Baltimore no knife nor sword... Nor shield...

by Howie Murray
(Barrie canada)

I have had nothing but trouble and excuses from BKS from almost day one. Right up until my $1000 went to them as a deposit on a themed collection I could at least get an email out of them but now.... Almost 6 months later they don't return emails and they don't let any of my posts up on Facebook enquiring what the status of the project is. They are thieves and charlatans as far as I can tell. There is a string of unhappy customers all waiting for word on their projects. What has happened? Are they still in business? Or is this an elaborate hoax to steal money from people. I keep seeing pictures go up on their Facebook page of " new work" you would think if they had time for that they could at least say hi we're busy but we have a planned start date on your project of August.... 2023.... Or SOMETHING FFS!!!!!

I can't tell you how frustrated I am trying to find out what is going on. They have obviously misunderstood my earlier emails and have put me in the "hostile troublemaker" bin.... But really I was all sweetness and light up until about the third month on ZERO communication out of them.

If there is anything you know about them or if you have communication with them please I am begging you to intercede on my behalf... Where are we on the project or could I please have my $1000 back.

Howie Murray

Comments for Baltimore no knife nor sword... Nor shield...

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Feb 12, 2017
Irresponsible is the word.
by: Anonymous

They do good work, but only when, and if, they feel like it. They gladly accept your money, but are in NO way interested in filling your order. They always, ALWAYS, have something more important to do. Or they just don't feel like it. They do not answer their phone (not even sure they still have one), they do not respond to messages, and they do not answer emails. Their 'regular' customers are of no value to them. Terrible, terrible, TERRIBLE businessmen. What they need is an office manager willing to start FIRING some of their lazy, irresponsible asses.

Jan 16, 2017
Your kind are the real problem with commisioned work
by: Prototype fabricator

Read through all of the rage posts by this "Murray" character and will gladly shed some insight.

While I'm no black smith I have been building prototype cars for over 20 years and am a private artist in my spare time who takes commisions for original sculpture.

Murray in your own words you realize this takes time. I've spent over a year on a single commission. Building the cars the public sees on display at the auto show have also taken as much time. In fact from concept to completion most average 3 years.

If I could offer you advice of say just stop with all of it. You will get results as they are available. So if you haven't been updated its because there is no update plain and simple.

That's the way it goes when you commission a one of a kind exclusive piece. Your threats or anger or endless emails and blog bashing will do nothing.

The artist will be done when they are done. I'm sure they want to be done with you just has much as you would of them.

You will receive your piece and when you are overflowed with emotion and all of this washes away because you have a timeless treasure. Something to be proud of for years to come.

To you the customer,you have spent money. The artist is giving you something much more valuable than that.

But when it's all said and done like I said and you have your piece you will want them to continue the work you want but they will say no. You will rage some more and they will go about their routine as always.

Do more research on private commissions and keep your emotions offline.


Dec 09, 2016
That sucks, I live close to them & wanted a sword..
by: Anonymous

Won't risk waiting that long, I'll spend the money on an Albion instead..

Good thing BKS doesn't live & operate in the Viking era, cuz the first time their village leader took payment from another Viking ruler, then seemed to disappear with the payment, the entire village would find itself under attack from a pissed off Viking raiding party. They'd simply seize the entire village.

Nowadays you send a lawyer raiding party.

Mar 10, 2016
by: Anonymous

They also do a lot of business for Disney and Broadway shows. I have seen their racks of blades for Disney and there must be about 40 blades for them. They have their work cut out for them (pun intended)and I would imagine these big deals with Disney bring in a lot of money. Money they need to stay afloat. Losing a big deal and not having the blades for these shows ready could result in losing deals with those big companies and that is not good. I can't help but think I would put those big orders as my top priority if I was in that situation...

Mar 07, 2016
BKS Customs
by: Aero

When I first thought of working with BKS to get a custom blade, I read this post which made me... wary. But by that same token, it also prepared me for the reality of how long it takes to get custom work done, especially for a shop as busy as BKS. Between the work they do for theatrical productions (Disney being a recent large order), the Man at Arms show, and other orders... well, let's just say I wasn't surprised with how long mine ended up taking.

Admittedly sometimes their communication leaves something to be desired, and they can also miss "deadlines"- but that's also why they refused to give me a quote on how long it would take to COMPLETE the project. When it WAS completed, though, it was so, SO worth the wait. The attention to detail that they put into it was impeccable.

They do great work- they just take a while to get there.

Dec 03, 2015
Please keep us updated
by: Paul

Spammers are being deleted, please do keep us all updated. They make good products, but yeah - custom orders can get messy..

Oct 31, 2015
by: Anonymous

Well... A portion of the first set is on the way. Finally.
Next week should see the arrival of the shield and dagger. The sword is done and awaiting final payment.

Thanks to the spammers here I will be sure now to remember to update this thread with news as the gear arrives and is unboxed.

Mar 01, 2015
damn, I cant even imagine
by: Dylan lewis

I can't even imagine the stuff you are going through. from what I've read read, I don't think I can trust BKS, I was thinking that they would be good, but I don't think waiting a few years is worth it, and I know exactly why you're pissed, believe me, I would be pissed to. I think if you worked some stuff out with albion or sabre smismith, they could get it done in weeks or months, or days if you're lucky, BKS can go fuck themselves for not letting you honour your son, and may he rest in peace

Mar 01, 2015
damn, I cant even imagine
by: Dylan lewis

If I wanted anything costum and didn't know it was going to take years, I would be pissed, BKS probably has quality products, but I bet if you could work some stuff out with albion or sabre smith, they could get it done in weeks or a couple months, or days if you're lucky. Just give them the shape and dimensions of the weapon and wait far less than a few year. Fuck man, BKS must be a pain in the ass

Jan 29, 2015
Ahem... me me meee meeeee
by: Howie Murray

Warming up to change my tune.....

