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Benjamin T





Joined: 09 Sep 2009

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 12:59 pm    Post subject: Stains on sword blade from leather scabbard, removable?         Reply with quote

I just received my Cold Steel chinese war sword. The blade was spotless when I first looked at it. As I only collect I then put it in its scabbard. After a couple of days in the scabbard which I have noticed looks quite bad with white powder on the inside.. the blade is now full of stains. It looks really bad (worse than the pictures, if I manage to upload them)... Its terribly disappointing, and I cant understand how they can include such a low quality scabbard :/

I was wondering if there is any way for me to remove these stains? I have tried with a normal cloth, wet cloth etc... I havent dared using any chemicals yet as I am unaware of what is recommended..

It did cost a fortune to get this sword here in norway, with import taxes etc, so im simply a little put out by this. I really hope you guys have some advice for me.

E: I wasnt able to upload the pictures as I kept getting an "upload error", I will try again asap.

E: There we go



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Brogdon Combs




Location: Tallahassee, Florida, USA
Joined: 22 Jan 2009

Posts: 52

PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 2:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Try using Metal Glo. It's an ultra-fine abrasive paste made for use on swords and knives. It also goes by the name 'Stanley Metal Glo', but both are fine ad are produced by Windlass Steelcrafts. The best prices are either on Amazon or at place like Trueswords.com or KultofAthena.com... this should take out those stains with no problem, if they're like the ones my old Windlass Verneuil got from its leather scabbard (white powder- ugh. :-/ ). Admittedly, yours are far worse, but still... the metal glo should resolve the issue, IMO. Wink

I hope this helps! ;D

-Brogdon Combs

"Here's to you, mister pirate-ship-captain! With your endless booty calls and a violent streak that makes Grand Theft Auto look like Super Mario Kart, only you could bring the wooden leg back into fashion, and only you could fight three men at a time with a patch over one eye and a hook for a hand."
-Strongblade.com
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Benjamin T





Joined: 09 Sep 2009

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 2:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice! Since its got to be ordered from the US i'll wait and see if anyone else have some suggestions, but metal glo seems like a good option. So please keep the suggestions coming! Happy

I was wondering if this issue could be solved by contacting cold steel. I cant believe that this is a normal problem with their scabbards? Even if I would be able to remove the stains, the scabbard is completely useless, which is a major con in my opinion.. at least for the price I paid.
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Skyler R.




Location: US
Joined: 24 Oct 2005

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PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 2:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is not recomended to store blades in sheaths since they can collect and trap water. This isn't just for Cold Steel items but for any sheath. You can either not store the sword in the sheath or get a scabbard made for it. Metal Glo or another fine polishing agent should remove the rust, but if it doesn't then you will have to go with something more aggressive like very fine steel wool or very fine sand paper (start as high as possible, and if needed go lower).
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Benjamin T





Joined: 09 Sep 2009

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PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 2:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I see, but could this possibly be water? And it does not seem to be rust. The color of the scabbard (black on the outside and black/brown, stainy, white powder'ish on the inside) seems to have gotten on the blade. It cant be likely that such serious water damage would have been done after such a short period of time, and in addition it has never been used or stored even close to a wet enviroment :S.. Again, ive had it for 2 days, never used to cut anything, only removed from box and put on display :/

I hope im not sounding too negative, but ive never experienced anything similar on my other swords (even though I dont have that many)

Edit: the stain on the second picture from the top actually appeared after I first put the sword in the scabbard the day I got it. After having the sword briefly in the sheath I noticed the stain. The rest of the stains (as seen on the other pictures) were discovered today
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Scott S.




Location: Central North Carolina
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PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 3:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I cant understand how they can include such a low quality scabbard :/

I've come to think of leather scabbards not so much as "low quality scabbards" but as "high quality packing material." I think people just expect a scabbard yet the companies cannot produce a real, functional one at the right price point.

