Maintaining Gaffneyis Gear

We took four of colgaffneyis polearms (3 pikes and a partisan) to Fort William and back last weekend. You can see how they traveled here.These take a lot of abuse at our events. The heads are always getting rusty. The shafts have not received any maintenance in 5 years to my certain knowledge, and I suspect much longer. The problem was similar to that of rehabbing old tools, which I often done before (e.g. these posts). However, there was an issue of scale. The partisan is 6 feet long. Two of the pikes measure 10 feet, and the third 14.

Here are the heads of the weapons before I started:

For rust removal I soaked 4 rags in vinegar and wrapped each around a pike head. I then immersed the wrapped headas in vinegar bath. Because of the shaft I could not achieve total immersion, but I hoped (correctly) that they would not dry out overnight.

The next morning I unwrapped the heads and wiped them down:

I brought them inside one by one, sprayed each with WD-40, and applied a wire brush head on a drill:

I also used sandpaper with WD-40 on a bad part of one pike head. The partisan’s head with its extra detail needed some steel wool, again with WD-40. An officer’s weapon merits some extra work :-)>

The weapon heads looked much better after this. I then oiled each head and put a dry plastic bag around each one. No reason they should be exposed to the elements until the next show:

I also coated the shafts with boiled linseed oil. The wood easily soaked up two coats and looks much better:

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