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Old 15th September 2020, 10:00 PM   #31
Duccio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pieje
Just clean (in this case) with simple steelwool 000 and 00 and some oil like WD40 or ballistol.

Duccio, the yellow is probably varnish?
Wire seems aluminium.


Hi,
Varnish? I don't think so, the yellow came off too easily, in my opinion it was tobacco smoke tar: in the Belgian houses where many of these knives come from, they smoked a lot, I think.
Instead the varnish was there, and how, but on the blade: to remove it I struggled a bit, with chemistry and muscle energy. But always lightly.
And yes, the wire is aluminiun, I think.
Ciao.
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Old 15th September 2020, 10:46 PM   #32
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Merci and grazie Pieje & Duccio !
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Old 15th September 2020, 11:40 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duccio
Hi,
Varnish? I don't think so, the yellow came off too easily, in my opinion it was tobacco smoke tar: in the Belgian houses where many of these knives come from, they smoked a lot, I think.
Instead the varnish was there, and how, but on the blade: to remove it I struggled a bit, with chemistry and muscle energy. But always lightly.
And yes, the wire is aluminiun, I think.
Ciao.


To remove varnish, aceton does the job!
Some types of varnish come of easily, others are tough to remove.
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Old 16th September 2020, 08:34 PM   #34
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just collected it from the seller and the root cause is even more simple, amazing but very logical than we could have guessed...


the seller told me it was caused by animal fat, which was used by the Kuba for protection reasons. Both to the blade as to the wooden handle as well.
Obviously in the bush in the 1920ies they had no grease or fancy protection material as we have nowadays.
So they used what they had and by experience what worked well.

But the Congolese couldn't take the ignorance of the white Europeans into consideration, who just took these cold weapons to far away destinations and never asked how to deal, handle and threat them....
Hence after decades or like mine a century...not being threated well, stored in a house or monastery ... the fat dried out, became hard, mixed with dust and dirt, next to the influence of the climate and you saw the result.

The seller did clean a bit, he told me but left it as it was, because it is a quite time consuming activity ( as I am starting to learn now...)

But knowing the root cause, it is clear what to do: elbow grease....!
Unfortunately under the blackish layer, some oxidation had started.
Althoug dry and old... more elbow grease required.

This puts now a different perspective to my complete Congolese collection, but also a big smile on my face as I think or know for sure that I shall like them more once cleaned from the animal fat...
As for the long road ahead to get there ... like the French Foreign Legion sings "Marchons dans le sable brūlant,"☺☺☺ as it doesn't come off easy but eventually it does.
So I started this one and tried a few which looked similar and am very positive about the preliminary result. Still a long way to go...☼
Especially with 2 Tetela daggers of 52 and 49 cm long.....
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Last edited by gp : 17th September 2020 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 17th September 2020, 10:16 PM   #35
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a few pics from a century ago : a Salampasu group, twice Boa with their short swords / long knives from around 1910-1920
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Old 18th September 2020, 01:46 PM   #36
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so as promised the result of some elbow grease... first a bored cat due to lack of attention...
(although the cat and the cane corso thought my fingers interesting: indeed they did smell like smoked beef when cleaning the animal fat of both blade and handle)

the only issue I met was at the top of the handle :
when cleaning it, a " V " or " M "- like pattern came forward. Just like on the blade. But whereas the blade has the " V " or " M "- like pattern only once at each side of the blade, here it is found circular all around.
I cleaned it as much as I could but refrained from going any further in order not to damage or erase this. Hope this all meets your approval or otherwise please advise what I should have done or not, thnx a lot , merci , grazie mille !
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Old 18th September 2020, 01:58 PM   #37
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1 after and before cleaning
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Old 18th September 2020, 01:59 PM   #38
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2 after and before cleaning
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Old 18th September 2020, 02:00 PM   #39
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3 after and before cleaning
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Old 18th September 2020, 02:00 PM   #40
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4 after and before cleaning
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Old 18th September 2020, 02:01 PM   #41
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5
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Old 18th September 2020, 06:42 PM   #42
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Hi GP,

I don't know if you've tried that yet, but in my (limited) experience, alcool with fine steel wool (0000 / wood finishing) works wonder for old grease, dried out oil, and dirt. However, be careful to not let it touch any organic parts (wood, hide, leather, etc...) !
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Old 18th September 2020, 08:32 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yvain
Hi GP,

I don't know if you've tried that yet, but in my (limited) experience, alcool with fine steel wool (0000 / wood finishing) works wonder for old grease, dried out oil, and dirt. However, be careful to not let it touch any organic parts (wood, hide, leather, etc...) !

merci beaucoup, thnx a lot ! I did work on the wooden handle with fine steel wool (0000 / wood finishing) and the result is as you see very well except for the top.
As these inscriptions are not that deep, I do not want / dare too go any deeper and leave it as it is in order to save these inscriptions.
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Old 18th September 2020, 09:11 PM   #44
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I posted my reply before seeing your new pictures after cleaning. Indeed, I would not clean it further either, but if you ever happen upon another old weapon caked in old grease, alcool (pure 90° proof) will help you to remove it with ease (by dissolving it), without having to resort to more abrasive cleaning methods.
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Old 18th September 2020, 09:59 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yvain
I posted my reply before seeing your new pictures after cleaning. Indeed, I would not clean it further either, but if you ever happen upon another old weapon caked in old grease, alcool (pure 90° proof) will help you to remove it with ease (by dissolving it), without having to resort to more abrasive cleaning methods.


je Vous merci ! Much obliged ! and no problem / pas de souci: I certainly can do with all these tips bein' the new kid in this group and also new to cold weapons restauration

Last edited by gp : 18th September 2020 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 12:37 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
Hi Ian,

like said, I am far away to be an expert by Congo blades, I find them very interesting and I've had and sold some very, very nice pieces and all my "knowledge" coming from the forum, panga na visu from Zirngibl and from the collecting in the link I posted. So far I know are the Saka and Kusu are neighbouring tribes but I am unsure.
Attached is a very similar knife like yours taken from the provided link and described as Saka.

Best regards,
Detlef


next to the map I already downloaded, please find here a second one which might assist all of you further when it comes to ethnic / tribal determination
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Old 23rd September 2020, 11:38 AM   #47
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A classic of African knife maps, from the book "Kipinga. Throwing-Blades of Central Africa" by Marc Leopold Felix.
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