Swords ?


December 25, 2002, 02:26 AM
I want to get a sword, but I have clue one on what to look for. What are the right things to look for when buying a sword.

The type Im thinking of is a thin blade like the Japanese Samurai swords.

As far as cost it would have to be something minimal at first and then if the bug bites Ill spend more later on.

Any links or info would be cool. Im just starting to look around now

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December 25, 2002, 03:32 AM
Nothing to add but a link,


Jim March
December 25, 2002, 05:28 AM
The flat-out weirdest Japanese-pattern swords made today are also probably the toughest made, possibly the toughest ever:


The Everest Katana, from Kathmandu Nepal. Seriously. Genuine recycled Mercedes-Benz leaf spring (5160 spring steel, TOUGH stuff). Blades are patterned after a circa-1840s Edo period 26" Japanese blade (the real thing!) hanging on their wall. Grip design is a modified form of a Khukuri grip, about 500% tougher than original Japanese practice. Overall "feel" is surprisingly good, and a beginner flat will not break it. "Battle ready" doesn't even begin to describe these bad boys, they'll cut clean through any cheap stainless "Samurai Sword" without even slowing down. They're tougher than a Paul Chen blade (1060/1084 series steel). They just don't look real traditional :).

There's a long story about how this came about :).

Looks like they have three in stock (in Nevada):


Their basic model for $245 is one hell of a deal on a genuine combat-grade sword of any type:


These critters have no "hamon" (visible temper line) whatsoever. But there IS a "differencial temper" applied, with a harder edge and softer spine. A "Japanese sword purist" would be simply horrified at one of these, 'cept they perform like nothing this side of the $5,000 mark!

One thing: I recommend buying one that has an "oval grip" versus round. The $245 piece in stock is an oval profile, dunno about the others. Drop Bill Martino a line through the EMail link on the first URL above (http://www.himalayan-imports.com/).

HI is basically the best blacksmith shop in Nepal, BAR NONE.

December 25, 2002, 05:59 AM
Sword Forum International (http://www.swordforum.com/) is a good place to look for info. Like you I'm starting to look into the world of swords, and SFI seems to be the TFL of the sword world. The folks at the forum are really friendly and willing to answer questions. Check it out, I think you'll like it.

December 25, 2002, 08:30 AM
Fun hobby! :cool:

I'd suggest giving Western swords a look, as well, especially later, more evolved forms of hand-and-a-half swords and rapiers.

Jim V
December 25, 2002, 10:13 AM
Look at ATLANTA CUTLERY ( for a selection of knives, swords, dirks, etc.

I don't have any of their swords but bought one of their "Bowie" knives that is a pip.

December 25, 2002, 11:59 AM
There's a great Web resource on swords, but I don't remember what it's called.

It had a good selection on selecting swords and the pitfalls about selecting the wrong one for your purpose. If that's just for hanging on the wall, no problem, but if you're intending it for use as a weapon, there are some selection criteria you should consider.

I'd do some serious research before buying one.

As I remember, this site sold every type of long knife you can name, plus all types and brands of short ones as well.

December 25, 2002, 08:12 PM
Katanas are cool. I'm more of a Western sword man myself. I have one spring steel 2H broadsword, and I'm pretty happy with it.

For some nice swords, check out


They also make some nice battle-ready plate too, if your planning on completing the look :)

I have gauntlets, pauldrons and full plate arms from the site, and I couldnt be more pleased with the quality.:cool:

December 25, 2002, 08:23 PM
Thanks a bunch for the info. I knew Id get some straight out responces here. I found a few of these places last night Ill look at the rest tonight.

Thanks again

And happy holidays

December 25, 2002, 10:16 PM
I will have to second the comment that Sword Forum International seems to be the TFL of the sword world. Everything from Japanese to Western swords that Tamara mentioned. They have links to bladesmiths and others along with their forums. They test and evaluate swords also. You will also learn the difference between a real sword and a decorative wall hanger.

If you want a good japanese style sword that you can bang around without worrying about destroying an antique then try
http://www.kriscutlery.com/ excellent beginner swords there - real ones not just wall hangers.


