Rust removal trick

Discussion in 'Paint and Body' started by svaillan2, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. svaillan2

    svaillan2

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    Greetings,

    I am new here and been cleaning up some seat hardware, a gas tank and other items from an FJ40 that has been sitting for some years. Not sure if something like this has been shared before but I figured I'd share an old Gunsmithing trick. The simplest way to remove rust and bluing on a firearm is to use white vinager. It also works great for restoring old axe heads too. The vinegar only eats away at the rust, paint and any other coatings but not the good metal itself.

    I went down to my local restaurant supplier and bough 8 gallons of white vinager for about 16 bucks. I then filled up a plastic tub and inserted the parts I needed to clean. Now yes sandblasting would work but the problem is my seat sliders where all full of sand, oil and rust and wouldn't even budge. I needed to get down inside the rail where the slider bearings are at. So I soaked them for a couple days, rinsed them in water and used a brush and then resoaked them again. After the second 2 day soak I hit them with a spray hose. And they looked like new.

    Now I will give them a quick blast for better adhesion and powder coat them. But here are some pictures of how the vinager worked. A before, during and some after.......

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  2. svaillan2

    svaillan2

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    Here are the particles of rust and paint left over.........

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  3. half k cruiser

    half k cruiser

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    I can 2nd this, its a cheap way to clean up metal if you have the time. Lots of people use it to remove scale from metal. Probably not a bad idea to also rinse in fresh water to neutralize the acid from the vinegar.
     
  4. svaillan2

    svaillan2

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    To neutralize the acid for sure..... do a quick soak in a solution of baking soda and water. Since I am going to sand blast following the acid soak I just do a hot water rinse. But if your gonna paint I would do the baking soda solution.
     
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  5. 120mm

    120mm

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    I've spent the last year researching rust removal, and during that time, the media blaster has become my rust removal of last resort.

    Diluted molasses is also a terrific rust remover.



    But my personal favorite now is electrolysis. Not only does it remove rust completely, but it leaves a thin layer of galvanized metal, preventing future rust as well.



    Of course, phosphoric acid is the industry standard for chemical rust removal; AKA "Ospho", "Must For Rust", etc..
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
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  6. Cruiserdrew

    Cruiserdrew On the way there SILVER Star

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    Electrolysis is great, and by far the best way to preserve as much good metal as you can. THe very high pH solutions do not allow for any corrosion of the surface metal (unlike acid methods) and the electrolysis convers still adherent iron oxide back to elemental iron. After complete spray down with Ospho or similar. This converts surface iron to iron phosphate, which is a super adherent and stable surface for paint.
     
  7. svaillan2

    svaillan2

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    How well does the electrolysis work on an object with paint as well as rust? Never done it and might give it a shot.

    Also has anyone power coated on top of the left over galvanized metal? I've been reading up on powder coating and a lot say to still media blast anything galvanized. Any experience?
     
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  8. S4Cruiser

    S4Cruiser SILVER Star

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    Electrolysis is also my preferred method for parts small enough to get into a waterproof container. I spend a good amount of time refreshing old tools, vises mostly. Some have paint and it seems to remove it great. I'll usually hit the parts with some simple green and a rag to remove the heavier dirt and grease before throwing them in the tank. Then a scrub with dish soap and a green scrubby.
     
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  9. 120mm

    120mm

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    I know a guy who made a "kiddy pool" out of heavy plastic and scrap wood and electrolyzed an entire pickup frame.

    In the video I linked, it looks as if it got under the paint and just lifted it off.

    I don't powder coat, so I don't know about powder coating.
     
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  10. Cruiserdrew

    Cruiserdrew On the way there SILVER Star

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    Electrolysis will strip paint pretty effectively. It actually does a nice job except in the corners. It's a very good method for restoring cast iron/steel parts. ANd, it's fun to do and no effort. Set it up. let it sit 3 days and you're good.
     
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  11. 120mm

    120mm

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    I've also become a huge fan for Eastwood's Contour SCT for removing paint and surface rust from large panels. Only $200 and it doesn't heat up and warp the panel. Works about as fast as a top quality blasting rig without the mess.

     
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  12. LAMBCRUSHER

    LAMBCRUSHER

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    thanks. I needed another tool...
     
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  13. FJ60Seth

    FJ60Seth SILVER Star

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    Anther great product is evaporust. Its very effective and easy to use but there is the cost factor.
     
  14. Burbot

    Burbot

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    Just to throw a curve in here. When removing paint on smaller objects plop them into a pan of boiling water with b soda in it(1/2 cup per quart) slow boil for several hours. This will lift most paints etc add solution as it boils off. Then rinse with lots of hot water allow to dry. Wipe with a vinegar cloth then allow to totally dry. Paint immediately. I've never done the vin soak trick. Smithing is different than body work. Rust never sleeps.
     
  15. dogfishlake

    dogfishlake Go on a living spree Supporting Vendor SILVER Star

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    A late reply, but hopefully worth something.

    Powder Coating galvanized metal is tricky. There is a window of success. If coated very soon after galvanizing, the adhesion is good. It becomes a problem pretty quickly though as the surface oxidizes and the contaminants hinder adhesion. The safest bet is to "wash blast " the galvanizing to clean, but not remove it. From there, the part should be preheated after proper washing to balance the air pressure in the porous surface before coating. This will also help eject impurities in the galvanizing. A slow ramp cure, or an outgassing free powder is also a bonus.
     
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  16. 120mm

    120mm

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    Knowledge is always worthwhile. Thanks for the info!
     
  17. Prairie Swamp

    Prairie Swamp

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    On of the very first things I ever powdercoated was some chain hooks that I welded up for the bucket on my Kubota. Hardware store galvanized and yellow chromated chain hooks welded to mild steel plates. Without bead/sand blasting I powder coated after welding. Many years later the coating on the steel plates looks awesome but the paint has pretty much all flaked off the glavanized hooks. Just a data point. In hind sight I would bead blast a bit first as recommended above.
     
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  18. Heckraiser

    Heckraiser

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    Thread bump. I acquired some very rusty midwestern radius arms from a mudder to replace the bent ones on my 80.

    For the electrolysis method: I could probably set up a kiddie pool or something that they would fit in. I don't have a battery charger, and not sure what would be the best type/amperage for this type of job. Also, would it be possible to split the negative to do both radius arms at once?

    Or would the vinegar method be preferable? Or any other product/suggestions for large items like radius arms?
     
  19. Prairie Swamp

    Prairie Swamp

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    I think for large items electrolysis is the way to go. Especially for heavy crusties.

    Yes you can split the electrodes to multiple items and multiple sacrificial iron/steel cathodes. 12 volts seems to do the trick and the current will be set by the electrolyte and items in the bath. So you can use a car battery but I don't know how long it will last. Doing smaller stuff with a battery charger seems like it pulled maybe 2 amps.

    Try it and see.
     
  20. PAToyota

    PAToyota Keystone Cruisers SILVER Star

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    A friend recently posted on the book of faces about using electrolysis to clean up an old coal stove. He started by making a wood form and draping plastic sheeting into it, but that ended up springing a leak. From there he went to one of those large storage tubs you can get at the big box stores. I'm pretty sure he just used a cheap HF battery charger.
     
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