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Chris HusVar




Location: Cincinnati, Ohio USA
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed 01 Mar, 2006 7:34 am    Post subject: Refurbish Project         Reply with quote

Howdy to all,

I am attempting to 'restore' an older MRL Black Prince I have acquired. The blade is in decent shape, although it has been sharpened on one edge. The black finish on the cross is chipping and the cover for the grip is gone. I hope to restore this so it looks better. I plan to do the following, ANY assistance is greatly appreciated.

1. Sand/strip what I assume to be the black paint off the cross and pommel. I want to refinish it in gun bluing. Is the stuff sold for muzzle-loading kits the right stuff to use?

2. File down the sharp edge (this sword will not be used to cut anything). Should I use a hand file or a rotary tool?

3. Buff down the blade to remove rust spots and other blemishes.

4. FINALLY. Do something with the grip. The wood core is serviceable, but I was thinking about making a new one. Should I use the 'sandwich' method of construction? What wood is best for grips? What is the easiest method of grip covering?

Thanks for any suggestions.

Chris
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Greyson Brown




Location: Windsor, Colorado
Joined: 22 Nov 2004
Reading list: 15 books

Posts: 790

PostPosted: Wed 01 Mar, 2006 10:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris,

1. I believe that gun blueing is what is normally used these days. I think historically it was just heated in a forge and then brushed off. That cleans off the scale, etc, but leaves the black finish. If you do that, brush it with beeswax while it is still warm (black heat, but still too hot to handle works best). Don't get it too thick or it will look shiny and tacky, but if you do a think coat, it looks really good.

2. I would think a hand file would be better. It will be more work, but power tools can leave distinct, unsightly marks. If you go with a power tool, you'll probably end up hand sanding the marks out of it, so hand filing from the start is might be just as easy.

3. No real trick to this (that I know of). Use fine sandpaper in long even strokes (I think going from the base of the blade to the tip is recomended). Do not use any courser grit sandpaper than you need, as that can be rougher, and will require you to sand the finish smooth.

4. I have made grips using both the sandwich method and the drilled/filed method. I think the sandwich method is MUCH easier. Even if you glue the two halves together and slide them on (as your MRL sword was no doubt put together), it is easier to shape the pieces to the tang that way. I will make all of my grips using the sandwich meathod from here on out!

Albion uses stablized birch for their grips. I believe they use birch because it is strong, but also easy to shape. I don't know what has been used historically, and I have always used scrap pieces that my father had lying around from making rifle/shotgun stocks and various other bits of scrap hardwood.

Info on covering grips can be found here:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=1814
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=1846
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=3808
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=5822

-Grey

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
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Jan Downs




Location: Earth
Joined: 12 Feb 2006

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Thu 02 Mar, 2006 12:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Grey,

Thanks for the info on the sandwich style of grip. Do you simply saw the core lengthwise and carve out the space for the tang to sit in?

Regards,

Jan Downs

for God's sake strike true, man!
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Greyson Brown




Location: Windsor, Colorado
Joined: 22 Nov 2004
Reading list: 15 books

Posts: 790

PostPosted: Thu 02 Mar, 2006 2:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jan Downs wrote:
Grey,

Thanks for the info on the sandwich style of grip. Do you simply saw the core lengthwise and carve out the space for the tang to sit in?

Regards,

Jan Downs


You can either saw your core in half, or just use two pieces of wood. I have used both methods, and I think that using two blocks of wood makes for a slightly nicer fit, but it depends on you having two small blocks of wood around. I would probably buy a foot or two of 1X2" wood and then cut it into sections of the proper length for your halves. When I cut a single piece of wood in half, I was using the saw blade on my Swiss Army Knife, so your results might be much better with proper tools.

When carving out the space for the tang, I have usually traced the outline of the tang onto the wood. Then I just use the carve, check, carve again method. If you want a really tight fit, you could use a candle or oil lamp (adjust the wick so it is long, that will make it smoke more) to smoke the tang, then when you try to fit it into the core, it will leave a black mark where ever the metal rubs against the wood. I don't know that a fit that tight is needed, or ever desirable, though.

-Grey

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
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Jan Downs




Location: Earth
Joined: 12 Feb 2006

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Thu 02 Mar, 2006 6:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Excellent info. Thanks, Grey.

Jan

for God's sake strike true, man!
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