I got into sword collecting when I got out of high school. Nothing rare or anything like that, although once I got into it, my uncle gave me a WWII japanese officer's sword with a little story, but that's a little off subject.
Anyways, I started out with some simple stuff I found in a Smokey Mountain Knives catalog, and then started really finding a lot of neat stuff at Bud K. The hobby has really taken off since then.
A lot of really cheaper stuff is cool to look at. Hardly anything I had could be considered, "functional" though.
I had to get rid of my collection when I moved into an apartment after breaking up with my then fiance. Storage units frown on that sort of thing, I've asked around.
Ebay was just taking off then, and I listed the collection as a whole, but never got any hits. I didn't want to take the time and effort to break down the collection by piece and list it, so eventually I ended up just giving it away (literally) to a friend. As far as I know he still has it all, I haven't talked to him since I moved. He was in a bad financial state back then and his phone got turned off, and we just lost touch.
That whole thing got me into some sword forums online, and I learned a little about blacksmithing. I had some books on that as well, but that same friend borrowed them and I never got them back. One of my first purchases on Amazon.
Today I only have a few sword pieces left. I have a lot of neat daggers left in storage. One day when I have more room and money, I'd like to start getting some more stuff.
Anyways, getting to the point, I looked up a few of my old forums today. It was raining out and I didn't feel like going to storage in the humidity like I originally planned to do today.
I came across this: http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?t=50444
The story is amazing if you take the time to read it. I don't have the space, money, or knowledge at this point to do any real blacksmithing, but I have often thought of fabricating a sword using my welding/fabricating background and cutting and welding, instead of forging.
That thing is really neat, a true inspiration. And the guy built it for his daughter, and almost had to sell it because of a work strike causing him to have issues making his morgage payment.
Luckily he got that all straightened out.
Anyways, cool read, and definitely better than most Zelda replicas I've seen out there. I know there are some cheap ones on Ebay, and Castle Keep made one a while back (http://www.castlekeep.co.uk/news.php
I thought you guys would appreciate seeing that.
EDIT: If anyone can figure out how to make that picture show up, or wants to host it themselves, it would make the thread better.