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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 12:15 pm    Post subject: The cleaning of mail.         Reply with quote

As most of you know lately I've been a bit obsessed with a mail project:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=5443

Yesterday I decided to clean the mail before I put it back in the trunk. I've been using sand as a scouring agent and I had read that vinegar could be added to the sand as a cleaning agent. I thought I'd give it a try so I filled a five-gallon bucket about one quarter of the way full with sand and threw in a half-cup of vinegar. I then rolled the bucker around in the back yard for about fifteen minutes. The mail hadn't been rusty but I wanted to negate any salts that may have gotten on it from the latest photo session. The initial results seemed pleasing enough as the new rings had oxidized to match the rest of the hauberk. I then left it lay on a table to dry off. I came back about an hour later and observed patches of RUST! everywhere. Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I then attempted to repair the damage. I emptied the vinegared sand from the bucket and replaced it with dry sand. I gave the hauberk a liberal hosing down with WD-40 and threw it in the bucket. After another rolling session of about 15-20 minutes I removed the hauberk from the bucket and observed that the rust was thankfully gone, but the oxidation of the new rings remained. From now on I'll use the sand and WD-40 process for general cleaning. As we know, WD-40 isn't the best thing to use for long-term sword care due to it's evaporative qualities. However, it seems to be ideal for this use since it is a penetrator and acts aggressively against minor rusting, as well as evaporating since the hauberk was dry this morning with minimal grime. This seems to be an effective cleaning method for those of us who don't have access to power equipment.

A new lesson learned.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 12:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry to hear about the hassle, Patrick! I actually had the same thing happen to me this summer with a mail fauld I got from Historic Enterprises. When I purchased it, the fauld was covered in black, greasy filth. I did the exact same thing as you, and loved the results of the clean up, so I sprayed some WD-40 on it and let it dry. About a half an hour later I come back to see it's completely rusted.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 12:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What is the likelihood that sawdust or something less corrosive than sand would have been used historically for routine cleaning and maintenance? I've used sand as well but I saw that it would have been quite damaging to a garment after the repeated maintainance that would have needed be done "in period".
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 12:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
What is the likelihood that sawdust or something less corrosive than sand would have been used historically for routine cleaning and maintenance? I've used sand as well but I saw that it would have been quite damaging to a garment after the repeated maintainance that would have needed be done "in period".


I believe I've read that sawdust was one of the cleaning mediums used, among other things. A corn cob medium like that commonly used in cleaning brass ammunition cases might work well too.(that's actually an interesting thing that I hadn't thought of, thanks!) I suppose they would have used whatever was available. If you're in Germany sawdust would probably be a choice, in Outremer sand would probably be likely. In terms of using sand we need to remember that they wouldn't have been using a tumbler, cement mixer, or some other kind of machinery to clean their mail. Those types of modern conveniences agitate the mail much more that manually rolling it around in a barrel or sack would have, so I don't really know how destructive it would have been. Over the long term there may have been some issues but in the short term? I don't know.

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


Last edited by Patrick Kelly on Tue 22 Nov, 2005 1:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 1:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
Sorry to hear about the hassle, Patrick! I actually had the same thing happen to me this summer with a mail fauld I got from Historic Enterprises. When I purchased it, the fauld was covered in black, greasy filth. I did the exact same thing as you, and loved the results of the clean up, so I sprayed some WD-40 on it and let it dry. About a half an hour later I come back to see it's completely rusted.


My coif from HE (GDFB made) was the same way. An overnight soak in vinegar removed the black finish. However, I forgot that I had oiled it down and threw it into the sand bucket right away so I didn't have much of a problem with rust.

It all looks good now though!

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 1:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just to correct Nathan: I think sand would be abrasive not corrosive unless you put something corrosive in the sand.

But I would think that overuse of sand might be a problem.

Well my maille still has that "ugly " galvanized coating so no rust problems so far. ( Now that was mean of me. Razz Laughing Out Loud )

If the WD40 completely evaporates I guess that keeps your maille from greasing up whatever you use under your maille.

