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Viktor Johansson




Location: Stockholm
Joined: 27 Apr 2009
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Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sun 03 Jan, 2010 2:27 pm    Post subject: What/when: Surface treatment of steel         Reply with quote

First of all I'd like to say that I don't know to much about swords, like many people here on these forums, so if my teminology is a bit off i apologise. I'm interested in what kind of surface treatments were used on the steel/iron components of swords from all history. I've seen plenty of modern re-creations with the guard and pommel have been 'blued' or 'browned' or otherwise treated to alter apperance and/or surface properties. I've also seen a basket hilt schiavona (spelling?) with a purple basket!

I'm wondering why such modifications are made, are they estetical or functional? I can imagine that most involve creating some kind of controlled oxide layer like Iron(II)-oxide for the black color of 'blued' steel. Was this done to improve corrosion resistance or to please the eye? How come I've never seen the blade itself with this black coating?

What forms/types of surface modifications were used mostly during medivial era? And if you know, how were they done?


I'm considering buying an Albion Talhoffer as my first sword and it has 'browned' guard and pommel, this sword is from around 1450. Is this type of modification historically accurate?
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