I have no idea if it will remove the stains, but I do know that acetone will not harm your steel. Ryan at Kult of Athena told me to use it when I asked him about removing the Windlass sticker and stamp from a sword I ordered. It will also remove any lacquer that's on the blade, but if there is any it's not doing much good regardless.

You might also try a high grit sandpaper (400 to 1000) if you're careful to sand slowly and methodically in a consistent direction. (Usually hilt to tip.)

Caveat: I am rather new to swordcare myself so you should definitely wait for further feedback. No worries 'tho! I'm sure it's easily remedied.
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Brogdon Combs




Location: Tallahassee, Florida, USA
Joined: 22 Jan 2009

Posts: 52

PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 4:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Metal Glo can be purchased on Ebay, Amazon or other online sources, so maybe you could find someone selling it in Norway?

I'm pretty sure that the powder is for protecting the leather. (I'm not sure why it would need to be protected, though... ?) Try using something to clean out the scabbard, like a rifle-barrel cleaner thingie (have you noticed that I know nothing about guns yet? Wink ), or a thin rod/stick wrapped in a cloth. Or you could try just holding the sheath upside down and banging it, lol! Don't worry, though, both the problem with the blade and the one with the sheath can certainly be fixed.

If you have to use sandpaper, be sure to start with no lower grit than 1000. I would reccomend 1200-2000 as a starter, personally, and then you'd work your way down until the stains came off. They appear to just be powder that has stuck to the blade, though, so metal glo would be the cheapest and least abbrasive option. Heck, even WD-40 may do the trick.

-Brogdon

"Here's to you, mister pirate-ship-captain! With your endless booty calls and a violent streak that makes Grand Theft Auto look like Super Mario Kart, only you could bring the wooden leg back into fashion, and only you could fight three men at a time with a patch over one eye and a hook for a hand."
-Strongblade.com
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 4:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Skyler R. wrote:
It is not recomended to store blades in sheaths since they can collect and trap water. This isn't just for Cold Steel items but for any sheath.


I had a well-known custom knifemaker tell me to store a knife in its leather sheath which I did for 2 years with no problems. I've stored other knives daggers in their sheaths for weeks at a time with no ill effects. Good leather tanned properly can be perfectly safe. Cheap leather can be an issue.

But the blanket statement "Leather sheaths=problems" doesn't hold up.

Happy

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Bryce Felperin




Location: San Jose, CA
Joined: 16 Feb 2006

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PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 4:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brogdon Combs wrote:
Try using Metal Glo. It's an ultra-fine abrasive paste made for use on swords and knives. It also goes by the name 'Stanley Metal Glo', but both are fine ad are produced by Windlass Steelcrafts. The best prices are either on Amazon or at place like Trueswords.com or KultofAthena.com... this should take out those stains with no problem, if they're like the ones my old Windlass Verneuil got from its leather scabbard (white powder- ugh. :-/ ). Admittedly, yours are far worse, but still... the metal glo should resolve the issue, IMO. Wink

I hope this helps! ;D

-Brogdon Combs


I get the same thing on a sword scabbard for one of my swords. I use either a polishing paste like Brogdon describes above or a fine grit sanding sponge to buff it out when I can. Aside from athetics it doesn't hurt the sword. Try putting some oil on the leather in the scabbard throat...it might remove this problem.
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Brogdon Combs




Location: Tallahassee, Florida, USA
Joined: 22 Jan 2009

Posts: 52

PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 4:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Skyler R. wrote:
It is not recomended to store blades in sheaths since they can collect and trap water. This isn't just for Cold Steel items but for any sheath.


I had a well-known custom knifemaker tell me to store a knife in its leather sheath which I did for 2 years with no problems. I've stored other knives daggers in their sheaths for weeks at a time with no ill effects. Good leather tanned properly can be perfectly safe. Cheap leather can be an issue.

But the blanket statement "Leather sheaths=problems" doesn't hold up.


VERY true. My Windlass Scabbards have never caused me problems, even over a one month period when I forgot that my sword was not oiled. After about 40 days in a leather cheath with no oil protecting the blade, there was not a spot of rust.

