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Thread: Vinegar for Rust Removal - how long?

  1. #1
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    Vinegar for Rust Removal - how long?

    I am soaking an old, rusty hacksaw in some vinegar to clean it up. I have never tried vinegar before, so am I watching this for minutes, hours, or days?

    The rust is enough to stop any parts from moving, but not a left-in-the-rain-for-years kind of rust.
    Veni Vidi Vendi Vente! I came, I saw, I bought a large coffee!

  2. #2
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    I've had luck after 24 hours on surfaces, but on stuck threads and pieces not fully exposed, not so much luck - maybe 50-50 on wether it will free the moving parts.

    I bought a gallon of Evaporust and that stuff is pretty impressive, AND you just leave the stuff out and it works for multiple tools and has a decent shelf life once opened.

    With either method - the vinegar or the Eveporust - it helps to take the part out after a few hours and brush the gunk off to expose the next layer of rust, if any.

    Anyways, that's been my experience on the 5 or so hand planes and all of their parts that I've cleaned...

  3. #3
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    I just started using Evapo Rust and I'm very impressed.
    Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.
    - Churchill

  4. #4
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    I just took it out and brushed off enough rust to take it apart. It appears to be loosening up the rust enough. I can see the logo now: Goodell Pratt Company Greenfield Mass USA.

    The grip washed up nicely and is drying out before I oil and wax it.
    Veni Vidi Vendi Vente! I came, I saw, I bought a large coffee!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Kent View Post
    I am soaking an old, rusty hacksaw in some vinegar to clean it up. I have never tried vinegar before, so am I watching this for minutes, hours, or days?

    The rust is enough to stop any parts from moving, but not a left-in-the-rain-for-years kind of rust.
    What I've done is to brush off the loose stuff, let it soak for several hours and brush it hard with a brass brush if its still rusty leave it soak then another 8-12 and brush again. I've never had to go more than 24 hours though.

  6. #6
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    Interesting. Common household vinegar? Does it discolor the non-rusted parts?
    Where did I put that tape measure...

  7. #7
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    It got the rust off. There are still some dark stains on the steel. I am checking some metal polish to see if I can get those off without scratching the surface. This old saw is pretty impressive the way the blade locks in position, especially compared to my newer Home Depot saw that was chosen for lowest price.
    Veni Vidi Vendi Vente! I came, I saw, I bought a large coffee!

  8. #8
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    So far, so good

    It is looking good now. Some staining, but good enough for now.

    It may be missing a pin or something on the inside of those sliding arms. When I try to tighten the blade via the handle, all it does it slide the arms closer together. Either there is a mechanical piece missing, maybe a pin going into the holes in the back of the saw, or it is a friction fit that I messed up with the WD40.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Veni Vidi Vendi Vente! I came, I saw, I bought a large coffee!

  9. #9
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    I did this a couple of times 7 or 8 years ago; but I recall adding salt to the vinegar. About once a day I'd rinse off the tools, refresh the vinegar, and put the tools back in. It worked wonders.

    Note that if you want to keep the blue in blued tools, don't do this, the bluing came off with the rust.

    Pam

  10. #10
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    How do the adjustable hacksaw arms catch?

    Pam - and others - do you know if the arms of the hacksaw are supposed to catch on a pin? (See my previous post) The length of the hacksaw keeps slipping.
    Veni Vidi Vendi Vente! I came, I saw, I bought a large coffee!

  11. #11
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    I don't know much about hack saws in general, but it appears there must be some type of mechanical pin for yours.

    Pam

  12. #12
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    There should be a pin of some sorts. This is how the saw can accomodate different blade lengths.

    jim

  13. #13
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    Got it!

    Thank you Pam and Jim.

    I just needed a little confidence before I went "fishing".

    The problem was a piece of spring steel that had been placed in the wrong spot, probably years ago before it was set aside to rust. The spring steel was behind the moving arms, which did not allow the pins to engage in the holes. It took some real leverage to get the spring out. When it finally gave, it was intact and the shape showed me where it was supposed to be - on the inside of the arms to hold the pins in the holes while a blade is being installed. It now works and holds a lot of tension on the blade.

    Here's the pics to show the parts and placement. