How blades of glory are made
Art of the blade maker.
Prep of the cleft
Each blade of glory is selected from the premium English willow which takes 12-15 years in maturing mainly south east England.
Clefts are split from round tree which is generally 4feet circumference.
Open Air seasoning is used to optimize the moisture consent in the clefts which normally takes 9 months or more.
Once ready to be turned into blades the ends are cut and they pass through a five cutter milling machine to give the cleft a uniform shape.
Working on the blade
STEP 1 HANDLE
Each blade handle is spliced and fitted using flexible wood glue making sure it is set slightly forward to ensure the perfect line of the bow. The handle is then gently tapped into place and left to dry in an upright position.
STEP 2 SHAPING THE BLADE
A traditional draw of knife on various wooden block planes and spoke shaves is done to ensure the shape, size are standard, thus ensuring the perfect weight, balance and pick up in every blade we produce.
STEP 3 SMOOTHING SHOULDERS AND HANDLE
The shoulders are shaped and blended firstly with the skilful use of a draw knife and then finished with a traditional rounded spoke shave. Each handle is then painstakingly shaped with a rasp to ensure the shape fits perfectly in the hands of the bladesman.
STEP 4 SANDING
Once the blade has been shaped and blended the sanding process begins. This is a time consuming process that uses several grades of sand paper working to a fine finish. Finally brush sanders are used to give a beautiful smooth finish.
STEP 5 BINDING
Our blades are bound on the lathe using a four ply cotton yard. Glue is spread on the handle prior to the binding in order to ensure that the binding is held in place for the life of the blade handle. The handle is then left to dry for a few hours.
STEP 6 Polishing
Using a loose leaf polishing mop on the outboard side of the binding lathe we polish each blade meticulously to give a rich satin finish that is the envy of other blade makers. Toe guards are then fitted unless specified otherwise.
Labeling, Gripping & Knocking-in
Each blade is then ready for labeling, gripping and knocking in. Every blade also receives a final check-over to ensure that it has been finished to a high standard and that there are no previously unspotted imperfections.