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Old 19th January 2020, 04:16 AM   #1
apolaki
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Default New Moro kris

Hi, can anyone share opinions & possible origins about this moro kris based on its style and form?
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Old 19th January 2020, 11:41 AM   #2
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There is a separating line that seems to be real rather than merely engraved. From the pic, I can't see how the angled part is designed. Larger pics would be needed for verification and estimation of age. Dimensions would be good to have, too.

The blade probably is Maguindanao; the hilt might point towards the upper Cota Bato region.

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Old 22nd January 2020, 10:04 AM   #3
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I agree with Kai. A Maguindanao example, but age is hard to tell. The blade needs a good clean. Looks as though you have some active rust in places that needs prompt attention. Etching the blade might show a nice pattern but hard to say from its present appearance. Look forward to seeing more pics after you've had a chance to work on it a bit.
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Old 22nd January 2020, 07:32 PM   #4
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Hi Kai & Ian,

Thank you for your comments. Can you both reference a tutorial how to clean rust and general cleaning for Moro kris? Unfortunately, I am a beginner collector and don't have much experience at all with that nor etching.

Perhaps there is some links to videos or prior posts on instructions.

Also what details on the blade indicate active rust and how long would it take to cause irreparable damage?

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
I agree with Kai. A Maguindanao example, but age is hard to tell. The blade needs a good clean. Looks as though you have some active rust in places that needs prompt attention. Etching the blade might show a nice pattern but hard to say from its present appearance. Look forward to seeing more pics after you've had a chance to work on it a bit.
Regards, Ian.
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Old 22nd January 2020, 10:12 PM   #5
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No worries, it survived about 100 years and if you keep any humidity low, rust will progress only slowly. However, any red rust (and many metallurgists will probably extend that to all kind of iron oxides) should be removed as thoroughly as possible.

It's much easier to work on the blade if you can detach it - however, this can get quite tricky with Moro kris due to the clamps. Otherwise a lot of care is needed to work around the clamps at the base of the blade and to avoid soaking the hilt...

As a first step, I'd vote for scrubbing the blade with very fine steel wool; wash with detergent and hot water. This often will be enough to bring out some laminations. There probably will be some more stubborn patches of rust which can be targeted with repeated application of vinegar (2-10% acetic acid); also polishing steps can help between the etching attempts.

Bring on some pics from during the prozess for further suggestions.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 7th February 2020, 10:31 PM   #6
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Hi Kai,

I was thinking of trying to submerge the blade alone in a vertical container of vinegar. Of course I would wrap the hilt and try not to get any on it in the process.

I am cleaning a heavily rusted Indonesian keris with vinegar bath and it is working great!

I was wondering, is the hilt of a Moro kris not removeable by simply twisting off? Are the clamps securing it in some way?

Thanks again for your insight!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
No worries, it survived about 100 years and if you keep any humidity low, rust will progress only slowly. However, any red rust (and many metallurgists will probably extend that to all kind of iron oxides) should be removed as thoroughly as possible.

It's much easier to work on the blade if you can detach it - however, this can get quite tricky with Moro kris due to the clamps. Otherwise a lot of care is needed to work around the clamps at the base of the blade and to avoid soaking the hilt...

As a first step, I'd vote for scrubbing the blade with very fine steel wool; wash with detergent and hot water. This often will be enough to bring out some laminations. There probably will be some more stubborn patches of rust which can be targeted with repeated application of vinegar (2-10% acetic acid); also polishing steps can help between the etching attempts.

Bring on some pics from during the prozess for further suggestions.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 8th February 2020, 05:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apolaki
...

I was wondering, is the hilt of a Moro kris not removeable by simply twisting off? Are the clamps securing it in some way?
...


Moro kris hilts are not necessarily round like Indonesian keris, and the bac-baca clamps run back under the grip wrappings on purpose to hold the grip on when swung in anger, unlike a keris meant just for thrusting and also for easy removal of the hilts. The grip might even be glued on, so unless you can remove them without breaking them, and re-attach them and re-wrap the grips as you found them, it might not be worth removing them, If you use acid (vinegar or other) to remove the rust, don't forget to neutralise the acid with a baking soda solution wash.
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Old 11th February 2020, 02:23 AM   #8
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I am currently submerging blade alone in vinegar diluted to 5% acidity in a vertical tube. I am noticing black color forming along both sides of blade. The middle section still had original color intact. Is this damage or normal?

How long should I keep kris in this solution?
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Old 11th February 2020, 03:09 AM   #9
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Sorry for not getting back earlier!

