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Peter Bosman

Location: Andalucia
Joined: 22 May 2006

Posts: 598

PostPosted: Fri 14 Mar, 2008 12:52 pm    Post subject: Restoration experience?         Reply with quote

Does anyone have experience with the process of removing, arresting and converting ironoxide, ironhydroxide and ironchloride (cristallised: goethite and akaganeite) on old blades?

My questions concern two aspects:
1. how to minimise removal of material
2. how to minimise the blackening by the conversion
In other words: how do I get the oxides and cristalisation off without removing/damaging unaffected metal?

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Russ Thomas
Industry Professional

Location: Telemark, Norway
Joined: 25 Jan 2004
Reading list: 43 books

Posts: 323

PostPosted: Sun 16 Mar, 2008 2:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote


Deposits can sometimes be removed with the edge of a copper coin. This method I have used several times. If the deposit is thick or very hard, then a couple of light taps with a small hammer can sometimes loosen them first.



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Peter Bosman

Location: Andalucia
Joined: 22 May 2006

Posts: 598

PostPosted: Tue 18 Mar, 2008 12:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Buenas Russ,

Indeed a softer metal instrument is adviseable, like something copper. It is best to use a copper brush too.
After lifting scale and brushing of as much active rust as possible it is important to get all loose oxide off: swipe, vacuum, wash with white spirit.

WD40 or the like is a possibility but is disadvataguous for antigues as the oil will flow into the hilt too where old wood/leather/cloth may soak it up which is unwanted. The oily residu on the iron is no problem as this can be cleaned with mineral spirits.

I was simply hoping for another of those Columbus's eggs I sometime read here Big Grin

To convert the rust I have a forforous acid gel as I do not want a tannin protectice deposit to result.
After curing I want to clean the surface further and have not yet decided on how. It depends a bit on wether I can get suiteable oil stones over here.

Please note that I do not wash with water nor contemplate water stones as in dealing with old iron all contact with water is best avoided.

To protect the end result two options are most current. One is leaving the tannine some converters deposit in place but that precluded dressing the blade or applying a good quality oil such as gun-oil or linseed oil. Linseed oil is most apt for display articles and gun oil more practical if the thing is to be handled.

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