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05-13-2001, 05:21 PM
i recently was given a katana as a gift it is a nice looking sword but it was kind of neglected so the blade is loose and tarnished. I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on how to clean the balade.
Hmm... first off, NEVER touch the blade with your bare hands. Aside from being highly disrespectful, it could also destroy the blade and cut you up pretty badly. Clean cloth gloves should work. Second, is it an old sword? A WWII blade? Paul Chen, Paul Champaigne? Was it handmade or factory-made? Do you know the metal it's made out of? Does the tang have a signature? If so, could you scan or email it to me?
Sorry for all the questions, but the age, metal, etc. are important in determining care, in that if you have an aluminum blade you don't clean a traditional cleaning kit, etc....
How did you come upon a katana anyways?
05-15-2001, 09:53 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Nick
Hmm... first off, NEVER touch the blade with your bare hands. Aside from being highly disrespectful, it could also destroy the
Ehh. Gonna quibble a bit. In doing batto/iaido, there are a number of techniques requiring you to touch the blade (usually the mune, of course, and not the ha). Not too sure about the respect thing either. I see a LOT of the 'collector' mentality in dealing with nihonto -- folks who revere the blade (rightly) as a work of art.
However, as a budoka, I also see the sword as a tool of the trade. ANYTHING capable of killing requires great respect, but it is not an object, to me, of worship.
To clean my sword (I use a Chen cheapie for everyday practice), I use a standard sword-cleaning kit (got mine from Mugendo Budogu for about $15 IIRC). Also have a very nice iaito from Tozando that basically only needs wiping down from time to time.
For steel blades: Whack the blade with uchiko, wipe it off, lightly oil it, wipe it off, put it up.
If there's more serious work needed, send it to a sword polisher. However, there's a caveat there, too. Make sure the polisher knows what you plan to do with the sword.
There are different polishes for batto/iai/tameshigiri than for collectible swords ...
If the sword is old and in poor condiion generally, I suggest you lightly oil it, put it away and leave it alone unless you can get it professionally refitted.
Ahh yes, but I was referring to cleaning the sword. I've heard stories about swords that have fingerprints rusted into them from poor caretaking...
05-17-2001, 05:56 PM
i came to the realization that my sword does infact have finger prints rusted into it. but upon advice from several people I gave it to a friend of mine whose kendo instructor knows sword polishing and cleaning so i should get it back with in a week.
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