of fit and finish, especially the polish and handle wraps.

Some of their newer works like the HEMA section for example ( http://fabri-armorum.com/english/?id=sport-sword.php ) or alternative blade types ( http://fabri-armorum.com/english/?id=blade-designs.php ) do actually handle quite nicely at the expense of *some* durability, although they are still quite robust.

Their standard works feature little if any distal taper, a flaw that is rather common in the lower-priced Czech made category, which often leads to the swords being rather unwieldy. Exceptions exist, however. My new Schiavona from Czech maker Pavel Marek's forge has negligible distal taper but still handles nicely, which is fair considering the price. I might do a review soon.

Since you are in Europe, if you would be willing to spend a tad more, I could point you to www.jinoswords.cz or www.jirkanovaksword.cz . The former address is the "original" JINO blade mark's address, but was taken over by Jirka's wife Helena a few years ago. The swords made there are still the same quality for all I have experienced with them as most workers remained with her, but now carry a shield with a B in it, topped by a crown as maker's mark. Jirka himself opened a new smithy and now sells his product, made with mostly new people, from the latter address and has retained the old JINO blade mark. Most swords from those two smithies also feature decent distal taper. I do not know about their wait times for custom work nor what they have in stock.

Another alternative on the European market more in the price range of Jiri Krondak is aforementioned Pavel Marek ( www.armorymarek.com ). His blades feature a lot less distal taper (in my experience at least) than Novak's but are also quite sturdy and feature a more pleasing polish (if you want up to a mirror polish) than the Krondaks I've seen. Wait times should be about one month or two.

If you're willing to wait somewhat longer (six months or so), Peter Regenyei ( www.regenyei.com ) from Hungary makes swords (custom and standard) that have impressive handling and are aesthetically really nice at a price between Krondak/Marek and Novak. Regenyei's swords are very popular with European HEMA practicioners and he sometimes struggles to keep up with the demand.

There are others in similar price ranges (for example what you can find on www.wulflund.com ) but I have no experience with them.


Last edited by Johannes Zenker on Sat 21 Mar, 2015 12:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
Joined: 02 Dec 2005
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Posts: 354

PostPosted: Sat 21 Mar, 2015 10:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, I'm familiar with this firm and person. I had paid him a visit three years ago, bought a sword on the spot and also ordered another blade later on. Friendly and cooperative; offers a large array of arms & armour. The regular swords are overbuilt and heavier about 30% than historical models, as most of this firm clients use them for reenacting battles in full armour, so they produce 'safe edge'. Jiri also offers 'feather' blades which are thinner and have better geometry for more historically-accurate blades. Finish is somewhat rough, some of the models are fitted with rustic-like fittings that bare hammer-marks. Everything can be discussed apon order. Jiri speaks very good english (and probably german too, exept czech). If you need a sharp weapon you must indicate this - sharp edge & sharp point. I would buy again from him.


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Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
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Leo Rousseau




Location: France
Joined: 27 Dec 2013

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Mon 23 Mar, 2015 2:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jiri Krondak's sword are overly represented in the re-enactment scene here in France. I do not own one but have handled several. They are really heavy (even for blunt) and the pommel is brass welded, which is the main reason I have never owned nor bought these swords. In this price range you can get a far better sword. I'd like to add to the above lists of makers Viktor Berbekucz (here is a series version from him that looks like what you posted, but he also do custom works).
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Mon 23 Mar, 2015 4:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I second the recommendation for a Viktor berbekucz sword. You will have to do occasional repeening and tightening, but the blades are awesome and will serve you for a long time. Without being drastically overbuilt.
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Jasper B.




Location: Europe
Joined: 09 Dec 2014
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Posts: 48

PostPosted: Mon 23 Mar, 2015 5:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies, most helpful.
J.B.
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