I ran across these directions today. Gardner says: "The keris blade is next laid in a trough containing boiling rice water, sulphur, and salt, for three or four days. This blackens the steel but scarcely touches the iron. It attacks the marks of the welds, which show as tiny etched lines. When this damascened pattern is clear, the blade is cleaned with lime juice
Two things in that caught my attention. First was the adjective boiling
rice water, not boiled or simply rice water. It made me think about Mickey's trick of boiling steel in hydrogen peroxide earlier in the thread. The second was that it blackens the steel and attacks the welds, the hardest parts of the blade. esp if the flux was something such as rice straw ash that would add carbon content to the weld line. BTW what is used for flux in Keris manufacture? Either Gardner's understanding of the parts was reversed or this treatment attacks areas of higher carbon content. That to me in one way or another is interesting. If he did misunderstand the pattern does that make his use of boiling
Jugabuwana, did your blade ever get its second rice water bath or did the COVID pass through and life go back to its hectic normal? I'd love to see more pictures someday!