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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Nov, 2006 1:30 pm    Post subject: Albion's blade service         Reply with quote

There's been a lot of negative commentary about some of Albion's business practices recently. Admittedly, I've been part of some of that. However, it is important to remember that however aggravating some things are, Albion still does a lot of things really well. I've been meaning to post about this for a while, but now is as good a time as any, so here goes.

Back in August, my Sovereign picked up a nick on its blade. I was at a gathering where there were a lot more swords than space to safely put them all. A group of swords, my Sovereign included, was leaning up against a table. One sword fell and knocked the rest into each other. End result: my sword fell to the ground and another bounced its edge off the Sovereign's. This put a decent sized nick (.003" x .025") in the edge, about two inches from the blade's base.

When it comes to caring for my arms & armour I feel they must be properly cared for and were probably very well-maintained in-period. I like to keep my swords as undamaged as possible. For me, a nick or active corrosion is not "character," it's damage. The nick bugged the heck out of me.

I contacted Mike at Albion to see what the fix might cost. I wanted the nick removed, and the blade polished and re-sharpened. It had rusted some when it was shipped one time, and had some small pits in the fuller that I couldn't get out when I cleaned it. The process of cleaning the rust had also left it pretty dull, as I had to scrub all the way to the edges to remove rust.

Mike quoted me a price and timeframe, and I sent the sword back. In the end, it shipped back to me a few days later than it was supposed to, but that was no big deal to me. I handle delays of a few days much better than a few months. Happy Mike told me that the amount of time it took to fix the sword should have pushed the price up farther than he quoted, but he stuck to his original estimate range, which I appreciated.

So how did it turn out? I'm very pleased with it. Jason Dingledine was very careful with how he fixed it. I was also lucky where the nick occurred, in the curve at the blade's base. The end result is that the formerly nicked side is a little less curvy than the other side. Mike showed the blade to Howy and Howy had to be told what had been done to it. I notice what was done, but I know what I'm looking for. Others I've showed it to agree that it was fixed very skillfully and only noticeable if you're really looking for it. The polish is even and the minute pits are gone, too. The blade is also scarily sharp, even sharper than when I first got it.

The fix does give the sword character. It gives it more of a hand-forged look, or the look of a sword that saw use,was damaged, and was fixed properly.

I'm very happy with how this all turned out. The timing, cost, and communication were good and the end result was better than I'd hoped for. Happy

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/


Last edited by Chad Arnow on Sun 05 Nov, 2006 6:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Sun 05 Nov, 2006 2:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Albion's blade service         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
A nick or active corrosion is not "character," it's damage.


Character! Big Grin Big Grin

I don't have the sharpest eye for these things, but I'd never know anything had happened (damage wise) if I didn't have a guide on hand to tell me where the fix was applied.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy


Last edited by Joe Fults on Sun 05 Nov, 2006 6:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Adam Simmonds




Location: Henley-on-Thames
Joined: 10 Jun 2006

Posts: 137

PostPosted: Sun 05 Nov, 2006 3:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Albion's blade service         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:


arms & armour must be properly cared for and were probably very well-maintained in-period. I like to keep my swords as undamaged as possible. A nick or active corrosion is not "character," it's damage. The nick bugged the heck out of me.



still having trouble with the quote function....

of course arms and armour were well cared for "in-period", they were valuable and important tools and were maintained as such. Just as some of us do today, those men would have done their utmost to keep their valuable and beautiful weapons as undamaged as possible - but remember, for the "in-period" men, their blades often stood between them and death or personal injury, and a nick to the blade, no matter how valuable a weapon it is, is preferable to losing an arm or ones head.
If those men who regularly used swords became highly distressed and sent their weapons off for regrinding every time they received a nick to their blades, those blades would be used up rather quickly, particularly with the more slender types. For, no matter how skillful one is at parrying on the flat etc, in a chaotic fight situation nicks to blades are often unavoidable (ie if someone parries your shot on their edge) and were not uncommon, you saw yourself how simply dropping a sword on top of another was sufficient to do this. So, while they were cared for as best as possible in context, they still sustained damage; one only has to examine original pieces to see this.
For an actual "in-period" swordsman to become distressed and have his piece reground for every nick which it sustained would, i believe, be rather detrimental to the life of his sword then othewrwise.
It seems priorities these days are generally more for the aesthetic then the practical, as is natural when swords are kept by hobby collectors rather then fighting men.


cheers, adam
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Nov, 2006 3:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Albion's blade service         Reply with quote

Adam,
You're really missing the point of this thread. It's about how the service was performed and how it turned out.

