How to care for your product

How to care for your sword or armour from MFC

When it comes to maintenance, the old proverb says it all, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" - While MFC has many types of products, this article is written to focus on helping you care for your products made of metal or leather. That said, it should be applicable to the broader range of products that include metal, leather, and wood components.

How to care for your metal Weapons & Armour
How to care for your leather products
How to care for your wood

Caring for your metal Weapons & Armour

"Rust never sleeps" - This helpful info can be applied to a variety of metals.

Many of our blades are made of high carbon steel and much of our armour is also mild steel, we also commonly use brass and bronze. Care needs to be taken to keep metal surfaces rust or corrosion free.
Rust or corrosion is simply the exposed metal oxidizing, that is, to react to the oxygen in the air. Specifically the oxygen from the evaporated water trapped in the moisture of our atmosphere.

Start with a clean surface - First you need to clean the metal thoroughly, any and all traces of wax or oil residue should be removed. The easiest way is to just rub it with dry cloth, for large scale jobs we prefer to use a clean soft buffing wheel.

WaxOn armour and weapon cleaner Polish to your preferred style - Mirror, Satin, Blackened, or Aged, whatever is your preferred style of polish can be achieved. There are chemical solutions to rust but are more for temporarily stopping rust in its tracks. There is no substitute for the abrasive method of removing oxydisation. Our preferred methods vary with the level of the problem, however, most small problems can be easily repaired with a minimum of fuss using a cleaning compound like Traitement Royal's Wax:On. You can find Wax:On available on this website.
Heavy corrosion can be fixed using power tools like grinders, wire wheels, linishing wheels or belts, polishing wheels on drills or bench setups or even sand paper.
Naturally the trick is to use a range of different grades starting with coarse and working the way through to fine.

Handy MFC rust eraser Spots of rust, No problem - We use a rust eraser for handy touch ups or light work. The rust eraser is made from compact strands of fibre glass and with the shroud on works like a fine grade sand paper, with 5~10mm of the shroud removed it makes it a softer tool for removing rust.

Metals and Organics don't mix - First of all, don't leave your sword in a wood or leather sheath for an extended period of time - it will rust! Organic material like leather and wood absorb a lot of moisture from the atmosphere and a blade stored inside the sheath will begin to rust in no time. The same is true for your armour - don't leave it for prolonged periods of time in contact with untreated leather or wood.

WaxOn armour and weapon cleaner Protect with a moisture barrier - To keep metal rust free, applying oil is the most popular practice today. There are two types of oil one can use: natural or synthetic. Natural oils like mineral oil, camellia and clove oils are very good. Silicone, which normally comes in a spray can is also available.

We understand that oiling metal can be a messy process and leaves your blade or armour with a coating of oil that will rub off and create further mess. Because of this we recommend Wax:On from Traitement Royal - a polishing product made specifically for swords & armour. It is rubbed on and polishes off without leaving a messy residue. Your metal can be further protected by applying Coat de Armour (also from Traitement Royal) - it creates a hard finish and further protects metal surfaces from moisture and acids from skin.

To treat a blade, first clean it with cloth or a paper towel. Then apply the coating, leaving only a thin film. This procedure should be repeated every 1 to 6 months depending on the storage area and humidity. A humid or salty location will require more frequent cleaning.

Ongoing maintenance - Metal should be cleaned each time you touch it but with the metal polish applied you can minimize this necessity. We recommend using the polish every 3-6 months. A humid and/or salty environment will require more frequent cleaning.

Minimize touching the blade. Acids from the fingers etch carbon steel. For long term storage, keep or display your blade out of the leather sheath. Some people prefer to keep swords in wood scabbards, leave them inside to prevent the scabbard from warping. If you want to do this pay extra attention to the moisture barrier you apply to the sword.

How to care for your leather

Leather is tough but let's not forget it is actually a skin and can dry out or crack if it is not looked after properly. Leather needs to breathe to prevent mildew - so don't store your leather in a sealed up plastic bag. Use a bag that will allow the air to flow - pillowcases are great.

LeBalm leather treatment Keep your leather away from direct heat. If your leather gets saturated, it can be tempting to throw it in front of a heater or to use a hair dryer to speed the process of drying. Don't do that! Just like skin and other fabrics, when leather gets wet and then heated right away, it can shrink and dry out too quickly. Let it dry naturally, even if it takes a couple days.
Please keep leather out of direct sunlight when storing. The leather fades naturally over time, but sunlight speeds up that process. Drying and cracking can also ensue. Darker places with some humidity are preferred, although again, ensure air flow so that mildew can't form.

We recommend using Le:Balm from Traitement Royal. It is a leather conditioner which conditions, moisturisers and waterproofs your leather. Of course this product is available from Medieval Fightclub.

Caring for your wood

Best thing you can do for wood is seal it.

There are lots of methods, ancient and modern for sealing wood to protect it from the environment and grime. All methods achieve the same outcome but have different qualities.

Ancient methods include waxing, oiling, and coating in pitch. The benefits are that it would have been commonly obtainable. The downside is that it needs to be redone routinely.

Modern methods include varnish, lacquer, paint and gel treatments. The benefits are durability and effectiveness. The downside is that is not an authentic approach for historical replicas.

Wooden parts of the sword, such as the handle and the scabbard can be protected by lacquering, varnishing, or waxing. Furniture lemon oil is good for cleaning the wood. We often just use our leather wax just to touch up and nourish aging wood.

Why you should trust MFC advice?

Our knowledge is based on actual experience. This is what sets us apart from other reproduction weapon and armour dealers. All materials have been repaired and renewed using the methods and products described in this document. The information found here was prepared by Aaron Southwell from MFC with the intention to assist people in maintaining or repairing their Fight Club equipment.