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Author Topic:   A kris for ID and comments
ferguson
Senior Member
posted 08-25-2004 21:29     Click Here to See the Profile for ferguson   Click Here to Email ferguson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello all,
I found this nice kris in need of a handle wrap listed on Ebay as "VINTAGE SWORD, BAYONET, MEDIEVAL ??,UNUSUAL". From what I have learned here, I'm guessing a Phillipine Moro Kris. The hilt is buffalo horn, wrapped with cord (and some old timey electrical friction tape). Baca is steel, with a brass strip going under the handle wrap on the underside of the hilt. Overall length is 26". I did a quick and dirty polish and etch with 50/50 FeCl. I wiped the etchant on with a paper towel and the steel on the edges went immediately dark. Further rubbing showed a nice pattern (pamor?) in the center. Wow, was I surprised! Here are some pics. Anything you could tell me of origin or age would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
Steve Ferguson




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rasdan
Senior Member
posted 08-25-2004 22:43     Click Here to See the Profile for rasdan   Click Here to Email rasdan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Steve,

My Moro keris is limited, perhaps we should wait for more experienced members to comment. i just wanna say that it looks like u hav a very good and quite rare keris there. Nice catch!! AAA++++

[This message has been edited by rasdan (edited 08-25-2004).]

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LOUIEBLADES
Senior Member
posted 08-25-2004 22:44     Click Here to See the Profile for LOUIEBLADES   Click Here to Email LOUIEBLADES     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Steve

Very nice find! The blade looks to be an older one 19th century possibly but the hilt looks to be post WW2 but I can't be 100% sure. It has a wonderful pattern forged into the center core which shows that the smith was quite skilled at his craft.

Lew

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RSword
Senior Member
posted 08-25-2004 23:35     Click Here to See the Profile for RSword   Click Here to Email RSword     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Steve,

Great find. The blade shows characteristics of an earlier blade. It looks narrow and the demarcation line between the gangya and the blade has only a slight angle, it almost goes straight across. Cato points to this characteristic for the earlier blades, so an early 19th century attribution would seem appropriate and it could be older. Nice sandwhich lamination on the blade. Center panel of iron/steel laminate sandwhiched by high carbon steel outer edges. The darker outer edges are in keeping with traditional Moro etching.

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kino
Senior Member
posted 08-26-2004 00:15     Click Here to See the Profile for kino   Click Here to Email kino     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great find. Nice looking blade! Congrats!!

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Wantok
Member
posted 08-26-2004 03:03     Click Here to See the Profile for Wantok   Click Here to Email Wantok     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi steve, nice keris

I was wondering, is 50/50 FeCl like some kind of arsenic used to etch the blade? Any idea where i could obtain some?

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ferguson
Senior Member
posted 08-26-2004 05:12     Click Here to See the Profile for ferguson   Click Here to Email ferguson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The ferric chloride is Printed Circuit Board Etchant. I got mine at Radio Shack. It is used to etch the copper off of printed circuit boards. Diluted with distilled water 50%. I'm wondering if this is the proper ratio for this type of steel?

Steve

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Rick
EEWRS Staff
posted 08-26-2004 09:25     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick   Click Here to Email Rick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Ferg , if you're using Radio Shack pcb etchant then that is a pretty robust solution. Hopefully you neutralized the etchant thoroughly with baking soda solution or paste afterward .
That being said ; what a wonderful blade !!

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zelbone
Senior Member
posted 08-26-2004 10:16     Click Here to See the Profile for zelbone   Click Here to Email zelbone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Beautiful blade, Steve! I was watching that as well and you got it at a great bargain. The blade has that cool "skunk stripe" that many older Moro krises have which shows the hardened edges. I have to agree with Rick about FeCl. It's pretty strong stuff and etches very quickly. A 50/50 or 1:1 dilution is a bit strong. Next time try a 1:4 or 1:5 dilution. It will etch a little slower, but at least you have more control of the etching process. At that dilution, its still works faster than plain vinegar (ascetic acid.) I've noticed that blades etched in vinegar "color" differently than blades etched in ferric chloride...it's hard to describe. The best way to describe it, I guess, is that ferric chloride brings out more contrast between the different metals...vinegar is more subtle. It's all aesthetics, some blades look better etched in vinegar, while some look better etched in ferric chloride. Congratulations again on that beautiful blade.