Jim March
December 25, 2002, 11:39 PM
Kris Cutlery is very similar to Himilayan Imports, in that both are doing handmade spring-steel blades. Both are quite good.

The Everest Katana is something special though :). Basically, the Khukuri-derived grip actually balances correctly because it's a "stick tang" running lengthwise through a cylindrical wood grip, pinned at the butt and floating in epoxy. It has impressive recoil-absorbing properties, it's fairly light and it's tough as nails...and the total tang weight and overall blade heft is similar to Japanese practice.

Kris' answer is a full-width, full-length tang with two pinned-on wood "grip panels". It's tough all right, but the balance is way funky.

Both are made out of 5160 spring steel. Either one is excellent stuff...but the HI has "soul". Browse around the HI site and you'll see what I mean :).

December 25, 2002, 11:56 PM
Jim -

"There's a long story about how this came about :)."

So is this story online someplace? This looks like what Im after. Can this sword be razor sharp it looks like it can. And the price is right.

Thanks for sending this

Jim March
December 26, 2002, 12:43 AM
OK, "the story".

First though, I checked out the Kris website, haven't seen it in a while. They now have a $750 high-end Japanese-pattern sword that WILL balance more like a Japanese original. My comments above on "funky balance issues" applies to their lower-end pieces, not that high-end jobbie.


About...<scratches head and counts on fingers>...seven years ago, I decided I wanted a battle-ready sword of Japanese type. So I headed for the nearest gun show, and found a nice-condition Japanese *blade only* for $300, purported to be early 20th Century when the Japanese ramped up sword production both for new military officers and as part of a "revival of the Bushido spirit", sort of the "psychological prep for WW2". The edge was straight, it was slightly discoloured but no rust, and I figured I'd be able to homebrew up a grip and leather sheath myself. Blades of that era and type don't have a whole lot of collector value.

So about a year later, I was just getting around to building the mounting hardware, and showed it to a friend who'd spent some time in Japan and knew some Japanese. By luck, he'd spent time in Kyoto, and new the character for the city plus some of the history of the area.

In examining the tang marks, he found the mark for Kyoto, but then got all excited...because the character was in reverse from modern practice.

The town's name was reversed after the Shogun's defeat at Kyoto in 1864 I think it was? Rather a memorable time in Japanese history - basically, the Portugese figured the Shogun was a psycho, armed the Emperor in Tokyo with 10,000 muskets and watched as he eventually piled about 10,000 Samurai heads in a big pile in Kyoto, where the Shogun had been. Note past tense, his head was somewhere in the pile. To mark the occasion, they changed the town's name (you'da thunk the big pile of heads at the Shogun's old castle would have been enough :rolleyes: ).

Point is, that marked my blade as being genuine Edo (late Bushido era) period - a real "Samurai sword". It also had a feature not found on various imitations, a "battle bulge" where the spine just behind the tip flares out and makes for a tougher, armor-piercing tip. That and the fact that the tang hole for the grip pin was punched versus drilled further verified it's originality.

Great. Just great. I didn't *WANT* an antique. Proper mounting hardware and scabbard would have run $2,000 minimum, at which point I'd have something worth at least $3,000 or more. But still a wall-hanger.


Well I sat on it for a while, and then a roommate stole it :mad:. I finally found out where it went years later, and demanded it back - I got it alright, but the damnfool had stored it tip-down in a closet and the last 1/4" of the tip rusted <grrr!!!>. So now I had to add a $900 polish job to what it needed, at which point I'd barely break even if that.

Meanwhile got ahold of one of Bill Martino's Khukuris, a nice 21" overall "combat type", longer and skinnier than the Ang Khola "utility pattern", and was very impressed with their craftsmanship.

I talked to Bill Martino more, and found out more of his story. He had gone to Nepal as a younger dude in the Peace Corps and had gone "very native", converting to Bhuddism, marrying into a Ghurka family, etc :). He later came back to the US (Reno, NV) with his wife. He acts as an importer for his father-in-law back in Khathmandu, who had the best blacksmith shop in Nepal. They hand-picked the best smiths, put in power tools, and paid VERY high commission prices for some of the best Nepalese-style to come out since the 1800s.

