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Old 10th September 2010, 05:09 PM   #1
celtan
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Default Rusted 17th C persian shamshir within decayed scabbard

Hi Guys,

I have no idea of how to proceed. I usually advise others with similar problems to dip the whole thingamagig in a tube filled with cheap olive oil, and let it soak for a couple weeks. OTOH, this a (reported) 17th C weapon, and I'd like to know if there's something better that can be done.

This shamshir is heavily rusted within its scabbard, and the latter is also in poor shape. Seems it was found in a tomb somewhere. I'm leery of destroying it's green-blue lether scabbard, in the process of retrieving the blade.

OTOH, perhaps it can not be helped?

Any advice?

M
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Old 10th September 2010, 05:18 PM   #2
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Interesting conundrum IMHO the focus is the sword, so I would sacifice the scabbard to save the sword but retain as much of the original materials as possible and document everything. Perhaps it is possible to replicate the scabbard using the old fittings once the blade has been liberated from the old scabbard?

G
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Old 10th September 2010, 07:11 PM   #3
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Hi Celtan,
olive oil is a good idea. I used a similar process to 'liberate' a very nice African dagger from an equally intricate scabbard (leather with woven reed patterning.)

I had the knife/scabbard standing up-right and introduced small amounts of olive oil around the mouth of the scabbard and left to 'stand'......many....many repeated doses later I was able to get a little 'movement'. Constant additions of oil and gentle applied pressure/ movement, eventually allowed the knife to be removed. Although the scabbard 'survived' the leather and reed work had become saturated in oil ....wrapping in absorbant paper removed a lot of this excess, but the oil had darkened the leather and lighter coloured woven reed decoration permanently.

The oil helps 'break up' the rust (between blade and scabbard), softens the leather a little (useful if the leather has dried out and shrunk) and provides lubrication for the blade to 'slide' out of the scabbard more easily.

Hope this helps

Kind Regards David
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Old 10th September 2010, 07:20 PM   #4
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I guessed as much. I've seen olive oil darkening the metal of our flintlocks when used as preservative. Yet, its better to have a darkened leather than no leather at all...: )

Now, since the weapon is curved. I need to find a pliable thin container. Or a plastic tube/conduit than can be capped at its bottom end. Not too large, or I will need too large a volume of oil.

Gotta visit Home Depot, and get creative as I look at the stuff.

Best

Manuel
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Old 11th September 2010, 12:02 AM   #5
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Celtan,

Please grace us all with a couple of images of the sword as it currently stands, it would be very interesting to note how it sat in a tomb.

Gav
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Old 11th September 2010, 03:02 PM   #6
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Sure thing, click on the thumbs for a larger image





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Old 11th September 2010, 03:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabertasche
Interesting conundrum IMHO the focus is the sword, so I would sacifice the scabbard to save the sword but retain as much of the original materials as possible and document everything. Perhaps it is possible to replicate the scabbard using the old fittings once the blade has been liberated from the old scabbard?

G


Thanks for the images Celtan

You have a job and a half ahead of you there. IMHO do not concern yourself too much with the scabbard, you have the sword as your objective and you have scabbard fittings too so modern marvels can be achieved.
Me, I'd be tempted to drill a few very small holes discreetly along the seam on the underside of the scabbard and use a fine dropper to fill with oil. There are bound to be places along the seam, that when pressed with your thumb will have points of give in them, this would be where I would start.
I'd be interest to see what others have to say and I certainly wish to see the sword once removed.

Gav
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Old 11th September 2010, 03:41 PM   #8
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You are most welcome.

Will do. Thanks for contributing.

So, you actually advise me to use a syringe and lubricate from the inside, instead of simply dunking the whole weapon on an "oil bucket", so to speak?

What if I used a "Break-away" type of mineral oil instead. The kind that comes in pressurized cans, with a fine plastic canula , to loose frozen locks?

BTW, nice name...

Manuel
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Old 12th September 2010, 10:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celtan
You are most welcome.

Will do. Thanks for contributing.

So, you actually advise me to use a syringe and lubricate from the inside, instead of simply dunking the whole weapon on an "oil bucket", so to speak?

What if I used a "Break-away" type of mineral oil instead. The kind that comes in pressurized cans, with a fine plastic canula , to loose frozen locks?

BTW, nice name...