Did you manage to remove hilt and clamps?

The dark edges are normal: The steel “slorok” will react quite strongly with the vinegar.

Make sure not to overdo the exposure: At this stage, it’s best to remove the blade repeatedly, thoroughly scrub it and search for remaining specks of rust which should be loosened manually. Soak again and repeat the process until no more rust shows up. Try to keep soaking time short and some gentle polishing in between won’t hurt IMHO.

Let’s see a pic taken with flash when you believe you’ done!

Regards,
Kai
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Old 11th February 2020, 03:29 AM   #10
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Hi

I will try to take photos later. I notixed the baca baca or rather asang asang has some green spots and likely made of another metal than blade. Do you know what material it is likely to be? I accidently got a bit of asang asang submerged in vinegar. Will it react negatively?
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Sorry for not getting back earlier!

Did you manage to remove hilt and clamps?

The dark edges are normal: The steel “slorok” will react quite strongly with the vinegar.

Make sure not to overdo the exposure: At this stage, it’s best to remove the blade repeatedly, thoroughly scrub it and search for remaining specks of rust which should be loosened manually. Soak again and repeat the process until no more rust shows up. Try to keep soaking time short and some gentle polishing in between won’t hurt IMHO.

Let’s see a pic taken with flash when you believe you’ done!

Regards,
Kai
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Old 11th February 2020, 01:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apolaki
I notixed the baca baca or rather asang asang has some green spots and likely made of another metal than blade. Do you know what material it is likely to be? I accidently got a bit of asang asang submerged in vinegar. Will it react negatively?


They will be from silver or brass (I think it will be the first). You can polish them up again, no big problem by such a low concentration. Are you sure that the handle don't get contact with the vinegar concentration?

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 11th February 2020, 02:01 PM   #12
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I personally would have cleaned the blade by hand with different grain size sanding paper. By this grade of oxidation it's a very easy work IMHO.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 11th February 2020, 10:20 PM   #13
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What are some signs of corrosion to the blade for leaving it in too long in 5% vinegar acidity?
I noticed the tip of blade has some split in the center. It may have already had that condition however. I did not notice til now.

But are there other signs of corrosion or over exposure has occurred?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
I personally would have cleaned the blade by hand with different grain size sanding paper. By this grade of oxidation it's a very easy work IMHO.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 12th February 2020, 04:29 AM   #14
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How do you polish moro blades? I was going to soak blade in bi carbonate slurry then drench in wd40 and later mineral oil when wd40 dries
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Old 12th February 2020, 07:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apolaki
How do you polish moro blades? I was going to soak blade in bi carbonate slurry then drench in wd40 and later mineral oil when wd40 dries


Hello,
Here a thread: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...&highlight=moro where I restored a kris blade with similar grade of corrosion, I polish the blade with different grade of sandpaper, you can use it dry or with oil, in your case I woud start with 180 and go up until 1000, make the blade free from any oil and etch it with a warm vinegar solution. The result you can see in the given thread. There are other threads from me and other members where you can see how moro blades can get restored. A bath in a vinegar solution to loosen hard and extreme corrosion isn't announced by a blade with this grade of corrosion IMHO. A bath in a vinegar solution let become a blade gray and when you want to get a good looking blade you will need to polish it anyway.
BTW, to strip down a Moro kris handle is a project, special to built it up again, you need some skill to do it. The handle from your kris is in a very good original condition, I would hestitate to dismantle it.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 12th February 2020, 08:04 AM   #16
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Apolaki:

I would remove the blade from vinegar at this point. Rinse it thoroughly in plain water. Wipe it dry and apply a light oil. From here on I would use sand paper only. Start with nothing coarser than 200 grit. Then move to 400 grit and then 600 grit. Wipe the blade regularly with a clean cloth to remove residual particles. Rubbing with abrasive paper will remove any remaining oxidation and polishes the blade to a smooth finish.

After removing the blade from the vinegar it should be apparent if you have any lamination, hardened edge, etc. Signs of these will disappear as you polish the blade. If you wish to show those features again, you will need to etch the blade again.

First, clean off all the oil on the blade (I use propyl alcohol). Then for final etching, I prefer diluted ferric chloride solution although lemon juice works well also. (If the etch looks brown you have left it too long--repolish the blade and start again). After obtaining the desired features, neutralize the acid with baking soda, rinse thoroughly with clean water, dry gently, and again apply a light coating of oil to the blade. Instead of oil you could use a silicon-based wax--I use Renaissance Wax.

