Doug's Swordmaking Opinions Page
Plating hilts with chrome makes them very bright and shiny. I consider them to be garish and overdone, now that I've tried it. But it prevents rust and seems to prevent a lot of the nicks and scratches that other hilts show. And lots of people seem to really like the look! I intend to try an industrial black oxide coating, too. It's much cheaper, seems like an authentic look, and will look much more conservative. It will provide some rust protection, too, but not nearly as much as chrome or nickel plating.
Air tools aren't worthwhile. You need a very large, expensive (and noisy) compressor to run most of them. Using a 5 hp motor to run a sander seems pretty inefficient, especially since it costs about $400 and requires oil changes, occasional belt replacement and a fair amount of floor space.
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