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Felt marks on blade


Dr Fox
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During a recent visit to a collector friend of mine, he produced one of his nicer swords, and explained that he had taken it to a show, and the sword was shown blade naked, mune down on a sword rack. The sword rack had felt inserts to hold the blade without slippage, now it was only some days later after getting home, he noticed two distinct areas on both sides of the blade where the polish had gone, but not only gone! but the blade surface looked as if it had been abraded and hazed.

There is no doubt in his, or my mind, that this is where the blade contacted the felt in the rack. I cant see a remedy except for a polish of the blade, can you? Can anyone else draw a similarity to this tragedy.

 

Regards Denis.

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Mariusz K

I suspected it was in the felt. The terms, I used were to describe the appearance of the damage. The side thought here of course, is that any rack or sword stand, that has felt or cushion materiel on the support area under the blade, could damage the blade. Would this also apply to fittings Tsuba etc?

So what would be guaranteed safe. Personally I set onto bare wood.

 

Denis

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I will be seeing the gentleman again before long, so I will make an effort to see if the offending materiel is avail for examination. Any news I can get I feel would be of use to us all, this friend has been collecting for 25 years, he would just not be careless. Seeing the damage to this blade has really shaken me.

The glue clue offered, could be a real start point. And photos of the blade would be helpful, I will get on it.

Cheers Denis.

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  • 11 months later...

Since I last spoke on this, I have had the opportunity to re-examine the sword, and fortunately the rack it was rested in.

 

The cause of the damage to the blade on one side only, and the mune, is what Rob M hinted at.

 

I took a razor to remove the strip of felt from the rest, and it was not long before it is evident it had been stuck with one of the cyanoacrylate family (super glue?). Getting close enough it could still be smelt.

 

There is now no doubt in my mind, that the gas-off from this product, is responsible for the damage, to the surface finish of this blade. I for one am most grateful for this warning, but shocked at the damage caused, it will take pro polishing to remedy this accident!.

 

This product is known to be used in closed containers, to allow the gasses produced, to etch fingerprints left on the items enclosed. Powerful stuff.

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Hi Alex

 

If my memory serves, it was on display, not in reach, but dry to show its best. But if we think on here, perhaps a coat of oil would have an opposite effect, and have been a protective barrier to the gas, what do you think?

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You know, the best people to ask about this in a general sense is dentists. They use it for bonding, of course that is the nontoxic ethyl form and the one used was probably a different type. I do not think polymerisation by moisture releases any gases. It is by heating the liquid non-polymerised form that produces a gaseous form of this ester which is used to create fingerprint analysis. Certain types of cyanoacrylates are used for bonding metals and doesn't etch them. Some commercial grades have solvents added and one is methyl hydrate and that is hygroscopic, so maybe the attracted water caused problems. It is worth knowing the answer. John

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Sounds like damage from super glue used to cement the felt. Cyanoacrylates can be corrosive. The solution is wash the felt first then use a non corrosive glue or forget the felt inserts altogether. I have never had a problem with felt for swords or firearms. Remember that felt is absorbent. If you handle it with sweaty or oily fingers you are going to transfer that to the felt.

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Very interesting.

After 26 or so years in a museum I can tell you (without knowing the scientific details) that we never trusted glue.

Aquadhere, a PVA glue will cause instant (overnight) rust on metal if it is touching or in very close proximity...maybe this is the stuff that saturated the felt? Plywood glue or chipboard glue will slowly cause discolouration to metal, paper etc due to the slow emitting of glue fumes....over years

The best materials for display and storage are proper wood (not composite) and no glued on felt. Just use silk or a neutral material as mentioned or a folded tissue laid in the groove.

regards,

PS the PVA glue is deadly if it touches while still moist and even when it is dry and hard, as it is water soluble it absorbs humidity and becomes soft and thus acidic again.

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Alex, can't answer for a radiator. What I can say, is that the damage is localised on the blade in two places, and only on the one side and mune that contacted the soft materiel.

 

John, with you in that, it is important we do get a no no out of this.

 

All my racks are bare wood or horn, always thought some sort of padding would act as an anti-slip deterrent, but never used anything. So guys until I am shot down, my money is on the adhesive.

 

Just seen Georges post before this, very useful info, and still leaves me positive in my belief.

 

When I next visit and being able to close up photograph, I will make a point of capturing in detail the damage, give you all sight of it.

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