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Visit to ReUse Action – One way to do Rust Removal

It is that time of year again when the garage changes from summer storage to winter luxury accommodations for the car.  I decided to take much of the useable items to the new ReUse Action building at 980 Northampton St, Buffalo, NY 14211.

If you are looking for great bargains in doors, windows, wood, insulation, old tools, hardware, cabinets, tile, antiques, restoration art…and a bicycle, then you need to check it out.

I picked up a couple interesting items and had a discussion about rust removal and tool restoration.  This is the process I go through to cleanup old tools.

  1. Get some old tools
  2. Brush off any loose dirt and look for any makers marks.  If the “Made in” is followed by anything other than USA, then go to the end of this post… 🙂
  3. This triangle didn’t look like much; buried in a box of rusted tools…
  4. In the same box was a couple odd tools, I small breaker bar and a thin wrench that despite its rusty exterior, was still a quality tool.  After scraping some of the rust away, I could see it was stamped “PROTO”…score!
  5. I also found a military sorter cabinet that was supposedly used for ammunition and thankfully, it was empty.
  6. The steel tools go into a 6 gallon bucket with 2 gallons of “Evapo-Rust”.  Previously, I had taken another bucket and cut it into a “basket”.
  7. Set the timer for an hour
  8. For the sorting cabinet, I used Oil Eater cleaner which is my primary cleaner.  You can watch the grime just wash off.
  9. I have never had paint react like this; It washed off with cleaner and warm water.  It was almost like it was temporary paint.  If anybody has experience with military finishes, please let me know.
  10. The tools right out of the bath, already look better.
  11. They all get a wash with Oil Eater
  12. The remaining residue can be removed with a brass wire wheel and the bench grinder.
  13. Once cleaned, I like to use some CorrosionX spray to coat the steel.  Wipe it down with a clean shop towel and let dry.
  14. Tools that have a ball bearing detent, I put a couple drops on the ball and then use something flat to push it in to allow the oil to get to the spring.
  15. This tool needed to be put in the vise and worked back and forth; working the dirt and corrosion out.
  16. The finished tools.  Better than new; now with character!   WF

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