Process

All my pieces are made entirely by hand using largely modern methods and materials. In their design, however, they are very closely based on originals and it is my goal to make swords that match the handling and performance of the very best originals still in existence.

In the process of ordering a piece, the customer and I discuss the details of the commission. All my pieces are unique, one-off customs that won’t be made a second time. I might of course re-visit the theme. Once we reach an agreement and I can start working, I ask for a non-refundable 200 Euro down-payment. The rest of the price is to be paid after completion, if the customer is happy with the end result.

I do not have a waiting list. I work on a case-by-case basis, only taking on new commission when an older one is completed. I work on no more than two pieces at a time (not accounting for the customization service). If you wish to commission a piece, contact me and I will let you know if I have a free slot and if not, when the next slot will likely open up.

The turn-around time for a sword depends heavily on my free time. I am not doing this full-time and can only work when med school (and life) allows. Naturally, during vacation time I can get a lot more work done than during the semester. In general, I would assume a 6-10 month turn-around time, starting the moment I receive the down payment (I will let you know when you can send it, i.e. when I’m ready to start on your piece). The piece may also get done sooner or later, for that I unfortunately cannot give any guarantee. I will always keep you up-to-date about the state of your commission though.

Now, after all this boring but necessary business talk, please follow me as I take you along on the build of a XVIIIa longsword…

It all begins with a full size drawing. The paper template is then transferred onto a piece of 56Si7 spring steel (thickness varies depending on the sword) and the blade blank cut out.

12742309_1079889408730399_6049925491185345207_n

The type XVIIIa calls for a fuller in the lower third. It is ground in with the belt sander.

12705568_1081804285205578_6447277014720303464_n

Then the distal taper as well as the bevels are ground in using an angle grinder.

12141657_1084490988270241_2105235074097046508_n

The blade is then cleaned up on the belt sander. It is now ready for heat treatment. At the moment I only heat treat shorter blades myself, the longer ones are sent to fellow sword maker Daniel Rosenfeld and heat treated by him. Target hardness is 57-58Rc.

12718377_1086714748047865_4627455315795047391_n

Guard and pommel are usually crafted from mild steel. Both forging and stock removal methods are used.

12813959_1088905284495478_4575262661691178081_n

After the blade has been heat treated and final ground, all components are fit together and everything is polished and the blade sharpened. The guard is then wedged and backpeened in place, the pommel wedged and the tang end hot peened.

10391861_1099986593387347_5914768361804644622_n

A wooden grip is made and glued to the tang. I use UHU Endfest 300 for this, a modern high strength epoxy.

940982_1102289009823772_5311077380231671271_n

Finally, the wooden core is wrapped in string and then covered with leather.

12049706_1104242422961764_3532632059370159032_n

After applying my maker’s mark as the last step, the sword is now complete.

1937183_1104242276295112_3866593704345819283_n

I do not usually supply my swords with scabbards. To be honest, I don’t particularly enjoy making them, I much prefer working steel instead of wood and leather. Nonetheless, I do make scabbards from time to time (as in this case) and when I do, this is how:

It starts with tracing the blade outline on 2.5mm maple or beech slats.

12936663_1114438238608849_3480915097586002293_n

The slats are shaped, oiled fur is glued on the inside and both pieces joined by wrapping with linen soaked in hide glue. The glue is left to dry with the sword in the scabbard, as it dries, the linen forces the wood to shape around the blade. This makes for a very closely fitting scabbard core.

12928328_1114438408608832_2512537505091655672_n

12923143_1114438581942148_6249010008298897023_n

The fit is such that the sword can be held up-side down without sliding out yet it takes only a firm little tug to draw. It may not be a scabbard for quick-drawing contests but those are not part of the European Martial Arts tradition and I personally value a secure fit over extreme easy of drawing.

12928334_1114982228554450_5501100762713359993_n

The dried core is sanded smooth and the covered in leather. Finally a suspension is added.

12998526_1119401844779155_242672862819881079_n