Dear friends, customers, and sword folks,
The past year and a half have posed significant challenges for many businesses, and Arms and Armor is no exception. Our challenges have a bit of a ‘good news/bad news’ feel. On the one hand, we were largely shuttered during the state mandated lock down last year, and we have faced some significant supply chain issues, both of which have slowed down production. On the other hand, orders are up, way up. This is probably partly due to our marketing push, and partly to external economic factors such as government stimulus checks etc. In the end, the logical consequence of slower production along with increased orders has been an increased wait time for some products, especially complex hilts and custom projects.
We are working hard to fulfill all the orders we have received as quickly as possible. The steps that we’re taking range from increasing our on-hand stock of steel and the size and frequency of orders we make with our suppliers to eliminate supply bottlenecks. In addition, we’re optimizing our production processes and have hired new staff. However, increasing orders with suppliers, training, and ramping up production is a long process for artisans that individually hand make every piece that we sell. We are a small workshop, not a factory. This means it takes years for new employees to develop all the skills necessary to be a full contributor to the effort.
What will not change is our commitment to hand making the highest quality, historically accurate pieces that we and our customers love. We will not skimp or cut corners when it comes to quality. This means that new orders for some items will take longer to be delivered than they would have in the past.
- The timeline for delivery of spears, impact weapons, axes, and daggers will be fast - within a few months of order, sometimes less.
- Orders for swords with simple hilts and standard blades will likely take between 3 and 8 months for completion.
- Rapiers and other complex hilted weapons that require the most highly skilled labor will take at least a year for new orders based on the backlog of orders and the amount of time required to train additional makers to build these world-famous pieces.
We wanted you all to understand our current timeline for production, and we thank you for your patience during this unprecedented time of high demand for our products.
In an effort to spend as much time actually making orders as possible, we have shifted some hours from the office to the workshop. This means that, if you call us, there may not be anyone to answer the phone because they are making swords instead. Please leave us a detailed message with your contact information clearly stated and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Alternatively, if you have any questions about an order, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you all for your interest in our products, for your orders, and for your patience as we craft your piece.
Nathan Clough, Vice President, Arms and Armor
Nathan Clough, Ph.D. is Vice President of Arms and Armor and a member of the governing board of The Oakeshott Institute. He is a historical martial artist and a former university professor of cultural geography. He has given presentations on historical arms at events including Longpoint and Combatcon, and presented scholarly papers at, among others, The International Congress on Medieval Studies.
Craig Johnson is the Production Manager of Arms and Armor and Secretary of The Oakeshott Institute. He has taught and published on the history of arms, armor and western martial arts for over 30 years. He has lectured at several schools and Universities, WMAW, HEMAC, 4W, and ICMS at Kalamazoo. His experiences include iron smelting, jousting, theatrical combat instruction and choreography, historical research, European martial arts and crafting weapons and armor since 1985