Very excited for the build... Now if they can follow through with the set as quickly as they are getting on to this first bit... we may have something.

Squeaky wheel gets the oil I guess

Jan 15, 2015
by: Howie Murray

Why.... you think that they promised me the set... took my $1000 and then did nothing about it... preventing me form carrying through with the commemoration of my dead seven year old son is no big deal? You think that shitty service is no big deal? You think stealing my money is no big deal? I shouldn't bad mouth them? why not.... they have done all of that... not a word of it is a lie... I think it is important for everyone to know that if they give money to these guys that they have no hope of seeing any results in a reasonable amount of time.

If you think a custom knife in two years while sitting on my money is normal or appropriate.... well your wrong. They should say... yes we will take your money.. see you in four years... that would be better business... to be up front and honest about the timeline... not yeah give us your money and you'll be a couple of months in build.

How about you post up with your real name instead of anonymous and we will go have a look at your business. Do you operate this way? DOnt tell me what to do or not do in a public forum... I will bad mouth these guys to the end of time... you have NO idea how disappointed I am with their shitty service. You can't possibly tell me that this is good service... taking my money and not talking to me. shake your head.

Jan 12, 2015
by: Anonymous

Have you ever bought a real high end custom knife? Custom makers can have back orders going back years if their product is nice and people like what they do. as for communication, i suppose there really is no rebuttal. But really, i think it is just them having to many projects and YouTube all at the same time. I have had experiences similar to this and it is not fun. please, stop bad mouthing them.

Jan 12, 2015
Your kidding right?
by: Howie murray

What? Three years watching them pump out new stuff on spec? They have blades go out to sit in shops for sale... They started in on my project (barely) but continually set it aside. Did you read the part about THREE YEARS. Give me a break I don't care what you say about the creative process.... The NON communication from them.... The sporadic promises to do something and then nothing..... Don't tell me you think that's all normal for a business.
If that's how you operate I suspect your a shitty business man as well...

Jan 11, 2015
wait, wait, wait a moment
by: Anonymous

I think we are forgetting how much time and effort goes into this stuff. I am a knife maker my self and it can take MONTHS to Finnish a blade...even without it being damascus and having cool engravings. Also, more recently, they are doing a YouTube series-Man At Arms Reformed. They have a lot on their plate.

Jan 05, 2015
Pegged it
by: Pissed and broke

No.... Nothing at all like a business

Fine craftsmanship... No dependability no morals no customer service no attempt to apologize for now having my $1000 for three years and doing sweet Fu$@11 with it.

They will take your money and go tra la la ing their way to the next renfair

I can't begine to tell you how disappointed I am with these guys and their total and complete lack of service. Thieves and charlatans the lot of them.

They should be ashamed of how they have treated me.

I wanted a set of swords to commemorate my family and honor the death of my seven year old son. Family crests on the swords and shields and daggers I ordered from them. And paid towards.. I have nothing for it but pictures of wax carvings. Three years later. No commemoration... No results.... They sporadically respond to facebook messages and say oh riiiiight you? We are on it....

And then as usual sweet fuck all from them.

Dec 30, 2014
They're just a tiny Mom and Pop outfit
by: Anonymous

I have heard many stories about BKS, none of them put the "company" anywhere near the "favorable" rating.So, I decided to check out their operation.
From what I could see, they're a tiny, poorly organized group of smiths who play around at ren-faire and "pyrate" role-playing venues. I've also seen their booth at a couple of shows and it looks as if the planning, if any was about 12 minutes before the show.
In short, they may be fine smiths individually, but BKS appears nothing like a professionally run business. If I ever decide to buy any of their products, it will be from Kult of Athena and then only if the item is in stock.
Their products might be great... but their business seems unreliable and poorly run.

Sep 26, 2014
by: Anonymous

File with the magistrate the theft.

Jul 06, 2014
BKS continues so suck balls...
by: Howie Murray

Ok so heres the update....

I am apparently on the shit list again... right back where we were with them NOT talking to me NOT responding to emails of Facebook inquiries....

all I have for my $1000 is pictures of wax carvings for the pommels.

other than that.... NOTHING!

This is a fucking joke. These guys may be rennies or whatever the fuck you want to call them but I am beyond fucking pissed with this bunch of yahoos.... I guess I am never going to get my $1000 back... and obviously I am never going to get my swords.

Screw you BKS..... you guys have been treating me like shit from day one and why you want to pass up on $4000 worth of sales I don't know but there you have it.... not interested in you or your amazing product anymore because apparently you have let me slip through the cracks.... or whatever your excuse is for not talking to me at all.

bastards all of you.....

sorry for the rant.... but at this point it is ridiculous how long this has taken after BKS having taken my money.

I am not super rich... I can't afford to loose $1000 any more than the next guy.

Feb 20, 2013
I take it back...
by: Howie Murray

So finally they got in touch with me and things are progressing in the last month or so. I know they build quality stuff... Just was frustrated with the lack of contact for sooooo long after having put down a fair amount of money.

Now however things are underway and I have seen pictures of the wax carvings for the pommels... Just got them today and they look terrific! Very excited now to watch as the project progresses...

Feb 20, 2013
No Problem
by: Anonymous

That's too bad. I've had no issues with them at all. They create nigh unsurpassable product, too.

Jun 13, 2012
You are not alone
by: Anonymous

These guys are Rennies, and are horrible business people. You will eventually get your stuff, but it will be at their leisure.

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