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Old 25th January 2007, 02:06 AM   #1
Lew
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Default 18th Century Katar For Comment

Hi All

I just picked this up. It needs some cleaning but it should turn out nice. I really like those two serpent heads on the side bars. Let me know what you think?

Lew


http://cgi.ebay.com/Early-South-Ind...1QQcmdZViewItem
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Old 25th January 2007, 01:43 PM   #2
Jens Nordlunde
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Hi Louieblades,

You have gotten yourself a nice old south Indian katar – congratulation. Do you know if the two small wheels between the cross bars can turn? I have one, also south Indian, with seven small wheels between the cross bars, and some of them can turn

It does need some careful cleaning, but then again, it is half the joy, to learn to know the weapon the slow way.

Jens
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Old 7th February 2007, 04:06 AM   #3
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The katar arrived today and except for some light surface rust it is in great shape. Jens yes the little beads spin quite nicely.


Lew
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Old 7th February 2007, 12:33 PM   #4
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Nice katar, Lew. Looks like a good example at a good price.

I also like the seller very much. Runjeet. Posts often here.

Especially like what Jens said. "It does need some careful cleaning, but then again, it is half the joy, to learn to know the weapon the slow way."

This is a very true statement. I experience a real bonding with my pieces by cleaning, oiling and polishing them. If you listen carefully, they have stories to tell.
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Old 7th February 2007, 03:02 PM   #5
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Hi Lew,

I have often wondered what the meaning are with the small wheels, could they be small prayer wheels – or maybe something else?
I have BTW only seen these small wheels on south Indian katars.


Happy cleaning.
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Old 7th February 2007, 03:28 PM   #6
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Jens

This katar has a nice old brown patina I am afraid if I clean it with sand paper it will get ruined. I can soak it in a rust remover but that tends to turn the steel a dark gray. How would you clean it?

Lew
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Old 7th February 2007, 03:52 PM   #7
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Hi Lew,

It is an interesting question you ask, and I am not sure how to answer it, but let me try.

I very, very seldom use a machine like a Dremel when I have to clean weapons, as it either suddenly slips, and you are polishing a place which should not be polished, or you have suddenly been polishing too much on one spot, so I do it all by hand. Endless hours of work, but I know where I am, and how far I still have to go. If you have a look at the attached ‘Before and after’ picture, you can try to imagine how many hours I used – but it paid off.

Is the blade burnished, like many of these blades are? If it is, and even if it is not, I hope someone like Jeff, Greg or someone ease will answer the question, as they are far better judges when it comes to answer this than I am. If I had it and I had it in my hand, I would judge for myself what to do, but advising someone else when you are not a weapon smith, is quite another matter.
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Old 8th February 2007, 01:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
This katar has a nice old brown patina I am afraid if I clean it with sand paper it will get ruined.

You are right, sandpaper would mess with the patina. The safest approach would be to use a brush (toothbrush okay, natural bristle better) dry to knock off loose, fresh corrosion and then wax or oil as you prefer. Next step up in agressiveness is using the brush with a solvent like alcohol or acetone, this would remove old coating residues (also painted decorations, if there were any). Anything abrasive will start taking away patina, so as Jens said, slow and careful is the way to go.
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Old 8th February 2007, 03:07 PM   #9
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Thanks Jeff, your advice is very good, and one must remember to start easy when a weapon have to be cleaned. You can always move to heavier tools, but don’t start with the heavy ones.

Jens
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Old 8th February 2007, 03:57 PM   #10
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Well I got busy last night and used some 600 grit wet dry sand paper on the blade with water and the blade came out nice. It's no longer brown but I left it with some patina. The side bars are almost free of rust but the grip bars still have some brown patina left. I will post some pics this weekend when I have some good natural light to take them in.

Lew
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Old 8th February 2007, 04:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
Hi Lew,

It is an interesting question you ask, and I am not sure how to answer it, but let me try.

I very, very seldom use a machine like a Dremel when I have to clean weapons, as it either suddenly slips, and you are polishing a place which should not be polished, or you have suddenly been polishing too much on one spot, so I do it all by hand. Endless hours of work, but I know where I am, and how far I still have to go. If you have a look at the attached ‘Before and after’ picture, you can try to imagine how many hours I used – but it paid off.

Is the blade burnished, like many of these blades are? If it is, and even if it is not, I hope someone like Jeff, Greg or someone ease will answer the question, as they are far better judges when it comes to answer this than I am. If I had it and I had it in my hand, I would judge for myself what to do, but advising someone else when you are not a weapon smith, is quite another matter.


Jens, it looks like someone took a grinding wheel to your sword also; good job removing the scratches !

I wonder now after seeing two Bikaner marked swords with grind marks if they might possibly have used a wheel to put an edge on munitions grade swords before they were issued for battle; it certainly would have provided a rough but effective cutting edge .
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Old 8th February 2007, 08:47 PM   #12
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Hi Rick,

No I don’t think they used this method, I am afraid the grind marks were applied later – I am sorry to say. I will however not tell you what I think should happen to who’s who did it, or Andrew will send me into outer space.

I have a beautiful Tanjore katar, where the blade has been treated with acid, and it has taken me many, many hours to make it look all right. Someone who could do a thing like that should he hanged, shot, quartered, skinned or something else – sorry Andrew.

Yes Rick, it is unfortunately true, that many weapons are badly mistreated before they are sold – alas.

Jens
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Old 10th February 2007, 04:49 PM   #13
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Hi All

Cleaned the katar a bit but left it with some patina.

Lew
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Old 10th February 2007, 07:14 PM   #14
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Lew, that is one really pretty piece of steel!

Nice job of keeping the patina and still cleaning it up a bit.
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