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Thread: Anyone polish their axe?

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    New Mexico

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    Quote Originally Posted by FortyTwoBlades View Post
    The reason why polished carbon steel will rust up is mostly because it's bare un-passivated steel and so is in its most vulnerable state, albeit much less vulnerable than the same bare steel with a coarser surface. Induce a patina on the polish or blue it and you'll get a protective oxidized layer with the benefits of the polish. Any sort of coating will wear in use, but at a slow rate on actively used regions that keep it clean, and the unworn regions will be kept protected.
    A blued surface is no magic bullet -- just look at some old Winchesters and you'll observe that the rust patterns do not necessarily have anything to do with wear or surface damage. When there is a scratch it is usually a rust point, yes, but then there's also the freckle rust pattern that is pretty much random (where ever moisture condensed onto the surface). The reason is that the blue oxide is only metastable, and it doesn't take much environmental change for it to revert to red oxide.

    Modern nitride finishes are about as close as you can get to rust proofing steel without plating.

    The misconception about this polishing chestnut is that reducing surface area reduces it's tendency to rust - what it does is minimize the area exposed to oxygen. The surface will still rust at the same rate as a smaller part that has the same surface area under the same conditions. The effect is proportional to the reduction in area - ie, very small.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Never said that it was a magic bullet! Just that it helps prevent the flash-rusting induced by having a bare un-passivated steel surface.

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  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Usually I don't go the extra step to polish the cutting edge but I did it with this CT.

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