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Old 16th February 2007, 02:47 AM   #1
Pukka Bundook
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Default Good news /bad news Tulwar.

Well my Tulwar arrived today,
Very much good/bad news!
I'd purchased it privately after seeing photos
What Didn't show in the pics, and seller failed to tell me, was that a previous owner had for some reason run all over the blade with an angle-grinder, or grind- wheel!
I took some pics & will add them tomorrow.
The seller Did say it had ; "Been way over-cleaned and sharpened" but this is serious gouging with the grinder!
Blade is hard, and a file won't touch it (Wouldn't have tried the file if it wasn't alredy ruined!!)

Has about a 5" false edge at tip, this seems short?
In the grinding frenzy it May have lost an inch of tip, but by what remains of the scabbard, no more than an inch.
The grinding may have occured trying to remove some percussion damage 2/3 of the way up the blade, as some old damage still remains.

On the positive side, it has remains of silver coft-gari on the hilt ...not much, but some...
First thought was chuck it back at seller, but as he's in another country, this too is costly.
Second thought was ,.."OK this is a mess and ruined!!........Good challenge to put it right...Good opportunity to mess with a blade without de-valuing it!!"

Esteemed company, I seek your input!
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Old 16th February 2007, 04:46 AM   #2
G. McCormack
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Sounds like a good project for you! Lets see some pictures. If its as bad as it sounds, I'd guess you'd be well served by removing the blade from the hilt and polishing it completely, starting with some pretty rough paper.
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Old 16th February 2007, 07:48 PM   #3
Pukka Bundook
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Here are the pictures:
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Old 16th February 2007, 08:39 PM   #4
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IMO the point has been reground; yelman seems too short.
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Old 16th February 2007, 08:52 PM   #5
Jens Nordlunde
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I have a tulwar with a yelman of the same size, but i will write mort to morrow.
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Old 16th February 2007, 11:14 PM   #6
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A belt sander may be a good idea to remove most of the deep scratches, but used lightly....it is too easy to get 'carried away' and remove too much metal. Once the worse scratches are removed, I would recommend coarse 'wet and dry' abrasive paper used with light mineral oil or WD40, progressively using finer grades.
It may be a good idea to give the blade an 'etch' before you reach the final 'sanding ' to see if you have an interesting pattern in the blade From there you could decide whether to polish or smooth the blade a little more and then re-etch. my 0.02 cents worth.
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Old 17th February 2007, 05:48 AM   #7
Pukka Bundook
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Thank you for the input everyone, and advice of how to go about it.

There may be one or two areas where I can't remove the grind-marks properly, where the grinder did some open-cast mining whilst removing pits!

Correction;
A file will touch it, but only with plenty of pressure behind it, or it will skid.

I think this blade may have been in a seriouse conflict at some time,as about 9" of the blade in the 'sweet spot' is rather badly damaged with nicks, in fact the sharp edge is more-or-less missing in this area.

Q.;- If I'm smoothing out the blade, should I leave the damaged section as a 'flat spot' or should I recontour the blade a bit to make the damaged portion blend in somewhat??

It's good to have such a learned group as this to seek advice from!!
Thanks again,
R.
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Old 17th February 2007, 12:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pukka Bundook
Q.;- If I'm smoothing out the blade, should I leave the damaged section as a 'flat spot' or should I recontour the blade a bit to make the damaged portion blend in somewhat??


R.



I think, most would agree, that this is down to personal taste. The concern is that by 'removing' the damaged area you could change the blade profile and the curve will not be as uniform as it once was. If the re-profiling would not cause this problem...then I personally.. would do it ...leaving some of the damage (it is , afterall, part of its history).
If the sword was still in constant use, an armourer would have the blade reground with a 'new' edge......especially around a damaged 'sweet spot'....afterall it would lose its cutting abilities if this area was blunt. I think the compromise, you suggested ... re-contour the blade a bit....sounds good to me.
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Old 17th February 2007, 02:07 PM   #9
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leave the belt sander for the floor not the sword. you will end up with grooves in the metal
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Old 17th February 2007, 02:24 PM   #10
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Hi PB
- the blade still looks ok... but i'd stay away from the powertools..
-remove the blade from the hilt
- c-clamp it to a flat 4by4
- get abrasive Al/oxide papers from 120,220,320,400, 600 .. and not the cheep stuff
- get a very flat piece of flat stock steel... maybe 3/16 thick, by 2 inch wide by 6 to 8 inch long.... and use this as a sand block for the papers..

