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Saber Forge - our History (a warning)
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Hendel D'bu ()
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:49 pm    Post subject: Saber Forge - our History (a warning) Reply with quote

Hello, fellow Jedi. I want to post this for your information, especially if you are considering purchasing a machined lightsaber hilt.

We, Ari C'rona and I, purchased sabers from Mr. Isherwood at Saber Forge. They are beautiful and we really like the look of them, however, we have had some issues that are unfortunate.

If you are interested, I have written the history of our experience on my blog:

http://hendeldbu.blogspot.com/2009/08/our-history-with-saber-forge.html

I would appreciate any comments/suggestions regarding this situation.

I know that Mr. Isherwood is a member of the Rebel Legion, and I mean him no disrespect. I sincerely hope that this matter can be resolved in a satisfactory manner for all involved.

~Hendel D'bu
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Jaina ()
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know whether I should say "sorry" or "thank you". I'm looking into getting two custom sabers that I need for my costumes and you've been most helpful. I'm sorry to hear that this has been going on and I wish you the best of luck straightening it out!
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Ronin Faust (Dean Gill)



Joined: 08 May 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sorry to hear about your experience with saberforge.

I would definately recommend reading as much as possible on lightsabers as you would on any other element of a costume.

fx-sabers.com is a great place to start if you are looking to purchase a lightsaber. as Saberforge is also a member there, I would encourage ou to register and leave comments in his feedback thread there.

http://forums.thecustomsabershop.com/ is a great place if you want to learn to make them yourself.
the supply shop for the parts is in Washington state as well
http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/Default.aspx

what are the power supplies?
4xAAA? if so they dont last long at all 45-60 minutes at the most

whomever you get to work on you sabers, I would ask them about other cell types. even inhilt recharge. with the right cell types (18650) you can get well over an hour or more an a full charge depending on the setup.

hope you get lit an humming soon
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Hendel D'bu ()
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your replies. It is my hope that by posting I can avoid such hassles for other fans and costumers.

There is some good news; I have found someone local (a friend of my Dad) who is willing and excited to help re-work the wiring. And he managed to get the shroud un-stuck!

I believe the Force is with us!

Thanks again,
Hendel :-)
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Tash_Verano (Mark Seymour)
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

from the looks of things, it seemed like he used all standardized parts from the custom saber shop... at least for the ambasador. it isn't bad, but you could have done it yourself and skipped the middle man and saved money.

not sure about the other one, but the custom saber shop will do custom pieces that interchange with their MHS system.

umm the switches... yeah those while are adequate and can work quite effectively on the cheap. over time the switch will wear out after a few seasons of regular use or heavy handling. switch location is tricky considering how little space there is to cram electronics into hilts. having a guarded switch is a worthwhile investment if you do alot of dueling, but is not necessary as you can work around greebles with regular practice as long as there is space for both hands on the hilt.


bad customer service is not good. especially amongst fellow RL members.



I hope things work out and if all else fails... build it yourself. you gain buyer knowledge and can be cheaper in the long run if you do it right.

not to mention bragging rights of being a "true Jedi knight". Ben
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Wolfen (Adam)
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I am really sorry to hear of your experience. My dealings with saberforge/phil isherwood have all been very smooth. He custom machines all of the parts himself and the sabers are generally well made. He was always quick to respond to my questions and emails. I have noticed that he hasnt been as active as he usually is on the fx-sabers forum recently so maybe he is out of town or held up in some other way. Hopefully you will get a response from him to resolve the issues that you are experiencing.
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Amanita ()



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will be very interested to see how this plays out- I've been eyeing the same windowed saber you guys have.
I suspect that he may be busy- at one point I PM'ed him about possibly getting something done, and I guess if things get too busy at any given time, he stops taking custom orders for a little while to clear the backlog.

I know somebody else here got a custom saber of his which they loved, and posted in the Luminara Unduli thread.
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THX-1138 (Billy Soto)
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a saber hilt from him in december, and it took over a month to get it... he seemed apologetic, but only after he replied to my messages... two weeks after I was supposed to get my saber... I would like to think that there is just some BIG mis-understanding, but all that bad stuff that happend is just unprofessional...
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miqt (Mike)
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not in a position to say wether or not things with Philip have changed,
but I will say that this is my 'epoch' and my wifes 'desert nomad. Ive bought lots of props and Ive even built a few myself -These no matter what else- were very much worth what I paid IMO. My experience with Philip was nothing but positive. I really hope that everything is OK with him because the community needs creative guys like him. His designs are stylistically some of the best are they not? Just my .02 But since everyone is posting thier experiences here I feel I have to follow suit.
Mike
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Wolfen (Adam)
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice, I also have the epoch. I remember when he first unvailed it at FX-sabers I knew that I had to have it. It is very KOTOR in my opinion.
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Koda Vonnor (BillCostigan)
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having read the full blog entries concerning the issue, I would like to express my thoughts.