However... No one is debating that a nick isn't better than getting wounded. However, after the battle, any substantial damage likely would have been fixed as well as was possible if the time, money, and tools were available to do so. Not all damage requires extensive re-grinding either. This nick might have been fixable by me with a file, but I trusted Albion would do a much better job than I would. Happy

We do see plenty of period originals with nicks that weren't fixed. What we don't know is if the damage happened several conflicts before the sword was retired or dropped in a lake, etc. or if the damage happened the last time it was used. If it was damage that would affect function or fit in a scabbard, I would guess that warriors would have it fixed if they could. Perhaps they didn't care. We don't know for sure, do we?

My point was simply that some people think your kit has be be beat up and/or corroded to be period-correct (ie. things that are in good shape and largely unblemished don't look real). I disagree and had my sword fixed. Simple as that.

Back to the thread....

Happy

ChadA

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Adam Simmonds




Location: Henley-on-Thames
Joined: 10 Jun 2006

Posts: 137

PostPosted: Sun 05 Nov, 2006 3:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Albion's blade service         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Adam,
You're really missing the point of this thread. It's about how the service was performed and how it turned out.



Fair enough, and i apologise if my comments distract and diverge from the topic at hand. I was simply responding to the issues raised in the topic which are of interest to me, that is - why said service was performed, in conjunction with historical parrallels. When i read a post i feel most compelled to respond to those aspects of it which interest me.

cheers, adam
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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Mon 06 Nov, 2006 12:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In examining originals is easy to see that blades were sharpened many times, so they are barely simmetrical since sides in many specimens show various degree of resharpening that altered the original shape, sometimes substantially.
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Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz




Location: Michigan, USA
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Nov, 2006 2:06 pm    Post subject: Hmmm ...         Reply with quote

I haven't posted too often and hope to change that, and like Chad I noted the recent
thread here with regards to Albion Armourers. I can't speak for the performance of
their swords as I'm not -- as I say -- a cutter. But of the many swords I've ordered
from Albion, I've not been disappointed a single time by the sword I received; by the
time it took to get to me; or services I've requested. Like Chad, I have an Albion story
too ...

A few years back I'd purchased a first generation Pompeii gladius, unsharpened.
Some time passed and I decided to sell the blade but figured to get it sharpened
first. That done, the blade sold, but then the gent I passed it on to wrote me that
the sharpening had caused some cracks I hadn't picked up on.

To make a the story shortest, the gent trusted me enough to send the sword back
to me, and I contacted Albion. Not only did they take the sword in for a look, they
ended up replacing it with the next generation model, no extra cost. If that's not
taking care of your customers AND your swords, I don't know what is ...
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Thomas Watt




Location: Metrowest Boston
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Nov, 2006 2:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad, thanks for the input/feedback.
I've been pondering an Albion blade for a little while, and was puzzling over the packages offered to go with it, and wondered whether it was worthwhile. I appreciate the insight.

As to other comments regarding this, I think the role of a squire as a knight-in-training and caring for the weapons probably was a great load off the warrior's shoulders. I know the prospect of fixing a nick in a blade doesn't appeal to me, simply because I don't have the time anymore to sit and work on the steel.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Nov, 2006 7:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thomas Watt wrote:
Chad, thanks for the input/feedback.
I've been pondering an Albion blade for a little while, and was puzzling over the packages offered to go with it, and wondered whether it was worthwhile. I appreciate the insight.


I hope it helped. Jason (who isn't around Albion much any more) did a great job and the price was more than fair.

As for the packages, I don't think they cover nicks, just re-polishing and sharpening services. A nick is an "Extra Charge Item." Of course, extra charge items are discounted if you buy a plan/package.

I'm curious what people who bought the packages think of them.

Happy

ChadA

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Andy Biggers




Location: Barrie, Ontario, Canada
Joined: 11 Aug 2006

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PostPosted: Tue 14 Nov, 2006 7:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would like to echo Thomas' question.

I own a number of Albions but have not subscirbed to any of their maintenance packages since I have no intention of putting any of my blades in a position that might result in damage to them. However, accidents do happen i guess.

I would also be interested in hearing from those who have sent blades to Albion for repairs as to what they paid Albion for the work. More specifically, I would be interested in knowing what kind of pricing spread there is between work completed under the pre-paid plan as opposed to outside of it.

Andy

Gain say who dare!
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