Another one for you guys. When you all pick up a old knife that has a lot of rust do you polish it til it looks close to new? Or do you stop after you get off the red rust and leave the black patina? Thanks John
To me it doesn't look right to have the blades highly polished on a knife that has pitting..
I would rather have the knife clean, a touch of oil on the joints and a good edge on the blades.
It takes a long time for a knife to really develope character...
If its actually pitted from rust, I will most likely take it all off, or most of it to make sure I have removed the rust at the bottom of the pits so it doesn't continue to be active and eat deeper. Depending on the blade stock thickness, or how much blade is left on an older knife, I might just re-grind to below the pitting and start fresh; depends on the knife, and its look and feel.
A little red rust over patina, I just take the red off.
Some folks, mainly the hardcore collectors will really b*tch about any cleaning of a patina from a knife, as it ruins a lot of collector value of some pieces.
i just clean to remove the active rust and stabilize it, nothing too aggressive. I personally dont think its supposed to look new. Usually use 000 Steel wool and wd40 or mineral oil, just keep gently working it off. Then wipe it down and enjoy it Just try not to remove too much material or strip the character, i actually prefer my old ones that have a patina, plus i tend not to fuss over the old ones like i do the ones i bought new, makes me wonder why i buy new ones