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Polishing a blade. 

Due to the increase in popularity of monosteel blades I have decided to add these few pages on how I go about polishing my blades.
NOTE: These should NEVER be used on an antique Nihonto (Japanese sword).
Nihonto should be polished by a skilled professional, as there is more to polishing them than just sharpening them and making them shiny.
Unfortunately too many swords are damaged when people, unfamiliar with traditional polishing, try to "clean the blade up" themselves.
Modern metal polishes are not suitable either as the tend to burnish the steel and obscure the grain in the blade and remove the temperline.  If you have a Nihonto, keep it well oiled to prevent it from rusting.
If you want to get it polished, remember, you usually get what you pay for.

Firstly I sharpen the 1mm blunt edge with 120 grit in a belt sander.  Whilst doing this I frequently stop to and touch the blade  ensure that it doesn't get too hot and destroy the hamon.

Next I start with 220 grit wet and dry I polish along the length of the blade working the entire length to remove and wobbles left by the belt sander.

Then I polish at about 60 degrees to the edge with 320 grit.  To define the ridge a bit better I polish the top section and the lower section at different angles.

After that I will change to 400 grit and polish at right angles to the 320 grit finish.

If you are polishing a blade that has bad surface rust this is probaly a good grit to start with. This photo shows one of my blades polished with 400 grit.
Blade polished with 400 grit

Here is the blade polished with 600 grit wet and dry.  Although the photo is a bit too bright you can see the change in angle from the 400 grit.
Blade polished with 600 grit

This page was created Tuesday 26th June 2001