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Need Help With In Law's Sword


Lazarus
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that thick bubbly red rust needs to be removed, if you have a small wood mallet light tapping will help, along with some oiling with a ruff towel un till red no longer shows on the towel, dont be tempted to use steel it will expose or open steel to  show ..you dont want that, might be a mei under the last photo ruff rust, along the mune, ill walk you thur it in PM if you like. I could see this sword being saved like Lazarus and rise from the grave. 

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that thick bubbly red rust needs to be removed, if you have a small wood mallet light tapping will help, along with some oiling with a ruff towel un till red no longer shows on the towel, dont be tempted to use steel it will expose or open steel to  show ..you dont want that, might be a mei under the last photo ruff rust, along the mune, ill walk you thur it in PM if you like. I could see this sword being saved like Lazarus and rise from the grave. 

Thanks Stephen. Would be happy for further suggestions. I do not have a small wood mallet, but perhaps the larger end of an oversize bamboo chopstick?

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Nice Sugata! The height of the mune machi shows that this blade may be able to take a good stone polish in the future. Before you lose interest in the project, if you bring it to a future Chicago show maybe you can get a window opened up if there is a polisher on hand and expert opinion on it's merits or lack thereof.

 

Best Regards,

Bob

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Mineral oil will do, or 3n1. Not sure if they will have a togi or not, Mark should let us know, is that close to you? Show in Tampa in Feb, check under shows, maybe Chris will be offering IDK.

 

0h Chi town is always in April 

Edited by Stephen
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Chicago is April 29, 30 May 1, 2016......... for details check www.chicagoswordshow.com   there will be a lot of knowledgeable people there, very educational. any questions email me

 

thanks

Mark, thanks. I'm in SE Ohio, so well within travel range. Working to put that on my calendar!

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The mei isn't as important as the sugata, & what the nakago can tell us, Lazarus. From your first photo in the last group, I think the blade is likely from Muromachi, but can't really tell for sure, so please take a shot from straight overhead.  The nakago is a toss-up for suriage or ubu; one angle makes it look like it's been shortened, & the other angle...I can't tell for sure.

 

The middle photo is quite interesting, as the nakago looks much thicker than the blade itself, indicating that it's been through a lot of polishes.  But that may be an optical illusion, as the nakago looks thinner as it moves away from the machi.

 

Red rust is active rust, & I suggest that you find a piece of antler (if available) or bone to remove some of it.  Don't use anything harder to prevent damage to the steel.

 

Last, do please sign your posts, per Brian's rules.

 

Ken

 

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The mei isn't as important as the sugata, & what the nakago can tell us, Lazarus. From your first photo in the last group, I think the blade is likely from Muromachi, but can't really tell for sure, so please take a shot from straight overhead.  The nakago is a toss-up for suriage or ubu; one angle makes it look like it's been shortened, & the other angle...I can't tell for sure.

 

The middle photo is quite interesting, as the nakago looks much thicker than the blade itself, indicating that it's been through a lot of polishes.  But that may be an optical illusion, as the nakago looks thinner as it moves away from the machi.

 

Red rust is active rust, & I suggest that you find a piece of antler (if available) or bone to remove some of it.  Don't use anything harder to prevent damage to the steel.

 

Last, do please sign your posts, per Brian's rules.

 

Ken

Ken, thanks! Sorry about the signing part. Think I got that fixed. The part of the Nakago closest to the moon-machi is indeed thicker and the nakago gets thinner as it moves to the where the Kashira should be. 

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After some continued tapping with a wood spoon and rough towel rub, I seem to have gotten some of the rust and may have revealed two possible Kanji characters (see photos). There is perhaps too much damage for them to be legible (if that is what they are). I also said the sword was 29 inches in length. The length of the whole thing is 38.5 inches.

 

post-3387-0-84741600-1444613466_thumb.jpg

post-3387-0-60200800-1444613484_thumb.jpg

post-3387-0-61809400-1444613494_thumb.jpg

post-3387-0-64266000-1444613510_thumb.jpg

post-3387-0-57874300-1444613519_thumb.jpg

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I wouldn't go overboard trying to clean off the rust from the nakago. If it has been hidden in that tsuka for over 60 years, I would think/hope the rust has stabilized by now. Keep the whole thing lightly oiled until next April, or until somebody with a bit of knowledge can take a look.

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  • 1 year later...

This needs to be seen in hand by a polisher. 

 

The distinct narrowing above the nakago implies the blade is old. Or else was repeatedly left to rust like this. The flip side is that it may not polish out very well. But polishers have to be the ultimate judge. 

 

If it can be saved you have some hopes of an interesting blade here.

 

Maybe early Muromachi is the right call so far. Nobody will truly know what it is without seeing the work that's under the rust. 

 

I would just continually oil the thing with a rag until the rag comes away clean at this point and leave the rest to a polisher.

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Sadly this blade was left to rust in various garages and sheds (but not outside) since at least late 1945. Was never used to chop wood, cut the Thanksgiving turkey or any of the other things I have heard U.S. military veterans doing with ninhonto they brought back to the U.S. Surprisingly (or perhaps not surprisingly) the blade is still reasonably sharp (for something that has not seen attention for over 70 years.) Not enough to cut skin on mere touch but still sharp enough to register on skin.

 

What kind of oil should I use? I have the John Yumoto book for help in care/identification. Thanks!

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Just based on sugata and wild guess, that sort of looks sue Bizen to me... like something Tadamitsu would have done...?

 

I am wildly speculating now... not a lot of visible characteristics to go by beyond overall sugata but that does look sue Bizen to my eye...

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