Jump to content

Finishing a mild steel longsword guard - abrasives question

Recommended Posts

Hello all, 

I am a brand new member here.  My recent hobby is taking manufactured sword blades and making hilts.  

I forge all that I can but I like more developed forms of guards so there is always welding involved.  I dress most all of the welding with files.  My question today is what tools are recommended for carrying the finish beyond fine file work.  2" scotchbrite pads?  Dremel flap disks?  I'd love to know what people use.  I'm looking for a brushed or satin finish, not a bright polish.  Attached is a current project to show my progress after course file work.  Next is a past project to show where fine files and emery paper have gotten me.  My goal is to have a small panoply of early 16th century swords with an antique finish.  I use mustard and lemon juice to oxidize everything.  


Hilt 1.jpg

Hilt 2.jpg

hilt 3.jpg

hilt 4.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I like to leave them with a drawfiled finish, that's how most originals were left.  If you want a slightly better polish done the old way, use small stones (modern EDM stones are a good substitute for natural stones) or go to bits of leather charged with loose abrasives.  A flap wheel on a dremel mimics that look fairly well if used with a light touch and great care. 

Or there's always going to sandpaper and just stopping at 400 grit.  That's a nice satin finish.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

i like to fold a strip of sandpaper in half so that it fits in a jewelers saw and use that to sand round things, you can do the "shoe shine" method as well but with the jewelers saw method you can have one hand free to hold the guard if you need to. 


theres also leather padded sanding sticks that conform to the shape of the work piece, for a lot of knife part finishing that i do i like to use a dull 220 grit sanding sponge after sanding to 400, it looks as fine as the 400 but i think it has a more matte look, perhaps its more like a brushed finish. 


you can cut out disks of sandpaper and make a leather backer for a dremel/flex shaft and also you can make something like a rod with a slot so you can attach and wind up some sandpaper and use that like a sanding drum.


and dont forget scrapers for the really annoying spots and chunky bits in tight spaces

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, great feedback.  Thankyou for all the ideas.  

Steven, I do a lot of chisel work on my pommels and guards, but I've never come across scrapers.  Do you have an image or link to something that might help me understand what kind of configuration these might have?  


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...