Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 26 to 50 of 72

Thread: Sword Care & Conservation

  1. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Guildford, Surrey, England.
    Posts
    13,877
    I have an 1827 rifle volunteers sword which retains the nice differentiation between the mirror polished areas of the blade and the frosted etched parts. However, it has little rust spots all over both sides of the blade. Having read the article, would I be correct in thinking that my best course of action would be to repeatedly wipe the blade with a CLP and then attack the rust spots carefully with a soft poker of some sort (plastic, antler or suchlike)?
    Cheers,
    Matt

  2. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kingston area, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    2,875
    I find the use of a magnifier with light good to use when removing the brown or black hard rust spots. You can use steel on the immediate area as the underlying metal will be rough. Brass can be used also but you must remove the residule colour it leaves.
    I find good eyesight and control of the tool for rust removal of most importance.
    A dremel tool can be used to finish the spots where rust has been, attach a small buffer wheel using a fine grit. This should match the level of polish of the original finish of the blade.
    You will still see the small areas where rust has been but others will not notice much at all.
    I have a infantry sword that had the same problem, excellent polish and grey dull background in the etching, too bad we didn't get to the swords before the rust had occured.

    I think plastic or antler, the latter being used for originality and tradition . I find these do not have the strength to remove hard rust in a timely manner, like breaking out of jail using a penny to rub the bars until they are cut. I'm sure I'll get alot of flak for saying this but we are not dealing with Japanese swords, where it is customary to repair in the traditional ways.
    I'm sure these materials can be used effectively, just takes more time.
    I am one for seeing results quickly, but not at the expense of doing a poor job.
    Last edited by Will Mathieson; 10-07-2010 at 05:09 PM. Reason: grammar

  3. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Midwest, U.S.A.
    Posts
    318
    I recently acquired this model 1840 Cavalry Saber pictured below. Thankfully it is still nice and tight with a sharp blade to boot.

    I was hoping to clean it up a bit but was curious of others thoughts on the pros and cons of doing so, as well as sound methods to achieve nice results. As I read in Mark Morrow's article my thoughts were to use CLP on the blade and then work with some varying grades of bronze wool and possibly a penny here and there. Depending on the results, maybe a finishing round of very fine steel wool on the blade to wrap that part up.

    The guard has nice patina. The grip and wire wrap are in good shape. I think all are just fine the way they are.

    I am particularly sitting on the fence regarding the scabbard. As you can see in the pictures, there appears to be varied degrees of oxidation in different areas of the scabbard. The half from the throat down is predominantly chocolate and stable looking rust, while the bottom is more spotty with a mix of chocolate and red rust. I think you can see what I mean in the pictures. I think the piece would look nice with a cleaner scabbard, although I am wondering if this one is at a place where it is best to leave well enough alone and just stabilize its present condition. I am afraid the work it would take to clean it up may have to go so deep that it does more harm than good.

    I really want the best I can get out of this sword and would hate to do anything hasty. This is definitely not my first project, but I still have plenty to learn and would appreciate the thoughts of other forum members. Thanks for your time.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  4. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
    Posts
    11,927
    Hi Neil

    That's a dandy looking example and in better shape than a lot of what is out there. Were it mine, I would probably pick at the hilt a little bit but not to the point of shiny polished brass. Meaning there is what looks like some just plain grime that would clean off pretty easily with a toothbrush and sudsy wet or Windex (my favorite). I use a Braun electric toothbrush for those crannies. Popsicle sticks (they come new/clean in Kraft caramel bags) or other wood splints for digging harder in those areas, even toothpicks for just getting the dirt and tar off. My own sabre of that type had what was like fireplace soot and took a lot of time to get that off without making it too bright shiny. Even if bright, they mellow in time anyway. The grip looks fantastic and sound on yours. Pecards leather goods has made a big impression on me and a little bit goes a long way. Some will suggest just Kiwi shoe stuff and I also use that for some projects.

    The scabbard, well, I don't think you want to go full bright on it but some do. I would just clean that as well and wipe down with light oil (even to clean it that way but some ammonia will help to stop the rust) and just a soft cloth.

