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Fiona Cumming




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: 14 Aug 2008

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu 14 Aug, 2008 2:25 am    Post subject: Restoring sword blades         Reply with quote

Hi guys!

We just inherited a nice sabre. We are unsure of its origins as it came from a house my partners father bought in Switzerland. We think that the man who lived there before my father-in-law was an officer in the Swiss army as we found his rifle too. The sabre seems a lot older though. We just polished up the pommel of it and it turned out nicely but the blade is a bit rusty in places. We wondered if anyone on here knew the best way to retore the sword to its former glory. I think its a briquet but I'm not sure...

We dont want to just have at it with steel wool or such like but would be very greatful for any tips you might have on getting the blade back to being rust-free.

Thanks

Fiona
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,177

PostPosted: Thu 14 Aug, 2008 6:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Removing any active rust is a good thing but getting it shiny as new would ruin any value it has as a collection piece and ruin it as a historical artifact.

Also, it is also removing it's character and personal history.

Anything done to the sword should be very light removing of dirt or active rust but any serious abrasive polishing should be avoided and even with a modern made sword one should avoid this unless one knows how to restore the original polish which could be a satin finish and not always a very bright mirror polish.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Fiona Cumming




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: 14 Aug 2008

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu 14 Aug, 2008 7:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice. I dont want to get it good as new really. I just want to get rid of the rust. How would you go about getting rid of the active rust?
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,177

PostPosted: Thu 14 Aug, 2008 8:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fiona Cumming wrote:
Thanks for the advice. I dont want to get it good as new really. I just want to get rid of the rust. How would you go about getting rid of the active rust?


With an antique I'm not sure what the best way to do this but maybe this has been discussed in other Topics on this Forum in the recent past: Try doing a search on this site for rust, antique sword cleaning, maintenance etc .....

I'm sure some more knowledgeable people will chime in with advice that have the expertise to suggest the best and least damaging ways to clean a period sword. ( Age, historical value, period, amount of cleaning/restoration and level of corrosion are all variables to consider ).

Here is one link to a similar question: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...t=cleaning

Another one, rather short: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...g+antiques

One more with a suggested cleaning product: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...st+removal

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,831

PostPosted: Thu 14 Aug, 2008 12:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Fiona,

A good first step is to get a firm identification of the piece. if you are able to share pictures, that is usually pretty helpful. Any letters, numbers or other markings on the sword can help better identify it as well. A briquet usually referes to a curved sword with a solid brass hilt but there are exceptions to nearly every rule.

I'm going to post a few links to sword conservation articles. Each a little different and from slightly diverse viewpoints.

An old favorite and pretty simply worded with a good common sense outlook
http://members.aol.com/machood/swordcare.html

Ron Ruble's school of don't mess with it (much), I think I want to ply him with cheeseburgers sometime so he'll bargain with me.
http://www.ruble-enterprises.com/restoration.htm

Here's an article on another sword site that touches base with some dos and don'ts. There are also attached forums with a dedicated Antique&Military section.
http://swordforum.com/articles/ams/conservation.php

I get carried away with internet resources but there are some great tips for just about anything conservation at this site. Somewhere in there is a terrific e-list I can never remember, so I keep the main page of links bookmarked.
http://www.dmoz.org/Reference/Museums/Museum_...servation/

This is the front page for the other I was thinking of.
http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/

In the end, for a great many collectors, how far they go varies a great deal. I know I can't stand a murky look to old gold plate waiting to be uncovered, or a blade that could be scrubbed a bit to really make a huge diffrence. Most will say (and I agree overall, as you seem to also grasp) proceed slowly with decisions about this. the first three links will give you a good idea of the general philosophies. Each piece is often an individual situation for me. Some I go a good bit further with than others. Some had been taken a bit too far before I adopted them.

Cheers

GC
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