,, Some stains only seem to respond to higher grits. ''
So you have seen this too. It is strange to me as this phenomenon seems to be contrary to what one would expect. Had this black spot. These are often build around a central pit with a lot of fine pitting around it with overspill of rust as cover. Black as in black as in 80 or 60 grid minimum. Both these grids did almost nothing. Went over it with 180 and Poof! Gone. Weird.
,, Or if it make the news. ;) ''
I hope this last does not mean ,, events of a pyrotechnical nature, often including great sound effects''? Just asking. For a fren, you know?
This is just a quick progress report with a few notes.
Since my last post, I did two cleaning sessions of about two hours each. As planned, I focused on cleaning the fuller up to its termination as well as the cutting edge to its termination. I spent the earlier session using lower grits; some 60, but mostly 80 and 120. My aim was to cut the bulk of the black patina, and prime the area for a rough polish. Lol.
After the first session.
Vexingly, the low grits barely touched the patina, and glided harmlessly (comically) over the pits. With grit that low, I had to be cautious not to remove too much steel, and had to stay well away from the fuller boundaries lest I permanently gouge them. The effort was kinda successful in at least cutting the surface mat coating of patina. I guess.
I wouldn’t call the session an utter waste, but only because I learned the surprisingly tight envelope within which low grit paper is useful.
After the first session; soft boundary with previous work. Things seemed to go okay here…
After the first session. *patina snickers*
After the first session. That galactic supercluster of pits is where the the polish and counter polish spent decades partying without protection.
Anyway, I spent the latter session scouring away with 150 and 220 grit. These were a lot more successful at cutting the patina. But it was slow going, and consumed a fair amount of paper. There was really no way around just working each little pit and patina group thoroughly. A number of times I was reduced to picking at each spot individually with a tiny roll of sandpaper.
With progress coming so slow, I focused work on just the cutting edge, leaving the fuller to a later session (or two).
After second session.
While a bit tedious and mildly frustrating, the real challenge was keeping a broad perspective. I only worked each tiny area for a short time before doing an area polish. Then I would move on to the next spot and so on, then work my way back up the work area. This prevented any wavy undulations and craters.
After second session. It was somewhere around here that I abandoned the fuller for future me to deal with. He’s gonna be miffed.
It also helped protect the fuller boundary from getting washed out by carelessness and impatience. Indeed, as I moved up to 220 grit, I found that I could sharpen the apparent crispness of the fuller boundary by removing some of the old field polish gouges in the vicinity. The ridge itself was unchanged, but the steel around it was cleaner, making the overall transition sharper.
After second session. I did at least try to dig out some of the “history” from the fuller termination.
After a couple of hours, it was quitting time. The edge still suffers from an abundance of small pits, but they are now far less apparent. While I would like to dedicate at least one more session to just this area of the cutting edge, I really should move on to the fuller and ricasso.
After second session. I’ll reevaluate my satisfaction with the edge finish once the fuller is cleaned up some.
For this evening’s session, I spent about 2 hours trying to get the forte cleaned up, with an emphasis on some particularly stubborn pitting in the fuller, by using higher grit sandpaper.
After 400 grit.
After 400 grit. This area needs a little more work.
In my search for a procedure that excises widespread pitting, a pattern began to emerge that was relatively effective. Not surprisingly, it was about the most labor intensive one I could think of. There just doesn’t seem to be a shortcut around starting with low grit paper, and steadily working the steel with successively higher grits.
After 400 grit. This area needs quite a bit more work. It is still quite noticeable to the eye, and undermines the appearance of the entire blade.
I had worked the fuller with 60, 80, and 120 grit in a previous session, so this evening I spent some quality time with 150, 220, and 400. The high grit is slow going, but it is very precise, and can safely polish right up to the fuller boundary. While pits and patina are sloooooooow to polish out, the fuller ridges seem to sharpen up rather quickly, adding a nice optical bonus that lessens the visual weight of the remaining blemishes.
After 400 grit. The counter polish moonscape crater field responded well to repeated cleaning with 400 grit. To the eye, it is much more subtle than in photos, and is actually hardly noticeable. The ricasso is evenly polished to a uniform sheen. The dirty looking spots are the result of the surface not being level, and reflecting light unevenly.
