Rusty Tikko

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Rusty Tikko 2

I purchased my first pair of Shureido tikko (手甲) way back in 1995 when I was training with Minowa sensei and Yoshimura sensei (as an aside, I don’t think Shureido sells them anymore, but I’m not completely sure). Like anything new, they were shinny with not a scratch on them, but over the years they’ve become a little worse for wear and have rusted quite a bit. So, this past week I decided I had better get off my as!@ and do something about that.

Not knowing where to start I consulted “Dr. Google” and found an excellent video by “Erniesbudolab” that showed step-by-step how to restore rusty Shureido sai. I figured, “if it worked for sai, then it should work for tikko“. I did things a little differently than in the video, but overall I think the restoration turned out alright. So without further ado, here is what I did.


Here are the tikko before I started – pretty rusty and they had seen better days.

Tikko before restoration

The first thing I did was sand off the surface rust using a scotch-brite pad. They looked better but still not great.

Sanded Tikko 1
Tikko after scouring with scotch-brite pad

Then I cleaned and rinsed the tikko with CLR to remove more of the rust. Now they were starting to look a little better.

Clearned Tikko 1
Tikko after treatment with CLR

The next thing I did was treat the tikko with a rust reformer as shown in the video, but I was unable to find the same kind that was used (I thought it was a bit strange that I couldn’t find it either at Canadian Tire or Home Depot…go figure). Instead I went to my local paint store and they recommended that I use Tremclad Rust Reformer. Here’s the result.

Tikko after treatment with rust reformer
Tikko after treatment with rust reformer

The nice thing about the rust reformer is that it bounds to any left-over rust as well as preventing any future rusting. It’s not a perfect solution, but I’m happy with the result. In fact, I am planning to use the same steps to restore some rusty Shureido sai. My thanks to “Erniesbudolab” for sharing with everyone the basics steps to get started via his youtube channel.

Post Script

Here are my Shureido sai after being restored.

Sai after restoration
Sai after restoration
Sai after restoration - wrapped
Sai after restoration – wrapped