Would a de-greasing solvent be useful when cleaning ? Rubbing alcohol ? Maybe cleaning and then coating with a rust preventative could be two consecutive processes rather than a one step thing.

A dry anti-rust product might take care of the ICK greasy factor: Car wax spray and rubbing off the excess ?

Just throwing out ideas in the hope that one will stick. Wink Laughing Out Loud

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 1:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Just to correct Nathan: I think sand would be abrasive not corrosive unless you put something corrosive in the sand.

That's a much, much better word. I'm in programming mode so my language skills are suffering currently. Laughing Out Loud

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Jesse Frank
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 1:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Patrick,

You might want to soak it in a baking soda or dish detergent solution to neutralize the vinegar. I've had some bad experiences with that stuff... it'll stay in the rivets and spaces and do it's evil thing..... The WD probably wont completely take care of it.

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Paul Mortimer




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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 2:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Patrick,
I tried using sawdust to remove the excess oil from my mail coat when I got it. It is very difficult to remove all of the resulting black gunge. I used a stiff broom but it only disappeared after I wore it a few times. I had to, and still have to, clean any clothes that I wear under my mail but, thankfully all the remains of the sawdust have now gone. Sadly some oil still clings to the mail. Your WD40 method sounds very promising.

Cheers,

Paul
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Jonathon Janusz





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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 3:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick, if you are puting your hauberk away for storage I would suggest giving it a light coat of oil after the WD-40 (cleaning) treatment. Something about the WD-40 after evaporation seemed to attract rust after a short while (a couple of days at most) on mild steel in my observations.

Lloyd, Harlan, Mariah, Bob and I had an amusing conversation about that last fall at the faire. . . Wink
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Chuck Russell




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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 3:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hehehe been there done that Wink

best thing to remove the black stuff from new mail.

wipe down as much as possible. wipe down with a lil bit of olive oil.... put on oven sheet in oven on low temp... wipe off excess BECAREFUL THOUGH can cause a house to catch fire i've heard.

i usually jsut use sand to clean my mail. sometimes some 3n1 oil in spots needed. WARNING TO WD-40. if u want to save your clothes wipe most of this off. a friend of mine had his roman tunic(luckly jsut a simple thing like this) was ruined by wearing a mail shirt that had been put away with wd-40. so wipe it down befor eyou wear it again
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Jesse S. Bailey




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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 4:22 pm    Post subject: Cleaning of Maile         Reply with quote

The easiest and cheapest way I found to clean maile, is to buy a gas dryer that uses just a 110 voltage, put it in an out building (or course, don't hook up the gas), throw the hauberk in, granted this is for a rivited maile hauberk, throw some old towells in, and it will come out looking brand new. It takes about 20 minutes. I picked up the gas dryer at a used appliance place for $20.00.

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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 9:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chuck Russell wrote:
hehehe been there done that Wink

best thing to remove the black stuff from new mail.

wipe down as much as possible. wipe down with a lil bit of olive oil.... put on oven sheet in oven on low temp... wipe off excess BECAREFUL THOUGH can cause a house to catch fire i've heard.

i usually jsut use sand to clean my mail. sometimes some 3n1 oil in spots needed. WARNING TO WD-40. if u want to save your clothes wipe most of this off. a friend of mine had his roman tunic(luckly jsut a simple thing like this) was ruined by wearing a mail shirt that had been put away with wd-40. so wipe it down befor eyou wear it again


I don't know, I've used WD-40 on mail for years with no permanent ill effects on my clothing. Mileage varies of course. Most of the time I don't let it sit long enough to get rusty so no lubricants are needed most of the time.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 9:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Cleaning of Maile         Reply with quote

Jesse S. Bailey wrote:
The easiest and cheapest way I found to clean maile, is to buy a gas dryer that uses just a 110 voltage, put it in an out building (or course, don't hook up the gas), throw the hauberk in, granted this is for a rivited maile hauberk, throw some old towells in, and it will come out looking brand new. It takes about 20 minutes. I picked up the gas dryer at a used appliance place for $20.00.

