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Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Removing corrosion from swords. Reply to topic
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Robert Morgan




Location: Sunny SoCal
Joined: 10 Sep 2012

Posts: 84

PostPosted: Sun 25 Sep, 2016 8:31 am    Post subject: Removing corrosion from swords.         Reply with quote

Well, I'm at a loss. I oil my swords regularly, even of they aren't being used, and store them in their scabbards. Last night I took them out for their monthly oiling only to discover a fair amount of tarnish and surface discoloration on two of my Windlass swords, both on the blades and on the crosses. The funny thing is that I hadn't handled these swords since their last oiling, a month prior so what is causing this surface putting is a mystery.

Anyway, any ideas on a product to use to remove this? I'd like the blades to remain as bright and shiny as possible. Rubbing with more oil lessened the pitting ever so slightly, probably removing some surface gunk but the bulk of the discoloration and pitting remains.

Many thanks,

Bob
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Houston P.




Location: United States
Joined: 20 Apr 2015

Posts: 67

PostPosted: Sun 25 Sep, 2016 11:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, what I use depends on the severity of the tarnish/ corrosion. If it's very mild, I've had good success with a product called Nevrdull. It's almost like a slightly abrasive cotton ball that helps to brighten things up and remove minor stains once you buff it. If it's minor surface rust, I'll apply metal polish using the finest grade steel wool. Finally, if it's really needing some work, use sandpaper. Just make sure you follow the " grain " of the polish, otherwise you'll scuff it up; which is incredibly annoying to fix (to me at least). Hope that helps some.
...and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. (‭Luke‬ ‭22‬:‭36‬) To be without silver is better than to be without honor. -Norse proverb
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Sep, 2016 11:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Have you read our article?

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James Arlen Gillaspie
Industry Professional



Location: upstate NY
Joined: 10 Nov 2005

Posts: 529

PostPosted: Sun 25 Sep, 2016 12:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Autosol is the best deoxidizing metal polish I know of, and I've been through a bunch. You can find it online, if it is not available locally. The fact that places like Manhattan Supply Company carries it in 1 kilogram containers should tell you something. I doubt you will need more than a 3.3 oz tube, though. Wink
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Mon 26 Sep, 2016 2:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have it delivered by the tanker full James :-)
Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.
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Norman McCormick





Joined: 17 Jan 2007

Posts: 117

PostPosted: Wed 28 Sep, 2016 10:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Robert,
I only collect antique blades and the advice regarding oily cloths is well founded. The one piece of advice I would impart is NEVER store a blade in its scabbard/sheath. Any moisture on the blade or in the scabbard/sheath is trapped and is only too happy to do its damnedest to damage the blade. Hope this is of some use.
Regards,
Norman.
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Wed 28 Sep, 2016 2:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Windlass scabbards in particular are notorious for corrosion-- something to do with how the leather is treated, I believe. So yes, absolutely do not keep them in the scabbards long term.

You *can* keep a blade in its scabbard IF the scabbard is both well made and impregnated, at least internally, with some rust preventative such as lanolin. However this is more often the exception than the rule...

Sudden rusting does suggest a change in your local conditions. Inspect your storage area for any leaks or drafts. Temperature shifts can also cause condensation. Consider using a well made, tight container of some kind to store your swords.
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Eric LeClair




Location: Vancouver
Joined: 03 Oct 2016

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon 03 Oct, 2016 2:19 pm    Post subject: Be Careful         Reply with quote

James Arlen Gillaspie wrote:
Autosol is the best deoxidizing metal polish I know of, and I've been through a bunch. You can find it online, if it is not available locally. The fact that places like Manhattan Supply Company carries it in 1 kilogram containers should tell you something. I doubt you will need more than a 3.3 oz tube, though. Wink


Autosol is the best for sure but be careful. I've found some cheap knock offs that actually do more damage then good. Always go with a trusted proven brand. Internet can be a tricky place to buy such items.
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M. Kuikka




Location: Finland, South Karelia
Joined: 03 Oct 2016

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue 04 Oct, 2016 5:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Don't keep your blades inside the scabbard all the time. If there is moisture inside the scabbard or in the air that is enough to corrode the surface of the steel.

I usually dry the blade carefully after handling with dry cloth or paper towel, rub some gun oil with clean cloth on the surface (heard WD40 works too, but might reduce the shining), let it sit for a moment and then put the blade aside. If there happens to be some surface "gunk" I use the same oil with some sand paper (change sandpaper grit according to severity of corrosion) and the blade should look like new again.

Using sandpaper always eats away some metal, but my blades are mostly meant for practice use anyway so it doesn't really bother me. Half swording leaves often a greasy prints on blades that quickly turns them to dark gray. If you are just displaying the swords and sanding them might be too rough for them, have you tried bathing them in vinegar and then rubbing with sponge? Quite cheap and effective solution.

Do you have any pictures of your blades? I just want to see what kinda discoloration we are speaking of.
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T. Kew




Location: Cambridge, UK
Joined: 21 Apr 2012

Posts: 174

PostPosted: Wed 05 Oct, 2016 10:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

WD40 isn't intended as a protective oil, and isn't recommended for this task.

If you don't want to go with something as abrasive as sandpaper, scotchbrite pads are a standard tool for a reason.

Instructor and scholar, Cambridge HEMA
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,836

PostPosted: Wed 05 Oct, 2016 12:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The thoughts on storing swords in scabbards noted but somewhat incorrect. I have several swords in 200+ year old leather scabbards and they live there. I have 150+ year old swords in metal scabbards, They live there. I have several modern reproductions that live in leather, or wood with leather scabbards. They live there. A couple of Japanese style, they live in their saya and in cloth bags.

Humidity (or the lack of it) can cause issues, that is why so many of my dozens of antiques lack their leather scabbards. However, barring centuries of damp storage, those with scabbards show more effects to the hilts than the blades. This is even more true in just unloading 4 dozen swords after an event and even when asking my public and helpers to use the provided oily cloths and gloves, it is the hilts that get sweaty rust more than the blades. I cringed after asking someone to help load some of my stuff and unloaded to find a bright red rusty palm and finger prints on a 150 year old iron scabbard (sweet lass but one ignoring the gloves and cloths).

Some leather and glues can cause issues. I have never had a problem with the three A&A simple leather scabbards I have owned and never an issue with Windlass swords. Both Hanwei and Cold Steel have thus far been blade rust free. Everything I have scabbards for live in there except a handful of display knives behind glass. That includes my own brand of cardboard and duct tape scabbards Happy One of my cardboard and duct tape scabbards has traveled through three owners over the past 16 years (rain and shine).

Look, rust control and corrosion removal isn't exactly beyond common sense but I have to imagine some just don't deal with it on a regular basis.

Cheers

GC
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Jose Santiago-Cummings




Location: Tacoma, Washington
Joined: 23 Nov 2011

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu 06 Oct, 2016 11:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I had good results with Renasance wax but regardless of what you use, moisture is big problem.
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