I don't know how CS's leather sheaths fare, though, so I wouldn't reccomend trying my little accidental escapade. :-X ;-)

-Brogdon

"Here's to you, mister pirate-ship-captain! With your endless booty calls and a violent streak that makes Grand Theft Auto look like Super Mario Kart, only you could bring the wooden leg back into fashion, and only you could fight three men at a time with a patch over one eye and a hook for a hand."
-Strongblade.com
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Brogdon Combs




Location: Tallahassee, Florida, USA
Joined: 22 Jan 2009

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PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 4:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bryce Felperin wrote:
Brogdon Combs wrote:
Try using Metal Glo. It's an ultra-fine abrasive paste made for use on swords and knives. It also goes by the name 'Stanley Metal Glo', but both are fine ad are produced by Windlass Steelcrafts. The best prices are either on Amazon or at place like Trueswords.com or KultofAthena.com... this should take out those stains with no problem, if they're like the ones my old Windlass Verneuil got from its leather scabbard (white powder- ugh. :-/ ). Admittedly, yours are far worse, but still... the metal glo should resolve the issue, IMO. Wink

I hope this helps! ;D

-Brogdon Combs


I get the same thing on a sword scabbard for one of my swords. I use either a polishing paste like Brogdon describes above or a fine grit sanding sponge to buff it out when I can. Aside from athetics it doesn't hurt the sword. Try putting some oil on the leather in the scabbard throat...it might remove this problem.


Terribly sorry for the double post, friends, but I just saw this post.

I've heard that you should NEVER put oil on leather, becuase it will cause the leather to rot much more quickly. Do you know if this is correct? I would avoid putting sword oil of any sort (3in1, Choji, etc) on leather when possible, assuming that my information is true.

Sorry again for posting twice in a row. :-[ Hope this helps!

-Brogdon

"Here's to you, mister pirate-ship-captain! With your endless booty calls and a violent streak that makes Grand Theft Auto look like Super Mario Kart, only you could bring the wooden leg back into fashion, and only you could fight three men at a time with a patch over one eye and a hook for a hand."
-Strongblade.com
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Evan Jones




Location: Michigan
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PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 4:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I support those promoting Metal Glo. I took my sword(blunt sparring sword) to a college halloween party where it was handled outdoors by some drunk people who gave it back to me with dew all over the inside of the scabbard. When I woke up 8 hours later, the blade had liberal amounts of VERY BAD rust all over it. The Metal Glo took it all right off, and the blade looks good as new.

Additionally, since leather sheaths are generally bad for carbon steel blades, it sounds like you now have an excuse for a Chinese-themed wood-cored scabbard project Big Grin
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Hadrian Coffin
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, England
Joined: 03 Apr 2008

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PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 5:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I had a well-known custom knifemaker tell me to store a knife in its leather sheath which I did for 2 years with no problems. I've stored other knives daggers in their sheaths for weeks at a time with no ill effects. Good leather tanned properly can be perfectly safe. Cheap leather can be an issue.

But the blanket statement "Leather sheaths=problems" doesn't hold up.


It also depends on your climate, I have lived all over the world and have had problems in certain climates. I live part of the year on a small island thirty miles out in the ocean (Nantucket, MA). On the island the air is always damp and loaded with salt, blades rust in only a matter of days. Sheaths (I'm only talking about high end vegetable tanned ones) trap the dampness and make the blades rust even more quickly. In drier places I've lived it really doesn't matter at all whether the blades are in or out of their sheaths.

