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Rust removal


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What electrolysis does is create rust, I suppose what it's doing is rusting the surface so much that it just falls off as it's 100% rust with no remaining steel to cling to. Whats left will be a fine layer of surface rust that hasn't been exposed to the water that should wipe off fairly easily. However I'm not entirely sure it's as non-corrosive as he suggests and you'll still be getting rid of a fair chunk of black rust/underlying steel.


Worth giving it a go on a tired/fatally flawed blade to see the results.

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Hmm, Stephen. I've used electrolysis many times over the past 45 years to resurface both tools and metal parts, but frankly had never considered using the process on Nihonto or tosogu. What electrolysis does in general is to replace a metal with something else; what I used it for was anodizing, where I would remove the oxidized layer & replace it with something much harder. On a nakago, I'm not exactly sure what I would use as the replacement material....


The process can also be used to simply remove an oxidized layer, as James mentioned, but as the process wouldn't just preferentially attack the red rust, I'm a bit leery that the whole nakago surface might get stripped. As the nakago gives us so much information about the blade, I wouldn't try this if there was any other way to clean it up.



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have anyone tried evapo-rust ??


chelate based rust remover is considerably safer, as it will only reacts with rust and will not eat away any metal. The problem is after the rust has been removed, the blade will be patinated ...


well I tried on rusty steel bar and it really only eats the rust. patina is easy to remove by rubbing it using pumice or black iron oxide powder + choji oil

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Duct tape.

Apply a length of it up to the sabigiwa; use the pointy end of your mekugi nuki to work it into the nooks and crannies and peel it off. Takes more than one application to make a difference. Doesn't harm the patina at all.

It's been a while since I've done it but seem to recall no issue with adhesive residue afterwards. If there is any, a careful clean with isopropyl alcohol would work.

Transformed a very flaky(rust) Shinshinto katana nakago that I thought had been through saiha into a very reasonable nakago that papered afterwards.

I was 'taught' this by a respected Japanese dealer and had good results from it but duct tape comes in various forms and qualities so 'use at your own risk'.

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