Rust bust

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RRB Supporter
Sep 17, 2013
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The middle of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
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I’m part way through an 1890s seat pan resto. My go to method is to first use a 4 day soak in a concentrated solution of Rust Out, which is a rust stain remover. It contains no acids. Every day I give the part a scrubbing with a Brillo pad. Today it will go into a vinegar bath. I’ve had some very bad luck with acids, deep pitting, discoloration and totally ruined parts. Some of the steel used way back had a course grain that is easily eaten and deeply pitted with all acids. You never know what you got until it’s too late. Very old parts made from round stock seem to be the stuff that gets elongated holes eaten in them like lucky 7 seat posts and bolts. I’m mostly worried about the bolts here. Skip tooth chains must never be soaked in acid as you I’ll have a pile of parts. I keep acids to a minimum and check progress frequently. Acids also cause hydrogen embittering that makes the steel more brittle. Next, I’ll sand blast around the bolts and any small rust that remains with my homemade sand blaster. The homemade blaster only works on small tight areas and is not efficient enough to do large areas. The final thing will be a coat of Ospho, a metal etching prep and rust preventer that contains phosphoric acid, then prime and paint. Here is before and after four days of Rust Out.


Homemade sand blaster, made from an air blower, epoxy putty and a plastic bottle. Beach sand medium. The hole in the nozzle is not made from ceramic so it gets enlarged fast and needs replacing.
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