The forte and ricasso really need at least one more dedicated session with the high grits to reach an acceptable level of cleanliness and uniformity. I also need to even up the ricasso so that light reflects evenly over the entire surface. Preserving the maker’s mark while resurfacing that confined space will be tricky.
After Mother’s polish.
After finishing up with 400 grit this evening, I did a quick polish with Mothers polish just to get an idea of how the current progress would look after a final polish. As I said, I still have at least one, probably two, more sessions of work on this side before I get started on the other side of the blade.
After Mother’s polish. A couple more hours at 220 and 400 grit should do it here.
After Mother’s polish. The fuller termination could use a little more work, too.
It is nice to start to see the blade as it will appear when completed.
After Mother’s polish.
That’s all I have for now. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Pits. Nasty little b*ggers. Found that the smallest ones are often the deepest. They can go on like forever. I think that if the shape does not change within a short time, say 1-2 minutes with 120, it can be better to just let them be. Once the crud is out (that makes them black, but shadow also of course) these smaller ones do not jump out anymore and will go nicely under the polish. Also, I do not erase them totally with one low grid alone. When I see the shape change I stop with say 120 and with the next level, say 180 or even 240, I'll try to get more done. Saves steel and you are polishing up at the same time. Working on a Epee Uniforme from the Consulate period, with a demi espadron blade so floppy and at the foible so thin, there is no other choice. With most of the superficial pitting and grey removed the pitting that is left does not look so awful anymore. What is left is isolated and with a bit of luck should go under the polish and will only show under the right light. And even then it not so terrible anymore. Just part of a 200 year old blade. One expects that. Makes the blade interesting too. Nothing so boring for me as a blade polished to glass like sterile and characterless perfection. With these old blades sometimes unexpected things happen. Colour changes in small droplets like islands in the dark, silver streakes like on the Toledo blades. Differend tempering hamon like effects. Those were fun to polish. Solingen and Klingenthal blades can have them too. If I see stuff like that coming to the surface I will try to enhance it with a good burnish. Keep up the good work sir. You're doing great.
With a lack of studio (or decent) lighting, I took several photos from different angles to better capture the appearance of various parts and aspects of the blade
For this evening's session, I spent about a half-hour with 400 grit trying to clean up some of the remaining pits, just to challenge their tenacity and perseverance one last time. They seemed to have a will of iron.
Ultimately, I just kinda blended the edges, and dug out just a smidgeon more black patina.
The blue and orange colors are from the competing "cool" bluish fluorescent kitchen lights and "warm" yellowish LED dining room lights. (Incidentally, blue light has a shorter wavelength and is more energetic than yellow light. Hotter sources produce bluer light. Dunno what the light bulb industry was thinking.)
Then I spent about 30 minutes trying to c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y even up the ricasso around the maker's mark without doing any damage.
Then I spent maybe 45 minutes working the entire length of the blade with long, uniform, light pressure sanding strokes, again with 400 grit. I wanted to remove the Mothers shiny blue finish, and restore a more historical polish and color to the blade. Since I had previously worked the blade in sections, I needed to unify the work, and get the majority of polishing marks to run parallel in direction and cut to a uniform depth.
Falling back to a lower polish also helped minimize various blemishes and pits.
This is essentially what I am calling a "finished" cleaning and polishing for this side of the blade. There are quite a number of imperfections, but the time has come to move on to the other side of the blade. Once that is done, I'll finish cleaning the spine, and come back to apply a light counter polish at the forte. Then, on to the hilt!
Since my work space is the dining room table, the lighting is less than ideal. I took photos from opposing angles this time to give a better idea of the blade's actual appearance. In person, I would say it looks much better than when I began. It is far from perfect - the katana crowd would be polite but unimpressed. Regardless, there remains history in the blade; evidence of a veteran's career, then long retirement. And now, a restored dignity.
I'll pause here briefly to reflect on the experience thus far. Then, on to the next step!
Wow, just wow... So...2 hour sessions... If I were a betting man, I'd say you've got a movie on in the background while polishing. And about the time it ends, fingers are sore... Awesome labor of love!
"When an Old Man dies, a library burns to the ground."
Attributed to an African Proverb This is my official mod voice.
If anything, I generally put on a podcast. Doing the work in this project is quite calming in a meditative sort of way. It sorta supercharges the “theater of the mind,” especially with a good history podcast. 🙂
A new chapter of nationwide madness has given me even more mandatory stay-at-home time, so I settled in to start cleaning up the other side of the blade.
