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Carbon steel blade in terrible condition!

Hi, my name's Alex and I'm in 9th grade. I'm in need of some help in that about 3 years ago I bought a $200 dollar carbon steel "fantasy" sword. The sword is high carbon steel and has been tempered, it is also a fully functional sword with a full tang and peened pommal. the blade, I believe had been coated with a rust proof substance, but after fighting with it and scratching it profusely, I believe some it has worn off. Now my sword is covered in patches of black rust basically. it looks like scratches that have been colored black and its not coming off with anything I do. It seems alot like pits in the steel. Is there anybody out there that has any clue what this can be and how to treat it? it would be greatly appreciated! I spent over $200 on this! please help!
Alex L
student - Sedona , Arizona, United States


High carbon steel is going to rust unless you regularly maintain your sword. Right now you're going to need to break out some sandpaper and scratch up what is probably a beautiful finish. Start with 200 grit sandpaper and use WD-40 [on eBay or Amazon] (or similar) to hose off the grime, you're going to need to sand out all the pitting and rust. Once you've got it down to bare metal, go in with 400 grit sandpaper, then 600, then 800, and lastly 1000. You should have a decent finish on your blade by then.

Cleaning and maintenance.

Your previous damage to your sword was caused by lack of maintenance, every time you take it out, clean it and oil it (I'll cover what I would suggest to use for cleaning and oil in a second). You are going to want to re-apply oil every week and after you use it.
For light scuffs and basic cleaning you can use commercial metal polish, Brasso [on eBay or Amazon] is my polish of choice for steel and most other metals. Follow the directions and polish away, Brasso has solvents in it as well so it will take care of most of the grit and grime that get on there from day to day. When you are done clean the blade off with a DRY cloth or paper towel.
Gear oil is my preferred oil for keeping blades clean and in good condition, most auto parts store carry it. It is not the end all of protectants for oiling swords and blades, but it works well, chainsaw bar and chain oil works great too. If you're on a budget motor oil (without detergents in it) will work fine and will probably cost about 2.00 for a quart. Lightly apply with a rag or cloth (watch your fingers) and wipe off any excess.

If you are storing this sword in it's sheath, you may want to investigate the sheath as a possible culprit for this rusting. A friend of mine has this problem frequently with his sword, the gist of it is store your sword outside the sheath when it's not in use, Bud K, and Smokey Mountain both carry several universal stands for swords and a reasonable price.

I hope this helps you out.
Marc Banks
Blacksmith - Shawboro, North Carolina

The response to the question was extremely helpful. I own a similar blade (it's a BR Crbn steel Paul Chen) but I thought I would post this in concern at the comment about "fighting" with the sword and would like to drop the wisdom that a live blade is never to be toyed with. It is a danger to you are others around you when not used with proper technique and discipline. Well I feel better, have fun ya'll.
C Badger
- Dover, Ohio, United States

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