gold plated sword/saber fittings

How to restore antique arms & repair practice swords.

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Philip Tom
Rank: Chang San feng
Rank: Chang San feng
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 8:47 am
Location: Sunny Cailifornia

gold plated sword/saber fittings

Post by Philip Tom » Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:30 am

A couple of models in Huanuo's excellent product line come with gilt (gold plated) brass fittings. I have a jian mounted up like that, and it's a beaut.

An advisory to all of you who have, and regularly use, a weapon with gilt mountings: the layer of gold (today applied electrolytically, in former times via a mercury-amalgam process) is quite thin and can be scratched or worn away from careless handling or improper cleaning. Remember, gold is a soft metal, it's not like the hard brushed chrome that many modern firearms are plated with!

A few simple precautions will keep the finish looking good for many years:

1. Avoid laying the weapon on hard rough surfaces (like concrete) or leaning it against masonry walls (it's not considered good manners to lay a sword directly on the ground anyway). Carrying the sword in a cloth bag when transporting to and from your training area is a good idea.

2. There is no need to use any cleaning medium that is abrasive in any way. One of the purposes of the gold, besides aesthetic, is to prevent the underlying brass from tarnishing. If you need to clean the exterior surfaces, a wipedown with a clean cloth is all that's needed. Over time, you will get some wear on the high spots, and the naked brass will tarnish. Don't use brass polishes or the like to polish the area. Attempting to do so will wear off more of the gold.

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