Originally Posted by bsingh2311
What metal do you guys think the sword was forged from? It looks a lot like watered steel to me?
Lastly, the sword would need a thorough cleaning. What would you guys recommend as good materials/practices for cleaning or getting the blade's pattern to be more apparent?
Hey there bsingh,
What makes you think it is watered steel? The pictures you provide don't show the blade in any great detail, and even with the large picture it is hard to see much detail in the blade (other than oxidation, of course). Does the seller you bought this from describe it as being watered? I wouldn't trust the seller, personally, if the watering isn't clearly visible. Though of course at the same time it could be that the pattern has been obscured by polishing, but this is true of any blade that hasn't been etched (any blade could, in theory, be watered if you don't know what it's made out of or haven't etched it).
More likely than not it's just plain steel, or if the blade was forged late enough it could be more modern pattern welded "damascus" steel.
Cleaning-wise, lots of people have different methods. Some people use really fine steel wool, or fine grades of sandpaper or other abrasives, while other people use chemicals or natural remedies. Personally, I've found that simple lemon juice is quite effective; just apply it to oxidized areas, wait an hour or two for it to dry, clean it off, and then polish the area once the oxidation is removed to the preferred degree. I have to ask another question though: what makes you think it needs a thorough cleaning? From the picture you've shown, the hilt is in a pretty solid condition, with only minimal losses to the koftgari, and the blade appears cleaned/polished enough as is. What little oxidation is still on the blade appears to be at a level that most museums would find acceptable (though to be fair that isn't saying much). At most the blade might need some polishing & sharpening (optional), while the koftgari on the hilt might need to be brightened up (polished) if it has at all gotten dull.
In regards to etching the blade, there are plenty of threads on here that discuss the proper methods/materials that should be used to get any possible pattern in the steel more visible. Using the search feature is recommended