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Old 4th May 2021, 10:23 AM   #1
JeffS
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Default T'boli tok extreme contrast blade

Hello. Please help me understand what I'm looking at here with this T'boli tok (Bagabo scabbard?) I purchased from Artzi last year.. Would this high degree of tone and color contrast be intentional or is the outcome of over-staining using strong acid?
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Old 4th May 2021, 10:44 AM   #2
Ian
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Hi Jeff:

That's an interesting appearance to the blade. I think this is the result of a "piled-rod" construction. I have a wavy bladed Luzon sword with a similar pattern, but much less contrast than this one. I think the contrasting, banded pattern was intentional, and probably made for someone distinguished. The forging was very good. However, the ferric chloride etch has been overdone, as you suggest, and some of the layers appear to have been oxidized to the extent that red rust has formed.

The scabbard was probably T'boli originally but it has had some work done on it. The rattan wrap is not typical, and the plain wooden strip seems to have been sanded heavily instead of showing the usual carved designs.

It's a nice piece. Congratulations.

Ian.

Last edited by Ian; 4th May 2021 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 4th May 2021, 12:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Hi Jeff:

That's an interesting appearance to the blade. I think this is the result of a "piled-rod" construction. I have a wavy bladed Luzon sword with a similar pattern, but much less contrast than this one. I think the contrasting, banded pattern was intentional, and probably made for someone distinguished. The forging was very good. However, the ferric chloride etch has been overdone, as you suggest, and one of the layers appears to have been oxidized to the extent that red rust has formed.

The scabbard was probably T'boli originally but it has had some work done on it. The rattan wrap is not typical, and the plain wooden strip seems to have been sanded heavily instead of showing the usual carved designs.

It's a nice piece. Congratulations.

Ian.
Is there a way to soften the ferric chloride etch without starting over with a new etch?

Interesting comments on the scabbard. I plan to stitch on a piece from a t'nalak that I received from another member here around the plain wooden strip for display purposes.

One other feature that is curious and having not handled another tok is the thin blade. It has a strong distal taper from a little over 5mm to a little over 2mm which seems too light to function as a chopping tool. Are these typically designed for weapon use only?
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Old 4th May 2021, 02:05 PM   #4
Ian
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Quote:
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Is there a way to soften the ferric chloride etch without starting over with a new etch?

Interesting comments on the scabbard. I plan to stitch on a piece from a t'nalak that I received from another member here around the plain wooden strip for display purposes.

One other feature that is curious and having not handled another tok is the thin blade. It has a strong distal taper from a little over 5mm to a little over 2mm which seems too light to function as a chopping tool. Are these typically designed for weapon use only?
For the etch, you might try light sanding with a very fine grit paper ("wet and dry") and perhaps a light oil for lubrication. This can sometimes remove a small amount of the etch and leave a decent finish. Otherwise, you would need to sand it back, repolish with a fine grit paper, and re-etch it. Vinegar or lemon juice might give a better etch than ferric chloride solution.

As far as blade thickness, tok are usually a bit thicker than the dimensions you provided. They are all purpose instruments used for chopping, etc. as well as self defense. Your example may be more for show or status, although it's definitely a functional sword and no doubt a capable weapon.
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Old 15th May 2021, 09:03 AM   #5
David R
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I would try wire wool with oil to reduce the contrast ad remove excess oxide.
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