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    1. Top | #1
      JulianTT is offline
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      Stiga mystery blade - is this koto or limba?

      Help, this has been driving me crazy! Long story short: I found an old blade with original rubbers still on (Mark V + old logo Butterfly Salvo Speed) and no one has been able to identify it exactly, not even the guys at Stiga. I haven't seen another one just like it. What I know so far :
      - It's likely a Stiga OC from the 90s. Some say early 90s, some say mid to late
      - It had Offensive Classic written in white. That is odd because older and newer models used black lettering for the normal version and white for the WRB version, but this is not a WRB
      - It has a single transparent lens with the words Stiga - Master - Made in Sweden in white or silver font on a black background
      - The outer ply is either dyed koto or dyed limba. The switch from koto to limba happened in 1993 according to Stiga

      Here are some pics after cleaning it up and applying a little bit of varnish. I mostly want to know if this is koto or limba. I've looked at hundreds of pictures and they are very hard to tell apart. Some koto veneers look a lot like limba and vice-versa, the brown die makes it even harder to tell. Don't be foooled by the apparent long grooves either, a few thin strips stayed on the rubber when I peeled it off as you can see in the last picture.






      Julian
      Last edited by JulianTT; 08-03-2019 at 02:43 PM.

    2. Top | #2
      olzetezkarzo is offline
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      for me looks like koto.
      also a pic from the bottom of the handle would help.
      I mean the part with the three crowns.
      koto looks different than limba from the side.
      Last edited by olzetezkarzo; 08-03-2019 at 03:06 PM.

    3. Top | #3
      JulianTT is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by olzetezkarzo View Post
      for me looks like koto.
      also a pic from the bottom of the handle would help.
      I mean the part with the three crowns.
      koto looks different than limba from the side.
      Here you go

      Julian

    4. Top | #4
      bobpuls is offline
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      Koto for sure

    5. Top | #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by bobpuls View Post
      Koto for sure
      How can you tell? What do you look for to differentiate between koto and limba?

    6. Top | #6
      UpSideDownCarl is online now
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      Quote Originally Posted by JulianTT View Post


      It looks like one of the old Offensive Classics from when they used a Koto top ply to me as well.

      If you look at the wing at the bottom of this photo, that grain pattern looks a lot like other Koto I have seen that is regular cut. But the grain pattern on the whole blade face looks like Koto to me as well.

      And this grain pattern on the whole blade face in this photo:

      Quote Originally Posted by JulianTT View Post


      That does not look like Limba to me. Not at all. But it does look like Koto. The dye does not change how the grain pattern looks. And that does not look like Limba.

      But how does it feel? That would tell you right away. Koto and Limba feel distinctly different.
      Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 08-03-2019 at 07:04 PM.
      Spin Everything.

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    8. Top | #7
      bobpuls is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by TeoTeoTeo View Post
      How can you tell? What do you look for to differentiate between koto and limba?
      koto strands are longer and goes more straight then limba (limba strands tends to curl)... and also is more porous with thicker strands this you can see at the end by the handle.

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    10. Top | #8
      yogi_bear is offline
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      Definitely koto due to the scale-like pattern of the blade surface instead of the root like lines of limba.

    11. Top | #9
      UpSideDownCarl is online now
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      Quote Originally Posted by yogi_bear View Post
      Definitely koto due to the scale-like pattern of the blade surface instead of the root like lines of limba.
      Yogi, that is regular cut, not quarter sawn. So I am not sure what you are talking about when you say scale like pattern. That is not quarter sawn which is what people call "fish-scale". When Koto is cut regular, it has the long grain pattern bobpuls described.

      The photos OP posted are not fish-scale pattern (quarter sawn cut).
      Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 08-03-2019 at 08:08 PM.

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    13. Top | #10
      JulianTT is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl View Post
      But how does it feel? That would tell you right away. Koto and Limba feel distinctly different.
      I don't have anything else to compare with. I tried a friend's Viscaria one time but that is a completely different blade and different rubber.

      Julian

    14. Top | #11
      UpSideDownCarl is online now
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      Stiga mystery blade - is this koto or limba?

      Koto with fish-scales (quarter sawn):



      Koto with regular cut:



      Limba:



      You can see with regular cut the grains are exactly how bobpuls described. Koto’s grain is longer and straighter. Limba strands tend to curl, are more porous and thicker.

      Bobpuls gave the perfect description.