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Old 12th February 2020, 10:45 AM   #17
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A lot of reasonable advice - we need pics/close-ups though to fine-tune any recommendations!
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Old 12th February 2020, 11:15 AM   #18
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Hello Apolaki,

Please verify whether the thin metal strips (which attach the clamps to the hilt) run under the grip binding or entering into the wooden core of the hilt (together with the tang and resin).

If the latter, heating the blade will allow you to remove the hilt and then the clamps (and reassemble everything after restoration). This will greatly ease working on the blade!

If the former and bindings are tight, the metal strips can sometimes be removed from the clamps (tends to be tricky if at all possible) and the hilt/clamps removed, too.

Otherwise, you're out of luck and need to invest in lots of patience and elbow grease...

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Kai
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Old 12th February 2020, 01:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
How do you polish moro blades?

I was being a bit liberal with my parlance when suggesting polishing - I rather meant fine grinding and polishing. Anyway, that's pretty much an art (possibly several) and not easily explained.

There's a bunch of suitable abrasives for working steel surfaces by hand (aluminium oxide, aluminium carbide, silicon carbide, diamond being the most prominent), and even more formats in which they are sold depending on application; and certainly thousands of methods/strategies how these are brought into action and results optimized for given tasks/problems. Stick to a single rule: Never ever use power tools!

Your kris blade is in a pretty good shape overall; the thickest and probably most stubborn areas of corrosion/rust will be at the base of the blade; how you target this area may also effect your work strategy on the main part of the blade. If the clamps need to stay in place, this will make the work much more difficult to start with (regardless of method).

Sand paper is widely available but note that qualities vary by several orders of magnitude - cheap paper is usually not worth the hassle. If you go this route, I'd suggest to go for micro-mesh which is more forgiving. The surface may be a bit dulled from the vinegar or you may wish to grind out some scratches - I'd recommend not to try a full polish which will result in more loss of metal than really needed in this case. Choosing the best grit/grade to start with needs some experience (if you start with a too coarse grade, you introduce too many/heavy scratches and need to remove more metal. To avoid making mistakes, I'd suggest to start with really fine grit (= high number) and only work on a tiny "window" of the blade; avoid using pressure and check after some effort. If the result is not convincing, use the next grit on another window and so on until effort and finish seem to suit (without introducing unnecessary scratches). Then use this grit (or the next coarser one) to tackle the base of the blade first. For the base of the blade, abrasive rubber blocks may be easier to work with than micro-mesh. If dismantling works, I'd thoroughly degrease and treat with vinegar first!

Once the whole blade is "clean", successively work through the finer grades (etching between the last few grades can help the final etch); for this polishing/etching process you won't need any final grade with nominal particle size much smaller than 10 μm (verify since the grading numbers are not consistent between vendors much less harmonized internationally). A quick final etch (vinegar, citric acid, phosphoric acid, etc.) can be topped off with an extremely fine polish (and microcristalline wax) if so desired.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 12th February 2020, 02:06 PM   #20
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Hello Apolaki,

Quote:
I notixed the baca baca or rather asang asang has some green spots and likely made of another metal than blade. Do you know what material it is likely to be?

If the clamps are heavily patinated silver (alloy), the ferrule may be some nickel alloy.

Alternatively, the ferrule may be silver and the clamps brass.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 12th February 2020, 02:21 PM   #21
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Hello Apolaki,

Quote:
What are some signs of corrosion to the blade for leaving it in too long in 5% vinegar acidity?
I noticed the tip of blade has some split in the center. It may have already had that condition however. I did not notice til now.

I believe I can see the forging flaw already in the pic you posted originally.

Hairline cracks and pitting are not cleaned by surface grinding/polishing (unless removing heaps of metal). That's the pro side of vinegar - it helps to really clean a blade thoroughly!

If any pitting or cracks are deep, it will take time and repeated picking of stubborn areas to really clean them out. Depending on the extent of corrosion, the blade may look quite bad (not expected with this kris); however, a thorough cleaning will do much for long-term conservation (if stored properly) and remaining craters/cracks can be filled with hard wax to seal them off.

The surface will get somewhat dull from vinegar or other acids (or even porous if you over-clean). The more you invest in careful manual removal during the initial cleaning/etching, the easier is the polishing afterwards which will get the metal shiny again.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 13th February 2020, 04:04 AM   #22
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I have left the blade in a vertical bath of 5% vinegar for a couple days and tried to clean it a couple times by running water over it and scrubbing.

