How to treat Iron Tsuba
("Iron tsuba" is a common word, but sometimes we are using the word "Steel tsuba" to separate it from case iron tsuba.) (=> Cast iron tsuba, => Iron, Steel, and Cast Iron)
When we find a tsuba that covered with rough rust, we will use a piece of deer antler, rubbing the tsuba with it to remove the rough rust. It takes many days to remove all the rough rust and get fine rust. Deer antler has suitable hardness for the work. It can remove rough rust, and keep the basic dens rust. It doesn't make steel naked.
When the tsuba has gold inlay or such things, the work should be carefully not to damage them.
Deer antler is not the only one thing for the work. Some people use plastics like a handle of teeth brush. And we also use them sometimes. The material must not be harder than steel. Do not use wire brush or sand papers, they damaged the steel.
When the rough rust is removed, then we rub it with cotton or flannel cloth, to bring a natural gloss of the rust. It takes many days again. But if the steel is not so good, it is difficult to get a good result.

Never use wax or oil on the steel to get gloss. Such things damage steel very much. Sometimes we receive tsubas that are coated with wax or oil. The rust bites the steel under the coated wax or hardened old oil. It is hard to remove the coat rubbing with deer antler. It takes many days to remove the coat and get natural surface.

We like the natural rust come from the steel. It is a point we appreciate on steel tsubas. If the steel doesn't appear good gloss, it is The quality of the steel. Each steel has each colour. You should love it. Therefore we appreciate simple designed good steel tsuba. Even if a tsuba doesn't appear good gloss, the natural rust is far better than strange gloss made with wax.

Again, do not put wax or oil on steel tsuba. It is very bad as same as acid on blade polishing. We love truth.

On the newly made tsuba, craftsmen put new rust by their own way. The patina is replaced with natural rust slowly by hundreds years ageing.

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