      Sent from my NSA SpyPhone from Sector 13D-SR13Z74 Sub Level 29X Fort Meade, Maryland
      Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 08-03-2019 at 08:28 PM.

    15. Top | #12
      UpSideDownCarl is online now
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      Quote Originally Posted by JulianTT View Post
      I don't have anything else to compare with. I tried a friend's Viscaria one time but that is a completely different blade and different rubber.

      Julian
      Use it and enjoy it. Don’t worry which wood. It is an excellent blade. But bobpuls is correct.

      And that makes it a collector’s item.


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    16. Top | #13
      yogi_bear is offline
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      Looks like koto to me when i compared it to a Xu Xin dynasty blade.

      QUOTE=UpSideDownCarl;284377]Yogi, that is regular cut, not quarter sawn. So I am not sure what you are talking about when you say scale like pattern. That is not quarter sawn which is what people call "fish-scale". When Koto is cut regular, it has the long grain pattern bobpuls described.

      The photos OP posted are not fish-scale pattern (quarter sawn cut).[/QUOTE]

    17. Top | #14
      UpSideDownCarl is online now
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      Quote Originally Posted by yogi_bear View Post
      Looks like koto to me when i compared it to a Xu Xin dynasty blade.
      Koto, yes. Like bobpuls explained. But not fish scale which means that the wood would have been quarter cut rather than regular cut. Which is also why I showed a Koto blade with quarter sawn wood (fish scales, my TB ZLF) and a Koto blade with the Koto having been regular cut (my OSP V'King).

      And I contrasted the V'King to my custom OSP which is Limba-Spruce-Ayous-Spruce-Limba.

      See below:

      Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl View Post
      Koto with fish-scales (quarter sawn):
      Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl View Post



      Koto with regular cut:



      Limba:



      You can see with regular cut the grains are exactly how bobpuls described. Koto’s grain is longer and straighter. Limba strands tend to curl, are more porous and thicker.

      Bobpuls gave the perfect description.


      The first photo is the TB ZLF with Fish Scale Koto. The second photo is the V'King with regular cut Koto. And the third photo is the custom OSP blade with a Limba top ply for contrast.
      Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 08-03-2019 at 11:46 PM.

    18. Top | #15
      UpSideDownCarl is online now
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      BTW: JulianTT, based on our PM chain, use your Primorac. Save, and protect the Stiga Offensive Classic because that is a collectors item. Pull it out every so often to have fun. But use the Primorac.

      In another 20 years that will be worth even more than it is worth now. And it will still play really nicely. But the Primorac is still better for you developing your skillz.

    19. Top | #16
      yogi_bear is offline
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      I compared it to a known tibhar blade with koto outer with no fishscale appearance and it looks closer to it. In the past i would mistake it more than an ayous layer instead of koto because they have small scale like appearance when checked closely.
      QUOTE=UpSideDownCarl;284390]Koto, yes. Like bobpuls explained. But not fish scale which means that the wood would have been quarter cut rather than regular cut. Which is also why I showed a Koto blade with quarter sawn wood (fish scales, my TB ZLF) and a Koto blade with the Koto having been regular cut (my OSP V'King).

      And I contrasted the V'King to my custom OSP which is Limba-Spruce-Ayous-Spruce-Limba.

      See below:



      The first photo is the TB ZLF with Fish Scale Koto. The second photo is the V'King with regular cut Koto. And the third photo is the custom OSP blade with a Limba top ply for contrast. [/QUOTE]

    20. Top | #17
      UpSideDownCarl is online now
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      Quote Originally Posted by yogi_bear View Post
      I compared it to a known tibhar blade with koto outer with no fishscale appearance and it looks closer to it. In the past i would mistake it more than an ayous layer instead of koto because they have small scale like appearance when checked closely.
      Okay. I thought you were saying it was fish scale.

      But bobpuls gave a very good explanation of the difference between the grains in Koto and Limba.

    21. Top | #18
      JulianTT is offline
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      Thank you guys! There seems to be a consensus and if that is true, I am happy to own a rare item with a story. And I will keep using and enjoying it rather than putting it on display

      Julian

    22. Top | #19
      Zaccai is offline
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      Resembles the open grain of Koto for me... I have no authority on the subject however.
      Amicably, Mr. Noob

    23. Top | #20
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      The best way to find out, if it is koto, is to take a clear picture from the bottom of the handle. Koto has a very special structure, which looks like a "honeycomb". Please compare yourself:

      1. Maze (limba), 2. Spirit (koto), 3. Apolonia (limba), 4. Viscaria (koto)


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