So I heard that Bill's Nepalese father-in-law, the shop owner/foreman was coming over to Reno to visit his family. I talked to Bill and got myself invited over, and told 'em I'd be bringing a "special surprise".

Yup. You guessed it. It's my old blade hanging in the shop wall in Nepal that is the pattern for the Everest Katana. I sat down with Bill and his pop-in-law in Reno where we drew out the design for the grip, tsuba and sheath, and it was in the pop's checked baggage back to Nepal.

What I got out of it was the very first Everest Katana. In the "weird but cool" department, they kinda screwed up and did TWO Tsubas (round handguards), one at EACH END of the grip! That matches typical Nepalese sword practice, but it's quite peculiar on a Japanese sword. When Bill got that first one into Reno he explained the blooper but, you know, it's kinda cool that way and nobody else has anything quite like it :).

Anyways. After that, Bill got it into their heads that there's only supposed to be one guard, just behind the blade :).

They rock, either way :). Bill has a 40" overall length limit for shipping so a 26" blade and 12" grip plus a bit extra for the sheath tip works out just fine. You don't need longer, even if you're my height (6'4").

Jim March
December 26, 2002, 12:48 AM
Oh, and they COME razor sharp :).

Note: other than that first Everest Katana, I make nothing more off of this. And I feel I came out of the whole thing just fine, because I finally got what I wanted in the first place :D.

December 26, 2002, 01:27 AM
you just didnt write all that on a 2002 christmas night did you?

If you did .... thanks I passed it on to a few a palls

Jim March
December 26, 2002, 02:31 AM
Sigh. I did. No family inside of 1,000 miles. Just a boring night, for me :).

Oh well. Anyways, that's how we ended up with Japanese swords coming out of Nepal :D.

Out of curiousity, I went to the HI forum on Bladeforums.com and did a search in the HI forum on the word "Katana". Seems like some of the blacksmiths (Kamis) are tending towards a "straighter blade", but otherwise very "Japanesque". They've also been doing some of their own native Tatar blades with Japanese-style Tsubas :). So there's all kinds of funky "blendings" of styles going on over there. If you want one with a more traditional curve, drop Bill a line, he'll either pass on a request or keep his eyes open for what you want.

You have to understand that sometimes things go weirdly wrong over there :). For a classic, hilarious example, see also:

http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=235310 - pull up the pics of the tragic beast that resulted :D. (The explanation is obvious: Khukuris are measured in overall length, versus blade length, so when they specified an 18" blade they got 18" *overall*. Wonder what'll happen to "stubby"?)

If they didn't have a blade pattern to work off of on the Katana project, God(s) only knows what we'd have gotten. Nepalese swords normally run to much heavier blade patterns.

Invisible Swordsman
December 26, 2002, 08:33 PM
You're getting some good advice here. Swordforum.com is definitely the best overall resource on the net for sword information. Many of the leading swordsmiths post there, and you'll get lots of information and opinions. Take advantage of it and you'll save a lot of needless expense and frustration buying poor quality swords. Another site is Netsword, but it's not as active as Swordforum.

I'll second Jim March's opinion on Himalayan Imports and Kris Cutlery for low cost but tough products. I own several HI khukuries, and they are fantastic values. I'm more interested in European swords than Japanese styles, but I would not hesitate to buy the Everest Katana if I wanted that type of sword.

Some other good sources for quality swords are:

Arms & Armor www. armor.com
Albion Armourers www.albionarmorers.com
Lutel www.lutel.cz
Angus Trim Swords available through various retailers
Armour Class www.armourclass.com
Del Tin (various dealers)
The above are all European style production swords. Cold Steel swords are getting some good reviews, and they offer Japanese style swords. There are also a number of custom swordsmiths, but they get quite pricey.

Take some time and do your homework. You'll be a lot happier with the end result if you do.


