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Stuart Thompson




Location: Walton-on-the-Naze
Joined: 15 Feb 2010

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PostPosted: Mon 08 Mar, 2010 3:01 am    Post subject: Best products for sword cleaning         Reply with quote

What are the best products to use when occasionally oiling/cleaning a sword? Can they be found in a DIY shop?

I was told by a knight at Hedingham that a certain oil could be used on a cloth, forgot the name hence my question. Also an archer mentioned beeswax but i've never heard of that being used before. As for chainmail sealing it in a tub of sand and hooking it on the back of the mini seemed to work=no rust.

S.
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Christopher Gregg




Location: Louisville, KY
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Mar, 2010 9:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stuart, I've had good results with Hanwei's sword oil - I think Kultofathena.com sells it.
Christopher Gregg

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Mar, 2010 10:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I use Breakfree CLP. It's formulated for guns, etc.

Have you read Patrick Kelly's excellent article: Care and Maintenance of the Modern Replica?

Happy

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Stuart Thompson




Location: Walton-on-the-Naze
Joined: 15 Feb 2010

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PostPosted: Mon 08 Mar, 2010 10:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's fantastic gentlemen, thank you! Never had rust on the thing before but noticed this morning during sparring a tiny wee spot. Keep it clean keeps it mean! Big Grin
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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Mar, 2010 11:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I second the recommendation for Breakfree CLP. The stuff is amazing. RemOil also works well.

What doesn't work well are conventional mineral oils, not unless you reapply them often.

To remove blemishes, I use gray scotch brite pads.

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David Sutton




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Mar, 2010 11:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I use Ballistol to oil my swords, its pretty good stuff. http://www.ballistoluk.co.uk/

As to beeswax, I've never heard of that, however some people swear by a product called Renaissance wax. Its a hard wearing, transparent wax that you can apply to swords as a protection against rust and staining etc. However I think its aimed more at those who wish to simply display their swords rather than handle them much. Its used by several prestigious museums and collections. http://www.picreator.co.uk/articles/3_renaissance_wax.htm

I have used the Hanwei sword oil in past and it worked seemed fine. However be careful where you buy it from as there has been some fake stuff floating around. http://www.beararm.com/fake-goods.html

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Neil Langley




Location: Stockport, UK
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Mar, 2010 11:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, you can use Balistol, Hanwei or any light mineral oil for protection. Use toilet paper to clean your swords and wipe on the oil with a lightly impregnated, lint-free cloth.

Renaissance wax is great for protecting leather and wood too (but try it first as it does darken the colour of leather)

To get off rust or marks use the Scotch Bright grey pads and then any commercial metal polish to shine things up. (if you want a higher shine) If its really bad rust then try very fine sandpaper (and then the pads/polish)! Scotch Bright pads can be found in DIY and Car parts shops. Also, try white spirit and WD40 for cleaning grease off.

I store swords in gun cases with a tin of silica gel (http://www.heinnie.com/Accessories/Knife-Care...-535-3659/) this keeps em fresh I find.

Neil.
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Neil Langley




Location: Stockport, UK
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Mar, 2010 11:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I should add that for re-enactment use Balistol and Hanwei oils both have fairly strong, distinctive pongs! If this matters, a simple mineral oil may be better to use at an event as it does not really smell (unless you add clove oil for some home made choji)
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Mar, 2010 4:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For those who live in areas where they can possess firearms, gun bore solvent and rags from old tee shirts work pretty well for removing resin if you have cut green tree limbs. (Pine can be particularly sappy and leaves resins on the blade. I like to have between one half inch to one inch of green wood inside some test wet paper wrapped cutting targets as it is more readily available to me than realistic sized pieces of fresh bone.) Afterwards, remove the excess and coat with RemOil or another light oil.
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Stuart Thompson




Location: Walton-on-the-Naze
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Mar, 2010 6:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

By rights my sword should be scrap by now, i've never really cleaned it before except with an oily rag (Oil already on the blade, factory fresh) Will keep an eye out for Ballistol and Breakfree CLP. Is there a certain way it should be applied? The blades not rusty except for the smallest spot, might not even be rust but better safe than sorry.
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Neil Langley




Location: Stockport, UK
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Mar, 2010 12:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stuart,

Assuming you do not have any dirt or rust to remove (if so use the kit recommended above). Then wipe your sword clean with toilet tissue and then apply the oil using a cloth (one that will not shed bits) that is impregnated, but not soaked, in oil.

This will leave a light coating of the oil on the metal (it should be more like a fingerprint on glass and not a big runny smear). You can keep a cloth handy (use an old 35mm film canister or a zip-lock bag) and reapply oil as required as you handle the sword - then clean properly afterwards before putting it away.

Neil.
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Hector A.





Joined: 22 Dec 2013

Posts: 140

PostPosted: Thu 06 Feb, 2014 6:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Reviving a old thread but i wonder if i'm cleaning my sword correctly:


I use 3 separate cloth's, first i take one and put 70% alcohol on it and whip the sword down, pommel, guard and blade(i dont do the grip as i believe it will dry the leather).

Then i put a drop of ballistol oil every 15-20cm's of the blade, and use a scotbrit pad to whip it down back and forth, mostly from grip to tip of the blade, but when i see little marks on the blade i just go back and forth vigorously at that spot (is this wrong?will it ruin the finish?).
When i use the scotbrit pad i notice the oil goes really dark, is this normal? Up till now i just think its the dirt from the blade coming off, so i use the 2nd cloth to whip it down, and repeat 2-3 times the entire process.

