I am technically a sword furbisher or cutler. This is an artisan who takes a finished blade and designs and constructs a hilt for it. (a hilt is the quillons/crossguard, handle and the pommel /counterweight)
I specialize in historically accurate weapons, built to withstand the rigors of stage combat. My niche in this business is building one of a kind weapons to my customers specifications, and thus having no two swords being exactly the same.
Differences in stage combat to real weapons
There are several differences between my weapons and replicas, though they may look the same.
First and most obvious is that mine are not sharp. No points and at least 1/16” flat on the edges. The second is that the pommels are threaded and screw on to the tang of the blade. This allows for easy dis-assembly for maintenance and to check for stresses or damage inside the handle at the shoulders of the blade.
Stage combat stresses safety and the illusion of violence. My swords are engineered to have balance point as close to the hilt as possible, making for a faster, safer, more easily controllable sword. I also tend to beef up my bars and rings slightly for durability’s sake. In many ways, modern stage combat weapons take more abuse than their medieval and renaissance counterpart
There are several options to designing your weapon. You may have as much input as you wish. If you see a sword in a museum or photograph, I can design from that . You may see a style in my portfolio the we can modify to make your own. You can also give me your basic ideas and let me design it up myself. After I have your preferences, I do a full scale drawing that I submit for your approval, along with a quote of what the weapon will cost. I then make changes to your design that you wish and get a down payment. It is half up front and the other half on completion. I ship UPS in custom boxes. It is usually about $20 to $30 in the USA. Designing by E mail can be nerve wracking because the customer cannot pick up and feel the sword until it is done and delivered. My policy is to modify the sword until the customer is pleased or I’ll buy it back.
All of my swords are produced with blades from reputable blade smiths.
I use Triplette/Zen Warrior, Neil Massey, Atlanta Cutlery, and Hanwei.
They are high carbon steel with a spring temper. I modify the blades when they arrive, even the shoulders, change the tang length, and threading.
Blades can be tapered, fullered and cut down. Hilts are made of mild steel, ground, filed, sanded and polished. They are MIG or Oxy-acetylene welded together.
Handles are of hard maple, lathed, carved, wrapped in thin leather and wire wrapped with brass, stainless, or black anodized steel wire, or a combination of the three. Unless you want plain leather, in which case, I sew up the seam to prevent the leather from coming undone. Handles can be of plain wood of any kind and carved in most any design.
All pommels are threaded, usually 6mm metric, unless otherwise requested. Swords can be finished to a satin, high polish, or blackened, with gun metal bluing or heat. I can also do chisel work with my titanium cutter, which can really seal the deal on a personal heirloom!