Correct Oil for Saber
I've had an officers foot sword for some years but really haven't gotten oiled up properly. Can anyone tell me what type of oil I should use to keep it from rusting? BTW I'm 40 miles from Canada so weather is kinda strange up here so something for cold weather would be awesome.
I use the same stuff that I use on my pistols and rifles, Ballistol. It works well to keep them from rusting, and it also good on the leather wrapping as well. It also mixes with water and remains a cleaner/oil. So if it was to get damp from condensation for example it would still keep it from rusting.
Thank you for the quick reply. I appreciate it.
So, what about the metal scabbord? I often see reenacter swords and scabbords that are quite rusty. What was the regulation regarding this? I cant imagine the first sarg would just allow them to rust?!
Correct or modern? Frequently used oil of the period was sweet oil (aka olive oil). Not sure there was a prescribed oil for treating sabers specifically.
I usually put a little olive oil inside the scabard of my dragoon sword. The best thing to use pre-dates the war but it would not be PEC to carry in the field is a Japanese cleaning kit http://www.samuraisupply.com/store-p..._41838329.html I periodically drag this out to clean mine after an event.
The manual says oil as in other arms and if you read carefully enough they call for sperm oil. You can't get that any more but jojoba is very close and was used by the US Army in WWII for machine guns when they couldn't get sperm oil.
As to "sweet oil", that can be many things but in general it is just good quality olive oil but it is both a general description and a specific item depending on context. There is also a version of sweet oil that has white lead added to keep it from turning rancid and to improve the quality for use as a metal lubricant and protector, it is of course poison so don't confuse the two.
This does bring up the old argument of using period or non period methods to clean and protect your valuable property. The period non petroleum (Rangoon oil as used by the British and sold by outfitters of fine sporting goods was a version of crude oil as found in Rangoon and in other places the sellers claimed were Rangoon) oils will dry on the metal and leave a dark colour or dark spots, they can also attract water and may even contain salt (another reason for adding lead was to counteract the salt). Modern, and this term is relative as Ballistol is post war but not what you would call modern, oils have better corrosion protection and water displacement properties, they are also less likely to turn to a gummy dark stain you have to clean off later.
Scabbards if metal would be treated like any other metal item of the same material, leather scabbards are treated like any other leather item, they are not treated differently just because of their shape and function.
While on the topic another period method of improving sweet oil and even sperm oil was to mix it with quicklime and water and let the mix settle, then decant the floating oil, then repeat with fresh quicklime and water for better results.