To the problem at hand, I cannot comment on the scabbards for Coldsteel's products as I have never seen one. Based on your problem however, I would guess that they may be made of chrome tanned leather, chrome tanned leather can discolour steel very quickly. The powder is probably akin to baby powder, my guess as to its purpose is to ensure the blades do not get damp on the sea voyage from India. To fix the problem do as has already been stated by others. Metal Glo can be found under many different names, just look for a tube that says metal polish, the stuff should be pink in colour. You probably don't even need the Metal Glo as steel wool or scotch bright pads will take it right out. To be sure it doesn't happen again I would oil the blade heavily with gun oil before storing. I would also NOT store the blade in the scabbard as it may be chrome tanned.
Cheers,
Hadrian

Historia magistra vitae est
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Hadrian Coffin
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, England
Joined: 03 Apr 2008

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PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 5:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oil is fine on leather, most dyes are oil based. I always rub my swords down with break free and rub the leather with the oil as well. I have yet to find an issue with it.
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Hadrian

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Benjamin T





Joined: 09 Sep 2009

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PostPosted: Thu 19 Nov, 2009 2:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Including some pictures of the inside of the scabbard if it might be of any use. I should point out that the leather has a very strong smell that I havent experienced with leather in the past. It could best be described as the smell of a very cheap "leather" belt with a slight touch of fish :S The point is that it smells a lot, and not good, and I do have quite a bit of leather belts and so on, none which come near this smell. I guess this last information doesnt help much, but I was wondering if the smell might come from rot.

The pictures are taken after I used a cloth to carefully wipe away some of the white powder.



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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Thu 19 Nov, 2009 10:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Probably you got some fungi.

If alcohol doesnt make any efefct just keep the blade in the sun or wahatever articial light you use to tan yourselves in Norway (here it is pitch dark btw and in the day it is cloudy so there si no worth sun as well ).

UV light should make the difference.
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Matthew Fedele




Location: Auburn, NY USA
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PostPosted: Thu 19 Nov, 2009 2:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It doesn't look like corrosion to me from the pictures, it looks like wear marks. Or kind of like the color when you rub buffed metal with 2000 grit sand paper.

Edit: And your finger prints aren't helping the metal at all there mate.
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Thu 19 Nov, 2009 7:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It looks like you have a scabbard with no core, and blade in direct contact with leather. I would also guess from the photo's appearance that it is a thin upholstery grade of leather, which in my opinion, is not as good as premium vegetable tanned tooling grades of leather that the more reputable scabbard makers praised here would choose to use for something like this. (Upholstery types of leathers may be chromium chemical base tanned, and a long term source of problem in areas of metal to leather contact.)

(Most modern knife makers and collectors call all leather construction a "sheath". There does not seem to be any surviving written Medieval definition of "sheath" versus "scabbard" , but, this is a very popular terminology convention today.) Waxing the blade (oils and solvents removed with acetone first) with Renaissance wax before storing it in an all leather case may be one of the better options if it is in direct contact with leather that is causing some problems.

The interior looks have a "white film". It could be carnuba wax residue, or another paste wax residue that may have been used to seal the finished leather. (I sometimes put caruba wax into small, homemade tool sheaths by applying the liquid wax to the blade and repeatedly inserting it. For a time, it does deposit white residue on the blade. This gradually decreases with use. I prefer brief immersion of leather sheaths in warm melted paraffin/ bee's wax solution. This also stiffens the leather up. Few will have a double boiler pot large enough to safely hot dip a sword sized sheath though.) If you have the stitching opened with access for buffing, you might want to use some new carnuba wax and buff it. Let it dry well (several days, near an air conditioning vent with warm air blowing against it if possible, or use a hair dryer once a day for a few days) before using it again. That should seal it pretty well against indoor humidity fluctuations or very minor exposure to outdoor rain sprinkles. If you do decide to go that route, the carnuba wax is available through leather craft suppliers. (Fiebings and other brands that produce dyes and finishing waxes for leather working.)

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Benjamin T





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PostPosted: Sat 28 Nov, 2009 4:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Update: I brought it back to the store and asked them about the problem. They did point out that this was not supposed to happen, and at least not after the short period of time in this case. So they would see what they could do about it, and in case it wasnt "as new" again they would simply order a new one for me.

I'll write another update here once ive gotten news Happy Thanks for all the advice so far though, I will use it if its a returning problem.
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