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Old 2nd August 2019, 08:34 PM   #1
chiefheadknocker
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Default unusual small little moro kris for id please

This little moro Kris is quite small compared to others ive had in the past , the blade is badly pitted especially on one side , I don't expect there is much you do for this , im not sure what region or age it might be , any info is helpful thanks
measures 56cm long blade is 43 cm
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Old 3rd August 2019, 12:24 AM   #2
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Seriously Chief? You seem to have stumbled upon the holy grail for Moro kris collectors. This is what Cato refers to as an "Archaic" kris. I suppose it is debatable how far back this form goes, but it would certainly be safe to say 17th century. Some might argue this form could be older. I'd say you particular blade could be as old as early 18thC. A very nice score! Congratulations!
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Old 3rd August 2019, 01:56 AM   #3
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Chief,

I agree with David--a very nice old Moro kris. The central panel of the blade may well be twist core. A clean and etch of the blade would be advisable I think. Congratulations on finding a nice antique form.

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Old 3rd August 2019, 03:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
The central panel of the blade may well be twist core. A clean and etch of the blade would be advisable I think.

Yes, i should have added this. If that is the case, then "holy grail". If not, still a pretty nice and rare find.
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Old 3rd August 2019, 05:50 AM   #5
A. G. Maisey
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I have one of this type of keris, it was given to me in settlement of a debt.

There is no doubt in my mind that this style is the original form of the keris intended as a cutting rather than a thrusting weapon, design is perfect for this purpose.
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Old 3rd August 2019, 07:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Seriously Chief? You seem to have stumbled upon the holy grail for Moro kris collectors. This is what Cato refers to as an "Archaic" kris. I suppose it is debatable how far back this form goes, but it would certainly be safe to say 17th century. Some might argue this form could be older. I'd say you particular blade could be as old as early 18thC. A very nice score! Congratulations!


Thanks david , i thought this style of blade were the earlier type ,but didnt realise it could be that old, and when i received the sword i was surprised how small it was compared to other moro kris ive owned in the past , its quite badly pitted though ,ive allready cleaned lots of rust off but how far do you go , i think its maybe best to leave it now .
regards
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Old 3rd August 2019, 01:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefheadknocker
i've allready cleaned lots of rust off but how far do you go , i think its maybe best to leave it now .
regards

Well, if it were mine i would surely try to give it an etch with vinegar to see if it has a twisted core. It won't harm the blade.
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Old 3rd August 2019, 03:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Well, if it were mine i would surely try to give it an etch with vinegar to see if it has a twisted core. It won't harm the blade.


I have cleaned the blade up a little more and tried some vinegar but cant see any pattern , would of been nice to see a twist core , nevermind cant win them all !
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Old 4th August 2019, 03:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefheadknocker
I have cleaned the blade up a little more and tried some vinegar but cant see any pattern , would of been nice to see a twist core , nevermind cant win them all !
You might try to etch it after warming the blade. Vinegar can be a weak etchant on some steels. Also, make sure there is no residual oil or wax on the blade before etching. Isopropyl alcohol is my preferred agent for cleaning off any oil or grease before etching.
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Old 4th August 2019, 08:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
You might try to etch it after warming the blade. Vinegar can be a weak etchant on some steels. Also, make sure there is no residual oil or wax on the blade before etching. Isopropyl alcohol is my preferred agent for cleaning off any oil or grease before etching.


Thanks ian , i have done as you said ,i have some isopropyl alcohol and so ive cleaned it well then heated the blade under hot water , i then cleaned it again whilst it was hot and used vinegar , but still it doesnt show much pattern of any kind , the steel seems very hard , when i first tried removing the rust it took a long time to get it off ,
what else would you recommend to etch it ?
regards
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Old 4th August 2019, 06:10 PM   #11
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On this nice Sulu early kris, I would try ferrous cloride etchant next.

Another possibility is that it is not laminated after all. I have a 18c blade which is also Sulu (perhaps Tawi-Tawi) and it does not show any laminations either, never mind twist core.
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Old 5th August 2019, 03:12 PM   #12
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Yeah this type is a conundrum, every one of this type I saw was a twist core until it wasn't. Still they are my favorite types to collect. They are very old and as far as I can tell there have been few to no copies of this type in the recent past. I say few just to cover myself, I have never seen a modern copy. So they are old and a very nice edition to your collection. Congrats.
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Old 5th August 2019, 06:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
On this nice Sulu early kris, I would try ferrous cloride etchant next.

Another possibility is that it is not laminated after all. I have a 18c blade which is also Sulu (perhaps Tawi-Tawi) and it does not show any laminations either, never mind twist core.


