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Jonah Marlow

Location: united states
Joined: 09 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Thu 20 Oct, 2011 6:12 pm    Post subject: Question about caring for hilt components         Reply with quote

Hello all, I am still relativly new to sword collecting, and I am confused about how to care for steel hilt components. On some websites they say to just wipe them down, while others say to oil them just like the blade. So which works best? I have an Albion Senlac arriving next week; I read a review on the Albion mercenary on the SBG forum, that says the hilt components when left alone for only a week will cause minor discoloration and should be oiled. My concern with this however is that on SBG they say that if oil comes in contact with the leather (the handle of the sword on the Senlac for instance) it will cause it to rot. The pommel and the cross are relativlly small and I for one dont have the steadiest hands in the world. So is it cool to just give them a wipe down with a soft cloth or do they require oiling weekly?
Jonah Marlow
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Chad Arnow
myArmoury Team

myArmoury Team

PostPosted: Thu 20 Oct, 2011 6:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I suggest reading this article: Care and Maintenance of the Modern Replica from our Features page.

Definitely oil the pommel and guard. Steel (mild steel and good blade steel) needs oil or other protective coating to prevent rusting. Your hands will touch the guard and pommel far more than they should touch the blade.

I've never experienced rotting grip leather from oil. It's very difficult to get all of the pommel and guard oiled without touching the grip. I've had my Albion Baron for a little over 7 years (it's the longest-tenured leather-gripped sword in my collection) and I can guarantee you that my oilcloth has come into contact with the leather grip at least a little bit every single time I've oiled the hilt. The leather looks the same as the day I got it.


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David Wilson

Location: In a van down by the river
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Thu 20 Oct, 2011 6:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just wipe the hilt components down with an oiled rag, and you should be fine. I rarely apply oil directly to the hilt components, I usually have enough oil from the blade that the rag is oily enough to do the trick.
Expect some darkening of the hilt parts, regardless. My hands tend to be hard on finishes (I'm too acidic, perhaps?), so there's some discoloration on most of my sword's pommels.
I think much of the concern over damage done to leather by oils is overdone, IMO. I'd say there's more damage done by exposure and use. Not to say it's not a concern at all, just that the concern is overemphasized. Still, you'd probably want to avoid much contact between the leather and the oil.

David K. Wilson, Jr.
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Richard B. Price

Location: Providence, RI
Joined: 06 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Thu 20 Oct, 2011 7:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey there Jonah, I find Renaissance wax works well for all your needs, as it is specifically formulated to do this. If you need a little extra protection on the leather section of you hilt, try neatsfoot oil, I've been working with leather for a long time and neatsfoot is a light oil that penetrated deep and protects very well in just about all conditions. I use this stuff on all my leathers, from trench coat, fencing gauntlets and sword hilts and sheaths. Hope this helps.
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Daniel Wallace

Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

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PostPosted: Fri 21 Oct, 2011 1:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i explained a little in another thread - i use eagel one mag & aluminum polish (but it's more of a preventive than an actual polishing agent) if your familiar with 'barasso' it's similar to that but in a past form. you rub it on and buff if off. as long as your not going to apply this on a rough surface there won't be any residue build up. but then again - i don't keep leather sheaths all of mine are wood.

another think you may like to try is rem oil that you can pic up anywhere you can get ammo or a firearm. i use the remington brand, but there's probably others out there. what it does is spray on and if has like a liquid teflon lub in it that drys. now i've had my guns for a lot longer than i've had my swords and i've always used this to protect them, they may need another application after about 6 months or so if i haven't shot that gun for a while but i've never had a problem with it.

i don't know how much your handling your sword but it may just be good to get into the habit of running a rag over it (as david said) before you put it away. and if a 'freckle' would happen to show up on your bright steel - i wouldn't worry too much freckles can be buffed out if they really bother you, personally i believe it gives a little of an aged look on hilt components. but i know that none of us want to see those freckles turn into reddish brown pits of damaging rust. and depending on the wnvironment that you have your sword it, you'll probably never see it with a quick wipe of oil.
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