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Advice On Cleaning Up A Blade And Koshirae

restoration katana

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#31 nagamaki - Franco

nagamaki - Franco

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 11:14 PM



Additional thoughts.


When it comes to fittings (koshirae), if there is even a hint of thought or intention of restoring always ask a restorer before cleaning, even with mild soap. Sometimes the answer will be, yes, it's ok, followed by additional advice, but quite often the answer will be, no, don't to touch it, not even with mild soap.


When in doubt, don't!


Next, back to the issue of caked over swords and never-dull for re-emphasis.


The proper approach especially if you're not absolutely certain of what you have is to send it to a trained professional and have a window opened. There have been a number of times that I've witnessed where a nothing looking sword turned out to be something.


In one case, years ago, a tanto caked over in rust had been passed over by many collectors, why,  because it appeared to be a late Koto Mino Seki mumei blade, and it was. Except it turned out to be a Soshu copy made by Hiki Sada. And in fact, what revealed that it was something more was a small window. The point being had it been nevr-dulled, the story might have had a different ending.


When in doubt, don't!







#32 Stephen



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Posted 20 June 2018 - 12:24 AM

looks like a window was done, in wrong area? blue effect? Dr John will know better when in hand on how to proceed. 

Agree soft brush is the only most to do on old fittings



"This to shall pass"

#33 SAS


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Posted 20 June 2018 - 10:19 PM

Better pics?

Steve Shimanek
Artist Blacksmith/Bladesmith

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#34 bigjohnshea


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Posted 21 June 2018 - 01:57 PM

Thank you very much to everyone who has contributed useful insights to this process. I am in the process of moving right now so my fiancé and I have been doing nothing but that for the last few days.

Sorry if I have been absent from the thread.

Thank you again!
John A. Shea

#35 general_piffle


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Posted 24 June 2018 - 01:09 AM

John, the only reference I have is once when cleaning/oiling my koto katana in old polish I was horrified to discover three black spots had appeared on the edge of the boshi. Not rust but if left I think it would surely have turned to rust.


I spent about two hours gently polishing with uchiko, choji, and nuguigami. Eventually the spots were completely removed and the place where I'd been cleaning didn't look 'odd' or unnatural in comparison to the rest of sword.


Hope this helps!

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Joel U.


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