UK sword restorers?

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UK sword restorers?

Postby Matt Easton » Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:16 pm

Can anyone here recommend (publicly or privately) a good place for antique sword restoration please? I put quite a few things through Casque & Gauntlet and had wonderful results, but sadly Ray Colt died a few months ago. I am reluctant to put anything through Crisp or Pooley, as I have seen a few swords that I hated what they did with (removing way too much material to repolish and leaving the sword feeling like a toy, with edges too rounded etc). Maybe Crisp or Pooley can do a more subtle job if asked to though?
I am in need of restoration both for antiques simply to clean them up or tighten hilts, as well as for serving officers to meet parade standards.

Thanks,
Matt
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Re: UK sword restorers?

Postby Jerry Cottrell » Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:33 pm

The guy at the Sword Pattern advertises a repair/restoration service. Like you I have only placed swords with Ray Colt and i have no experience at all first or second hand of this, but here it is anyway.

Jerry

http://www.theswordpattern.co.uk/category_s/1821.htm
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Re: UK sword restorers?

Postby Richard » Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:38 pm

The chap at The Sword Pattern used to take all his swords to Ray Colt (so he doesn’t repair himself and can no longer offer that service)
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Re: UK sword restorers?

Postby Jerry Cottrell » Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:17 pm

Other than Pooley or Crisp, this is the only other one I have seen. Again, I know nothing about this company, based in Edinburgh.

http://www.macdonaldarms.com/armoury/services.php
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Re: UK sword restorers?

Postby Matt Easton » Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:56 pm

Thanks both. I know Paul Macdonald through fencing, but I've not seen any of his restorations in person.
Ray's restorations were so good that a couple of swords I had him fix up for me I am now considering keeping rather than selling, because I just can't see anyone else being able to carry out work to that level again. I know that he had a few people doing specific jobs for him (eg. someone else did the leather scabbards), so I do hope that they emerge to offer those services in their own rights.
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Re: UK sword restorers?

Postby Jerry Cottrell » Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:34 am

Yes I met the guy who did the leather work for Ray one time I visited, but i didn't get a name or have a contact for him.
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Re: UK sword restorers?

Postby Matt Easton » Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:13 am

I might be able to get a contact for him - I'll try.
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Re: UK sword restorers?

Postby alan campbell » Mon Dec 24, 2018 5:43 pm

This is a link to Paul MacDonald's website. I haven't used his services so can't comment.http://www.macdonaldarms.com/armoury/services.php
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Re: UK sword restorers?

Postby hargrove999 » Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:57 pm

The man who did Ray Colt's leather work is Andrew Lacey. delacey111@gmail.com
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Re: UK sword restorers?

Postby Matt Easton » Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:31 pm

Thanks!
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Re: UK sword restorers?

Postby sword335 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:27 pm

I’ve looked at MacDonald Arms website. He seems to clean swords very well if possibly slightly too bright for me but that is a matter of taste. However looking at the basket hilted swords there is at least one with a cracked bar and another with a misshapen hilt and these have not been repaired at all. It looks as if he is a sword cleaner rather than a restorer. Ray Colt would have put these right and you would never have known that anything had been done. He could also make scabbard mounts that were virtually perfect, all be it at a cost. He had a very well equipped workshop where he could even make his own twisted wire binding for grips.
Personally, I would like to see examples of real restoration before I entrusted my swords to someone. Not only must they have the skill to do the repair but must also be able to “age” any work so that it is invisible.

Chris.
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Re: UK sword restorers?

Postby Will Mathieson » Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:54 pm

Much can be done by the owner of swords if they have some mechanical skills and patience.
A basic tool is a Dremel using small steel wire wheels and sponge abrasives. A vice with thick leather jaws is a basic required tool. Leather can be glued on with contact cement once the steel jaws are removed.
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B016XI ... UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.ca/Yasumai-Abrasive- ... 6R2XDQHW2A

These two wheels can clean up hilts more quickly than by hand and the fine abrasives do not leave rotary marks if done right.

Straightening blades takes practice and results in a couple broken blades. I won't describe this method as interpretation usually does not result in correct method and tools, failure is most likely.
Hilts can be reshaped using small hydraulic tools as they can slowly take out bends without shocking the metal. Hammering or forcing using leverage results in breakage.
I use a tool designed to take out barrel dents, by blocking the tool up and gradually raising the hydraulic pad a bent hilt will retake its original shape.

https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tool ... od399.aspx

Grip wire can be reproduced accurately if you have a piece remaining or another similar sword with original wire. A cordless drill twists the wire and a light oil prevents the wire from breakage as it builds friction. A micrometer is required to measure thickness of the wire, eyeballing it does not work and you inevitably purchase the wrong diameter.
Other wires more difficult to reproduce are available from: http://swordrestorationtn.com/

You will need luck to find a skilled restorer such as Ray. It seems few wish to learn the old methods or even want to tackle antique sword repairs that retain their patina.
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Re: UK sword restorers?

Postby Matt Easton » Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:21 pm

I am actually fairly capable of doing a lot of jobs myself, but I simply lack the time. It's more cost-effective for me to pay someone else to do it. I have considered trying to get a group of people trained up and set up a workshop doing this stuff though.
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