any deep divots... do it by hand .... if your fingers can't handle it.. then use a soft puffy rag between the Al/ox paper and your bar... it works aswell

take your time and maintain the original thought of the smith... concerning blade profile and such..

its a dirty, tedious, and repetitive task ... but i bet you'll have a good bond with this blade when your done

Greg
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Old 17th February 2007, 04:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ward
leave the belt sander for the floor not the sword. you will end up with grooves in the metal


Belt sanders are used by a number of cutlers after the rough shaping (using a grinder) . I suppose if you are familiar with the use of power tools ...then generally it would not be a problem. Belt sanders are available in different widths and can be used for 'finer' work. If you use the finer grades of abrasive paper gouging is not usually a problem....
The suggestion to use such a tool, was to remove the deepest scratches only.

The blade removal is a good idea, and has been discussed before...in case you missed it .....

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=3800

Pukka Bundook what ever you choose to do....please let us know how you get on....All the best

David
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Old 17th February 2007, 08:06 PM   #12
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Greg,
You're dead right there!.....about developing quite a bond by time it's done!!

Thanks for advice.

David,
I'll keep you posted on progress.

Started on it this morn, snow was wet yesterday, and my brakes were frozen up on my cow-feeding truck, so did a bit whilst day warmed up!

Took off hilt, clamped it down and got at it.

Wouldn't be so bad if "whoever" hadnt gouged in here and there with grinder, to remove pits....
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Old 17th February 2007, 08:45 PM   #13
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Sorry, I promised to write about the back edge on my tulwar, but did not – here it comes. The back edge on one of my tulwars is 15 cm – roughly 6”.

I agree that the blade is in a bad shape, but ‘endless’ hours of hard handwork will pay off – and soon be forgotten. The ‘before and after’ picture shows that it can be done, but I agree that you have a ‘blade’ in much worse shape to work on than I had. Good luck.
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Old 17th February 2007, 11:34 PM   #14
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Hi Richard,
I agree with the excellent advice given here so far, keep away from power tools and as Jens has said, some time and elbow grease will present its own rewards. As always, I think this old warrior deserves to be saved, and admire those who will take the time and effort to do so (beautifully done on your blade by the way Jens!!).

All the damage has been done to this poor sword, so here is an excellent opportunity to learn from some barbarians travesty of ignorance...good grief! Give a moron a grinding wheel !! Grrrr!!!

All best wishes for your project, please keep us posted OK

Best regards,
jim
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Old 18th February 2007, 01:26 AM   #15
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Jens,
you did a lovely job on your blade, Congratulations!

Jim,
Thanks for the encouragement!!.......I can come back and read it now and again when mi arms feel like they're falling off with sanding!!

It's looking a bit better already, with a few deep holes resisting my efforts up to now!
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Old 27th February 2007, 08:35 PM   #16
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This is the cleaned up blade so far.
On some pictures, you see there is still a 'flat' area, where percussion damage had occured.
Do you think I should take a little more off the good areas of the blade, to help the damaged portion blend in better?
Thank you for any input!

Richard.
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Old 27th February 2007, 08:57 PM   #17
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I'd say there's a major difference between damage inflicted by Bubba with a power grinder and damage that may have been honorably earned in battle. True, the damage may have occured when Bubba hacked at a tree, but if you can't tell the difference I'd leave it alone.

About the only other thing it might need would be an etching bath to see if there's any layering visible in the blade. It would also help reduce that 'fresh polished' look that is the downside of repairing the damage caused by Bubba.
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Old 27th February 2007, 09:04 PM   #18
Jens Nordlunde
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You have done a very, very good job - congratulation.

