Maintenance: Surface finish treatments are not essential but you may apply furniture paste wax if desired.
Maintaining weapons used in contact:
Buff out scuffs with 0000 steel wool. Inspect your weapon for any damage. You will need to sand out any damaged areas and make a reasonable judgement to replace the weapon if there are cracks or any sign of splintering that could harm you or your partners.
Caution: No material whether it be steel, wood, plastic or whatever, is completely indestructible. If you engage in paired practice, inspect your weapons often and if you notice damage from heavy contact, replace it. The enhanced hickory is stronger than any other martial art wood in current use, but certainly, through enough abuse and indiscretion, could be damaged, endanger you, others and certainly do damage to your partner's weapons in the process.
An informative article and very good read on the practical considerations of wood striking wood can be seen at this link: Kim Taylor's "Bokken Bashing". The main lesson from this humorous but accurate essay is that all wood can be damaged if hit hard enough. Your Kingfisher sword or staff, made of Enhanced Appalachian Hickory is unlikely to fail in any case, but the user is cautioned to exercise good judgment and replace the weapon if obvious damage is evident.
Moisture and Warpage:
Don’t leave your weapon in the hot sun, don’t rest it near a hot woodstove, don’t lay it down in wet grass etc. While Enhanced Appalachian Hickory is much more stable than wood in its natural state and warping is unlikely, the material has a unique cellular structure that allows for straightening. The method for straightening is the same for Enhanced Appalachian Hickory as it is for Appalachian Hickory
When we adjust wood here in the shop, we often use a rather stout vise (with soft pine wood jaws) to hold the end of the bokken and then simply over bend the bokken in the opposite direction as the warp. Since you will probably not have access to a heavy woodworking vise, it might take a little bit of imagination to find a rigid fixture that will hold the sword. One thing to remember is to find soft wood pads or something similar to firmly hold one end while applying the bending force. Any firmly anchored hold will work. We have an area in the shop with a hole in the foundation that we've lined with soft wood pads and we can easily slide the end of the bokken down into the hole to the desired depth and apply straightening force. Another idea is a crotch in a tree. Another idea is to set the bokken sideways on 2 large wooden blocks supporting each end and then kneel on the bokken with a springing action to over bend. - I'm sure you get the idea! Remember that you will need to over bend to a greater degree than the warp - take a look by sighting down the weapon and checking and repeat if necessary or re- adjust if you've bent it too far. Contact Kingfisher if you have difficulty. We'll be happy to adjust it here and we will replace the weapon if it cannot be straightened.