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ferguson
Senior Member
posted 08-26-2004 11:02     Click Here to See the Profile for ferguson   Click Here to Email ferguson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gentlemen, thanks so much for the information. I'm so new at this, I could make many mistakes. The 1:1 ferric chloride worked very quickly. After etching I washed the blade twice with soap and cold water. After drying it off it was oiled immediately. I always use a paste of baking soda after a vinegar etch, but didn't with the FeCl. I will do so from now on. My plan is to polish the blade again to 1500 grit and re-etch using a more diluted solution. I only went to 400 grit last night, as I really had no idea what a wonderful blade that I had.
I am polishing with wet or dry silicon carbide paper, using Windex for a lubricant. Is this the proper way to do it? Or should I be using stones of some type? My understanding is that I should not use a buffing wheel as this "smears" the surface of the steel. Is this correct?(and yes I know too well the dangers of the buffing wheel)
Again, thanks for all of the help! You guys are great.

Steve

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mmontoro
Senior Member
posted 08-26-2004 12:03     Click Here to See the Profile for mmontoro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great blade, Steve. I use 600, 1000, 1500 and 2000 grits.

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Federico
Senior Member
posted 08-26-2004 15:09     Click Here to See the Profile for Federico   Click Here to Email Federico     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Steve nice catch. Ill confess, I use a stronger mix of Ferric Chloride myself, but then I normally only use Ferric Chloride for those pieces that just dont look good with a citric etch (ie. lemon juice). The only big deal is just that the etch is fast and you need to keep an eye on it. Though, one thing Ive noticed with stronger solutions, while it oxidizes faster, it doesnt necessarily cut faster. Ive had good ol lemon juice create topographical etches after 30 minutes, while the ferric chloride in the same time turned the piece dark black, but did not penetrate as deep. Anyways, as Zel noted its all just asthetics. I would caution against using stones, unless you really want to remove lots of material, and with an antique unless someone put a grinder to the bad boy, I just dont see it as necessary. Again, Ill admit to using some to save on lower grits, but then it goes back to that whole personal taste/purpose thing. Stones do not have a strict grit control as sandpaper, and unless purposely made for blade polishing, there usually is a larger or stray grit that can mar a finer polish. Hence the un-suitablity for sword polishing for most lower grade stones, and them Japanese polishing stones (not to be mistaken for just the regular high grit water stones) are amazingly expensive. Though having examined a number of pieces in original finish (well seemingly original, I suppose one can never be 100 percent sure), I often get the feeling that we collectors get way too obsessed with finer finishes, polishing these bad boys to a much finer polish than original. Anyways, just remember to follow the lines of the blade (another nice thing about sandpaper), and not to sweat smaller nicks and pitting (they give the blade character, and well often the amount of material to remove the small stuff ends up being quite large). Another tip, for those who didnt know, most dish soaps can neutralize acid. I normally neutralize with baking soda, wash a few times with dish soap, and things are good. Just remember etching opens the grain of the steel, so in the first few weeks/months it will be more susceptable to rusting, though once it stabilizes it should be pretty resistant to future live rust. The etch also mellows, with the contrast often evening out on its own (which I think is a plus) if allowed to "breathe" in an oiled blade. Waxing, while less maintenance, does not allow this mellowing. So the blade will stay in pretty much the same look as if freshly etched. Then again, its all personal taste and aesthetics.

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tom hyle
Senior Member
posted 08-26-2004 22:13     Click Here to See the Profile for tom hyle   Click Here to Email tom hyle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any thoughts on the pommel? It reminds me of the one on the odd PI sword recently posted as Balkan(?)....

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