Please see our terms and conditions for full information about our conditions of sale.
∴ How do I place an order? ∴
When you contact us with your enquiry we’ll get back to you to discuss your vision, and let you know how long our current waiting list is. We will work with you to finalise your design ideas, which will inform the final quote and timescale.
As an artisan, Chris handmakes every Balefire sword and blade to order. No two swords are ever quite the same, and we welcome your input into the mechanics and aesthetics of every piece.
We will ask you for any preferred specs or measurements. As all of our swords are custom made, we will require accurate hand measurements – you can find instructions for taking these here.
If you can send photos of original swords, or sketches of your own designs, it will make it easier for us to bring your exact vision to life.
If you’re unsure about any aspect, don’t hesitate to ask – Chris has many years’ experience as a craftsman, and will ensure that every design is feasible, safe and a pleasure to fence with.
Once we’re on the same page, we will send a deposit invoice to confirm your place on the list.
∴ When do I pay for my sword? ∴
Once you’ve confirmed your intention to order, we’ll ask for a 50% deposit in order to secure your place on the waiting list. This deposit will be non-refundable unless we are unable to make your sword or blade.
We’ll contact you again a month before work begins with the secondary invoice. We won’t start work on your order until both payments have cleared. At this point, we will send a document outlining the specs and design concept, and ask you for a final sign-off.
The final invoice, covering just shipping costs, will be sent once the sword is complete. This is to ensure that the parcel’s true dimensions are covered by the payment.
∴ How do I pay for my sword? ∴
We accept BAC bank transfers or card payments via Stripe. Details for BAC will be on your invoice, and your unique Stripe link will be in the invoice email.
Due to their prohibitive policy on blades, we cannot use PayPal to process payments.
∴ What are your shipping costs? ∴
We send our swords and blades via Parcelforce Worldwide, and costs vary depending on the weight and length of the package. You can learn more about average costs on our shipping page.
We exclusively use a tracked shipping service, and will send you your tracking number as soon as postage is booked.
We will charge for shipping only when the sword is finished and the final dimensions are known, to avoid charging too much or too little.
∴ Can I cancel my order? ∴
If you wish to cancel or amend your order before we’ve started work on it, contact us as soon as possible. Your 50% down payment will not be returned aside from in exceptional circumstances. Please note that once the second payment has cleared and work has begun, cancellations or amendments are no longer possible.
∴ Do you make sharp swords?∴
As specialists in historical fencing swords, we have made the decision not to make sharp blades for cutting practice. Part of this decision is due to it not being Chris’s area of artisanal expertise, but a large part is due to complications with shipping. It is becoming increasingly difficult to ship sharp blades abroad from the UK, and most couriers consider them prohibited items.
∴ Can I visit the forge? ∴
Please note that due to health and safety regulations, the Balefire forge does not operate as a public-facing workshop. Chris’s particular brand of magic involves a lot of noise, dust and almost-certain danger, and as such we can’t accept visitors to the forge.
∴ Glossary ∴
It may help to familiarise yourself with the necessary terminology to avoid misinterpretation. We will do all we can to ensure that we’re on the same page, but we can’t be responsible for orders made in error.
The tang is the portion of the blade over which the grip and pommel will be placed. To ensure a correct fit, it’s important for us to know precise dimensions, as well as whether or not your pommel is threaded.
For durability and historical accuracy, we make our tangs by hand-tapping a high-carbon steel rod into the steel of the blade. Please contact us to discuss other styles.
The ricasso is the thicker, unsharpened portion at the base of the blade.
A fuller is a groove that runs down the length of a blade, while a central ridge refers to a raised elevation.
Distal taper describes a change in thickness of the blade, with many swords lessening in thickness from the base to the tip. Profile taper describes a change in width, and decides how gradually your blade comes to a point.