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Small Parts Rust Removal Method

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#1 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted December 04, 2014 - 06:52 PM

One of the best and cheapest methods to remove rust from any small part is to use White Vinegar.  I use it all the time to clean up old tools, and especially when restoring an old hand saw.  I use a large tube with 3 stainless steel wire across the bottom to hold the blade off the bottom.  Pour in just enough  to cover the blade and let it sit overnight.  Use any size container that will allow the part to be submerged.  The vinegar is 5% acid and will eat all the rust it come in contact with.  The more rust, the longer it will have to soak.


Use rubber glove to handle the part after it has been in the vinegar solution. It will be black and stink like heck.  Take it out, shake off the excess, cover the container and head to your scrub place with running water.  I use a brass brush as I don't want to destroy the etching on the saw blade but your probably not concerned about that so us any stiff brush you have handy.  Scrub away and wash off frequently.  will not take any hard scrubbing but could take a lot of it as that black, formerly rust, will just keep showing up.  When your done dry the part off and wire wheel it off good to remove any residue that may be left.


The acid in the vinegar will remove the rust down in the puts, cracks and crevices that wire  rushing will not get.  Your part may have a dark shade to it but a good primer will cover that up.  This is a lot more through than just wire brushing it.off.  Keep the container covered and it can be used over and over again.  It will get to look real nasty and dark but it will keep right on attacking that rust.  At some point your going to want to discard the liquid and start fresh but don't get in a hurry to do that.  I have done about 10 hand saw blades in my solution and it still is working.


Hope this help some of you that want to get ALL the rust off a part.

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#2 cootertom OFFLINE  

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Posted December 04, 2014 - 07:10 PM

Used it for years cleaning old skillets that has rusted. When you have it cleaned it needs washed, dried and either primed or oiled down or it will start back rusting in just a very short time frame and I'm not talking a hour or so but almost immediately .

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#3 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted December 04, 2014 - 09:21 PM

I have real good luck using Johnson's Paste Wax for wood floors.  Use it on all my saws as well as the cast iron tables on power tools.  Soft and easy to work down into the pores of the metal.  Spray clear coat is another good option.


Your right on the time frame before coating, but that depends a lot on the metal your working with.  I can leave a hand saw blade lay for 24 - 36 hours without coating it.  But we are talking about quality steel from back in the late 1800 to early 1900.

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#4 Bolens800uk OFFLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 05:21 PM

That's a useful tip and better for the environment too than using manufactured chemicals.
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#5 stanz OFFLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 08:39 PM

As an owner of a 1960s Fiat I have had to deal with more than my fair share of rust.  (I think they shipped them from the factory with rust.) If you must remove rust fast use muriatic acid.  It's nasty but it works fast. The steel industry uses it, warmed up, to clean and de-rust coiled steel. Oh, and it's cheap, buy it at the pool supply store.


Wear a mask and use it outdoors, the vapors are bad news, but it removes rust better than anything I've ever tried.


One concern with acid removal of rust is that it pickles the surface and makes it brittle,  It's not recommended for critical fasteners. 


Once the rust is gone, protect the surface immediately, it will rust incredibly fast.

Edited by stanz, December 14, 2014 - 08:40 PM.