Manuel


Thanks Manuel,

Ye ole Pirate suggests just that, sinking the whole lot into a vat of oil seems so troublesome and intensive to clean. Work slowly at it and I think it is most likely stuck down near the drag. The product you note is fine in my eyes.
I have found the best place to grip when removing a stuck sword is one hand near the base, say just past the percussion point and the other on the hilt and give it all you got.

Gav
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Old 12th September 2010, 05:31 PM   #10
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Hi Gav,

Used the mineral oil through breaks in the scabbard, let it soak for a couple hours, applied some judicious tapping to the crossguard, and voila!

Now, the condition of the blade as it is is troubling. The rust has grown to a concrescence in certain areas, as you can see. I was wondering how to deal with it. I have never had to work on such heavy rust. Naval Jelly? A Dremel Drill? Seems like an obscene fungus growth.

Any suggestions?

Best

Manuel









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Old 12th September 2010, 07:15 PM   #11
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Rennaisance makes a very good de-corroder; this will work well in the pitted areas after the rust has been removed .
PM if you need a source .

Soaking in acid fruit juice, Pineapple; would remove most of the crud from the blade .
Coca Cola is a great rust remover .

The handle is a problem unto itself .
Maybe the Rennaisance de-corroder would be a good choice for the rust on the hilt .
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Old 12th September 2010, 08:35 PM   #12
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Default CONGRATS

Congrats Manuel,

Little mess, little effort, complete item job done.

Do not dremel, you will be left with undulating surfaces, the rusted ereas will quickly be eaten out and the good steel not.
You have a tiresome process ahead. I'll be in touch.

Gav
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Old 12th September 2010, 10:56 PM   #13
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Hi Guys,

Thanks for the pointers. I felt like a caveman for even contemplating the Dremel alternative, but the rust deposits found are dramatic.

BTW, Rick. I was researching a filipino keris on the Ethnic Weapons Forums, and chanced upon a very interesting thread on blade care. Saw the Pineaple and the Coconut juice suggestions. Very interesting! I have limitedly used tomato sauce in the past.

Will answer all pms ASAP.

Best regards, and thank you very much for your assistance.

Best regards

M



Quote:
Originally Posted by freebooter
Congrats Manuel,

Little mess, little effort, complete item job done.

Do not dremel, you will be left with undulating surfaces, the rusted ereas will quickly be eaten out and the good steel not.
You have a tiresome process ahead. I'll be in touch.

Gav
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Old 13th September 2010, 12:21 AM   #14
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Pineapple juice is good; Coke takes rust off of anything .

You have to soak; a wallpaper tub from the paint store is a cheap and effective lengthways container about 4-6" deep .

The Rennaisance product is a gel so you can paint it on specific areas; it will not run .
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Old 16th September 2010, 04:34 PM   #15
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Interesting sword nice heavy blade probably good watering on it. Nothing about it suggests 17 cen. tho. Grips pretty rough finished tip replaced on scabbard looks like. Would say dates around 1800. hope you will post pics once you do a test etch and see what the pattern is. Popular type sword!
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Old 17th September 2010, 12:57 AM   #16
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I know what I'm about to say sounds heinous, but you can use sandpaper to remove the heavy rust spots. FINE 600 GRIT paper with some olive oil. It sounds terrible, but it really works and does not damage the blade. The finest grit feels almost like a normal piece of paper, but it has just enough resistance to remove flaky rust. I would also recommend the pineapple juice soak, works wonders. Don't ever even contemplate naval jelly!!! Only good for cleaning old tools and such as it pickles the metal odd colors (Long ago, been there, done that... )
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Old 17th September 2010, 12:00 PM   #17
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Hi Guys,

I'll follow your counsel to the letter. Where do I get the Renaissance rust remover..? Should I begin with the pineapple juice, or will it also affect the rest of the blade..?

Best regards

Manuel

Quote:
Originally Posted by M ELEY
I know what I'm about to say sounds heinous, but you can use sandpaper to remove the heavy rust spots. FINE 600 GRIT paper with some olive oil. It sounds terrible, but it really works and does not damage the blade. The finest grit feels almost like a normal piece of paper, but it has just enough resistance to remove flaky rust. I would also recommend the pineapple juice soak, works wonders. Don't ever even contemplate naval jelly!!! Only good for cleaning old tools and such as it pickles the metal odd colors (Long ago, been there, done that... )
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Old 11th October 2010, 02:12 PM   #18
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Just a FU note:

Found a good storage media for the soaking: A pool skimmer's tube. Cut it to the right size, it bends according to the blade's curvature, and displaces less volume, so I will need less pineapple juice. Lets see how this develops.