    You seem to be headed the right direction on the blade and don't be afraid of wet dry grit papers at the higher grits. If you are not trying to remove pits, working carefully with the papers (oiled even) it can be helpful to remove some staining. I use a lot of 800 and 1500 but that is what is usually handy in my area stores. Abrasive choices are endless. My dislike of the steel wool routine is just the fragmentation and splinters routine. I just find the finer papers less messy. Kitchen scrubbies of all varieties, the coper and bronze looking jobs are cheap and are great for burnishing as well as crusty rust.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; I am about to brighten a white metal hilt that was once very silvery, as the plated blade is in opposition to the crusty hilt. I think a lot of folk shoot for some sort of balance in condition so one part doesn't clash too much.

  5. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Midwest, U.S.A.
    Posts
    318
    Thank you for your suggestions Glen. I think you are right about cleaning up the grime and who knows what on the guard without going to far. As you saw the grip is in fantastic condition. I looked up the Pecard leather products web site as you had mentioned. Would you recommend their antique leather dressing product, or another from the selection. Another question, when you said clean up the scabbard and wipe it down with oil. Could you be more specific on how you would clean it. Again, thanks for your insights. Any other thoughts from you or others are very welcome.

  6. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
    Posts
    11,927
    Hi Neil,

    I did go with a small tub of the antique formula but don't know if the regular is really any different. I went with a small sampler kit in a plastic pouch which did contain the expansion explosion of grease everywhere one summer trip. It came also with a little can of oil and I added some black and brown dressing to my order. I did recover most of the explosion and keep that upright only now. little tub will go a long, long way for swords care and I have had mixed results with the colored dressings A before and after with this 1800ish leather scabbard and then with the bushel of spadroons in the second picture. The silver of the scabbard fittings cleaned almost unwittedly and I also used a silver bearing solution to add some color back to the hilt which had been once brilliantly silver plated. A mid way shot of that hilt (Silver Secret, a Dutch formula I believe to be potato juice and silver. Something like that). Meant just to touch up plate, pursuing it with many applications puts a real skin on them again. Oh well, a different story from the 1840s.

    The cloth that came with the sampler kit promptly disappeared but is probably still here somewhere and unused as it was too pretty to soil. a pretty little hemmed job, iirc.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; I have trouble enough finding just about anything these days
    Attached Images Attached Images     

  7. #32

    Interesting

    Dear Glen,
    Thanks so much for your insightful recommendations...

    Please answer a question regarding the pic (2nd from Left) there in that group of neat swords. In the middle is a scabbard and some interesting swords near it one on right and left.


    Could you please identify which sword goes with the scabbard and some info on it?
    Thank you kindly!
    "...and he who has no sword let him sell his garment and get one"

    Luke 22:36

    Blessings
    Woody

  8. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
    Posts
    11,927
    Hi Woodrow,

    I may be misreading your questions but seem interested in most of them. On either side of that one in the middle are an urn pommel slotted hilt and the short one an unknown but likely late 18th century and a compilation possibly of that era.

    There was some discussion when I had first picked uo the sword with scabbard.
    http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?t=95341

    I see mostly just sabres with this pommel. The blade we figure to be German made but the sword likely meant for American consumption. Along with the page Jonathan posts in the other trhead, I have also come across a very similar spadroon in silver listed in the Flayderman/Mowbray Medicus collection book. That example is listed as cutlered by a fellow down in Connecticut.

    The general timeline for the sabres and these few spadroons all seem to be from the 1790s to 1810 spread of time.

    Second from the (our left?) left is an eagle pattern attributed to Birmingham work. The eagle head turns up on a great many varieties of these and is generally listed as a Bolton. A couple of related threads about that one and others.
    http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?t=84005

    Cheers

    Hotspur; all shown have had some cleaning and one scraped quite a bit
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    Last edited by Glen C.; 01-14-2011 at 08:31 AM.

  9. #34
    What a stroke of luck!I have bought a picquet weight 1897 with overall light rust,no pitting and with shagreen and wires undamaged.Determined not to overclean I chanced upon this wonderful site and found your clear and concise instructions regarding light cleaning.Small problem,where can I buy the cleaning products you mention? I am in a small town called Leek in England.

