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Mark Kalina

Joined: 23 Aug 2006
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Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue 20 Oct, 2009 2:21 pm    Post subject: Neil Burridge Ewart Park Bronze Sword         Reply with quote

I've been a member of myArmoury for a while, but this is my first post. I recently bought a bronze Ewart Park sword from Neil Burridge at I felt that I had to write about this unusual (to me) and wonderful sword.

I've attached a couple of pictures, but my pictures do not do justice to the visual impact of the sword; it's stunning.

Moreover, from the website you don't get a sense of how good Mr. Burridge's customer service is. He keeps in touch with his customers by email from order to delivery. In my case, the sword arrived with a slight bend due to some serious shipping damage. When I mentioned this in an email, Mr. Burridge got in touch with me by phone (UK to US) and walked me through a fix (which worked.)

The sword is bronze, of course, but picking it up there's no doubt you're holding a well made weapon. The sword is sharp enough to slice paper held freely in the other hand.
I did some light cutting with the sword and was surprised by its cutting ability. Against light cardboard and plastic milk jugs it cuts quite well; I haven't tried it against harder targets. I happened to have a Cold Steel 1796 Light Cavalry Saber for comparison, and although the much larger saber was a better cutter, the bronze sword was a lot closer in cutting ability than I'd have guessed. I have several steel swords from Hanwei, including an early model Hanwei Shinto Katana, that, to my surprise, cut worse than my new bronze blade. (Of course, all of this is subject to my own mediocre skill level.)

The balance of the sword is well forward, about 6 inches from the hilt. The blade is just over 20 inches long and almost 2 inches across the widest point of the leaf-blade. Being bronze, it is heavier than a steel sword of the same dimensions, but at 1 pound, 14 ounces it does not feel too heavy by any stretch. Recovery after a cut is quick. The handle is compact, with a large wooden pommel. It's a cramped grip, but not impossible; similar to the grip on some Viking swords.

In terms of workmanship, the handle is well made and solid; hard wood (oak?) riveted with bronze pins. The blade is just amazing. There are a few tiny surface features that show that the blade was cast by hand, but the over-all effect is very attractive and the precision of the blade's shape and of the edge is amazing.

As I found out, the fact that the blade is bronze does mean that it's subject to taking a set if bent, more easily than a well tempered European style steel sword. But it's also fairly easy to straighten. The blade does have some spring to it and will return to true from a fair bit of bending, but it does take a set more easily than well tempered steel (but not as easily as poorly tempered steel.)

This is a hand-made sword, and the price listed on Mr. Burridge's web site is 240, which comes to about US$400. Adding the cost of the superb sharpening and shipping to the US upped to cost a fair bit, but I still think it was a good deal when compared to steel swords of equal quality.

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Jean Thibodeau

Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Tue 20 Oct, 2009 8:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I won't say welcome to the site since you have been here a while but welcome to posting. Wink Big Grin

Good well made bronze swords are sort of rare as few people make them I believe and this one seem made for use at least in the sense that it is as usable as period sword would have been.

I have a bronze sword from when Albion used to carry them: The finish was sort of rough from casting and the geometry of the point a bit crude but I fixed that with some file work and sort of sharpened it to almost paper cutting sharp.

On the other hand it is much too heavy compared to a true period bronze sword and who knows what type of bronze was used to make it ? Certainly the edges where not hammer work hardened to take a decent edge.

Do you know if your sword was workhardened before sharpening ? I think workhardening also gives bronze a bit of springiness or at least more than one that isn't ?

Razors were made from bronze, so I guess it's possible to get a very nice edge on bronze but it would get dull more quickly and easily than steel.

Anyway, just a few things to think about, and I am curious if you have more information about how your sword was made. Wink Big Grin Cool

Oh, congratulations on a very good buy. Cool

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

Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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Posts: 3,636

PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 4:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Neil's swords are workhardened - the edges generally harder than the core - as the originals were. The alloy he uses is as close to the originals as we can get today. His work is the best on the market and the closest we can get to handling the originals in their original condition.
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Matthew Amt

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

Posts: 1,456

PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 6:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yup, what Dan said. Welcome to the Bronze Age Sword Club, Mark! I think you contacted me about fixing the bend, very glad it worked out. (I know how well Neil packs his swords--how the heck did they GET that tube to bend in the first place??) All of my Neil Burridge weapons are wonderful things. I've got a few Albion bronze pieces, too, and even after serious grinding they are not as accurrate as Neil's, though they certainly *look* nice!

Hey, drop on by the Bronze Age Center and post your photos there!

The rest of the gang would love to see them. (Well, many of us are on this board, too, but if you got it, flaunt it!)


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Paul Hansen

Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 845

PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 1:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Neil Burridge's swords are amazing. I have quite a few of them as well, but the Ewart Parks remain my favourites. Light and agile, but still packing quite a punch.

And they are as close to the originals as currently possible commercially.
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