The dark smudge develops really fast after resubmerging in the vinegar. It develops thick again at both sides, and when I take it out of the bath to rinse it off with water and scrub it smells REALLY RANCID AND PUNGENT!!!! (Is it a toxin or hazardous to inhale)? My mind may be going overboard, but I wonder if it's arsneic or something? Any way, I was scrubbing it with a plastic brush very hard with citric dish soap thinking it will scrub the black smudge away, but it didnt seem to do much.

Then I realised that the black smudge actually fades away when the blade dries. The last photo shows what it looks like when it is almost completely dry. Is the rust not being removed or am I making some progress?

Thanks!
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Old 13th February 2020, 05:02 AM   #23
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Uh..........maybe a little over etched. You may want to repolish and etch with a little distilled water, or don't leave the blade in that long.
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Old 13th February 2020, 08:54 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Uh..........maybe a little over etched.


Hello Jose,
I think that we don't see an intended etch, it will be the result of the bath in 5% vinegar solution to loosen the rust.
That's what I said before, the blade need to get polished anyway after the bath. The blade wasn't corroded so much that the bath was required.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 13th February 2020, 11:22 PM   #25
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I agree Detlef. This blade needs some sand papering and polishing, then a final etch. The red area in the bottom picture is active oxidation that needs rubbing off also.
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Old 14th February 2020, 12:25 AM   #26
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Oh.........I misunderstood.
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Old 14th February 2020, 12:49 AM   #27
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Hello all,

Is sand papering the only solution to this?

I thought vinegear will losen rust and it can just be scrubed with a hard brush and then dried with hair dryer and fonally oiled down.


But many are stating sand papering woth dofferent grades. What are some alternate solutions?
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Old 14th February 2020, 01:54 AM   #28
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Is the black smudge a result of zinc coating on the blade? I saw a video where vinegar turns zinc coated screws black. So did i essentially strip thhe zinc off the blade?
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Old 14th February 2020, 04:32 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apolaki
Hello all,

Is sand papering the only solution to this? ...
Manual removal with mild abrasive materials is standard operating procedures for this process. The same is true for Japanese swords, which use a slightly different abrasive method that (for me) is even more demanding and tedious.

Quote:
... I thought vinegear will losen rust and it can just be scrubed with a hard brush and then dried with hair dryer and fonally oiled down. ...
Oh, if it were only that easy! There are no easy and quick short cuts I'm afraid. Not if you want a good result.

Quote:
... But many are stating sand papering woth dofferent grades. What are some alternate solutions?
Manual removal, as has been suggested, is the simplest way to proceed. An alternative is to use mild abrasive blasting in a cabinet, BUT this takes experience (you need the right abrasive material, right flow rate, correct nozzle, etc.) and of course the necessary equipment including an abrasive blasting cabinet big enough to fit your work piece. The final result is a clean surface with a slightly matte finish. This will still need hand polishing and etching if you want an excellent result.

Some degree of manual work is necessary IMO if you want to achieve a good result that will be relatively maintenance free. Working the blade with your hands also gives a sense of what the original panday was trying to achieve, and an appreciation for the skill in forging these weapons. I always have a stronger sense of ownership when I have worked for several hours polishing and cleaning, and bringing an antique blade back to its earlier condition. Some people say they can feel the "spirit" of the blade when they are working on it. Can't say that I have, but I do have a greater affinity for a piece when there has been some sweat equity gone into making it look beautiful again.

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Old 14th February 2020, 08:13 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Manual removal with mild abrasive materials is standard operating procedures for this process. The same is true for Japanese swords, which use a slightly different abrasive method that (for me) is even more demanding and tedious.

Oh, if it were only that easy! There are no easy and quick short cuts I'm afraid. Not if you want a good result.

Manual removal, as has been suggested, is the simplest way to proceed. An alternative is to use mild abrasive blasting in a cabinet, BUT this takes experience (you need the right abrasive material, right flow rate, correct nozzle, etc.) and of course the necessary equipment including an abrasive blasting cabinet big enough to fit your work piece. The final result is a clean surface with a slightly matte finish. This will still need hand polishing and etching if you want an excellent result.

Some degree of manual work is necessary IMO if you want to achieve a good result that will be relatively maintenance free. Working the blade with your hands also gives a sense of what the original panday was trying to achieve, and an appreciation for the skill in forging these weapons. I always have a stronger sense of ownership when I have worked for several hours polishing and cleaning, and bringing an antique blade back to its earlier condition. Some people say they can feel the "spirit" of the blade when they are working on it. Can't say that I have, but I do have a greater affinity for a piece when there has been some sweat equity gone into making it look beautiful again.

Ian


Agree complete with Ian!
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