I was going to make a joke about blueing the blade or something, but I resisted.
I started by taking Uhlan's advice. I taped up the side I just finished working on. In case you were thinking that trying to stick masking tape to an oiled blade might be kinda frustrating, you are correct. However, a little persistence pays off here. Besides, it's not like actually masking a painted edge. I just wanted to keep the bulk of all the slurry of sanded steel and sandpaper grit off the polished side of the blade. I will no doubt have to go over both sides at high grit to smooth things out before I'm finished.
The slurry of mineral oil, sandpaper grit, and centuries-old steel. This is the ubiquitous black gunk that makes such a mess. On the plus side, it has no odor, and cleans up quite easily.
Having gone through this process once before, I was able to make progress quite a bit faster this time. I was a lot bolder, and used a lot more force than during my first tentative steps. It was a good thing, too, because this side of the blade was and is in worse shape. It will continue to be a lot more challenging. I just went ahead and started with 60 grit, then worked my way up through 80, 120, 150, and 220 grit.
There is less overall patina on this side of the blade, but the pits are deeper, with one gargantuan canyon deep enough to yodel in. There are also a few gouges in the surface that are just too deep to hope to remove. My plan is to soften the edges and get the gunk out of the recesses so that they are less obnoxious.
To try something new, I took some before and after shots to give an idea of what I worked on, and what remains to be done. The "before" pics show the blade before I did any work at all. My eye seems to measure patina and pitting by volume, so a few deep black pits are not much more egregious than a few shallow gray ones. My fingers perceive things very differently.
Before. The big black spot in the middle on the edge is a tenacious brat, and the various gouges are moderately vexing. However, the light colored crater in the middle near the spine is in a class all its own. It's a rude gesture wrapped in expletives; mocking and condescending.
Before. This angle shows historical sanding marks that resulted in an unattractive and destructive cross-hatched pattern. Some sanding followed the general curve of the blade, and some followed the curve of the cutting edge. The resulting checkered gouges were starting to breed deep rooted black patina and pitting similar to the counter polish at the forte. Yikes.
Before. The fuller termination came to me already washed out with some deep gouges. I hope to clean and sharpen it substantially.
Before. In this photo, the light really shows the depth and breadth of some of the harsher gouges on the foible.
After. The lesser gouges have been reduced to a series of shallow pits. *happy face*
After. That really bad divot is still pretty rough. Ill try to wash out its edges and clean it out, but it is probably too deep to remove entirely. *frowny face* Also, get a load of that huuuuge pit right at the fuller termination.
It will take several more sessions to get an acceptable finish. Progress will seem slow, but the results should be better that way. Once it is acceptably cleaned an polished, it's on to the fuller termination!
That's all I have for now. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Pits like the one at the end of the fuller are often a conglomerate of 1 centre pit and a bunch of sattelites surrounding it, I found. Wrap some paper around a wood kebab stick or something, like a cotton swab but now with ,,teeth''. Delve in and see what happens, but take care not to dig a deep hole. Persistant going over it with the grids at your disposal may also lessen the visual impact to a degree. Tricky work because you do not want to damage the fuller ridge. Work into the fuller end from the tip section side, always. In the event the fuller end shape changes it is easy to bring back just like the polisher did when he shaped it the first time. Wrap some 400 or 600 around the little block you use to even things out. Even out the tip section and follow the profile (thin at the edges and thick in the middle. Work from the very tip down to the fuller end but do not touch it yet. When done with the tip section now use the block holding it (putting the most pressure on) the end that is close to you while pushing the other end over the fuller edge. If you follow the profile of the tip section you will see that the fuller end ridge gets shaped again just like it was before even when work inside the fuller has smeared it out a bit. This way you can form the fuller end shape to your liking. With the tip pointed at you go from right up to the middle and from the left up to the middle. The middle is the highest point in the tip section profile and that is where the fuller end ridge shape gets its pointy appearance. Very easy! ???
So... the world has again doubled-down on its insanity. The logistics of working "at a distance" has substantially multiplied the time-expenditure footprint of trying to accomplish, well, anything. Work has been super busy, but only marginally productive. Folks are doing what they can, and I appreciate and respect their various efforts, but my time budget has been wrung dry.
