Sorry to say, but Forge Direct is Now Entirely Archived.. Here’s Why..

On the heels of the good news about the long awaited restock of the Euro line of Swords by Ronin Katana, there is some bad news for fans of the Forge Direct Japanese line..

I have mentioned the crux of the issue in the December issue of the Sword Buyers Digest Online Magazine, and in even more detail on this thread on the SBG Sword Forum – but for those of you playing at home..

Basically, there have been some major changes to production of sword components over in China due to (valid) pollution concerns, and all the tsuba and koshirae you see that are made from zinc alloy, brass or copper with gold and silver inlay are – simply not available anymore and are no longer in production until new suppliers set up new, eco friendly factories.

I can’t argue with the need for this, and in the long run, its a good thing. But in the short term, it means that all the koshirae (sword fitting sets – Tsuba, Fuchigashira) like those pictured below to the left are no longer an option..

However, iron Sukashi tsuba are usually made in house by the large sword forges (and the forge who makes our swords for Forge Direct are certainly one of those). So in short, we needed to pull the entire product line and allow them time to re-tool,  make new tsuba and see where we are up to over the coming months.

As mentioned, existing orders are all okay – but we can’t take any new ones for the time being.

I will keep you all posted as new developments occur.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone..!

Our holiday period is officially over, though as it is the weekend there is no shipping taking place until early next week.

In the meantime, I will be going over the small mountain of emails and correspondence so we can get back up to date and continue some tweaking of the overhaul we began a week or so ago.

Will update you all again soon – hope you have a fantastic start to 2017!

– Paul

2016 Holiday Schedule

As mentioned several days ago before the marathon overhaul started, I will be taking about a week off from today (Merry Christmas all!) to Monday the 2nd of January.

During this time, my assistant Sara will still be checking our ticketing system and doing her bit to help out any customers having issues over the holiday period, but there will be some tasks that she will not be able to do much with until I get back into the swing of things on the 2nd of January.

So until then, time to sign off and spend some time with family. Hope you all do the same and have a great Christmas and a fantastic start to 2017!

Talk to you all again then..

Seasons Greetings,

– Paul

Marathon is (I think) over… Phew..

The marathon overhaul seems to be over – and this time I can say it did indeed turn out to as difficult, if not more difficult, than I had expected..

The biggest problem with websites these days is that they need to be readable and able to be navigated by tablets, laptops, different size screens, iPhones, androids – you name it, it needs to work across the board..

At least 80% of the time I have spent over the last day or two has been spent checking how the site looks in google chrome, Firefox, explorer, safari, iPhones, androids (you get the idea).. And the final result is that barring some unforeseen device – blog, store and main website should all look reasonably neat, legible and navigable..

This has meant that the final result is not as much of a subtle change as I was initially aiming for.. But with simple, clean layouts I think that the core is easier to access when before it would have often looked like a bit of a jumbled mess (like I said, I am more of a ‘desktop’ guy and have only recently started to try and ensure that visitors with other devices can have an equally smooth experience)..

Thanks for bearing with me during the numerous changes. From now on out I am hoping (fingers crossed) that from now on out the only changes will be minor tweaks to the content to make sure it is not referring to the previous formats..

But first, time for a rest – as mentioned in a previous post I will be taking a (much needed) rest from Christmas day to the 1st of January. So time to start winding down a little..

Talk to you all again soon.

– Paul

Thought it was a bit too good to be true..

I am biting my tongue here – from my earlier posts I stated that I thought that the overhaul had gone well.. Until I took a look at the google stats and saw that the bounce rate on the main site had jumped a whopping 116% and the page views were down by 50%..!

Something was definitely upsetting people when they visited the site. And being a ‘desktop’ guy rather than a mobile site viewer, it all looked fine to me.. Until I actually took the time to look at the site with a mobile and thought ‘this is unreadable’!

I have had to burn the midnight oil to try and at least get the sites looking reasonable, even if a bit naked and unadorned. For the time being, what has been done will suffice and I will spend the next few days going back to the drawing board..

Will keep you all updated here – a ton of work to be done..

Oh well… I did think it seemed too easy! Heh..

– Paul