Hi thanks for your advice , i think i might try ferrous cloride , its worth a go.
i do like this little sword whether its laminated twist core or not its a very tactile piece
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Old 6th August 2019, 01:16 AM   #14
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I have seen many of this type of kris, and i would be very surprised if this kris was NOT a twist-core. I use Phosphoric acid (metal etch). you can get it at any hardware store. Iv'e tried all the other acids and found phosphoric to be the best.......at least among the all the acids that i have tried. Polish the blade up to 1200 grit wet and dry, you will not hurt the blade doing this. Degrease with acetone and wipe with a clean rag until there is no more black residue. Then take a torch and carefully heat the blade up slightly on both sides just enough to a warm touch. If you get the blade a little too warm it will give too dark of an etch and you will have to repolish again. It will not hurt the blade, you will just have to start over with the polish. Use the acid right out of the bottle. Unlike the other acids you don't have to dilute it at all. I like to do an etch outside in bright sunlight so i can get a good feel for what is happening. Paint one side with the brush, then turn the blade and do the other side. Keep alternating and watching until you see some kind of a pattern come out........OR NOT!!. Then rinse with hot water and brush both sides with a solution of water and baking soda to neutralize the acid. Then oil the blade. Any oil will work. If it sounds complicated, it isn't. It's really easy. Good luck. You may be really surprised...........Dave.
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Old 6th August 2019, 08:25 PM   #15
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I agree that a few more rounds of etching are likely to reveal some laminations. No twistcore, I’d guess though.

While phosphoric acid may be safer for a permanent etch (BTW, what concentration is given on your bottle, Dave?), ferric chloride yields a strong contrast for an exploratory etch of a not fully polished surface ; be careful though since it tends to promote ongoing corrosion: I’d just etch a window along the middle of the blade first.

The final approach will depend on the outcome.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 7th August 2019, 08:45 PM   #16
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Kai: Iv'e never really noticed what % strength there is on the bottle (actually the can). I have used it for many years and for me anyway it has always given me the best results without diluting it at all. Also unlike ferric chloride, if you happen to get it on silver it won't turn the silver black. As long as you neutralize with baking soda and oil, there should be no later corrosion. At least that has been my experience. Ferric Chloride to me is the WORST acid one can use to etch. It always seemed to give my blades a slightly greenish tinge, maybe because it is a compound of chlorine.........anyway that's what iv'e always thought, rightly or wrongly. Also the Phosphoric gives a nice black on silver contrast. I noticed several years ago that one ingredient in both Pepsi and Coke is Phosphoric Acid. Someday i'm going to try to etch a blade with some Pepsi or Coke. Will let everyone know how it comes out. If it doesn't work at least i'll have something to drink.
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Old 7th August 2019, 10:49 PM   #17
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For me ferric chloride is the closest to the vinegar and fruit etching in color. Green? - weird......not happened to me, only browns and yellows.

Also I totally agree with the rubbing down with baking soda after the etch - this stops the continued etch and prevents eventual corrosion post etch.
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Old 8th August 2019, 05:33 AM   #18
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Hello Jose,

Quote:
I totally agree with the rubbing down with baking soda after the etch - this stops the continued etch and prevents eventual corrosion post etch.

Sure, with most acids a neutralization step is crucial. However, the main problem with ferric chloride is that it promotes corrosion even after full neutralization: any remaining chloride ions will act as catalyst for rusting. Forever! With many antique blades removing all chloride by rinsing/soaking is a real challenge if at all feasible!

BTW, the beauty of acetic acid (vinegar) is that any traces will evaporate upon gently heating the blade.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 8th August 2019, 05:55 AM   #19
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Hello Jose,

Quote:
For me ferric chloride is the closest to the vinegar and fruit etching in color. Green? - weird......not happened to me, only browns and yellows.

Those browns and yellows are active rust - I’d be weary about any of these warmer colors!

I suspect that varying (technical) qualities of ferric chloride as well as different usages and possibly recycled etchant are responsible for variable results.

Greenish colors may result from copper dissolved in the etchant by contact with brass, etc.


Regards,
Kai
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Old 8th August 2019, 05:56 AM   #20
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Hi Kai. I have not had the problem. I guess by washing it off first, then rubber it with baking soda, then drying the blade off by rubbing, and then oil.
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Old 8th August 2019, 04:27 PM   #21
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Hello Dave,

I reckon such a stock lasts for ages - could you possibly check the concentration of a fresh can if you get a chance at a store or so, please? I’m sure it’s not concentrated phosphoric acid - probably 10% or less.

The acid in coke is much more diluted - I’m sure it will work but requiring much longer exposure and the heaps of sugar may make this a quite sticky affair!

