…the sharpener called grenade, not a real grenade.
Or should that be ‘How not to restore a grenade’? – you’ll see why.
The age and the name of this sharpener even fit with the current 100th anniversary of Britain’s involvement in WWI, which is being commemorated on a national and on a local level – with local museums and libraries in and around Preston (where I live) taking part.
The grenade sharpener design has been around since 1847 see Lexikaliker: Granate and is still being sold today. I got a modern one, which Lexikaliker got me five years ago when I wasn’t able to get one in the UK.
A few days ago I also got my hands on an old version – I was lucky enough to get one for a good price.
First task: clean it. I bought the metal polish used during a previous trip to Germany, after a tip from Lexikaliker on how to clean old brass.
Unfortunately something went quite wrong. There was a band of oxidisation after I left the sharpener in the metal polish over night. It now looks as if there’s a dent where this band was. Brass is missing in this dent, which is difficult to see on the photos, but quite obvious in reality.
I have two ideas as to what might have caused this.
- The brass composition was different where this band /dent is, so the polish could ‘erode’ the material there. This explanation seems unlikely.
- I shouldn’t have but the blade and the screw in the same polish. Maybe the metal somehow reacted with the polish which made it ‘corrode’ the brass.
Ok. I got to live with my mistake now, but if I ever get another chance I will keep the blade and screw separate.
Next problem: The blade. It seems slightly too short to cut into the wood. I’ll talk about that another time.
|↑1||see Lexikaliker: Granate|
7 thoughts on “Restoring a grenade”
When I used to clean my beloved KUM wedge, I’d make a paste with baking soda and water and use a soft toothbrush to clean some of the gunk. I wasn’t *very* shiny when I was finished, but it was nice and clean. The only issue was that it took a while to get the paste out of the screw hole. 🙂
Has the nameplate turned silver coloured or is that a trick of the light?
Johnny, I should give that a go – if I ever get another chance… I did use a needle to get the paste out of the screw hole.
Sapphire, like you suspected, it’s just the way the light reflects – it’s still brass coloured.
I would suspect hypothesis #1 is more likely than #2. Metal polish is acidic, and metals are not uniform especially alloys used in cheapish goods. Etchy with polish is acually something used by metal sculpture near where a live. Very cool effect when its on purpose.
Stretch, thanks for this information. I didn’t know this is a technique used on purpose. When used on purpose, can it be controlled effectively? I’ll be very careful next time. Managed to get another one for a good price from Germany, but haven’t received it yet.
The artist does it with random purpose, if that makes sense. He uses a brush and sometimes dilutes the polish. But the metal reacts differently and he doesn’t always control the final product.
Good to hear you got a replacement, the vintage sharpener just looks cooler then it’s modern replicas.
Thanks for your comment.
I didn’t know about this way of working with materials, but it sounds as if you’re lucky (or experienced) you can achieve some surprising and fascinating effects.
About my replacement: it arrived yesterday. It’s a Granate 5 (Lexikaliker has a blog post about this model http://www.lexikaliker.de/2012/04/granate-5/ ). Strangely enough mine is lighter than teh other grenades and the surface seems to be removed over time, from polishing or friction – and it looks as if the body is silver coloured. It seems to be too heavy to be aluminium though.. Hmm, very unexpected.