Weapon Care

Carbon Spring Steel

Here are a few suggestions that we believe will help you maintain your weapons in excellent condition.

DO NOT TOUCH THE BLADE with your bare hands, because your sweat will cause corrosion.

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU BUY. Many forgeries of antique weapons are being made, in particular Third Reich swords and daggers.

DO NOT SWING YOUR WEAPON CARELESSLY. Remember, this is a real weapon, not a toy, and must be treated with the same respect you would give a loaded firearm. When you wish to experience how it feels for warriors to wield these weapons in battle, make sure you are well out of reach of anyone else. These weapons are very heavy and could slip out of your hands. Be careful not to endanger yourself or others when you manipulate these swords. Girl friends do not take kindly to jabs from swords.

ALL METAL PARTS, including the wire wrapped handles, should always be covered with a light coating of oil (or Vaseline) to prevent rust. Your sword comes to you with either a light plastic spray or a heavy coating of grease to protect the blades if transported across the ocean. You can remove these coatings with the use of a good solvent such as lacquer thinner or mineral spirits. Once you have finished this, apply your light coat of oil or a silicone spray. You can also wipe it with a silicone coated gun/reel cloth. In many respects, the gun/reel cloth is preferred as there is less tendency for dust to accumulate and trap oxygen to cause pitted areas in the blade.
The method used by many professional museums is to coat the blade with a non silicone micro crystalline wax and then to carefully heat the blade to the melting point of the wax. The blade is then cooled and the excess wiped off and finally buffed with a soft cloth. NEVER use a buffing wheel it can burn through any plating, or worse, cause blue burn marks.

WOODEN HANDLES may be treated with a light coating of lemon oil or tung oil to help prevent cracking.

LEATHER SCABBARDS AND SHEATHS as well as leather covered handles should be treated with a good paste wax. The scabbard can also be treated with neatsfoot or mink oil for waterproofing, though this is not recommended for gripping surfaces. Do not store your sword in its scabbard for long periods of time since the leather traps moisture which can produce rust spots on the blade.

DO NOT STRIKE YOUR SWORD AGAINST HARD OBJECTS OR OTHER SWORDS. No matter how tough or strong the steel is in any sword, it will nick when struck against something equally hard. Your sword is not a theatrical sword. Your sword is a real weapon, designed so that it could be used in the manner that the originals were actually used. Since the cutting edges could easily be sharpened and were often for slashing, parries were made with the flat of the blade (not the edges) or were simply avoided altogether. Sword play or fencing should be done with a dedicated weapon such as a foil or rapier.

DO NOT LEAN YOUR SWORD AGAINST THE WALL. Hang it on the wall or lay it flat for display. Leather scabbards could be ruined with the weight of the sword pressing on the bottom (or drag).

DO NOT FLEX YOUR SWORD The sword could slip and cut you.

The edged weapon swords you receive from us are all well made tools. In many ways they are superior to the originals. Like all fine tools, they require care and maintenance.

Stainless Steel

Although stainless steel, 420 and 440 series being the most common, is thought by many to be invulnerable to corrosion, this is not true. With stainless steel, one must be more cautious because the evidence of corrosion does not show itself as quickly as it does on carbon spring steel. If the blade is touched with a finger and merely wiped off with a soft rag, that finger print will be permanently etched into the steel forever! In time, the print will become more and more visible and pronounced.

To prevent this from happening, Keep Fingers Off the Blade! In fact, keep the blade away from any bare skin as skin is very acidic. It is this acid that will eat away at the metal and the only way to stop it is by giving the blade a thorough cleaning.

Preventative maintenance should be used as described for the carbon spring steel swords and daggers, although instead of applying WD-40 to the blade, you may choose to use a good metal polish periodically.

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These are articles either written by members of Swordplay Alliance or articles that members of Swordplay Alliance found interesting.