<< Even now, some US smith’s swords are appreciating quite a bit due to rarity, or demand, such as Bob Engath’s and Howard Clark’s blades >>
I have hesitated to inquire about Bob Engnath and Blades 'n' Stuff. Some folks on these forums are a bit abrupt when talking about Yankee (CA) smiths.
Eleven years ago my first iaito, a $300 cheapo, snapped immediately in front of the tsuba from metal fatigue, the blade rolling away like a hoop. No one was injured. I was alone in a raquette ball court. I was shocked how easy it was to bend straight.
Because all the furnishings were in great shape, I wrote Bob Engnath asking if he could forge me a rough blade that would fit my scabbard and furnishings.
He did a great job. The fit is perfect. I simply never have had the time or courage to tackle a full length polishing job. Assembled, it feels great to the hand and is viciously sharp. It had been treated to resist rust and looks the same today as when it arrived.
I would rather keep it the way it is in rough grind than risk ruining it. Bob would never forgive me.
He is sorely missed.