I'd been thinking for a while of picking up a true meat cleaver (after spending a bit too much time fixing up my Tadatsuna slicing cleaver when I was overenthusiastic on a whole chicken but couldn't figure out what to try... I was visiting my folks on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and stopped in to a flea market and found this lovely thing:
...a nice Wm. Beatty & Son "00" cleaver. According to reading I've done online, the eagle signature and singular "& Son" puts it somewhere prior to 1839. The blade is heavily patinated and has a little bit of pitting and some hammer marks on the choil, but the handle is stable and in good shape, and the signature stamps are nice and strong. I intend to spend a bit of time with Barkeepers' Friend and Simichrome to get the shine back into it, and then do a forced patina (either ground beef or mustard, I suppose...)
I'm pretty excited to have an opportunity to use a tool like this that's likely 175+ years old. It's going to be my new barbecue/chicken chopper. Any suggestions on how best to approach cleaning up the blade and bolster without damaging the signature?