  10. #35
    A few years ago I inherited what I learned is a Wz. 1921/1922 officers sabre. For the past few years it has been with my parents and at some point my father tried to clean up some if the rust on the scabbard. The chemical used has left a whiteish crust on parts, most notably down at the bottom and around the two bands. I got alot of it off with some Hopps and an old bic pen shell. Any tips on how to get rid of the rest? I'll post pics when I get a chance, the rest of the sword is in beautiful shape and I just want to do the scabbard right.

  11. #36
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kingston area, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    2,875
    I would start with mild cleaners first. With a plastic bristle brush use ammonia mixed with hot water. If it is really tough try a brass bristle brush. I would not use anything that will react with the metal as this is what has already happened. Soap and hot water may even help, hot because it will evaporate quickly and not tend to rust the metal.

  12. #37
    the promised pictures. one almost full length and one close up of the hilt and whats left of the crust on the scabbard.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  13. #38
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Poland
    Posts
    47
    Hi everyone,
    Maybe I should have searched more but I was not able to find anything really useful.
    I have recently acquired sword with bluing and gilt on the blade and rust is comming from the bottom... I am a bit terrified because the blade is really nice and I would not like to lose it. My question is, if there is any reliable method of removing the rust from the gilt and bluing not damaging the decorations itself?
    I would be very grateful for all your answers.
    With kindest regards,
    Jurij

  14. #39
    I would avoid using silicones on sword blades since while silicones are a good protection aagainst liquid water, they are poor protection against water vapour which is the major risk for sword collectors. I know this from my work on avionic printed circuit boards and the known porosity of silicone rubbers to water wapour. However you have other protection in place so this may not be important. As a new member - greetings to the community.

  15. #40
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Logan, WV
    Posts
    3

    Request assistance on preserving Sword

    I have attached JPEGS of a sword that was recently handed down a from a family member through me to my son. The sword originates from my Mother's, Mother's, Mother side. The sword has a stamp of 1863 on the blade, that is all I can make out through the rust. My concern is the active rust on the blade and I see a little looking inside the scabbard. What can I use to remove the active rust? Should I place the blade back inside the scabbard if I see active rust inside the scabbard?
    Attached Images Attached Images      

  16. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nipmuc USA
    Posts
    11,927
    Hi Ed

    Welcome to Sword Forum International

    Have you had a chance to read the original article at the head of this thread? As well, there are some other suggestions for rust removal throughout this thread. The scabbard could be more aggressively approached, as unseen in display but be careful of snags inside. A rifle kit with a .22 bore brush with lots of solvent. It may be had to find a rd thin and strong enough. Coat hanger and rags can work. Follow that with cleaning patches but start by gently tapping the scabbard mouth down on a padded firm surface. That may release and remove a lot of loose stuff.

    Rust removal on blades can eb done gently or more forcefully.I would honestly start with a soft metal scraper (aka a nickel of quarter) to scarpe off some of the heavy stuff. Some like to proceed with just light oil and a cloth, others like fine steel wool. While I admit I have tried wire wool since first detesting the mess and splinters, it is one of the quicker to release heavy rust. The Picreator products such as De-corroder have been mentioned and favored by some as well. The main object is to remove the oxides without removing the more sound steel. A powered steel wire brush is what most will agree the last option one should use for an antique as it can simply remove any traces of the original polish. I clean down to and reveal the original grinding. It is impossible to remove the diots ;left by oxides without taking a surface down to that depth but a lot of the remaining blackness of pitting can be brightened.