The final cloth is just oiled and used to whip the blade to apply the protective oil.

I do this every 2 weeks. Why? Because for some reason tiny little dark spots are forming on my blade: is this rust? How is it coming back so fast, when i bloody do this entire process every 2 weeks? Maybe im doing something wrong thats why i ask.
Also why i try to remove these black spots with the scot-brit, they do go away, but leave like a mark on the blade, almost like there is no metal where the spot was at...

Last question, i was cutting some turkey legs the other day with one of my swords, and got turkey fat on it, i tried to remove it with a cloth but it wouldn't go away, so i used the soft side of a spunge with a little soap to remove it, but it didnt go away, so i did my entire process described above, and there are still stains where i cut with the sword.

Help xD
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Thu 06 Feb, 2014 6:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I use Renaissance Wax on the leather grips. I found that it does darken the leather initially until it dries. Here are two photos, one taken right after I applied wax, and the second photo is the next day (back to the original grip color).


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Quinn W.




Location: Bellingham, WA
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PostPosted: Thu 06 Feb, 2014 11:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hector, when you scrub you shouldn't do any damage to it, but make sure you scrub with the grain of the metal or you might create some small scuff marks. It's cosmetic damage only but something to keep in mind. As for the turkey cutting, soap is not something you should use.

I like to use WD40 for the initial clean but not for storage. I wipe it off the best I can when I'm done. After it's mostly clean I started out by using Hanwei's sword oil but now I use gun oil and find it works just as well. I use Hoppe's 9 but I imagine any gun cleaner would get the job done.
When I got my Chevalier Albion shipped it along with a mostly-empty bottle of Ballistol oil. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me.

"Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth"


Last edited by Quinn W. on Wed 12 Feb, 2014 7:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dean F. Marino




Location: Midland MI USA
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PostPosted: Thu 06 Feb, 2014 2:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Edelson wrote:
I second the recommendation for Breakfree CLP. The stuff is amazing. RemOil also works well.

What doesn't work well are conventional mineral oils, not unless you reapply them often.

To remove blemishes, I use gray scotch brite pads.


I will add a THIRD vote for Breakfree CLP. It's all I use on 30+ rifles, and all my swords.

I am now up to a good DECADE mark on some of the rifles - sitting in basement gun safes in MI. CLP will tend to "thicken" over time - but I have had not one SPECK of rust on steel with this stuff. A VERY thin coat protects my sword blades, guards, and pommels - NO surface rust while hanging on a wall rack for five years.

There may be better products - but I'm not changing anything Happy. This one works. At least SOME of the money that the US Government stole from me resulted in a very GOOD product.

In edhil, hai edhil. In edain, hai edain.
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Greg Ballantyne




Location: Maryland USA
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Feb, 2014 7:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Any gun oil will do. Just be sure to wipe down with a slightly oiled cloth after handling, oil periodically (once every month or more will do if kept in a climate controlled condition) if not handled that often. After cutting pumpkins or water melons, wipe the blade off with a damp rag or paper towel before oiling. If black spots are appearing, I would suggest limiting what you're doing to oiling.
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Mon 10 Feb, 2014 7:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oils used for guns - Rem Oil, Break-Free CLP, Ballistol - will work. Oils used to protect marine fishing gear (and various other rustables that go to sea) can also work. If you have fishing supplies places more conveniently nearby than gun shops, it could be worth trying.

Easiest to get here is Inox, which is used by fishing people (who also like the same company's Lanox, which leaves a lanolin coating), but is also sold in most hardware stores and car supplies stores. Alas, the food grade versions are not!

I use Ballistol, because the version in the can is food-safe. Food-safe is nice, because then I can use the same thing on my carbon steel kitchen knives.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Feb, 2014 7:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If oil is not doing the trick and your humidity is high you can always try an auto wax or paste or even chain wax from a bicycle store. Auto wax is usually cheaper and has two advantages over oil. First it coats dry so it does not pick up dust from the environment. It also tends to last longer than oil. Cost is usually reasonably low too.

Alternately you can just accept that a bit of use just adds character. You'll likely find that mild appearance of use gives things a nice look...once you learn to appreciate/accept the appearance. I oil/wax/clean much less often that I used to.

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J.-P. Rybak




Location: Munich, Bavaria, Germany
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PostPosted: Wed 12 Feb, 2014 10:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Those who don't want to use mineral oil or strongly perfumed stuff like WD-40 and Ballistol might try Camelia Oil. It is a natural oil extracted out of tea seeds that has no gumming effect and a mildly sweet scent. I use it for all my carbon steel eating knives and everything that gets in touch with food.
It is traditionally used by the japanese to treat their swords and knives.

As I don't like to use oil on my carbon steel blunt swords and armour pieces I use in hema training and living history, I use NEVR-DULL. This polishing cotton is excellent for cleaning sweat, metal dust, beginning rust and other grime and as long as I dont touch them, it protects everything from corrosion for quite a long time when stored away.

Although I don't use them anymore to the purpose, I prefer WD-40 over Ballistol when it gets to long time protection of carbon steel pieces. Some of my fellow trainees and I have experienced that the pieces begin to rust under Ballistol after a while when exposed to damp conditions, while WD-40 protects much better.

Greetings,
JP
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Dean Collard




Location: Victoria, Australia
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PostPosted: Wed 12 Feb, 2014 2:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've had a lot of success using silicone spray on all my swords and armour. It doesn't leave any goopy residue (like lanolin oil or inox) and is a great alternative if like me you tend to use your swords fairly regularly.
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