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high quality production swords:
Are something I would like to see more of
60%
 60%  [ 38 ]
have enough makers, we don't need another.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
I would buy one if I liked the design.
34%
 34%  [ 22 ]
would lower the value of your other work
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
I like the idea but wouldn't buy one.
3%
 3%  [ 2 ]
would like to get on the waiting list.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
really don't care one way or the other.
1%
 1%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 63

Author Message
Ben Potter
Industry Professional



Location: Altadena, CA
Joined: 29 Sep 2008

Posts: 342

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PostPosted: Mon 01 Mar, 2010 10:25 am    Post subject: "Armoury" production swords.         Reply with quote

I have been thinking about the price of arms lately and wishing that I could make my pieces more affordable but realized that in order to make a living I am already charging on the low end for the time it takes. So I am toying with the idea of starting to do small production runs of some simple but functional weapons they would be made with the same materials and construction as my other pieces but would not have any of the finer details, also they would be under a different name (somethingorother Armoury). The price would fall around $400-600 USD.

I have not fully decided to take this road and the prices are just a guess, so if this is something that you would like/not like to see happen let me know, I am open for suggestions as well.

I will still be making the fine carved and inlayed pieces but will be raising my prices in the future (it is amazing what having a child on the way does to your business).

Ben Potter Bladesmith

It's not that I would trade my lot
For any other man's,
Nor that I will be ashamed
Of my work torn hands-

For I have chosen the path I tread
Knowing it would be steep,
And I will take the joys thereof
And the consequences reap.
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A. Spanjer




Location: USA
Joined: 26 Apr 2009

Posts: 242

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PostPosted: Mon 01 Mar, 2010 10:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Though I couldn't afford them right now, I love to see this.

If you do go ahead with this, I may well be a customer of yours in the future. Happy

Na sir 's na seachain an cath.
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Martin Murd




Location: Pärnu, Estonia
Joined: 15 Jun 2009

Posts: 23

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PostPosted: Mon 01 Mar, 2010 3:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd like it.

I'd finally would have a chance to purchase something from you finally Wink

Merlon
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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

Posts: 756

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PostPosted: Mon 01 Mar, 2010 4:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I for one feel that there are not enough high quality production pieces available. I would think it would be good for the industry as a whole since it should push the quality upwards as a whole in the industry. I would be interested in a piece if it was different enough from what is currently available on the market.

Scott

Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
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Addison C. de Lisle




Location: South Carolina
Joined: 05 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Mon 01 Mar, 2010 6:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Kowalski wrote:
I for one feel that there are not enough high quality production pieces available. I would think it would be good for the industry as a whole since it should push the quality upwards as a whole in the industry. I would be interested in a piece if it was different enough from what is currently available on the market.


I think this is a great idea; especially making pieces not widely available, as Scott said. Another thing to look at would be pieces that are difficult or wasteful (for lack of a better word) of material for production companies to make through stock removal. An example I can think of would be a messer. I haven't seen too many production ones, and they seem like they would be simpler to construct and forge.

www.addisondelisle.com
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Jim Mearkle




Location: Colonie, NY
Joined: 20 Mar 2004
Reading list: 3 books

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PostPosted: Mon 01 Mar, 2010 6:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd have to save up for something like that, but it would give me an incentive to pack a lunch to work!
Jim
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David Lohnes




Location: Greenville, South Carolina
Joined: 31 Oct 2006
Reading list: 20 books

Posts: 42

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PostPosted: Mon 01 Mar, 2010 6:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In my opinion, you must establish yourself on a firm business footing, regardless of what it takes. Only then can your art thrive. I first heard of you and your work via the recent cutlass thread, and I've been fascinated to watch the progress unfold. Your commitment to excellence, your artistic purpose, and your raw talent are a wonderful combination.

For me personally, if I had the choice between $2400 for a production piece and $3000 for a one off custom (you said $400-$600 less), I'd go custom. If I ever put $2500+ into a sword, it's only going to happen once, and I want that sword to be my sword complete with a name and engraved/inlaid motto.

I don't know the market, but I'm not so sure that what you're talking about is going to make that much of a tremendous difference in your workload. You're still talking the high-end market with a small number of customers. Designing a production line that appeals to those few buyers is going to be about as chancy as making a one-off piece that appeals to a buyer. Except you'll have invested more, and if it doesn't fly, it'll hurt more.

Again, I don't know anything about it, but from where I sit diversifying your forge into the non-sword market may be the way to go. You could potentially tap into a larger customer base. You could also consider workshops and teaching. Just ideas.