To set a comparison, I myself had been doing regular business with a boot maker from eBay. Over several years and several projects, I received nothing but excellent service and outstanding fit and quality. Others however were evidentially not so lucky. Many complaints of poor service and quality were posted in great detail over the costuming community forums and personal blogs. Founded or unfounded, I cannot say. Exaggerated and exacerbated by the heat of the moment? Perhaps. Whatever the case, today this crafter is apparently no longer in business.

Poor customer service is inexcusable if one intends to do business marketing products or services, and the level of acceptable service is ALWAYS set by the customer.

Let me repeat that.

The level of acceptable customer service is ALWAYS set by the customer.

The merchant must recognize this, and step up to the customer's expectations, if she/he wishes to stay in business.

However, the product itself is presented by the seller. It is the buyer's responsibility to determine to their satisfaction whether the quality is acceptable, before making a purchase. If an item is represented and advertised as being "built like a tank" and made for "heavy dueling" then by God it better hold up. On the other hand, if it is just shown in pictures from many angles, no assumptions can rightfully be made as to durability of construction unless specifically noted in the product advertising. It is left to the buyer to research, gain reviews from other product owners, and take a chance.

To purchase a toy (for ultimately, that is what Mr. Isherwood's lightsabers are), and apply one's own assumptions of what the parts durability or power-cell duration should be, if nothing was stated in the product advertising, I believe may be a bit unreasonable and does the sabersmith a dis-service.

I do think it's right to publically report one’s individual quality issues with Mr. Isherwood's products. It helps future buyers decide if Saberforge is the right source for their needs.

What I disagree with is the expectation that the crafter is responsible after-the-fact for repair, replacement, or refund at his/her expense, for an item who's level of use may be out of his/her control, and whose durability and suitability-for-use were never specifically represented prior to sale.

Please note that I always debate to the general issue, and not to any specific occurrence. I do not mean to poke at Master D'bu or to rub salt, merely to provide an alternate viewpoint and food for thought.

I hope this issue is resolved to both parties satisfaction.

Bill Costigan
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Tash_Verano (Mark Seymour)
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Koda Vonnor wrote:
Having read the full blog entries concerning the issue, I would like to express my thoughts.

To set a comparison, I myself had been doing regular business with a boot maker from eBay. Over several years and several projects, I received nothing but excellent service and outstanding fit and quality. Others however were evidentially not so lucky. Many complaints of poor service and quality were posted in great detail over the costuming community forums and personal blogs. Founded or unfounded, I cannot say. Exaggerated and exacerbated by the heat of the moment? Perhaps. Whatever the case, today this crafter is apparently no longer in business.

Poor customer service is inexcusable if one intends to do business marketing products or services, and the level of acceptable service is ALWAYS set by the customer.

Let me repeat that.

The level of acceptable customer service is ALWAYS set by the customer.

The merchant must recognize this, and step up to the customer's expectations, if she/he wishes to stay in business.

However, the product itself is presented by the seller. It is the buyer's responsibility to determine to their satisfaction whether the quality is acceptable, before making a purchase. If an item is represented and advertised as being "built like a tank" and made for "heavy dueling" then by God it better hold up. On the other hand, if it is just shown in pictures from many angles, no assumptions can rightfully be made as to durability of construction unless specifically noted in the product advertising. It is left to the buyer to research, gain reviews from other product owners, and take a chance.

To purchase a toy (for ultimately, that is what Mr. Isherwood's lightsabers are), and apply one's own assumptions of what the parts durability or power-cell duration should be, if nothing was stated in the product advertising, I believe may be a bit unreasonable and does the sabersmith a dis-service.

I do think it's right to publically report one’s individual quality issues with Mr. Isherwood's products. It helps future buyers decide if Saberforge is the right source for their needs.

What I disagree with is the expectation that the crafter is responsible after-the-fact for repair, replacement, or refund at his/her expense, for an item who's level of use may be out of his/her control, and whose durability and suitability-for-use were never specifically represented prior to sale.

