Doug's Swordmaking Materials Sources
- Admiral Steel, 4152 West 123rd Street, Alsip IL 60803-1869. Phone 1-800-323-7055. <http://www.admiralsteel.com>
- Scrap yards. You may find many amazing things besides plain old pieces of steel. I even got a big, old 300 pound power hack saw from my local 'metal recycling center.'
- A local steel supply house in Grand Rapids, called Central Iron and Steel, sells both new and used steel. My most commonly used sizes are 1/4 inch round rod costs $2.50 for a 12 foot piece, and 3/16 inch costs $2.00. For 1/4 inch square it's $4.00. Those are all Cold Rolled steel, which is clean and smooth. Hot rolled is cheaper, black and rough. A 16 foot piece of 1/8 inch by 1/2 inch hot rolled flat bar costs $2.05. You can see that material costs for hilts are not large, but each one takes me about 10 to 12 hours of work time.
- Ready-made hilt parts and sword blades in diamond schlager shape, "cannelure" and "broadsword" styles are available from American Fencer's Supply at http://www.amfence.com/ armory page, and other places. See my Sword Sources Page for more sources.
- Broadsword and Katana blades are available on the internet from Kris Cutlery. They are about $60 each and the people on the sword discussion groups say that the quality is pretty good.
- Talon Manufacturing has a $55 ninja sword blade and a $64 Katana blade on their web site, which is www.talonman1.com but I haven't seen their blades or read anything about them. That's as of Nov. 9, 1999.
Get all these catalogs. It's very worthwhile, and they're free! I learn a lot from catalogs. And I've purchased things from all these places.
- small kits for electroplating nickel, copper, silver, etc. are available from <www.caswellplating.com>. I haven't used any yet, but have read somewhere that they are good.
- Local plating shops: I've used one and they did a really nice job, but they have a substantial minimum order. In this case it was $75 and it took 5 or 6 hilts to fill it.
Custom Made Swords:
B. R. Tomberlin
Anvil Top Custom Knives
Broadswords: Lately that seems to be the only swords I have made and the early medieval swords are the ones I seem to be most interested in making. As for fantasy swords???????? just depends on how much of a fantasy they are. I had one person ask if I couldmake a forty pound sword, as he assured me that was what the original two handed swords weighed. Needless to say that one doesn't exist except in his mind. But I will give serious thought to any reasonable request. Also if you have anybody who has questions about japanese swords I am a collector and have at least some knowledge in the area.
Thanks for the correspondence
-----home ----- back to Swordmaking Page ------ January 31, 2003