Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Harry

How often do you clean and re-oil blades?

Recommended Posts

A couple more newbie questions. I am displaying my Japanese pieces in their scabbards inside a glass display case. How often should they be removed from their scabbards, cleaned and re-oiled? I also keep my other collections (Ottoman, Persian, etc.) the same way - inside scabbards and inside a display case. A light cleaning two or three times a year is sufficient to maintain their condition. Should the same routine work for Japanese blades, or should I be cleaning them more often? I am at overflow capacity in my display case so something will have to be displayed outside of it. I am considering removing the Japanese blades. They seem like a good choice since they do not have  much silver that will tarnish quickly, and the general consensus among collectors is to not clean them. On the other hand I value my Japanese blades more than my other collections, which seems a good reason to keep them inside the case and remove something else instead. I am curious what other collectors think? TIA for any help!

 

Harry Wagner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on your local climate and house conditions. If you live in say Northern Europe, Canada or the like once every few months should be enough. If you live further south in warmer climate it should be done more often.

 

A common mistake is using too much oil, this can actually promote rust so only a light coating is good enough. It sounds simple but this was the main thing I looked into in depth to when I started collecting, there really is no one set answer for everybody.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I live in the midwest so I tend to clean off old oil/re-oil four times a year, as I do much the same for firearms. Do try to keep any oil away from wood, as it can soak in and compromise the integrity of the wood! My father learned that the hard way years ago. He had an old double-barrel Ithaca whose stock shattered after years of oil soaking into the wood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Columbus Ohio has around 70% humidity per year like Berlin and Munich. It depends on the humidity in the house, we have controlled air around 40%. So i think you are comfortable to controll 4 times (every 3 months) a year the blades. I looks 2 times a year and have no problem. I forgot a tanto in shira saya totally and look on it after 3 years. Nothing was happened. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t have a regular schedule when it comes to clean/oil blades. Where I live, I guess I could leave my blades without oiling them for years, maybe a lifetime without risks. But I clean them every so often just in case.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Harry, when you say "clean," exactly what do you mean? If you're using uchiko, then please stop, as you've already done it too often. If just re-oiling, then the frequency depends on your environment. as the others have said.

 

I live across the street from the Pacific Ocean, & check a quarter of my blades every three months, removing old oil that doesn't look like a smooth film, & re-oiling with choji. But I spend lots of time studying my blades, & I re-oil those blades when I put them back in the shirasaya. Mine are stored in a climate-controlled vault.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's one thing that puzzled me when I started collecting, using uchiko makes no sense unless you have some specific heavy cleaning to do.

 

No other swords have a similar regime attached to rub the blade with an abrasive. I know it's been said some polishers intend for uchiko over time to finish a polish but still.

 

Just quality microfiber cloth and oil makes so much more sense this century unless you are cleaning the blade after a rigorous day on the battlefield.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I clean mine once a year after the winter and before the rainy season.  Humidity is so low in Chicago in the winter, that rust goes on to vacation in Florida I think.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every situation is unique and no one answer correct.

 

Like yourself, I thought about this subject, and came up with the answer above. That being stated, every 2-3 months seems to be a good opinion. I let nature tell me when to re-oil via desecants. Put two ~50g silica gel packets with color changing beads inside the case. When the beads change color, it is time to dry out the desecants, clean and re-oil the blade. The time frame for this routine

in my location is about every 2 1/2 months. During the rainy season, closer to 2 months. During the drier season, around 3 months.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks folks. Ken - I do mean just wiping off old oil and adding new. Ooitame - excellent idea of using the colored dessicants!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...