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Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Finish and polish Reply to topic
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Lance K.




PostPosted: Sat 16 Jul, 2005 9:59 pm    Post subject: Finish and polish         Reply with quote

Has anybody experimented with any different polishing and finsihing methods?

I've been wondering if there is anything that can be used that will give a satin finish while at the same time avoiding any obvious scratch marks. It may not be practical for a production environment but maybe there is something that may be used if I'm willing to do the work myself. I have to wonder how the custom smiths finish their blades and hilts. From the pics I have seen it seems custom swords have a more smooth and natural finish than the grey scotch brite method, but I don't know much about it.

I was maybe thinking of experimenting with something other than a scotch brite. Seems to me a polishing compound that is more abrasive and not high gloss may work well. Since I'm going to refinish mine anyway I'm just looking for a smooth satin finish free of obvious scratch marks, though if I don't come up with anything I'll jsut use a scotch brite. If they could do it hundreds of years ago I would think we would have something in this day and age that cold do the same, but maybe the scotch brite is as close as we can get, I don't know.

I have done a bit of looking on the internet but have not been able to really find any info at all on historical sword finishing and polishing methods. Maybe sombody has an idea.

Lance
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jul, 2005 12:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The grey scotchbrite will eventually provide a nice even satin finish, you just need to keep working at it. It just takes more time than most production makers can afford.

The only thing I can think of that would provide a totally scratch free satin finish would be some king of bead or soda blasting.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Lance K.




PostPosted: Sun 17 Jul, 2005 12:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes I was thinking with the scotch brite if I use very light pressure and keep working, the finer scratches would blend together and be mostly unnoticeable.

The thing is when I got my sword the blade was very nice but the hilt stuff seemed to have pretty heavy scratches, it was scuffed up pretty good, though once I polished it they were not as noticeable.

One idea I had was to use very very light pressure with the pad, and and keep going with lighter pressure until everything was blended together nicely with the "grain" pattern I want. That way once I hit it with some polish it should have a nice smooth satin sheen.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jul, 2005 12:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The best way, and only in my opinion, to get a really good satin finish on a blade is to first take it to a full mirror polish and then back it back down. This gets rid of all the underlying harsh stuff that ends up refracting light. A top-quality satin finish actually costs more money than a mirror polish because it's a full extra step beyond.
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jul, 2005 5:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
The best way, and only in my opinion, to get a really good satin finish on a blade is to first take it to a full mirror polish and then back it back down. This gets rid of all the underlying harsh stuff that ends up refracting light. A top-quality satin finish actually costs more money than a mirror polish because it's a full extra step beyond.

If I recall correctly, that is the procedure that Albion says they follow.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jul, 2005 10:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve Grisetti wrote:
Nathan Robinson wrote:
The best way, and only in my opinion, to get a really good satin finish on a blade is to first take it to a full mirror polish and then back it back down. This gets rid of all the underlying harsh stuff that ends up refracting light. A top-quality satin finish actually costs more money than a mirror polish because it's a full extra step beyond.

If I recall correctly, that is the procedure that Albion says they follow.


Albion never takes their blades to a full mirror finish.

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Steve Grisetti




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jul, 2005 1:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
...Albion never takes their blades to a full mirror finish.

Sorry, I may be getting confused between blades and fittings. I do recall a post where Eric McHugh (I think) mentioned that Albion grinds/buffs to a high level of finish, almost mirror, and then takes the finish back with scotchbrite. But I think this comment had to do with fittings, not the blades.
(edited - yes - the comment I was thinking of did speak to fittings, and is in this topic: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=3599)
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Patrick Brown




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PostPosted: Wed 10 Jan, 2007 2:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was about to start a new post on a similar topic, but a search turned up this one. To reiterate part of the original question: what materials or tools would be used to obtain a polished finish in historical times? My interest is mainly in the 15thC, but I would welcome any information. I assume something like a fine sandstone or slate would be used for rough(ish)work, but how were the finer finishes achieved? I've looked at http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=3599) and read about the walrus leather- why walrus? And what exactly is a burnisher?
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