Please note that I always debate to the general issue, and not to any specific occurrence. I do not mean to poke at Master D'bu or to rub salt, merely to provide an alternate viewpoint and food for thought.

I hope this issue is resolved to both parties satisfaction.

Bill Costigan



you should post this on as many Sell/trade Forums as you can. there is no better explanaition in my opinion Ben
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Hendel D'bu ()
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Bill, for your reply to my situation and I appreciate your reading my blog and taking the time to respond.

I agree with your sentiments on a general level, to be sure. I have been very much involved with retail myself, both online and real-world, and agree with your assessments generally. However, I do take issue with your following statement:

"What I disagree with is the expectation that the crafter is responsible after-the-fact for repair, replacement, or refund at his/her expense, for an item who's level of use may be out of his/her control, and whose durability and suitability-for-use were never specifically represented prior to sale."

If, as a crafter, you cannot or are unwilling to stand behind your product, then you have to deal with the consequences of unhappy customers. In our particular situation we were looking for sabers that two middle-aged housewives in Jedi costumes could carry in parades. We are by no means doing any 'heavy duty' dueling, as you may well imagine. We did expect the sabers to remain lit for more than 20 minutes (and now they only stay lit for 5 minutes continually). When we sent them back because of the problem, the repair was worse than the original problem. Also, he removed my added custom switch and refuses to send it back to me (even after promising to do so...perhaps lost in the mail?)

I don't think I am at fault here. To Phil's credit, he did not charge us for his 'fix', but I'm assuming it is because either he couldn't fix the problem, took a long time to get the sabers back to us (beyond promised time) and/or wanted to keep my switch.

Again, I mean no disrespect towards Phil, and I agree that he most likely a nice guy. He is perhaps on vacation or just plain busy with life. I can accept that, however, it does not help my situation. (I have to admit that I am a little surprised that he has not posted in response to this thread, but perhaps he is busy.)

I can figure out how to do the re-wiring, if we cannot get help from more someone more experienced; it cannot be that difficult. I really just want my custom switch back, to be honest.

My main goal of posting was to alert others to the situation we were having, not to bad-mouth Saber Forge or poke any other crafter/retailer in the eye. I think that has been accomplished and I thank all who took the time to read our history.

As a costumer, I always appreciate other crafter's views and opinions, even if they differ from my own.

respectfully,
Hendel D'bu
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blkwolf ()
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:24 pm    Post subject: Saberforge Reply with quote

Im sorry youve had problems with your sabers, Ive been very lucky for the 4 sabers Ive gotten from him no problems as of yet except misunderstanding on my first saber (color) which he fixed in a timely manner. As it was my own design I love it I am still waiting on Random sabers to do it for me 3 years running now. Im looking forward to ordering at least two more sabers from him. One for a certain sith in KOTOR Evil or Very Mad , and one of his designs as I find his are very unique styles. Cool
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saberforge ()
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to take the oppotunity to defend my products and services.

About a month after my sabers were purchased. Hendel contacted me to say that she and her friend were not happy with the brightness, and the asked what could be done.

I said since they have soundboards in both hilts, there is a MAH drop accross the boards resulting in slightly dimmer LED's. My sollution was to suggest BUCK PUCK current regulators.


She agreed and shipped the sabers back for upgrades.

When I recieved the hilts back one of the switches had been replaced and the wiring had been altered. Many saber smiths would say mucking with the electronics voids your warranty. Not me, I just returned the parts to stock for her.

I completely dissasembled the hilts, installed new brighter SEOUL P4 LEDS, installed BUCK PUCK's in both hilts, and I polished out all of the marks they had gotten on them. I tested both hilts, they worked perfectly. Then I shiped them back, !!!!!I DID NOT CHARGER HER FOR ANY OF THIS!!!!! not even shipping

Is that poor customer service?

When she got the sabers back, she was complanining of short battery life. I had allready tested the hilts with my multimeter before I shipped them back to her, they were not shorting out or drawing excess voltage. I suggested to her that she use higher quality aaa batteries, kirkland for example or known to have very poor preformance.

She ignored my suggestion and demanded a refund.

At this point I have allready spent an additional 60.00 in parts +4 hours in labor to make her happy. I think that is more than enough and I have satisfied any reasonable requirements of a retailer. This is in fact my one and only unsatisfied customer. It is an exception to my feedback that proves the rule, in business it is impossible to satisfy everyone. But I typed this because I want the record to show, that I did try.
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