I love your approach to what you do.
[/i]
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Reece Nelson




Location: Overland Park KS
Joined: 18 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Mon 01 Mar, 2010 8:34 pm    Post subject: swords         Reply with quote

Have you thought of producing blunts? Im sure there is a lot a demand for historically accurate blunts for living history/ reenactment groups. Iv been searching for a good accurate messer blunt for some time now
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Craig Shackleton




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 20 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Mon 01 Mar, 2010 9:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm sort of in the same boat as the previous poster. I never buy sharp swords, because I really can't use them. I don't do test-cutting, and if I did, I'd want the cheapest sword that reasonably matched the historical sword it represented. I'm considering getting one if I can find one for around $150.

I wouldn't often drop $400-$600 on a practice sword. But I would on occasion. Right now I have a few in that range, and probable half a dozen in the $200-$400 range and over a dozen under $200. In fact I bought 12 swords under $200 this year already, but sold 3 of them to students of mine (six more are currently reserved for future student purchases).

I just can't justify spending that much money on a sword that I wouldn't actually use, no matter how much I appreciate the beauty of the thing.

But if you made a practice messer for $400 that looked decent, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. $600 for the same messer, and I'd probably start saving up.

But then, I may not be your target market at all.
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Ben Potter
Industry Professional



Location: Altadena, CA
Joined: 29 Sep 2008

Posts: 342

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PostPosted: Mon 01 Mar, 2010 9:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If I move ahead with this (and it is looking like I might) my first run is likely to be messers.

Thanks for the input.

Ben Potter Bladesmith

It's not that I would trade my lot
For any other man's,
Nor that I will be ashamed
Of my work torn hands-

For I have chosen the path I tread
Knowing it would be steep,
And I will take the joys thereof
And the consequences reap.
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David Lohnes




Location: Greenville, South Carolina
Joined: 31 Oct 2006
Reading list: 20 books

Posts: 42

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PostPosted: Tue 02 Mar, 2010 3:38 am    Post subject: Re: "Armoury" production swords.         Reply with quote

Ben Potter wrote:
The price would fall around $400-600 USD.


Heh, okay, I'm thinking I misread this the first time through.
I took it to mean, "The price would fall $400-600 from the current price."
I'm guess you meant the price would be around $400-600 for the finished product.

That obviously changes things for my original reply.
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Tue 02 Mar, 2010 7:02 am    Post subject: Re: "Armoury" production swords.         Reply with quote

David Lohnes wrote:
Ben Potter wrote:
The price would fall around $400-600 USD.


Heh, okay, I'm thinking I misread this the first time through.
I took it to mean, "The price would fall $400-600 from the current price."
I'm guess you meant the price would be around $400-600 for the finished product.

That obviously changes things for my original reply.


Yeah, make a big difference depending on which way one reads the sentence.

At the $400 to $600 price range it all depends to me on really liking the design and it being something different from what I already have.

The really expensive, for me, swords above $1000 and below $2000 it's usually a once a year thing at most and very probably a design I have made.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Tue 02 Mar, 2010 7:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Ben Potter Bladesmith" Right? So, Ben, make blades. I think one of the best things that has happened with this...ummmm...pastime is the good quality blades one can get from Hanwei Tinker. People are making their own swords in the same way that some people customize cars. Many started out doing it because it was the only way to get a certain kind of sword for reenacting or whatever but some found a creative outlet in making swords. I'm a relative newby to this stuff and I have already done one project and have two more in the works, a scabbard and a new hilt for a Hanwei Tinker Viking.
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Michael Eging




Location: Ashburn, VA
Joined: 24 Apr 2004

Posts: 225

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PostPosted: Tue 02 Mar, 2010 8:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ben:

I think others have made this point, if you can find the business case to make things that are 1) differentiated from the other offerings, and 2) hit a price point sweet spot, there will be a lot of interest. I am always looking for nice sub-$1000 offerings that fit my interests, and with the quality of your work, would be interested in seeing what you produce. Good luck with this new direction. I can't wait to see what the future holds for your work.

Cool

M. Eging
Hamilton, VA
www.silverhornechoes.com
Member of the HEMA Alliance
http://hemaalliance.com/
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Jo Thomas




Location: Doncaster, England
Joined: 20 Apr 2009

Posts: 28

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PostPosted: Tue 02 Mar, 2010 8:50 am    Post subject: Re: swords         Reply with quote

Reece Nelson wrote:
Have you thought of producing blunts? Im sure there is a lot a demand for historically accurate blunts for living history/ reenactment groups. Iv been searching for a good accurate messer blunt for some time now

Though I'm studying a later period than Ben tends to work on, I second this! Getting a decent training blunt can be difficult. I'd definitely ship Ben's work from the States over a typical Hanwei from a British shop (not that there's anything wrong with them, etc)!

Jo Thomas
http://www.journeymouse.net/
Updated weekly
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Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
Joined: 24 Oct 2007

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PostPosted: Tue 02 Mar, 2010 9:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For me, it would depend entirely on what exactly is offered. I would probably only consider a sword in the suggested price range if I found it particularly attractive and/or unusual.
The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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