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Old 8th August 2019, 09:34 PM   #22
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Yeah i was thinking the same thing......That it would be so diluted that it would take some time to work. And yes, i imagine it would be a sugary mess if it worked at all. I just went out into the shop and looked on the bottle to see what % it was. Guess what!!. Looked all over, every where and it says nothing about what strength it is. I thought that was required. Looked three times and nothing. When i get the chance i'll get a different brand and will look again.
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Old 9th August 2019, 03:30 AM   #23
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There's always instant coffee paste to try.
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Old 9th August 2019, 01:51 PM   #24
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If any of this is tried please post results what ever they may be. I would suggest using a salon type hair dryer or a heatgun on low-med rather than a torch to heat it up.
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Old 10th August 2019, 07:13 PM   #25
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Hi all , i bought some ferric chloride to help etch the blade but after hearing about the concerns of it keep corroding the blade has made me think twice, and so ive held off , ive cleaned the blade a little more and heated it then used vinegar again , after leaving it for some time the blade turns a brownish colour ,once washed off it leaves a kind of patchy effect most the darkening effect on the out side of the blade leaving the centre pretty much untouched , ive repeated this process a couple of times but no signs of any twist core ,
i think its maybe to leave it now ?
Thanks for all your replies
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Old 11th August 2019, 02:10 AM   #26
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Yeah I might leave it alone then, or perhaps try lime which is close to calamansee in the Philippines.

I disagree with Kai however, especially if the etch is in browns, yellows, and greys like when I etch. I will admit, most of the time the blade is in the greys, so I then leave it alone without further etch and use baking soda on the areas etched.

If you do use ferrous chloride, dilute it with distilled water, or else the reaction won't be clean.

Again, I have an early Sulu-Tawi Tawi kris wavy blade (1700s) without a twistcore or any other lamination (that I can see).
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Old 11th August 2019, 05:09 AM   #27
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Well . Sometimes difficult. In principle the modern / clean steel with the Siemens-Martin or Bessemer process is invented around 1870. everything before must be a laminated steel. The standard between 1750 and 1870 was the puddle-process invented by Henry Cort ( also inventer of the rolling-mill-process) in that time the forgable/formable steel becomes more common.( and of course all the local steel production everywhere in the world, but that produces. Only laminated steel). Puddle-ovens counts in tenthousands in europe. Within this process the worker at the oven were able to produce something around 800 kilo a day with 3 workers per shift on 2 shifts 12 h each. A horrible job. During the process they take pieces of 10-20 kg with different carbon contend out of the oven, and laminate it directly to bigger pieces. The Eiffel-tower and railroad rails and bridges from that time are showing clear laminations. But this was still expensive. I have pieces of that bridges and they show clearly visible laminations.

After the invention of the „modern steel“ they were able to produce a cleaner steel 10 to within 30 min. Steel becomes more availiable and more common and the industrialisation starts with more speed. But in the first decades they need all the steel to build railroads to transport the steel to the cities. That needs steel for the railroads. They build up new steelplants, what also need a mass of steel. They allways run after to produce the massive rising needs for steel for ships, transportsystems like railroad, buildings and steelplants.

Due to that the puddle-process was still in use for other usages. In my local surroundings there were forges and puddle-ovens around to produce the material for scissors and other tools for the Solingen industry. A brand was e.g „Janus-steel“ ( the two faced god => two times raffinated ) They worked till 1910 1920 with this process. Later the steel coming from the new process becomes more availiable. One brand was „cast-steel“ on several blades. The blades were not casted but the prematerial comes from a casted , big block which was rolled out. A forging processs but the name „cast-steel“ was good for marketing to show that it is a clean/modern steel without laminations.

So the question is how long does it need for a clean piece of steel to travel over the world to reach the empu , who forged out a blade of it ? From my opinion best 1900 , more realistic 1920. just a opinion for more discussions. Admins may move this answer to a new post.

Best Thomas
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Old 11th August 2019, 05:59 AM   #28
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Hi chief:

I would go with what you feel comfortable with.

Just to back up what Jose said about the absence of twist core on one of his archaic kris, attached is a picture of mine that was exhibited in the History of Steel Exhibition, Macao in 2006-2007 and it also has no twist core down the middle. Twist core may have been reserved for higher end pieces.

Regard,

Ian

P.S. Dimensions of my kris are very similar to yours:
OAL = 55.7 cm
Blade = 43.5 cm
Hilt = 12.2 cm
.
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Last edited by Ian : 11th August 2019 at 06:12 AM.
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Old 11th August 2019, 09:44 AM   #29
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Hiya Thomas, thanks for the essay above. It's easy for people to forget or never know just how late modern steel production appears, and how late traditional methods stayed on even in the west.
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Old 12th August 2019, 06:16 AM   #30
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Hello Jose,

Could you please show us the kris you mentioned? I don’t think we have discussed it yet? Thanks a lot!

Regards,
Kai
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