Removing Rust from a Viking Sword Hilt
I have discovered that my Vinland has tiny rust spots on the hilt. What I am wondering is: how should I go about removing them without damaging the hilt decor?

I have tried using metal polish which removed some of it, but there's still an underlying black stain on the hilt. I have also tried using Renaissance Wax on the same spots, but it doesn't seem to help. I am leery of using sandpaper, even with a really fine grit, because I am concerned about ruining the incised lines on the Vinland's cross.

What would others suggest?
I have used gray scotch brite pads with good success in cleaning up hilts and blades, on Albions and others.

If you're concerned with scratching it all up, I would go with grey scotch brite with a few drops of oil, like 3 in 1 oil. Go in 1 direction, along the length as much as possible...same direction.
Yeah, oil and grey scotch brite (or equivalent) has always worked just fine for me.
Okay, thanks. Since gray scotch brite is not readily available around here, I guess I may have to order some online.
Re: Removing Rust from a Viking Sword Hilt
Why not use cotton pads and baby lotion while you are at it :)

I would go for sandpaper. It would take hours of heavy rubbing before you are likely to damage the incised lines. As soon as you "break the rust" use finer grit then scotch brite, or else it will take forever (of course it depends on how bad the "rust spots" are, so I am guessing here).

Always found that Albion owners were often terrified at the thought of approaching their sword with sandpaper ...these are still made of steel, not balsa wood :)

I've tried removing scratches on Albion blades using scotch brite pads for me! Quickly switched to sandpaper (as low as 60 grits, even 40!) then upwards to fully restore the satin polish. Scotch brite is fine for final blade re finish & cleaning finger stains (that and cleaning kitchen worktops) - but not to fix damage & rust IMO - it takes ages before you can see a noticeable difference even on a super fine scratch.

All jokes aside, trying first with scotch brite is a always a good idea (why use a bazooka where a slingshot works), but if the rust is stubborn, I'd quickly use the above method.


I like the look of my Albion Gaddhjalt after many many sandpaper rubs. ;) And with a point on edge where it hit the nail. :D
What Julien M said.

You can add various sanding blocks to this as well. I use wine corks wrapped in wet dry sand paper, if you are trying to get something very small a old fashioned wooden pencil with the eraser and a bit of sand paper.

Things not to use

Brasso, it will cause corrosion and will remove the fine black that is in the engraving.

Solvents that will damage the leather.

Wire gun cleaning brushes.

Dremel tools

Buffing wheels with polish compound.

A duck
I actually totally agree with Julien as well....BUT since not really sure the severity of Craig's rust figured go easy with the scotch brite. If you have bad rust you will want to beef up the abrasion some. You can always polish it back with finer and finer grits.

But yeah...I have been down the sandpaper path with my Albions as well. I bought a used Count off ebay with some rusted finger prints all over the place. They got the sandpaper treatment and then the whole blade got a good once over (more like 10 times over) and everything blended back, looks like new.

The real key in my mind if you are using some kind of paper is keep going in the same direction. Never swirl it.
Re: Removing Rust from a Viking Sword Hilt
Julien M wrote:

Always found that Albion owners were often terrified at the thought of approaching their sword with sandpaper ...these are still made of steel, not balsa wood :)

Funny you should mention that Julien. For the last, oh, ten or so years, I've only been using sandpaper to clean my Albions, and I have test-cut and used every sharp Albion I own. ;-) It's only this year and the very end of last year that I've tried using metal polish and Renaissance wax as alternatives. One of the reasons I posted this thread was because I scratched the s**t out of one of my Tod Stuff daggers using 800 grit sandpaper- I had tried 1000 grit but it seemed too ineffective. Needless to say, I did not want a repeat on my Vinland.

I think I did use a swirling motion with the sandpaper on the dagger's pommel, which is probably the problem.
Re: Removing Rust from a Viking Sword Hilt
One of the reasons I posted this thread was because I scratched the s**t out of one of my Tod Stuff daggers using 800 grit sandpaper

Tod will typically buff his pieces to a mirror finish. Effective and quick method but I imagine that changing to a satin finish might take quiet some elbow grease (you'd reveal grinding marks for starters etc).

And by the way, my point on Albion owners being wary of using sandpaper was not to mock - I've been there too and I understand it well given the price points of these swords. Everything is relative, my first sword was a towton by MRL, and it took me a while to gather the confidence to "upgrade" it (understand: seriously mess with).

I can only imagine how one could feel about cutting or practising with a custom Barta, Powning or Johnsson...

I think I own about 14 albions now. I do not cut with all of them, heck I have not cut sense I retired from the army and started a second job because I work a lot more now.

It is odd in a way. I think people buy albions for art swords very often and not as cutters. The same people that would buy a 1000 Dollar katana will not cut with their 1000 albion. An albion is much easier to re-polish and re-sharpen.

The main enemy of my swords is North Carolina humidity and industrial particulation. I do not live in a particularly dirty town, but there is a lot of automobile traffic and the exhaust is bad for steel. I have no interest in moving close to the ocean either as salt air is really bad for steel.

If I understand correctly you were mostly talking about the hilt though and that your concern was damaging the black that is inside the engraved portion of the hilt. If that is the case just a small sanding block will keep the sand paper out of the nooks and crannies. I do not think you would do any damage even with your finger as the sanding block. As I said before I like wine corks for this, especially the synthetic corks as they are a bit more firm.

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