Jim March
December 26, 2002, 09:51 PM
Cold Steel has an interesting fully functional replica of one of the last US-produced-and-issued swords, the US Navy "boarding cutlass" of 1917. 22" blade in blue steel, tip looks a lot like a classic WW2 KaBar Marine fighting knife (sorta "Bowie-esque" with the last 2" or so of blade double-edge). They use 1084 steel, which is a good classic medium-carbon steel...doesn't have the edgeholding of more modern tool steels like the M2/A2/D2 family but it's not as brittle. Same as what Paul Chen and company use on their Japanese-pattern, Chinese-made swords (but not as good as 5160 auto leaf and coil spring steel!).

Last I heard Cold Steel wants $200 for it; damned fine one-handed close quarters weapon. Remember that the Japanese considered the 18" blade length Wakizashi the *primary* weapon when indoors, versus the Katana. The Wakizashi wasn't just a "backup" to the bigger piece, if it was they'd have just carried two Katanas.

Trivia question: what was the year in which the US military used the *sword* as the primary weapon in a battle? Hint: it was that same model 1917 cutlass involved, so you know it had to be then or later. There's a damned good story THERE :).

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
December 27, 2002, 02:30 AM
just a couple of my bookmarks.

Handmade goodies; pricey, but top quality. Nice photos.

A division of Atlanta Cutlery. Nice catalog available. Indian Mfg. for the most part, but they look really good and they're better than average and the prices are for the most part, fair. Nice variety of European designs from various periods.


No country can act wisely simultaneously in every part of the globe at every moment of time. - Henry Kissenger.

George Hill
December 27, 2002, 10:03 PM
Interesting thread.

Confession: I love swords.
But no, I don't own any.

I've studied them in depth... and someday I may start a collection. Easily done as examples are often much cheaper than guns!

Cold Steel is makign a lot of swords now. One if them is a MUST HAVE. The Scottish Broadsword. I also love that cutlas mentioned above.

December 27, 2002, 11:09 PM
HI is a class outfit. There is a 20" slicer & dicer from their shop sitting on the bookcase behind me as I type this.

On the general subject of swords, once in a while on eBay you can pick up a real USN Model 1917 cutlass at a decent price (ie, less than $200). It is the last sword bought by the US military that was actually intended for combat use.

I've bought a couple of British toad stickers from Michael D. Long. They sell on eBay & also thru
www.michaeldlong.net . Lots of 19th Century European stuff. There is a Pattern of 1908 cavalry sabre in my living room that could probably be driven thru a phone pole without bending the blade. I'm stretching the blanket only slightly.

Repo swords can be very cool, but originals can't be beat for character....


Jim March
December 28, 2002, 02:50 AM
The last time the sword was the primary US weapon in a battle was in 1942.

A US destroyer depth-charged a U-Boat to the surface. The US Captain got on a bullhorn and told the Germans he'd machine-gun their lifeboats if they scuttled the sub - in German, mind you.

So most of the German seamen were on deck with their hands up. The real Nazis among the officers were below trying to pull the drainplugs, and some German sailors were already trying to stop 'em.

The US Captain issued 1917 cutlasses to a Marine boarding party, took away their guns, and told 'em to capture that sub intact with no gunfire. They succeeded, probably in part because it was a 3-way fight versus 2-way.

Why did the US Captain do this?

To protect the piece of machinery they wanted intact - a German "Enigma" cryptography (code) machine.

Now you have some clue why the US Gov't is constantly being such a pain on encryption software.

They take codes *seriously*.

(Swords, connected to PGP? You betcha!)

December 28, 2002, 09:21 PM
Anything that is stainless steel is tres horrible. I would suggest going with a Angus Trim if you're going to go Western. And a Bugei or higher end Hanwei if you want to go Eastern. Also, try to spend a lot of time at http://www.swordforum.com

Don Gwinn
December 28, 2002, 11:01 PM
Jim, for the life of me, I can't figure out why they don't just shorten the grip on that "camp sword." It still wouldn't be what he ordered, but with a shorter grip (just pop the scales, cut the tang and scales down, re-affix the scales, and add the same type of pommel) it would be a fine bowie/hunter rather than a loss.
Ah well.

