any ideas on how to clean large rusty objects?
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  1. #1
    ca
    Nov 2006
    British Columbia
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    any ideas on how to clean large rusty objects?

    I have a box thats been accumulating alot of rusty stuff ive been finding with my MD. Stuff like very rusty horse shoes, axe heads, older style trapers traps and stuff so encrusted with rust i cant tell whats underneath it all. I was wondering whats the best way of cleaning stuff like this? Im just now doing some research on the electrolysis machine, never used one but it sounds like it might work on this rusty stuff but not sure? Was wondering if anyone has had any experience in making their rusty stuff shine? Thanks

  2. #2
    us
    Jan 2008
    Missouri
    WHITE'S MXT (and man is she hot!)
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    Re: any ideas on how to clean large rusty objects?

    This may sound a bit harsh, but I recently used a hammer and a flat tip to remove some rust, and I found that WD 40 does a good job of breaking up rust and stoping further oxidation...

    ~Tom
    ALL GAVE SOME...some gave ALL!

  3. #3

    Sep 2007
    Seymour Johnson AFB, NC
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    Re: any ideas on how to clean large rusty objects?

    I read a while back about Red Devil Lye method. Go to Food Lion or Walmart and buy some. Put some hot water in a 5 gal bucket and mix some of the lye in it. Put your rusty items in and let sit for a day. You must be cautious with the mixture because it will kill animals or anyone who might drink it. Plus, I think it will eat skin so don't get it on you, wear gloves. I have done this method a couple times and it works fairly well. You might need to do it a couple times for items. Just be careful. Bryan

  4. #4
    us
    Mar 2003
    SouthEast NC
    DMC-II,Cibola,Excaliber,Whites PI, AT Max
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    Re: any ideas on how to clean large rusty objects?

    you need a simple electrolysis set-up,first thing you need is a bucket or container,take your relic and find some bare metal,it don't take much,wrap some bare wire around it and leave enough to hang out of the bucket.This will hook to the negative side of a battery charger.Get a scrap piece of metal that is long enough to stick out of the bucket,hook the positive lead to this.Rig a device to suspend the relic in the water or at least keep it off the bottom.Fill with water but do not let the water cover the battery charger clamps,it will destroy them,cut the charger on and put it on 12 volts,2 amps,use a simple charger,the smart chargers won't work,pour in lots of lye(sodium hydroxide),and watch it .It should start making fine bubbles,that is what you want,too much and it will bubble aggressively and eat up your relic.After a few hours or even days the rust will turn black and start to fall of,it is probably done,wear gloves and take it out,a small tap with a hammer will dislodge the rest of the rust.Rinse real good,wire brush or scotchbrite the rest off,dry and coat.I posted a while back about removing salt,the setups are similiar,check it out.This does a great job on iron.

  5. #5
    us
    Master of None

    Dec 2007
    Hancock Street, Folsom, CA
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    Re: any ideas on how to clean large rusty objects?

    This is what I do.
    Like someone said above, use a hammer or rough file to get the flakes off.
    Next I use a wire brush. Then a treatment of naval jelly.
    Let that say on 15 minutes or so, then rinse off.
    Let it try completely, then a layer of oil.

    Lots of iron mining equipment in my area.

    UV

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  6. #6
    us
    Jul 2005
    N Louisiana
    Ace 250
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    Re: any ideas on how to clean large rusty objects?

    1. Tried electrolysis (sp?) - On a copper plate. Very slow-going. Weeks. 'Course, I'm trying not to damage it too much. Very little rust floats off at any time, but it is very interesting to watch.
    2. Watched Nana40 take a Dremel tool and whack away at a chain until she could determine if it was a chain or something else. Used all the tips up in her husband's kit. BUT, she did find out what it was. A very large chain link.
    3. Go with the soaking/oiling/scrubbing/etc., that the guys are telling you.

    Just remember, it took years for it to get on there. May take days to get it off.
    Dear Lord, lest I continue in my complacent ways, help me to remember that someone died for me today. And if there be war, help me to remember to ask and to answer "am I worth dying for?" - Eleanor Roosevelt

  7. #7

    Feb 2005
    474
    23 times

    Re: any ideas on how to clean large rusty objects?

    Sno-Bol works wonders. Get a shallow plastic tub, pour in the Sno-Bol, toss in the artifacts, and check on it every now and then. I don't throw different artifacts in together. I will put nails in one time, then tools, etc.

    Different cleaning time spans for object size and amount of rust. Follow up with the dremel and and a preservative clear coating. Not sure what's the best one to use there.

    Hope this helps.

    Cavers5

  8. #8
    us
    youtube.com/c/BigCypressSwamp

    Dec 2004
    South Florida
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    Re: any ideas on how to clean large rusty objects?

    Quote Originally Posted by Noodle
    1. Tried electrolysis (sp?) - On a copper plate. Very slow-going. Weeks. 'Course, I'm trying not to damage it too much. Very little rust floats off at any time, but it is very interesting to watch.
    Electrolysis does not work with copper. It works best on rusty iron. I use Baking Soda solution instead of Lye.

  9. #9
    us
    Aug 2007
    Upstate NY
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    Re: any ideas on how to clean large rusty objects?

    throw them in the campfire then give it a good shake

 

 

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