Maintenance

How to care for your Rogue Steel theatrical weapons


1. Keep it Clean:
Most of our products are made from carbon steel which is prone to rust if not properly protected. Wear gloves when handling and using your Rogue Steel theatrical weapons. Make sure after each use it is wiped clean of any sweat and dirt, and then wipe on a thin coat of light weight oil. We use Marvel Mystery Oil, but any light weight oil will do (3-in-1, gun oil, mineral oil, etc.). Do NOT use WD-40 as it evaporates too quickly and doesn’t provide adequate rust protection. Oil will not harm the leather on the grip, but it can break down the adhesive holding it on. So avoid getting too much oil on the grip if possible. If you prefer, you can use wax instead of oil. Renaissance Wax or Johnson’s Paste Wax are both good choices. Either way the goal is to create a barrier between the steel and the oxygen in the air.

2. No one likes a Rusty sword:
Keep your Rogue Steel theatrical weapons in a dry storage area. If moisture is a problem, store along with desiccant packets. If rust does form, you can use a 3M Scotchbrite pad or similar abrasive to remove it. Use the abrasive in a directional method along the longest portion where the rust exists. Using the abrasive across the area can create unwanted "scratch" lines.  Once the rust is gone, wipe with oil or coat with wax.

3. Burrs - The hidden danger:
After repeated blade to blade contact, burrs (a raised edge) may start to develop on the edge of the sword. These will need to be removed for continued safe use. The simplest process is to remove them with a flat file. File along the length of the edge with long even strokes (draw filing). The goal is to remove any sharp burrs or dings while trying to leave a slightly rounded edge. It’s a good idea to check the blade for burrs after each use to prevent a safety hazard. Pay particular attention during rehearsals when the swords see a lot of use. If you have access to power tools, a belt grinder does an excellent job of removing burrs. Go slowly so as not to remove too much metal. Again, long passes along the edge of the blade are best. Change the angle slightly to round the corners. Using small rotary tools to de-burr a blade is not recommended as it is difficult to maintain a straight edge. Always wear the proper safety gear when using power tools!

4. How does this thing go together?
You shouldn’t need to disassemble a Rogue Steel theatrical weapon very often. Though, to inspect the tang or perform a thorough cleaning, our products are easily reassembled because of their threaded construction.

To disassemble, firmly grasp the blade or grip and unscrew the pommel. This should be capable by hand, but a vice can be used if needed (this may leave marks or scratches). Once the pommel is off, remove the grip by firmly grasping both the blade and grip to pull apart in an vertical direction. Use a rocking motion on the grip while pulling if having trouble. The guard should then easily slide off the tang of the blade. Now each individual part may be inspected or cleaned. 

To reassemble, slide the guard back over the tang. The grip then slides on with the seam of the leather/rayskin in the direction of the knucklebow if equipped. The seam should lie against your fingers and not your palm. Next the pommel screws on hand tight to hold everything together.

Most of our weapons have 6 x 1 mm metric threads. Daggers have ¼ x 20 threads, and heavier weapons (broadsword, cutlass, leaf blade) have 5/16 x 18.

5. How tight is too tight?
Tighten the pommel securely by hand, but be careful not to over tighten. That will put too much stress on the tang and can eventually cause failure. The hilt should feel secure and not be loose or rattle at all, though, tightening with a wrench or vise is unnecessary. Just be sure to check the pommel periodically to be sure it doesn’t loosen during use.