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#145949 08/25/2006 08:18 AM
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Most SA and SS blades are gross grain polished. I know one sometimes encounters smaller or cottage makers that don't exhibit crossgraining, but generally the polished steel blades are what we expect to see on a SA or SS blade...

The norm for Army, Luft and Naval blades are plated, but are there any SA/SS makers that were known to plate their blades, if so who, and over which time period. I have read this was done by some makers, but have seldom seen it myself, and I have always viewed these blades with a little caution. I have 2 daggers in my collection that I believe have plated blades, one is an early SA by Hammesfahr, the other a SS M36.

Is there a "textbook" answer or does anyone have a SA or SS with a plated blade that they know hasn't been messed with???

Red

#145950 08/25/2006 12:30 PM
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I don't think any political dagger makers plated their blades, but I have heard that some were chrome plated immediately after the war by American GI's. I have seen some scabbards like this myself, but not a blade.

#145951 08/25/2006 12:50 PM
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To my knowledge, no SA/SS blades were plated by the original makers. Some SS daggers are found with plated crossguards. Maybe SA too, but I am not sure.

If anyone has more info, please post !

Dave

#145952 08/25/2006 12:51 PM
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I would think the norm for 2nd lufts and army blades is polished (with crossgraining). 1st luft, early 2nd luft and early army blades tend to be the ones you find plated. Never seen a plated SA or SS blade though.

#145953 08/25/2006 01:33 PM
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The "norm" for Army & 2nd Luft blades is polished style. I haven't seen a link to early blades being plated as such (in my experience), but plating blades seems to be tied to some makers more than anything else, IMHO. Never seen a plated blade on an SS or SA. IF I did, I'd walk away..... Smile


" Always interested in Aluminum fitted, rare, and superbly conditioned Army daggers." DJ Roach
#145954 08/25/2006 07:44 PM
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I was sure I read somewhere that plated blades were produced for SA/SS, so I searched my archives and found Bernie Brule's article on SA/SS/NSKK Daggers which I have always accepted as a given. I hope I can quote extracts from Bernie's essay...

1933 to 1936
"Crossgraining from the polishing process is clearly visible on the blades as is the company logo."

1936 to 1938
"Plated blades also begin to appear. Hand finishing is no longer apparent in all aspects of production."

1939 to 1942
"Blades are plated and those that aren't have a dull satin finish as opposed to a high sheen. Some late production pieces will even have a mixture of plated, aluminium and nickel parts as stores of parts are used up."

Red

#145955 08/25/2006 09:08 PM
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Maybe Bernie could say something about the info, but I haven't seen a plated SA/SS blade. Smile


" Always interested in Aluminum fitted, rare, and superbly conditioned Army daggers." DJ Roach
#145956 08/25/2006 09:23 PM
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Hmmm.... sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees.

Those statements are indeed found on my site. When I was referring to plated blades, I was referring to non-political blades but did not state that. Must have been a senior moment. Big Grin

I must agree with my learned colleagues in that I am not aware of any political blades being plated.... at least on original pre-1945 blades.

I will clarify these statements on my site. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

I guess the moral of the story here is don't believe everything you read on the internet. Web sites are written by people and people, being human, will make mistakes. Wink


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-Cross of Iron
#145957 08/25/2006 10:20 PM
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I always read and understood polished steel not plated was the only one method used. My2 cents, Tiep

#145958 08/26/2006 10:13 AM
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Thanks as always for the input guys... we learn...

I'm interested in finding out more on my Hammesfahr, seems plated to me, however the motto has good burnishing. I'll take some pics...

Thanks, Red

#145959 08/26/2006 07:34 PM
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I've never seen a plated political blade. Could the blade have been refinished Red?

As for Army/Luft blades, Klaas was one of the most prolific platers, and I'm not even sure the majority of their blades were plated.

#145960 08/26/2006 08:58 PM
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I have encountered more than one veteran who had an SA Dagger blade plated just after the war. They told me they didn't like the dark areas on the dagger blade that they found at the end of the war and there were German companys that would plate the blade or gun for them. He also had a nice early Luger he had plated.
Ron Weinand
Weinand Militaria


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#145961 08/26/2006 09:28 PM
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Tyrel
Overwhelming majority of Army and 2nd Luft blades were polished.....


" Always interested in Aluminum fitted, rare, and superbly conditioned Army daggers." DJ Roach
#145962 08/26/2006 09:36 PM
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During the Imperial era nickel plating became a popular way to cover up a multitude of sins with blades that were not perfectly polished. That was carried on into the Third Reich era for swords and some daggers.