I love the cutlass, I just have too many other things I have to pay for first. If anyone's ever wondered, the front end of a '95 Camaro is a lot less sturdy than the back bumper of an '86 Chevy pickup. The good news is that the pickup is undamaged, but the plastic fender and nose on the Camaro look like I took an axe to 'em. My wife is not amused.

December 29, 2002, 01:32 AM
Jim Marsh has it right. Cold Steel has some nice swords IF you want to actually use them. Priced pretty good too. Real collectible swords are to expensive to use and the cheap ones are useless. The Cold Steel ones aren't wall hangers.

Jim March
December 29, 2002, 01:49 AM
Don, the "Camp Knife Stubbybeast" is now in Reno, Nevada, where Bill Martino takes delivery, cleans 'em up, inspects 'em, prices 'em and puts them up for sale. Bill is many wonderful things, but a metalsmith he ain't. Somebody else would have to modify it, which doesn't mean just chopping the grip, a new pommel of some sort would have to be crafted. And then it'd be worth maybe $75 or so? Better to sell it as a comical, still-useful oddity at a discount, which is no doubt what'll happen to it. It DOES have a lot of utility use as-is, it's just wierd :D.

As is, it's more of a "hatchet that can stab and cut" than anything else...actually sorta neat :). Not my first choice as a weapon but as a utility piece...why not?

Sean Smith
December 29, 2002, 09:59 AM
MUST-READ if you want to understand what real combat swords (not replica display pieces) are like:





Most swords out there are inauthentic junk. The most obvious test? The weight. A made-for-combat longsword should only weigh 2-3 pounds. Even the big 40" two-handers should only weigh 4-5 pounds. By contrast, many "fantasy" swords weigh 12 pounds!

Worth a look:


Kris Cutlery's European swords are about DOUBLE the correct weight for those weapons, which suggests they are pretty much clueless. Their claymore is over TRIPLE the correct weight.

Cold Steel's blades are at least about the right weight for a real weapon.

December 29, 2002, 12:37 PM
Had one of the HI katanas. NOT traditional nipponese, but tough.

Will prolly get a Cold Steel Grosse Messer (did I spell that right?) sometime.

December 29, 2002, 10:16 PM
ditto what Sean said- ARMA is the way to go for real combat w/ swords. Training w/ Intent is the only way to practice. Western Martial arts are probably less influenced by Hollywood than Eastern only because it hasnt been discovered yet. Dont forget that Asia conquered Europe during the period 1200-2000 so their methods are superior to European.:)!!

December 30, 2002, 08:33 PM
Well I dont see how KCs claymore is over triple the correct weight, since KC lists their claymore as 5.5 - 5.7 pounds which is only slightly heavier than the weight that you listed.
Most of their large euro swords are around 3 pounds, which is still reasonable.

Most of cold steels chinese style stuff, is good but considered slightly heavier than historical weight. although they are still usable and I like the Dadao of theirs that I own.

Originally posted by Sean Smith
MUST-READ if you want to understand what real combat swords (not replica display pieces) are like:





Most swords out there are inauthentic junk. The most obvious test? The weight. A made-for-combat longsword should only weigh 2-3 pounds. Even the big 40" two-handers should only weigh 4-5 pounds. By contrast, many "fantasy" swords weigh 12 pounds!

Worth a look:


Kris Cutlery's European swords are about DOUBLE the correct weight for those weapons, which suggests they are pretty much clueless. Their claymore is over TRIPLE the correct weight.

Cold Steel's blades are at least about the right weight for a real weapon.

December 31, 2002, 01:56 PM
Here is our favorite supplier for Kendo & TaeKwonDo edged weapons:


Susan also happens to have a custom made two-handed double-edged long sword (sorry, no pics).

I could wipe out my credit rating shopping at Bugei....


January 3, 2003, 05:46 AM
The bottom line is you can buy a lot of new ahh "swords" but the old blades cost less and are much better too. I really like the old german blades from about 1750 to 1900. A good share of the old 1860 model sabers used during the civil war where old geman blades rehilted even. Most of the new stuff is just ahh "junk" in a pretty wrapper.

January 3, 2003, 05:56 AM
Well it depends on what new stuff you are talking about. As there are many quality new swords.

