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2686Re: [E_Rapier] Buying a Rapier

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  • Bob Roberts
    Jan 15, 2013
      Hi, I thought that I should add my recent experience with you.
      Triplette: I purchased one of their rapiers in 2005. It broke at the tang after less than one year of use (roughly two practices a week, no cut and thrust). No support from Triplette was offered.
      Darkwood: I have now had two swords from them. A heavy rapier and recently, one of their katanas (actually a no-dachi/tachi – the thing is a beast). After seven years of abuse (including a few years of significant bashing while doing cut and thrust with Aaron and Ross), it broke at the joining of the tang with the threading for the pommel nut. After contacting Darkwood (with a lengthy introduction assuring them that I was not complaining or expecting anything since I had received great value and use from the sword) and asking them their advice about welding it back together (which they provided with detail), Darkwood offered to fix it for me for free (I only have to pay shipping).
      So, while the Darkwood blades are a bit more expensive, the quality, durability and follow-up service is excellent.
      I hope this helps.
      On a different note, are you (Aaron) going to the moot in February?

      From: Aaron Miedema <govianus@...>
      To: E_Rapier@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 7:08:25 AM
      Subject: Re: [E_Rapier] Buying a Rapier

      I concur with your advice on going with the Darkwood economy series.
      Although even that is an unsatisfying answer.  The Quality of Darkwood's
      blades has gone right down hill in the last three years or so, their temper
      of their blades is disappointing as of late.  As to Paul Chen / Hanwei.
      Their factory actually burned down a year or two ago and they are taking
      the opportunity to rework their catalogue, so the remaining old stock is
      currently scarce, and that may be the reasoning for the price increase,
      Although, their quality and prices have seemed to be steadily increasing
      since their alliance with Tinker Pierce.

      James the Just might still be doing some stuff with Hanwei blades that are
      still available, but, when I saw their booth at Gulf Wars, I saw an awful
      lot of Alchem blades on his stuff.

      On Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 12:12 AM, EVE HARRIS <evedave1@...> wrote:

      > **
      > Greetings!
      > I've had an enquiry from one of my students about buying a rapier. The
      > gentle in question is looking for a reasonably inexpensive but period
      > looking rapier, something in the $200 range. I haven't checked what's out
      > there in a while as I've been dealing exclusively with Darkwood for my
      > recent sword needs. My go to starter rapier was the CAS-Iberia/Paul Chen
      > Practical Rapier but the prices seem to have gone through the roof. Where
      > they used to be around $125-$150 I'm seeing them for $225-$300(!). I heard
      > they had a fire at their facility some time ago which might be effecting
      > the price. Also, the 37" Practical seems to have become virtually extinct.
      > There do seem to be quite a few rapiers out there on the market, but I
      > have no idea what the quality of some of these swords are. There doesn't
      > seem to be anything decent that is close to the $200 mark. I'm seeking the
      > rapier communities opinions on what is out there and what works for them at
      > a lower price point. A fall back is always Zen Warrior, but I'm quite
      > disappointed with the R13 swept hilt, the closest thing to a 16th c. hilt
      > they have. It's quite clunk and uncomfortable in the hand, at least the
      > ones I've handled have been. The R6 is also a possibility but it is a post
      > period hilt, though it is relatively inexpensive ($180 with a 37" T03
      > rapier blade).
      > I'm almost thinking of recommending that he spend the extra money and get
      > the Darkwood Economy Ring Hilt rapier for $300. My experiences with
      > Darkwood have good so far and it's a pretty, very period looking hilt,
      > though it's not the one shown on the Darkwood rapier page, you have to
      > click on the link to see all the alternatives.
      > I used to feel pretty confident about offering advice on what to buy, but
      > the market seems to have changed since last I looked, so any advice would
      > be greatly appreciated.
      > Yours in Service
      > Albrecht
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


      Aaron Miedema, B.F.A., B.A., M.A.
      Historical Advisor for the Motion Picture *21 Brothers*
      http://www.21brothers.com/* Guiness Book of World Records* Holder for
      "Longest film shot in a single take."
      Author of *Bayonets and Blobsticks, The Canadian Experience of Close Combat
      1915-1918*, available from Legacy Books Press.

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