Jens
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Old 27th February 2007, 09:10 PM   #19
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Hi Richard,
I have to agree with the idea of an etch, good job you must NOW have arms like this ......
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Old 28th February 2007, 12:19 AM   #20
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Very impressive work!
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Old 28th February 2007, 12:46 AM   #21
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very good
i'd leave it the way it is... in terms of shape...
- but.. i'd clean the fullers up..... get a wooden dowel.... shape it to fit the fuller.... ( sort of a push stick) then wrap some abrasive cloth around the tip and push it .... ... push it real good..
--
-like the chiseling on it

remember towards the end of the job to work on the edge... get it nice n sharp ... thats the tricky part when they like to bite

Greg
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Old 28th February 2007, 01:10 AM   #22
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Unless this blade is wootz IMO don't etch it; the patterns of tulwars are seldom particularly impressive when etched and I don't believe that your average pattern welded tulwar within the culture was originally etched for aesthetics.

Just an opinion; YMMV*.

*(your mileage may vary)
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Old 28th February 2007, 03:11 AM   #23
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Well done! I wish I had the skill and patience to do the job.
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Old 28th February 2007, 01:11 PM   #24
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Well, I thank you all for your feedback! I greatly appreciate it.

By general consensus, it would appear I should leave blade shape as is.

Maybe try an etch, but if nothing startling shows up, leave it bright.

Gt Obach,
You mention cleaning up fullers.
I had left them at the moment, as i was unsure wether to do them or not, as they do show some age, and this is a sort of 'evidence' that the blade isn't a new one.
Thank you for the advice.
Re. sharpening, if so, Should I sharpen the damaged area, or leave the chips showing?
(I'd think leave the chips in the blade, but seek wiser feed-back!)

Thank you all again for your contributions!

All the best,
Richard.

PS, Can anyone tell me what the little circle of dots on the yelman mean??
Thanks!
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Old 28th February 2007, 02:32 PM   #25
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Hi Richard
Its up to you if you want to leave the fullers

if you bring it up to 600 grit... with fresh papers.. have a strong light shine down on the flat of the blade..... get your eyes close the the blade and you should be able to see if its patternweld or wootz blade... its very subtle but there.... unless you burnish the blade by overloading your sand paper with grindings..

for me.... i'd polish out the chips... as they could be starting points for cracks in the blade if you use it for cutting... but if you don't use it for cutting... then leave them

a truly sharp sword has a certain magic...

Greg
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Old 28th February 2007, 03:35 PM   #26
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Hi Richard,

When I write that I am studying the decorations, then I mean, that I do 'scratch the stone' on and off, when nothing else distracts me. One of the problems, and that is a big one, is to make sure which flower shown on the hilts represents which flower – as the artistic touch can be rather big. With some of the flowers I only have a hunch, with others I know what they are, but I would like to know more about it.

Years ago I did not bother much with the bibliography in a book, but it is different now as I read the forward, the bibliography, skim the book – and decide if it is a book I would like to have. If you don't do it already, try it, and you will learn much about the book by reading the bibliography and skimming the book. I would really be surprised if you don't like Robert's book, and few books are written about south Indian weapons – so if you collect Indian arms, it is a must, and if you buy the book, don't skip the notes they are very valuable.

I find the decoration close to the hilt strange, but I find the decoration at the yelman even stranger, is it on both sides? Is it possible for you to take close ups of both decorations?
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Old 28th February 2007, 08:35 PM   #27
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With all due respect I may add a different perspective to the etching question. I would look very closely at the blade to see if any pattern is there. Perhaps you could etch a small section, a "window" as they say in the Nihonto collecting terms. If there is a pattern, I would etch it. If not, don't bother with the rest of it.
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Old 1st March 2007, 02:22 AM   #28
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GT,
thank you again for direction re.fullers, etc!

Jens,
I will try and take pictures of both areas ASAP.
Yes, the marks on yelman are on both sides, little circle of dots with one roughly in the centre.
They look like they were punched in with a graver, as the marks are triangular.
The engraving on the ricasso end is filled with a red dye of some sort,
Is this usual?
Don't know what it is exactly, but it has stood the polishing down and is still present!

Battara,
You anticipated my thoughts!........try a bit with an etch & see what shows, if not much, don't bother!
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Old 1st March 2007, 07:27 PM   #29
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Jens,
Here are the close-ups of ricasso & yelman.
Hope this helps!

Richard
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Old 1st March 2007, 10:10 PM   #30
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I have to admit: you did a much, much better job on it that I thought would be imaginable! My hat is off to you!
I have a crow to eat for today's supper
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