Construction Techniques

Design and Sculpting:

The most striking feature of our creations is the artwork. The time taken to design and sculpt every individual part before assembling it into a finished work of art. It is what we do best. We offer many beautiful designs as part of our standard items, each one conceived, designed and created by Omega Artworks. Every part is sculpted individually by hand so minor changes can be made to suit your needs. Of course nothing makes it as unique as having a work of art designed just for you. We will gladly work with you to design and sculpt your custom item. From the preliminary drawings, to photos of the wax, and to the final product, we do our best to keep you engaged in every aspect of the design experience.

Casting:

Many commercially available works of art and parts of swords or canes are made out of inferior materials like “pot metal” or resin. These can be plated and colored and made to look expensive but the beauty is literally only skin deep. Most of our sculpting is done in solid bronze using the lost wax casting method. Each piece is sculpted in wax and gone over carefully before being covered in a ceramic shell, melted out and cast in solid bronze. The lost wax method ensures the best possible detail on every piece and bronze offers a strength needed whether in a sword hilt or a sculpture and has proven the test of time for thousands of years.

Finish and Plating:

After a piece has been cast in bronze, there are several ways to color or change it's outward appearance. The most common finish for our bronze is polishing it to a brilliant light gold and then spraying it with a protective lacquer to help prevent tarnishing. An alternate choice is plating. Plating is the chemical, electrical process of putting a layer of precious metal over their bronze. We can plate in silver, gold, or copper. Plating is very durable and with normal wear will last a very long time. Silver and copper plating will age and tarnish with time but can be cleaned with a silver polish giving it a beautiful patina of light and dark. The silver and copper can also be chemically darkened to give it that aged antique look right away.

Bronze Patina:

An alternative to plating is a patina. Patina refers to the coloring of the bronze. With the use of heat and chemicals the bronze can be forced to oxidize and age. Different colors can be created this way, although greens, reds, and blacks are the most common and natural-looking patinas. A patina adds a unique look to the metalwork, creating interesting contrasts or the appearance of extreme age.

Gemstones:

Gemstones are fun — they add color and magic to any piece. There are always one or two places where a gemstone can be mounted easily. We usually use cabochon gems, which are smooth, unfaceted, and easy to mount on bronze. Faceted precious gems are also an option. These require a special mounting in the wax mold to attach, which can increase cost. Gemstones vary in price, quality, and availability. We will work with you to find what works best for your concept.

The Handle:

The handles of our custom swords and knives are all carved and shaped by hand, and the length and width can be custom tailored to fit you. We use any number of domestic or exotic woods, from basic oak, maple or ash to more exotic woods such as ebony or rosewood. We can also use bone, horn and antler. One colorful handle material we use is called “Dymondwood™” Dymondwood™ is created from thin layers of natural American hardwoods. Resins and dyes are embedded in the wood under heat and pressure to create a unique enhanced wood with many bright color combinations. Dymondwood is strong and dense and works great for sword handles. See our selection of synthetic and Dymondwood handle options.

Dymondwood™ is a registered trademark of Rutland Plywood.

Handles with Wire Inlay

Another option to consider with handles is the feel and texture. A handle can be smooth and flat or twisted with a braided wire inlay. Other materials can be considered as well, such as leather or wire wrapping. A handle can be long or fat depending on the hand it needs to fit. We will work with you to find what works best for you.

Imitation Mother-of-Pearl

For an even more decorative look we have an imitation mother of pearl. This is a plastic resin compound that mimics the luster and swirl of real mother of pearl. The only drawbacks are that it can be a little fragile and may shatter if dropped, and it cannot be used for larger handles or larger sheaths.

Gemstone Handles

For an exotic look we have gemstone handles. Actual pieces of ground gemstone are ground and put into a resin compound. The result is a material that has the look and feel of the real stone but in slabs that can be worked and shaped. It is limited in size and cannot be easily used for large handles or sheaths.

Blades and Steel:

When you look through our catalog you will see many different ways we have designed and shaped blades, When creating a custom piece you need to consider three major aspects.

  1. What does it need to do?
  2. How does it need to feel?
  3. How does it need to look?

We work with you to make sure we find the right balance from these options and help you create what you are looking for.

Like most modern sword makers we use flat stock which we shape, grind and polish to create the blade you want.

We mostly work with 1095, 5160, and A2 carbon steel. We temper to an R value of 50 to 52. Solid, flexible and as good as most steel history has to offer. These are carbon steels, not stainless, and need to be taken care of: waxed and oiled, etc. For bronze blades we use the same lost wax casting techniques as in crossguards and pommels.

Engraving:

Personalized engraving can be added to any of our works, whether on the blade, the handle or the bronze. A name, motto, emblem or crest. Prices on engraving will vary widely, depending on the quantity and style of the engraving.

Sheaths & Hangers for Swords and Knives:

A sheath, though not necessary, can help to protect not just the blade but the owner of the blade from damage. We can make hard sheaths that match or compliment the handle or we can make leather sheaths for any of our custom swords. Because all of our swords are custom made, no two blades are exactly alike, therefore each sheath is custom-made to fit the individual blade.

Each hard sheath is hand carved from many of the same materials we use in our sword handles. Some materials are limited by size and durability. When we carve the sheath we try to carry through any of the blades details, whether cut outs or serrations. Metal fittings or leather straps and hangers can be added at an extra cost. Sheaths range from $75 to $300.

Sword Canes:

A sword cane, though very popular in the movies, is actually an extremely deadly weapon and is considered a concealed weapon all across the United States and many other countries — and is highly illegal. We make swords and we make canes but we do not make sword canes.

Questions and Answers:

If you have any questions regarding our construction techniques or the materials we use, please contact us or give us a call at 651-503-0273. We will be happy to go over any details with you and to answer any questions you may have.