I will use the decorroder on the hilt, and scabbard fittings.

Best

M
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Old 17th October 2010, 02:12 PM   #19
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Began the cleaning. Added the Pineapple juice yesterday. Tube seems to hold the juice sans leaking. So far, so good!
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Old 17th October 2010, 02:24 PM   #20
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Now comes the patience part ...

Check every day or so and remove anything that has softened .

The solution will get very funky after a while .
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Old 17th October 2010, 10:51 PM   #21
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Bad luck, the tube's end became unglued, and the Pineapple Juice ended up spilt on the floor.
New attempt has been made to glue it back with a stronger glue. Will try with new PJ in a couple hours.

Wish me luck!
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Old 18th October 2010, 12:22 AM   #22
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Cool

Silicone caulk .
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Old 18th October 2010, 02:38 AM   #23
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That's what failed!
Now I'm using "hard-as-nails", let's see.

: )

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Silicone caulk .
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Old 18th October 2010, 03:11 AM   #24
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Red face

Oh dear ...
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Old 18th November 2010, 03:26 PM   #25
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Didn't work either, eventually a hole was created through the glue itsel,and the PJ ended up in the floor. I then used the old tomato paste trick, and followed with a brass brush and fine grit sand paper/ wire-mesh. Then waxed the blade. Here's the result so far:



Quote:
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Oh dear ...
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Old 18th November 2010, 03:41 PM   #26
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Hi Celtan,
looking good so far ....a suggestion for sealing the end of the pipe...a condom ...yes you read that right Perhaps several one over the other to create a thicker layer and a few rubber bands to help secure to the pipe more firmly....

Regards David
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Old 18th November 2010, 03:56 PM   #27
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So obvious! I'm forever ashamed...

: )

Quote:
Originally Posted by katana
Hi Celtan,
looking good so far ....a suggestion for sealing the end of the pipe...a condom ...yes you read that right Perhaps several one over the other to create a thicker layer and a few rubber bands to help secure to the pipe more firmly....

Regards David
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Old 18th November 2010, 05:12 PM   #28
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David,
Do you think I should go beyond what I have already done? I mean, I don't want to overdo it, and end up with a character-less blade.
Best
M

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So obvious! I'm forever ashamed...

: )
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Old 21st November 2010, 01:26 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celtan
David,
Do you think I should go beyond what I have already done? I mean, I don't want to overdo it, and end up with a character-less blade.
Best
M



Sorry Manuel I missed your post ,....the million dollar question, each individual has he or she's 'limit'. I treat each sword differently ....some I feel are better with more cleaning, others less. I always err to 'less' to preserve it's history. Personally I think the dark patches of what appears to be raised (above the general surface) 'scaly' patches should be removed.....generally these raised areas (if indeed yours are?) tend to have active rust within them, similar to a 'blister'.(actually the steel seems to delaminate with rust between each layer)

To remove them I very gently scrape them with a small sharp blade, I know many would make a face like this ....but I find it a good way to remove these areas without unnecessary sanding of the blade surface surrounding these 'blisters'.

All the best
David
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Old 14th September 2011, 04:20 PM   #30
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Default Blade Rust Removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by katana
Sorry Manuel I missed your post ,....the million dollar question, each individual has he or she's 'limit'. I treat each sword differently ....some I feel are better with more cleaning, others less. I always err to 'less' to preserve it's history. Personally I think the dark patches of what appears to be raised (above the general surface) 'scaly' patches should be removed.....generally these raised areas (if indeed yours are?) tend to have active rust within them, similar to a 'blister'.(actually the steel seems to delaminate with rust between each layer)

To remove them I very gently scrape them with a small sharp blade, I know many would make a face like this ....but I find it a good way to remove these areas without unnecessary sanding of the blade surface surrounding these 'blisters'.

All the best
David

Salaams, Nice job so far though I dont know why this thread has apparently stalled... My advice is drop the blade into coke for a day or two... and second but more agressive is to use lemon salt... To remove rust patches and spots seen on your last photo use aluminium foil ... use as you would use sandpaper but with aluminium foil you are at the finest level of abrasion ... in fact it isn't abrasion ... more like molecular technology involving ions or somesuch molecular majic... it is superb for rubbing out rust spots but it takes a lot of numb finger rubbing.. Aluminium foil !!! Marvellous !

Regards Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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