Anyway, going has been a bit slow on the refurb project as of late. I did put in a little over an hour this evening, so I get to post a brief but personally satisfying update.
I continued working the foible area, slowly turning craters into dimples. I worked 120, 150, and 220 grit. I started by wrapping sandpaper around a little wooden matchstick to dig out the black patination from the more stubborn spots. Then, I sanded the whole area vigorously but with light pressure, again from lower to higher grit. The results were solid, but not really very impressive. If you compare the photos from tonight with the pics from my last post, the improvement looks pretty good.
In person, the progress looks incremental at best. Nonetheless, it was nice to get back to it for at least a little while. The process may be a bit slow, but it is indeed working.
Similar to a diet or workout regimen, keeping a regular photo journal helps mark progress that is not necessarily apparent from day to day.
One other thing I'll add: if, like me, you mask the already polished side of the blade with tape, be sure to remove the tape after each session, and re-mask it at the beginning of the next. Over time, the masking tape glue will become permanent. Worse, the tape seems to wick mineral oil away from the blade surface, possibly leaving it vulnerable to rust.
That's all I have for now. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Really forgot about those..... Thanks for digging them up again. There must be another thread where I did the episode thing. Before the Swedes. Again, I cannot remember which.... I need a secretary.....
Veerdin: Anybody know anywhedre that has a reasonably priced smallsword (prefferably with scabbard) for sale? The CS one is sold out everywhere I can see except a massively overpriced one on ebay and not even the Depeeka ones seem to be available anywhere.
Nov 26, 2023 2:50:37 GMT
eastman: I have seen SCA dueling with rapier and rubber chicken, so there is a precedent for parry-poultry
Nov 25, 2023 1:33:07 GMT
AndiTheBarvarian: "Gobbleza", The Turkeish School of Fencing!
Nov 24, 2023 6:07:14 GMT
eastman: would make for an odd fencing style - rapier and parrying turkey
Nov 24, 2023 1:38:40 GMT
eastman: thankfully I've never had a sword fight while carving a turkey, but there are 2 Kaskara by the kitchen doorway
Nov 24, 2023 1:38:06 GMT
Quillon: "Never bring a knife to a sword fight. Unless it's for carving turkey." The Pilgrim... have a festive Thanksgiving aficionados
Nov 23, 2023 17:21:32 GMT
nerdthenord: My three year old video game post keeps getting used for SEO scam spam, how odd.
Nov 22, 2023 19:53:19 GMT
yose: Powerpressed... Thank you for your message. The mekugi should have been put in from the omote side, I guess. They are half hidden by the tsukamaki on the other side.
Nov 10, 2023 11:07:03 GMT
ziggy: Further to my earlier shout, I had posted in the wrong place (thanks mrstabby) so I have now created a thread in Beginners forum 'help identifying this strange short sword' if anyone out there can help
Oct 30, 2023 18:30:22 GMT
ziggy: Hi - I am a total newbie and am looking for help identifying a sword I have inherited. I've posted some pics on a sword identification thread, so if any kind person can take a look that would be amazing - thank you!
Oct 30, 2023 13:41:51 GMT
ecovolo: Hi! It's been a *long* time since I've posted. I have a question in the fantasy swords section; if folks could take a gander to help answer my question, I'd appreciate it!
Oct 27, 2023 4:25:41 GMT
pixelsword: thank you stabby
Oct 25, 2023 17:51:56 GMT
mrstabby: hi pixelsword. I think it's fine where it is.
Oct 25, 2023 9:01:40 GMT
pixelsword: Sorry, I just want to make sure I am 'doing it right' - thanks!
Oct 25, 2023 3:05:54 GMT
pixelsword: HI all... new here.. I just posted a sword in the Items for Sale forum and see also a Non-professional classified, and am wondering if I posted in the correct place, of if I should post in both for better visibility, or is that even allowed?
Oct 25, 2023 3:05:20 GMT
blairbob: Lohman contracts work out so I'm told. I'm not sure his son does any of the work himself or anyone stateside
Oct 21, 2023 5:31:32 GMT
blairbob: exv. Ted I think has been around the longest as I remember back in the day Ted was already established and well known while Mesa was something of on the rise.
Oct 21, 2023 5:31:03 GMT
exv: Which mounter is the best? Ted Tenolds, john demesa, or fred lohman?
Oct 20, 2023 22:36:07 GMT
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