January 3, 2003, 10:11 AM
As someone who is selling old military swords (mostly German) for a living right now, I have to question that. The blade of a quality modern repro is every bit as good, if not better, than old military swords. (Remember, with the exception of cavalry sabers, most old military swords were not even intended as working weapons. Comparing a British Pattern 1796 Light Cavalry saber to, say, a U.S. Army Pattern 1903 Officer's Sword is like comparing a 1911 to a PSM. One is a weapon, one is a badge of rank).

January 3, 2003, 01:33 PM
Uh...1911= badge of rank
PSM= assassination weapon?


John (who actually wants a 5x18mm)

January 3, 2003, 02:53 PM
Uh...1911= badge of rank

Tell that to the pre-WWI cavalry troopers they were issued to. The 1911 was designed as a fighting handgun. Granted, they were later used (as pistols are wont to be) as badges of rank.

From what I've read, the PSM was designed to be light, easy to carry, and not to interfere with the sliding of a vodka gut behind a desk. Their utility in poking holes in Level I body armor was more an afterthough than anything else.

January 3, 2003, 07:59 PM
Well, I interpreted their extreme flatness and the cartridge in the same fashion that I view the Skorpion .32 subgun: a tool for a specific job, but you could be right about the design "drivers".

(You know I was JUST KIDDING about 'Ole Slabsides.) :D

January 3, 2003, 10:23 PM
Sometimes my pedantic half runs loose at the keyboard until I whack her upside the head with a canoe paddle... ;)

Lone Star
January 4, 2003, 08:19 AM
No one seems to have noted www.wilkinsonsword.com Pricey, but I gather they still quench in whale oil so that the blades won't snap in real battle. The ones I've handled (couldn't afford 'em) were well made, as one would expect.

My son has a Roman spatha (cavalry sword, longer than the gladius, but otherwise much the same, from Albion Armourers.) It's well made, but he said they have a spotty delivery over the last year or so. Supposedly too backed up on orders and busy re-doing their shop. Anyone heard anything on this?

Lone Star

Sean Smith
January 4, 2003, 09:38 PM
Oops, misread the weight on their site. :o

Their swords are larded up a bit, but not outrageously so.

January 4, 2003, 10:48 PM
Pricey, but I gather they still quench in whale oil so that the blades won't snap in real battle.

*sigh* Does nobody quench in the blood of a virgin any more?

Kidding! :eek:

Thanks for that link, I need to send off for their brochures. I get the feeling that their prices will be "If you have to ask...". :what:

January 5, 2003, 04:40 AM

Don't reckon there'd be many blades made, then! :D

Lone Star
January 5, 2003, 07:02 AM

I've seen a few Wilkinson swords in a shop nearby. They tended to run about $1200, but that was several years ago. If you click on their knives, I think they want about $1500 for the Shakespear
knife and more for the Bowie style or London Hunting Knife, whichever a purist would call it.

I spelled Shakespear that way intentionally. The knife designer evidently wasn't a close relative of the Bard...

I've handled the M1912 cavalry sword, and advise buying it only if you'll fight mounted. Bit long for ground combat. I really liked the Pattern M1897 Officers' Sword; it handled well for me, and I could see myself sticking a Fuzzy-Wuzzy or Afghan with it about the time that Winston Churchill was on active cavalry service.

I was underwhelmed with their survival knife. The Fairbairn-Sykes repros are probably the best made, but that model knife isn't really first choice anymore except maybe as a letter opener.

To go with your Wilkinson sword, you'll want some excellent British tea, so go to: www.twinings.com and check out their site. I do use Twining's teas, which are well distributed in the USA. Fascinating history of tea, as well as this company's own blends are described on the site. They've been in business since 1706, so I guess they're doing something right.

Lone Star

January 5, 2003, 01:12 PM
Prices on their knives. I saw no mention of their sword prices, but they will refurbish old swords with that starting at £330.00.
The RBD knife is priced at £1269 including vat (US$1680) which includes a customized wooden case, available in a selection of high quality hard woods.
The Shakespeare knife is priced at £1100 including vat (US$1450), which includes the knife, hand carved and stitched scabbard and frog, elegant wooden case and personalized engraving if required.

