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Thread: Steerboard by John Lundemo / Longship Armouries

  1. Steerboard by John Lundemo / Longship Armouries

    When you start talking about John Lundemo's swords, you will often hear words thrown around like "Perfect" and "incredible" and phrases like "Work of art"... or my all-time favorite; simply: "WOW!".

    I'll defer to my wife's far superior tastes when she told me years ago, after looking at some of John's swords; "Ok, you are ONLY allowed to get swords from him from now on!"..... I'd have to agree!

    I have been privileged to know John Lundemo for, what is going on, TEN years!

    Way back when…… when I was younger, dumber… and had more of a flair for the fantasy swords, John was very patient with me. Our first sword “collaboration” together was “Gwailas”. It was sword that was highly influenced by the , then, popular Lord of The Rings movies. But what amazed me about John’s work so much is that you could (and still can) pick up Gwailas and say “Oh! It’s like ____(Insert name of LotR sword)____” but then you realize that its actually NOT a copy of any one sword, nor is it a copy at ALL. John was able to fuse the STYLES of the swords made by Peter Lyon for the Lord of the Rings trilogy with his own style and artistic skills.

    As years went on, I have gotten many more wonderful swords from John. Some Historical, some more “fantasy” (I hate that term BTW). Some simple and some extremely complex.

    The latest entry into my Odinblades collection is a part of John’s Latest endeavor: The Longship line.

    All of John’s custom swords are one of a kind, handmade creations. Up until now, John has never used cast hilt fittings. Recently John collaborated with a gentleman on another sword forum board and made steel hilt masters that were then cast in high quality solid bronze. John had about 5 hilt “sets” made. This allows for cost cutting in the hilt making, however the blades and handles are still true handmade customs as with John’s Odinblade line. The result is the customer gets to save a few bucks, but still has flexibility in blade length and style.

    The particular model being discussed here is what John has named the “Steerboard”. This rendition is basically a Warsword. It features a Oakshott Type XIIa blade which is 34 inches long and a two handed grip which is 7 inches long. The guard and pommel are, as mentioned, cast bronze which has been darkened SO dark that it looks like blued steel. The pommel is of a wheel type, and the guard is a unique downturned shape with a slight peak in the middle. This sword features several unique features that John added at my request, and also a few to my surprise. He added a bronze ring in the middle of the grip. The grip is a leather over cord wrap with an extremely fine, hardly noticeable seam on one edge. (Well done!). The Pommel features a small peen block on the end where the tang has been peened in place.

    The Longship line of swords do not feature scabbards. Due to their time consuming nature involved in making them, John recommends sending the swords off to dedicated scabbard makers. However, Me being….well… ME! I begged John to make a matching scabbard for me. I have often heard nitpicky critics comment that John’s scabbards are not 100% historically accurate……………. Ok… What I like about them is that he builds them like TANKS! They are carved wood core, he ads rises and then covers in leather. Finally they are finished with a bronze chape. John really surprised me with this scabbard however. When I unboxed it, I literally gasped, (and said some swear words), and I saw what he had done. He but my family name on the scabbard! STOKES is added with risers under the leather vertically down the scabbard. VERY cool touch and adds that special personalization that makes even the Longship line of swords a one of a kind work of art.

    I should also note that the blade is probably one of the sharpest sword blades I have ever held. It will literally pop hairs off your arm and shave paper with ease. John’s edges are really incredible in that there is absolutely NO secondary bevel at all, Truly a zero ground edge. The blade also features plenty of distal taper which balances the sword incredibly. John told me that this sword weighs about 3 lbs. however it is balanced so well it handles like it weighs 2 lbs.

    Enough Talk, on to the pictures:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Nipmuc USA
    Hi David

    That is a great show and tell for this model and line. The progress reports for the overall project seem encouraging and I find it outstanding that the collaboration in the states, is staying in the states this time. That is not to say the production runs of collaborations with John, Gus, Christian, Sonny, Michael, Hanwei in and of themselves were some cure all-end all conclusion and I am super glad to see projects like this fly.

    All the work I have ever seen from John (and that goes back to thumbing through his portfolio in 2001) have been sincere and fantastic looking work. There should never be any stigmata attached to any label and with John's stuff, there are certainly designs that clearly do fall to fantasy but some may be more comfortable in labeling such "inspired".

    That first time I saw his wares the table included a handful of blunt medievals, a very nice Ronin katana model and a couple of gladius. One fancy one he labeled a Commodus and had etching on the blade that could be seen through ports in the scabbard. One of those personal types of additions that have long been John's forte.

    The cast parts of the Longship line offer up some of John's art in multiples and will put more of his great blades in circulation. Steady work, for sure in the months to come. I still procrastinate in a project for fittings I'd love to have John do but the time never seems quite right.

    This sword pictured looks like a great effort fo a good sized big cutter. I guess it would best fit in a Xlla category (unless smoeone needs it to be a XVla instead).


    Hotspur; a decade or so seems like just a moment, as the century moves on

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Nipmuc USA
    Oh, to add to the sword comments. The grip looks like a great cross section, the blade really nice work.

  4. #4
    Cool! I'm not the only one from back around 2002 still posting around...

    And David, that is an amazing sword. And, it really is wonderful when you have enough of a bond with a smith that he decides to do something like that. Don't lose that one - I think you'll want to pass it on to your children as an heirloom...
    Robert Marks
    Darksword Armory, Inc.

    "I'm not asking you to trade food for swords all the time, just food for THESE swords."

    "Sir, if we accepted your swords, then we'd have to accept EVERYBODY's swords..."
    - Home Movies

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    New Hampshire
    Nope your not the only one from 2002 still posting

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Reston, VA
    Very nice sword and scabbard. My custom war sword from John ended up being the prototype for his Longship Steerboard. My sword now has a lot of brothers out there.


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