    I use a lot of finer abrasives as well but as coarse as 800 grit wet dry automotive type supplies. The light oil and fine steel wool does work very well but needs a place for messy work. Other slower processes I favor can be done over a paper towel or cloth. Little bits at a time. I am in no rush most of the time.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; I find I am usually willing to try other's favorites

  17. #42
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Montreal , Canada
    Posts
    951
    Good morning Ed,
    Like Glen rightfully said.
    Now, my 2 cents :
    Let's face it, you have a saber in a real poor condition, with a very low value on the market, but that is another story.
    That said, the good news:
    - It is a souvenir,
    - whatever you can do will only improve the looks.
    - it is probably your first experience with a nice project of restoration and you can learn a lot from it.
    My 2 cents (bis) :
    - clean the blade and scabbard as per Glen method,
    - sand lightly the wood of the grip, just enough to smooth it; the leather and filigrane being gone, you could dye the wood black and apply a light coat of linseed oil.
    - make that brass shine.
    - from a scrap piece of thick leather, cut a buffer that will hide this ugly gap between the hilt and the blade (cut the shape of the section of the blade leaving enough leather around; put the saber back into the scabbard and trace the shape of the scabbard section on the extra leather; cut the oval thus obtained ; depending the color of your leather, you can dye it black or leave as is.
    Hang the saber on a wall and be proud of it.
    Dan

  18. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Montreal , Canada
    Posts
    951
    Hi again Ed,
    Your saber is, at first glance, a French mounted Artillery model 1829.
    Any markings legible?
    The advices given are for the restoration of a piece found in an attic, with no special money value even in a top condition.
    The value will be for you as a nice project and a nice wall display you will show to your friends with the same pleasure a seasoned collector should have.
    Cheers,
    Dan

  19. #44
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Logan, WV
    Posts
    3
    Hi Glen,

    Thank you for the advise. I will begin after I go back and do a second reading of original post.

  20. #45
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Logan, WV
    Posts
    3
    Hi Dan,

    I also would like to thank you for your assistane. Currently I am unable to see any markings, but if I see anything upon the cleaning process I will forward them along to you. Again thanks.

  21. #46
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    1
    Hi
    I recently had what appears to be a French Model 1842 "Yataghan" Sword Bayonet come into my custody. My parents had found it in the roof space of our old house and my mum had let it sit unattended in a closet for quite a few years. I'm now having a crack at cleaning it up.




    I've gone over the blade with a brass brush with passable success (I've eliminated some rust for sure, so it's been well worth it) and am coating it with some Singer machine oil. I'm a bit unsure what to do about the grip (get my hands on some ammonia as the article directs I guess).

    The scabbard though looks like it's too far gone and I'm disinclined to put the cleaned blade back in there - even though I wonder if it hasn't acted as a sacrificial anode and protected the blade that way.


    I'd be really grateful if there were any suggestions about the scabbard. Local law means I need to keep it locked away and I'm looking for a scabbard that will protect it. I assume I'm right in saying the old scabbard is a write-off (massive shame)... Should I attempt to find someone who can make a leather scabbard or something else - like a wooden Japanese style shirisaya?

    Many thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Cameron Picton; 09-19-2011 at 05:00 AM.

  22. #47
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kingston area, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    2,875
    Hello Cameron, are there any markings on the blade? Something about it looks more like an import for use in the American Civil War. Try some penetrating oil like Break Free to loosen the rust, I don't think a good clean will devalue this one, but make it more presentable. French scabbards have a rectangular shaped frog stud, actually a wire bar for a strap, and the press stud should be on the other side if a French 1842

  23. #48
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kingston area, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    2,875
    I may be wrong about the press stud, which side its on, I think one of my reference books have a photo reversed!
    The blade may be marked PDL.

  24. #49
    Spare scabbards for these M42's occasionally appear on ebay but can cost almost as much as a bayonet.Looking at the condition of the bayonet itself,not great,it appears,you might be able to do a bit of restoration on the existing scabbard and accept it for what it is.If you stabilise the rust on both there's no reason they can't stay together.IMO.
    Niall Dignan

  25. #50
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Alameda, CA (S.F. Bay)
    Posts
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark McMorrow View Post
    If you have questions regarding the care and maintenance of antique swords, please read this first:

    Conserving Antique Swords

    Post on this thread if you have questions that are not addressed in the text of the article or if more specific detail is required.
    Hello, the link to the article on preservation of swords is coming up with a "404" Not Found response on 12/28/2011

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •