I admire you enthusiasm. I caution patience. There are many sword makers of varying quality out there.
My favorite was Bob Engnath, of Blades and Stuff. Unfortunately he passed away a few years ago.
I had acquired a cheap non-cutting practice sword which had snapped in front of the tsuba early on, as the cheap ones have a way of doing. All the "furniture" was decent. He made me a forged blade that fit it. All it needed was polishing. (Which is another story.)