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I Forge Iron

Strange spots on a blade

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Hey everyone,

Im reaching out to you after a long search online, coming up empty handed and in kind of trouble.

I have a sword replica on display in my house for two years now, and it started getting little rust stains.

I red online that I should put some salt & lemon on top of it, and leave it out for 2-3 hours and the spots should come right off with a scrub.

The spots did go away, but unfortunately new - bigger ones appeared. The thing is, it seems like it caused the blade to change it's color. It's not something that I can feel when touching the blade, and scrubbing it did not seem to have any effect.

I also tried to put lemon and salt on the rest of the blade - figuring that if the entire blade changes color it should be fine, because it will at least look like its supposed to be like that and won't have the strange markings on it - but it failed.

Check out the photos to see exactly what I am talking about

I come to you asking for advice, if anyone knows how can I fix it or at least have it look normal, It would be extremely appreciated!


Thank you!



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Not knowing the specific original alloy, plating, or finish, it's kind of hard to diagnose the precise problem, let alone recommend an informed solution.

That said, you've got a few options. You could try a commercial polish like Flitz  and see how that works (do a small test in an inconspicuous spot, first). You could go over the entire surface with a fine abrasive (for example, 0000 steel wool or pumice powder). Or, you could just leave it alone and say, "Oh, yes. That's the stain from the blood of my enemies."

 Whatever you do, put some kind of clear finish (like Renaissance Wax) over it, to protect it from further damage. Also remember, the oils in your skin are corrosive to steel, so get the blade super-clean and don't touch it before you put on the final finish. Surgical gloves are useful, here.  

 Now, remember that I am not a blade guy, but did work for a few years in an art restoration studio. I'm sure that the knife-and-sword people will have better suggestions.

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One tidbit: if you rub a tiny bit of black shoe polish into the engraved pattern, it will stand out really well against the polished blade. Don't go overboard, though; you only want just enough to deepen the shadows slightly.

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Thanks a lot!! 

I will try to go over the blade with the steel wool and see how it goes.

I checked out the sword's documents and it says there that it's made out of Stainless Steel - no more info. It says nothing to me, but maybe that will mean something to you guys :)

Anyway, I will try to do what you told me this week and will post the results here.


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Salt and lemon juice are etchants and will change the surface of anything they can attack. A stainless steel polish is what you should be using and will be sold at most Grocery Stores in the USA. We haven't a clue in which of the 100+ countries that participate here you are in!

And: Simichrome and Flitz are two brands of well known metal polishes.

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I don't know where you read that using salt and lemon juice was good for removing rust spots from a blade, but I would call that very bad advice.  Leaving it on for 2 or 3 hours is even worse advice.

You have now etched the surface of the stainless steel.  The only way back is to polish away the etched material.  The metal polished mentioned above may work, but I suspect they are not going to be aggressive enough.  You will probably have to back up to some very high grit wet/dry abrasive paper and work your way through finer and finer grits until you can get to the liquid polishes.

Search for hand finishing or hand polishing blades, and you will find more than enough information to horrify keep you busy for hours.

Good luck. There is nothing wrong with stainless replica wall-hangers.  A stainless Glamdring replica is on the wall behind me as I type this...

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Hey everyone!

Well, I did what you guys said. I used steel wool and scrubbed for like an hour - but it turned out great! 

It was a hard lesson, but at least now I know not to use salt and lemon on these sort of stuff. I used a clear wax on it for protection, and now it looks even better than it used to. 

Thank you everyone for your help!


WhatsApp Image 2017-06-09 at 14.18.45.jpeg

WhatsApp Image 2017-06-09 at 14.18.45 (1).jpeg

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