Care & Maintenance
- The spring
steel used in making these swords is not stainless, and will
rust if left with fingermarks on it.
- To keep the
swords looking new you will need someone prepared to make a
religion of using the oiling tool (supplied) after each days
use, and preferably within six hours of their last use; less
than a minute's use of the tool will save hours of work with
paraffin and steel wool, which in any case will not restore
the metal to it's original condition if it has rusted.
- Light oil,
e.g sewing machine oil, or a water displacer such as WD40
should be used. (WD40 may be best, since some oils contain
sulphur, which stains the metal.) Keep the tool with the
forget to wipe off the oil before dancing!
- Also, it goes
without saying that as the life of the blades is finite, the
less they are idly (or nervously!) flexed while waiting to
dance, the longer they will last.
- Handling also
substantially affects the life of blades. It is not
generally appreciated that much of most rapper dances can be
performed whilst holding the handles between finger tips and
thumb. This allows the handles to lean in line with the
blades and puts much less stress on the steel. Beginners
tend to grip the handles 'for grim death', in white knuckled
fists, and can easily find themselves holding the handles at
right angles to the direction of pull - this is certain to
shorten blade life appreciably. Try the 'finger tip'
technique in figures like 'Mary Ann' and 'Curly', - you may
- All spring
steel has an elastic limit, and will kink if bent beyond it.
However, if kinks do occur, they can easily be straightened,
and blade life will not be shortened unless the kinks are
very severe, or unless they frequently affect the same
swords in the same place. (The swords are numbered on the
varnish has been stipulated, the handles will have been
stained black to disguise the grubby appearance they
otherwise take on, and then waxed. Varnish becomes slippery,
with possible dire consequences if your dance includes any
'basket' figures. Also with regard to 'baskets', the swivels
are made thinner at the waist, and fatter at the bulb than
the old 'file handle' shape.
- The fixed
handles are secured with 5mm hexagon socket screws and
specially made nuts, after rivets were found to stretch,
resulting in a troublesome gap between the blades and the
handles. Should the screws work loose through time, they may
be tightened using the 3mm hexagon key supplied.
inspect the handles, especially the fixed ones, for nicks
and splinters and glasspaper them out.
- The swords
may be re-bladed when necessary, and fixed handles can be
replaced if they become unacceptably worn.