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Bolster help

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by JTB_5, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. JTB_5

    JTB_5

    76
    Oct 6, 2017
    I'm relatively new to the traditional knife world, and after recently buying a GEC#35, I happened to drop my knife on the pavement, which led to some scuffing on the nickel/silver bolsters (both ends). I was wondering what the best way to go about smoothing out those scuffs would be. I'm guessing there is an old thread somewhere, but a quick search didn't pull anything up for me. Anyone have any advice for me?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Might post a pic of the scratches & scuffs on the bolster. Depending on how deep they are, an appropriate grit choice of wet/dry sandpaper (silicon carbide) will clean it up. Then sanding up through a fairly tight grit sequence, to 2000 or so, will ready it for polishing, using something like Flitz or Simichrome, Mother's Mag polish, etc.

    Usually, around 400-600 grit is a good place to start. It'll leave a medium satin finish, after which a sequence like 800 > 1200 > 1500 > 2000 will get it back in near-polished shape, to be followed by the polishing paste.

    But I'd still suggest posting a pic or two. If the scratches aren't so bad, you might not have to start as low in the sanding sequence to fix it.


    David
     
    danbot, BK14 and JTB_5 like this.
  3. JTB_5

    JTB_5

    76
    Oct 6, 2017
    I don't think the scratches are that bad. I'll try to post some pictures if I can figure out how to do so. When going through the progression of grits, about how much time should I do each one, or what should I be looking for specifically?
     
  4. Nickel bolsters will sand very easily, with the wet/dry sandpaper. You're just looking for an even, well-distributed scratch pattern on the nickel. When you see that, you can move to the next grit in the sequence. Keeping a tight sequence of grits, i.e, taking no big jumps in grit, will simplify cleaning up coarser scratches from the lower grits, so the finish will refine a lot cleaner at the higher end. Taking too-big jumps in grit might leave ugly, deeper, coarse-grit scratches behind, which will stand out like a sore thumb as the finish otherwise becomes more polished. Try to sand in a linear direction, to keep the lines cleaner. When moving up a step in grit, alternate the sanding direction by 90 degrees, so you can more easily see when the new scratch pattern completely erases the previous one. One thing that helps in making it look more uniform, is to use a rubber eraser as a small sanding block, around which you can wrap a piece of the sandpaper. The rubber eraser distributes pressure more evenly (reduces flat-spotting and deep gouging with the sandpaper), and is also flexible enough to work in & around curved areas.

    It might sound sort of complicated, but you'll quickly get a feel for it. It's actually pretty easy to do, on nickel or brass.


    David
     
    JTB_5 likes this.
  5. JTB_5

    JTB_5

    76
    Oct 6, 2017
    Thanks David, that is very helpful!

    Joshua
     
  6. JTB_5

    JTB_5

    76
    Oct 6, 2017
    [​IMG]

    Finally got the sandpaper and polish to smooth out the nicks/dings in my bolsters. I don't think it ended up being as good as it could have been, but I was pleased for a first attempt.
     
  7. ^Looks good. :thumbsup:

    Any scratches left showing will likely be simple to clean up over time. By the pic, it looks like you should be able to do the remainder with high-grit paper, such as ~1000-1200 to erase what's left of any scratches, and then higher to start bringing out the shine. Always follow with some polishing paste to really make it pop.


    David
     
    JTB_5 likes this.
  8. bonzodog

    bonzodog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 3, 2011
    I got a small ding in the front bolster and a few snail trails.Picture shows finished results after working thro the grits on micromesh then finished with lambs wool polishing pad on a battery drill.
    [​IMG]
     

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