Jesse B


I've thought about that too. If I wore the stuff often enough to justify it, and had the space, that would definitely be the way to go.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 9:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathon Janusz wrote:
Patrick, if you are puting your hauberk away for storage I would suggest giving it a light coat of oil after the WD-40 (cleaning) treatment. Something about the WD-40 after evaporation seemed to attract rust after a short while (a couple of days at most) on mild steel in my observations.

Lloyd, Harlan, Mariah, Bob and I had an amusing conversation about that last fall at the faire. . . Wink


Hmmmmm. Where are you storing it? I haven't had that problem, but my mail is kept in the house in a trunk so things like temperature and humidity don't vary much.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 10:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jesse Frank wrote:
Hey Patrick,

You might want to soak it in a baking soda or dish detergent solution to neutralize the vinegar. I've had some bad experiences with that stuff... it'll stay in the rivets and spaces and do it's evil thing..... The WD probably wont completely take care of it.


I just hosed it down with Ballistol and I'll let it sit while I'm out of town for the next couple of days. That should take care of it. No more vinegar for me unless I intentionally want to age something. It sure made all the rings match nicely though. Big Grin The pisser is that I really didn't need to do anything to it other than put it away. I just caused myself a lot of extra work for nothing. That's what I get for being a compulsive tinkerer.

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


Last edited by Patrick Kelly on Tue 22 Nov, 2005 10:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 10:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chuck Russell wrote:
hehehe been there done that Wink

best thing to remove the black stuff from new mail.

wipe down as much as possible. wipe down with a lil bit of olive oil.... put on oven sheet in oven on low temp... wipe off excess BECAREFUL THOUGH can cause a house to catch fire i've heard.

i usually jsut use sand to clean my mail. sometimes some 3n1 oil in spots needed. WARNING TO WD-40. if u want to save your clothes wipe most of this off. a friend of mine had his roman tunic(luckly jsut a simple thing like this) was ruined by wearing a mail shirt that had been put away with wd-40. so wipe it down befor eyou wear it again


I used to use the oven to bake gun parts when I refinished them with a black ceramic based coating. Considering how that smelled up the house, and my wife's reaction, I don't think I'll utilize that option. Eek!

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 10:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul Mortimer wrote:
Hi Patrick,
I tried using sawdust to remove the excess oil from my mail coat when I got it. It is very difficult to remove all of the resulting black gunge. I used a stiff broom but it only disappeared after I wore it a few times. I had to, and still have to, clean any clothes that I wear under my mail but, thankfully all the remains of the sawdust have now gone. Sadly some oil still clings to the mail. Your WD40 method sounds very promising.

Cheers,

Paul


Thanks Paul. It's sounds like sawdust is out for me. When I first cleaned it after removing the zinc plating I used oil and sand. Unfortunately I was a bit too liberal with the oil and I made a nice goopy past. I had quite a time removing that too!

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 10:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Just to correct Nathan: I think sand would be abrasive not corrosive unless you put something corrosive in the sand.

That's a much, much better word. I'm in programming mode so my language skills are suffering currently. Laughing Out Loud


Strange, I knew exactly what you meant and didn't even catch that!

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Jonathon Janusz





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PostPosted: Wed 23 Nov, 2005 5:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Hmmmmm. Where are you storing it? I haven't had that problem, but my mail is kept in the house in a trunk so things like temperature and humidity don't vary much.


Admittedly, Lloyd's jousting gear (not to mention anything made of bare metal just living in Wisconsin alone) has gone through a wide range of temperature and humidity during transport/storage.

I just remember Lloyd talking about the cycle: Clean after joust, rust appears. Clean rust, put away. Get home, rust appears. Clean rust, put away. Prep for show, rust appears. Clean rust, put away. Get ready to joust, rust appears. Clean rust, joust. Clean after joust, rust appears. . .
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