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Thread: oiling underneath the habaki

  1. #1
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    Default oiling underneath the habaki

    Ive got a bit of a problem with oiling under the habaki of my sword.
    The problem lies with the warranty because if i take the tsuka off it voids the warranty, but im worried if i dont, the steel underneath the habaki will corrode. Is there any solution to my problem, if so, im all ears to any sound advise?
    regards,
    Jeremy Hagop
    Jeremy Hagop

  2. #2
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    Hello there

    What sort of sword have you bought that the habaki can't just be slid off?
    I always completely strip mine down now and again to check things over.

    Hyakutake Colin
    Hyakutake Colin

    All the best techniques are taught by survivors.


    http://www.hyoho.com

  3. #3
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    Warranty? sounds more like an iaito in which case you donít have to worry about rust. As for a steel katana, most nakago are allowed to rust, but the habaki is taken off every time you do a full cleaning (a cleaning in wish the tsuka and associated fittings are removed.)
    Doug Walker
    Completely cut off both heads,
    Let a single sword stand against the cold sky!

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    Hello Jeremy,

    IMO, Oil should only be used for storage, as it will store dirt in your saya over time as it builds up. Use the blade and clean it...daily if possible. If you intend to store the sword for more than a couple weeks, oiling "may" be a good idea, depending on the current humidity.

    Amos
    Amos Smith
    Kodama Dōjō
    608-345-8807
    www.chicagobudokai.com

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    IMO, Oil should only be used for storage, as it will store dirt in your saya over time as it builds up. Use the blade and clean it...daily if possible. If you intend to store the sword for more than a couple weeks, oiling "may" be a good idea, depending on the current humidity.
    Interesting advice. Anyone else agree with this practice?
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

  6. #6
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    Default Not in my part of the country! ...

    If I don't put a thin layer of oil on my sword every time I use it, it will begin to develop rust spots over night. Could be the combination of heat and humidity in the Dallas area, but that's the way I have to do it. I don't really worry about oiling under the habaki though. I completely take apart and clean my swords once a year, and I've never seen even the beginnings of rust under the habaki. In fact, one of my first swords had a pinned-on habaki that couldn't be removed. I am in the process of making a new handle for it, and so I recently forced off the habaki, it had a copper rivet holding it in place. After about 6 years of being used, and a year of sitting on the rack, there still weren't any signs of beginning rust under the habaki. Just my experiences though, others may vary.

    Cheers,
    Paul Smith
    "Always keep the sharp side and the pointy end between you and your opponent"

  7. #7
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    Don't oil the blade? Hm. Never heard of that one. I was aways taught that the oil protected the blade from ambient humidity. In any case, all of the sword collectors I know, for whom rust or dirt on a blade is a serious affair since it could greatly reduce the value of their investment, always keep their blades well oiled, even if they keep them in storage most of the time.

    Before I came back from Japan 18 years ago, I bought a shinken. When I use it for iai, I take it apart and clean it thoroughly with uchiko and then apply a very thin layer of oil. I have had absolutely no problems with rust or dirt. In addition, the oil makes noto a LOT easier. An unoiled blade tends to stick to the skin on the hand, and so noto isn't as smooth.

    FWIW.
    Earl Hartman

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    We may have cross purposes posting here. If you are using and touching your blade like Earl above I canít see how you could not clean the blade each time it is used.

    I donít touch my blade that much and can get away without using uchiko every time, but still do often because I might have touched it.

    One friend of mine has the habit of keeping an oiled cloth around and periodically wiping the blade during practice especially when doing techniques with a lot of touching.

    Your personal body chemistry can also be a factor. I knew a guy who would make his wristwatch start to corrode when he began to sweat. Luckily, for those around him, he showered often.

    I noticed when watching James Williams and Big Tony cutting that James cleaned his blade before every noto with paper, but Tony did not so there is variation and one has to find what works for them.

    In some climates you may be able to get away without oiling if you donít use the thing, but I think youíd be pushing your margin of safety.

    I think most places an unused sword only needs to be cleaned once or twice a year, but donít you need an excuse to get the thing out to admire and drool over in a refined zen sort of way.

    So to sum, a bunch of rambling for what itís worth.
    Doug Walker
    Completely cut off both heads,
    Let a single sword stand against the cold sky!

  9. #9
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    Don't know what kind of sword has a warrantee which would be voided by periodic disassembly, cleaning and inspection..this is part of proper care and maintenance as far as I know. I always keep my swords lightly oiled, even in the saya. It is so humid down here that bare metal will rust nearly overnight.
    David F. Craik

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