January 5, 2003, 10:27 PM
I'm sure it was legally "necessary", but I was amused to see that Wilkinson specified that they don't sell their $1400 & up knives to persons under 18.

I can just see some JD with his cash in hand thinking, "should I get that tarted-up Bushmaster or a Shakespeare knife?"...:D

Navy joe
January 8, 2003, 12:48 AM
So, where does one buy cheap grass mats? Know of any good stickfighting clubs in Virginia? The reason I ask is because thanks to Jim the HI folks sucked me in and I now have the HI katana and British Service Kuhkri coming my way.

And thus another expensive hobby begins....

January 8, 2003, 10:43 AM
Navy Joe- For the mats see: http://www.tameshigiri.com

January 8, 2003, 06:50 PM
$1450 for a handmade carbon steel "dagger" with a hand-chequed grip is a bit out of line as is the $1680 stick tang/stag Bowie.

A good non-famous american maker could reproduce either of these for half the price and damascus should only add another $100 to the price.

A famous maker like Jerry Fisk, U.S. national living treasure, would only ask $1200 for a knife "like" the Wilkinson Bowie.

As to the swords, I can't comment because sword prices are highly variable and Wilkinson has a considerable reputation to draw upon.

If you want a good sword at a good price I can validate Tamara's prices as being more than reasonable. The quality of the swords are excellent (I ought to know) and their histories ad to their value. Add to that the fact they were actually made when the wielders life depended on their quality and I'd say you're assured of a bargain.

Whale oil?:scrutiny:

January 8, 2003, 10:38 PM
Navy Joe go to the ARMA site and the address for ARMA-Virginia is there. also list of practice partners and other ARMA Study Groups around the world.

Don Gwinn
January 9, 2003, 10:26 AM
What is the advantage of whale oil as a quench medium?

Being a poor American, I generally use ATF fluid.

January 9, 2003, 01:58 PM
Must be to keep you from "blubbering" over the price. Ha,ha; ha, ha, haaaaaaaagh :neener:

Don Gwinn
January 9, 2003, 07:21 PM
Well, lash my flanks and call me Flicka--who'da thunk it? This'll teach me to be mildly amused at high-toned English traditions.

Automatics break down a lot
This was once true, particularly in the mid-1970s. Blame all those "Save the Whales" bumper stickers.

Prior to the 1974 endangered species act, automatic transmissions were filled with fluid that was 95 percent sperm whale oil and it was just the stuff for the job. That oil lasted a long time, said Roger Kwapich, auto mechanic and host of the "Consumer Automotive Repair Show" (The C.A.R. Show) a syndicated radio show. Also, it had just the right properties, allowing transmissions to slip when they needed to slip and grab when they needed to grab, he said.

Ever since it became illegal to kill sperm whales for our motoring pleasure, automotive fluid makers have been trying to "reverse engineer" the stuff that poured out of those whales' heads by the gallon. Early attempts weren't so great and frequent transmission breakdowns were the result. But today's transmissions hold about just about as well as the old whale oil ones.

It just could be, boys and girls, that the same qualities that make modern ATF such a good quench medium are indeed found in whale oil. I never would have guessed it.
(ATF has a flash point just above a very good temper/critical temperature for most steel, so not only does it work well but the temperature is easy to control and it keeps rank amateurs like myself from screwing up too badly.)

January 17, 2003, 09:39 PM
You know I never got around to buying a serious edged weapon, but there is a costume-grade cutlass on my mantle.

Hey, I needed something to go with the rest of my Pirate Outfit.:scrutiny:

Don Gwinn
January 18, 2003, 10:34 PM
Oh, well that explains it. . . . .

January 20, 2003, 09:28 PM
Yea, thanks for posting those links...now I have the begining of, what I am afraid is, another adiction.

January 21, 2003, 01:38 PM
A Viking shortsword from Museum Replicas of Conyers Ga. Great for fighting with a shield when bording ships storming castles, etc.
It's a reproduction of a weapon on display in the British Museum called the Thames Scramsax dug up near the Tower of London.

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