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Tell me where I went wrong!

Article about: Hello all. I recently made my first militaria purchase: A remington 1913/17 bayonet I found in a little antiques shop for 28 quid. Not knowing much about these sorts of things, I initially a

  1. #1
    wiggles
    ?

    Default Tell me where I went wrong!

    Hello all.

    I recently made my first militaria purchase: A remington 1913/17 bayonet I found in a little antiques shop for 28 quid. Not knowing much about these sorts of things, I initially assumed it was for the Lee-Enfield 303. I'm very happy with my purchase, and suspect it may be the first of many.

    Unfortunately, I rushed ahead, and tried to clean it up a little with products I had around the home. I later did some more research and found I may not have gone about this the right way. The leather scabbard got a wipe with some saddle soap, and a slightly damp cloth, followed by a bit of "leather balm", to preserve it.

    The blade, and metal guard and pommel got a wipe down with some WD40 on an old rag. I had a cautionate rub at some of the rust spots with some wire wool, but thought better of it.

    The wooden grip, I wiped with a little spray of furniture polish with beeswax.

    None of these products were specialist, and since reading about all the untold damage modern solvents can do to old leather, metal and wood, I'm now concerned I may have done damage to my lovely bayonet! What are the chances of that?

    Also, I'd be very greatful if you could suggest better products I could use, which are available in the UK.

    Thanks very much!

  2. # ADS
     

  3. #2

    Default Re: Tell me where I went wrong!

    I'm now concerned I may have done damage to my lovely bayonet! What are the chances of that?
    Unless you use inappropriate materials for cleaning and preserving continuously for a long, long time, I don't think you have much to worry about. I would however not use spray furniture polish on your weapons...or furniture for that matter (attracts dust and clogs wood pores). I have used WD-40 for over 20 years on all of the metal parts of my weapons and to this day, I have yet to see any "damage" or adverse affects As far as abrasive wools, Ii would probably stay away from them unless it is a fine bronze wool, since it is softer than steel. Tere are products that will treat rusted areas and halt or minimize further progression.

    Not that I condone knowingly damaging substances on items, we must realize that the items which we have, have not always lived a charmed life. I know of a collector who have obtained a few weapons that have been locked in a trunk in a hot, humid attic for over 60 years, and their condition was very, very good. After obtaining, he proceeded to try to find ways to encase the weapons in an inert, nitrogen filled atmosphere for preservation - not handling them unless he had cotton gloves on. I politely laughed at him, reminding him of the atmosphere in which they were "stored" and their present condition; also reminding him that the oils and solvents used during the time of their production would be considered as sub-standard by today's technology -but they are still just fine. What I am getting at is that basic care without going overboard is all that is needed.

    Most, if not all of our items have the benefit of being stored in an air conditioned environment and unless we deliberately abuse them and subject them to known inappropriate solvents and waxes...they we will be around long after we are gone. I guess my point is to take logical steps to maintain, but don't obcess over trying to preserve the items for a thousand years. Have fun, and enjoy them.

    I am confident that you will find some products that will keep them looking good
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  4. #3
    wiggles
    ?

    Default Re: Tell me where I went wrong!

    Thanks for your reply.

    I'll look into getting a better polish to protect the wood bits. It's good to know WD40 will do the trick on the metal, as I always have it on hand.

    I'd like to get all the little spots of what I assume are rust off the blade, and the worst of the rust off the metal parts of the scabbard. What would you recmmend for this?

    I don't want it to look shiny and new, but I want to make sure its protected from further rusting, essentially.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Tell me where I went wrong!

    Sword Rust Removal - japanese samurai fantasy medieval

    Here is a site relating to sword blade care. I haven't read through it all the way but it looks like there are some good tips from what I did read. There a lot of good wood and steel products, and everyone has their own favorites. I don't really have a favorite wood preservative as I only have one "collectible" weapon in my collection. I haven't put anything on the grips of my WWI P-08 as it is fine as is because of the years and years of oiling and care from decades past have placed in a state that I really don't feel the need to try to improve on condition and appearance. I am sure others will chime in with their own suggestions that may help you.
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  6. #5

    Default Re: Tell me where I went wrong!

    WD-40 is a good oiling additive/protector as it is meant to repel water/moister. It is a lighter oil than others therefore must be applied a little more regularly.

    Ty

  7. #6
    ?

    Default Re: Tell me where I went wrong!

    Just take care that WD-40 doesn't go into the wood or leather - but it seems you already know that. Wearing cotton gloves when handling these things is good, as fingerprints can be hard to remove, as stupid as this may seem. For wood I won't suggest a furniture polish, except it's made specifically for this type of wood - furniture polish is usually made for care of lacquered or otherwise coated wood, and serves different purposes i.e. being shiny. Maybe just a beewax or walnut oil, but the later one can change a color of wood (if it's not dark already) - better try first on another piece of similar wood and wait for a day or two.
    About leather there are two "schools" - don't do anything, just keep it, and the other, do apply something. I apply a neutral (colour-less) shoe polish of good quality (DocMartens will be fine).
    I hope this helps, Valter

  8. #7
    ?

    Default Re: Tell me where I went wrong!

    Steer clear of saddle soap on leather other then that on a saddle the reason is that Saddle soap is designed to clean and protect the hide for heavy outside use in all weathers. As a result it contains glycerin and other waxy products, the result of which is that it will darken the colour of the hide, the same also applies to the other favourite Neatsfoot oil.

    The best product that I've found to date is Libron leather cream, this is a natural product that will soften hide rejuvenate the colour and also restore the soft shine to the surface. Again use very sparingly and allow this to soak in, it will temporally darken the hide, however the colour will return when the cream has dried. If however the hide is cracking, splitting or in a worse case scenario starting to powder and break up, then it really beyond restoration. You can prevent the cracks from getting worse but they are very hard to repair or disguise.

    As to metalwork depending on the original finish on the steel I would say that a good mineral oil, or gun oil is your best bet, also for cleaning light surface rust off of a Blued finish then 3-1 still takes a lot of beating. Again steer clear of WD-40 this does initially disperse moisture but once the film has dried it actually attracts the stuff.

    If this is a Caustic or parkerized (Matt) finish then avoid using any abrasives and soak the parts in 3-1 or similar, as the above mention blacking treatments are have a slightly porous surface and which will readily absorb oil, and will realise any surface rust which has form on top of the black oxide. Once again teat with a good gun oil or similar once the 3-1 has done its job.

    As to metal refinishing, this is easily once you get the hang of it, many process can be reproduced at home using ether the original chemicals or modern cold gel gun blues such as G96.

    Here's a chemically blackened USMC pattern double hook, I used a Hot Caustic process to achieve this matt finish.






    Nige
    "Now, I've designed this like a collapsing bag ! "

  9. #8
    wiggles
    ?

    Default Re: Tell me where I went wrong!

    Thanks for your help everyone. It's much appreciated.

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