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Old 12th July 2014, 11:14 PM   #1
Montino Bourbon
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Default New Barung... Chromed? Help!

Got two barungs at my lucky swap meet. This is the bigger one, blade length 17 inches, full length 23 1/2 inches, a hefty blade. It has a nice ring when tapped. The handle is simple, but looks like nice wood. The scabbard is tied together with red string, which may have been formally tied but has come loose with age.

The problem is... I think it has been chromed! Is there a way to remove the chrome? Should I remove it? Philippines experts, help me, please!
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Old 13th July 2014, 02:40 AM   #2
Battara
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I would say a definite YES!

Now it may be chromed or it may be even worse: nickel plated.

Nickel plating would be more difficult to get off than chrome, and would need lots of grinding and polishing. I say this from experience - I have taken off nickel plating off of several before. It was a practice in the 19c into the early 20c.

Besides, if you want to etch and see the pattern in the steel, you need to get rid of this plating.
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Old 13th July 2014, 03:11 AM   #3
Ian
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What a travesty!

The blade and ferrule have been plated. The scabbard and remainder of the hilt have been polyurethaned.

I believe that a piece like this should be restored to how the native culture would have it. Strip the plated blade and etch it. Sand away the wood to its natural state and (maybe) stain it. And get Battara to make you a nice new silver ferrule.

From what I can see of the blade it seems to have some age--perhaps a hidden treasure under that plating.
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Old 13th July 2014, 05:07 AM   #4
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WOW Someone did make a mess of things. Looking at this I would say that the blade is the least of your worries. If it is chrome it can be chemically stripped off of the metal parts, but the underlying nickel (or if it is only nickel plating) needs to be hand sanded off to keep from doing more damage. I would also recommend that you use a chemical stripping solution on the scabbard as well as the hilt with little to no actual sanding. What I see as the biggest problem is the wooden hilt itself. In the photos I can see not only one but at least three cracks or possible clear brakes in the wood as well as what appears to be a missing section that will have to be replaced. If someone has tried to do any repair on this in the past getting what ever glue that might have been used to release can be a real problem at times as well. You have a fair amount of work ahead so just take your time, do not rush and I'm sure that when finished you will find that it was well worth the effort. If you do run into difficulties during the restoration process I am sure that if ask the forum membership will be able to help you with any question you might have.

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Old 13th July 2014, 09:56 AM   #5
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Ohh god, I had a WW1 issue kukri treated like that years ago...took so much work to get back to get it clean of the nickel & varnish. {pure Acetone eventually helped clear the varnish of that one though, softened it enough to nail brush it off over half an hour or so.}

What travesty's people do.. thinking at the time there preserving things...

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Old 13th July 2014, 11:33 AM   #6
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Just curious....since the whole thing has been so heavily lacquered, is it possible that the blade and ferrule have been heavily lacquered as well, and that the corrosion we see is where the lacquer has popped off???

One sure way to tell is a lacquer remover like Strip-eze.

This would be a far more hopeful....
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Old 13th July 2014, 11:56 AM   #7
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I am sure that it will be possible to bring this barung to a good condition again. It could be that the wooden parts are covered with shellac. This can be removed with benzine. Try it carefully at a small place of the scabbard. When this will work remove all this lacquer. After this rub the wooden parts carefully with steel wool, oil it with linseed oil and apply a good antique wax. This is what I would do. The metal parts will be a much harder work, others has given already good advice. Please keep us updated about the success.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 14th July 2014, 04:42 PM   #8
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I sanded the blade with rough, then fine, then very fine, then tried etching it with FeCl. This is the result I don't know if I'm looking at laminations or at partly-removed nickel plating. The chrome is all gone. The dark area at the top is where the plating was gone and the blade corroded from before I had it. Opinions?
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Old 14th July 2014, 06:33 PM   #9
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That looks like lamination to me, but hard to say. The differential oxidation is a problem and I think the only way to deal with it will be more abrasion and polishing. Sorry, but I think you are in for more work on this one. Should look great when you are finished.

Ian.
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Old 14th July 2014, 06:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
That looks like lamination to me, but hard to say. The differential oxidation is a problem and I think the only way to deal with it will be more abrasion and polishing. Sorry, but I think you are in for more work on this one. Should look great when you are finished.

Ian.


Agree complete with Ian!
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Old 16th July 2014, 05:05 AM   #11
Shakethetrees
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Default Barung

If we look closer, the blade has some oxidation,but no nickel plating. The ferrule might have some issues, but I see the general tone of this forum is to go for a heavy handed, (read sanded) approach. If we are preserving things that are, and will never, be made again, we need to think before we act.

There are chemicals that will take care of this without disturbing original surfaces. Brownell's, a large gun smithing tool supplier, is a resource. An electro less nickel stripper is available that works. If a piece is chrome plated, no problem, as when it is chrome plated, it is first nickel plated.

I have been working in metal restoration professionally for thirty years. This is the only solution that I would use here. I have had many successes with it. It only removes the plating, no rust or oxidation will be affected.

It costs about $65 US, not including shipping. I just stripped a Damascus blade that was ground and polished smooth, then chrome plated. When it was clean, there were no other issues, other than having to re-etch it to bring out the pattern.

The chrome layer is thin, and slowly the nickel will be dissolved, lifting off the chrome. Works every time!
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Old 16th July 2014, 05:41 AM   #12
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Shakethetrees, Thank you very much for reminding me of this product. I had tried to order some of this a couple of years back and was told by the local gunsmith that I work with that it was no longer available because of shipping restrictions. I just googled it and found that it is still available but can only be shipped to locations in the U.S. That is not a problem for me but it could possibly be for other forum members not living in this country.

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Old 17th July 2014, 02:52 AM   #13
Montino Bourbon
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Default Thank you, Shakethetrees!

I have been told by Battara to stop right where I am. I agree; I don't want to ruin it by over-processing it.

Thank you for the Info; I have other blades that might be nickel plated.
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