The ‘cross grained’ variety of political blades replaced the earlier fully polished blades as a cost cutting measure. Many had mottos that were intentionally darkened by bluing the mottos after etching. Nickel plating would have obliterated the blued/darkened mottos. And for the ones that were only etched, nickel plating would have tended to coverup the mottos to some extent. Especially if the plating depth was not carefully controlled. And trying to acid etch over/on top of nickel plating has its own set of problems. Which are all reasons why I have not personally seen a blade that I thought was period plated.

As for the non political blades some makers plated while some did not. With time also being a factor as nickel began to be conserved for the war effort. With polished steel blades becoming more common as manufacturing standards deteriorated from a materials standpoint. FP

#145963 08/28/2006 10:12 PM
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I know Denny. I was trying to make that point myself, I guess I crossed you, and perhaps others, up. I was saying that the VAST majority of blades were polished.
And that even most blades by Klaas, which we know as one company that did do a lot of plating on Heer/Luft daggers, are polished rather than plated.

Did that make more sense?

Best,
Tyrel Smile

#145964 08/28/2006 11:33 PM
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2003 I purchased from Craig an Eickhorn 2nd Luft in mint unissued condition. The piece had formerly belonged to a forum member who picked it up at the 2002 Max (I think Jim Modena had it at one time?) It had been housed in a naval presentation case and was exhibited on this forum. Craig split the dagger from the case and I got the dagger, some of you may remember the piece as it is a beauty, probably non better.
When I got it I noticed a lack of crossgrain on the mirror bright blade and also that look that you get only on a plated blade. Conscious at the time that the majority of Luft blades were polished I consulted TW's book and found that on page 186 he mentions that early Eick blades can be found plated. However the condtion of this piece is such that it didn't agree with it being early. Closer examination showed me that the pommel was of the very first style that Eickhorn had used, Not the heart shape and not the generic. I looked at it and wondered if it could be an original but parts dagger, but the finishes all agreed with it being of the 'two tone variety as shown on page 203 of Tom's book. The xguard is of a matt alumnium finish which exactly matches the central band and top of the pommel whilst the daker portions of the pommel exactly match the ferule and scabbard, piece exhibit's 100% laquer throughout and 100% gold on the swaz's.
As it has the early blade and pommel I can only conclude it was left on the shelf as later variations came into production,. I certainly don't have any problems with it, came from Craig, nuff said , but just I posted this to highlight once again that there are no hard and fast rules with GD's.

Adrian


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#145965 08/28/2006 11:36 PM
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PS, I did take it down and evry part fits perfectly, not a hint of play anywhere

A


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#145966 08/29/2006 01:41 AM
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I have a question. Bill Shea has a Heer dag listed as nickel plated and he states its got great crossgraining. I thought only polished steel blades had this crossgrain beautification. How is it that a plated blade has it, on an earlier thread I remember them say no plated blades could be polished because it would have an adverse affect...What gives.Tiep Roll Eyes

#145967 08/29/2006 04:19 AM
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A number of 2nd models were finished with a matt dark gray zinc phosphate finish. Which then had the high points polished, allowing the aluminum base metal to show through, which would then give the metal a two tone appearance. Perfectly acceptable. And if (literally) all of the zinc phosphate is present fairly unusual. Because very often portions of it are worn off on daggers which are otherwise in exceptional condition.

The cross grained nickel plated army dagger has me a little perplexed. Sight unseen I think there are a couple of possibilities. The first is that it might have been coarsely polished prior to the nickel plating. Which would or should permit more cross graining to show through even with a plated blade.

The other is that it was lightly polished afterward (at some point) with a coarser (grain size) polishing grit - instead of a finer polishing grit. Nickel has a hardness approaching that of steel and there is no physical reason that it could not be polished after it was plated (in a production/commercial environment nickel plating is commonly polished - for example prior to chrome plating). My only concern being that that it does not seem very cost effective to try and replicate a cross grain finish on top of nickel plating. And for the moment I can’t imagine why the Germans would want to do something like that. FP

#145968 08/29/2006 04:35 AM
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I have run into this before and it usually is a case of not leaving it in the plating bath long enough and you get that see thru effect.

#145969 08/29/2006 05:59 AM
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I don’t disagree with that point of view, and it may be that the blade only has a “flash” (very thin/light) layer of nickel plating. The downside of very thin plating is that it can wear through to the base metal fairly soon - which would probably show up the base metal as a different color. As I remarked earlier about it being sight unseen it’s hard to say without a look at the blade. FP

#145970 08/29/2006 09:51 AM
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No direspect to Bill Shea but he is probably wrong in his description, some polished blades are so well finished that the crossgrain is almost invisible and the blade looks plated, especially Eickhorns, but Bill's 'plated blade with great crossgraing' leaves me puzzled.

TJ describes many of his Heer's and 2nd Lufts as having plated blades, out of proportion to the % we guess to have been.???


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#145971 08/29/2006 11:26 AM
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Interesting to note here that Josef Hack used heavy nickel plate on their Army and Luft blades.


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