Post by Marc Kaden Ridgeway on Mar 31, 2009 21:58:16 GMT -5
I recently have gotten a blade by James Raw and will be sending it to Fred Lohman to mount.
James makes tough user swords, that come ready to cut with. He uses a working polish and etch, that makes the blade usable , and displays the hamon, but the lines often need firming up with professional polishing if the buyer desires.
However if it's to be a working sword, it's ready to cut right from the smith.
The thing is that James is wide open for commissions. This is a perfect opportunity for production owners to get their first taste of the custom experience.
Turn around time on custom orders can be AS LITTLE AS TWO WEEKS!!!
It seems to me that a blade from James mounted by one of various craftsmen, is a better deal than a high end production blade, and with less wait time than Last Legend;)
Post by Marc Kaden Ridgeway on Jun 26, 2009 12:25:26 GMT -5
A while back I bought a James Raw blade, and sent it to Fred Lohman to have mounted.I was a bit leary, as I have read some bad reports about Lohman, and worried my experience may be bad.
First let me say a word about Lohman's customer service. I was indisposed for 9 months after this sword was completed.Fred was VERY patient, and held my sword for the 9 months. Upon my return to civilization, I sent him a check, and the sword arrived in RECORD time.
The sword came well packaged.I've never been one to include the pictures of the boxes in my threads, but since it seems popular I will in this one.
My sword came in a box within a box, wrapped in bubble wrap and a swordbag.
This was a works package... I sent in blade and habaki, Fred did the rest.
The overall package was quite pleasing to me. The swords aesthetics were exactly what I had hoped for.
I chose a water based mounting theme...
Water is essential to all life on the planet...it is also one of the most violent forces known.
Water seeks it's own level, and until it finds it is one of the most irresistable and destructive forces on earth.
Once it finds its level, water is peaceful , calming and lifegiving.
The sword will have black same and blue silk ito in a katate maki (battle wrap), a Lohman crashing wave tsuba , and omori waves and dragon fuchigashira.The menuki will be either Lohman birds in water, or SOL lillies.
The black same will represent the void and the hineri ito as water rushing in to fill it . the flat portion of the wrap will represent calm water that has found it's level. The f/k with the waves and dragon will represent the violence in water, and the menuki it's peacefulness and life-giving.
Perhaps a bit pretentious sounding, but a Zen concept which holds great meaning in my life.
Fred and company captured the theme perfectly.
The saya has a rounded end, and a BONUS . There are streaks that match the color of the silver blue ito done very subtly in the saya's finish. Thanks Fred!!!.
The ito-maki is tight and well formed. The tsuka is slim and tapered, and fit perfectly to the nakago.
All in all Fred's work was excellent, and my instructions were followed exactly.
"Well MK," you say, "get picky for us today, is there anything you are unhappy with?"
Alright then, yes. There are a couple of less than pleasing points.
The biggest one is the saya fit... the habaki is just barely too loose...I chalk it up to humidity, and will fix it myself.
Secondly, there is the barest of movement clockwise/counterclockwise in the tsuba.
Other than that, well the same could have been a better piece, but the unexpected extras (nutsodome and streaked saya) far outweigh this.
All in all I must say I am very pleased. Fred and company's work was nicely done, the customer service excellent, his patience inexhautable, and turnaround time superb. My instructions were followed exactly, down to the style seppa....
CONCLUSION: An experience I was leary of turned out to be quite satisfying. I must say fred Lohman did a very nice job for me, and did it with terrific customer service.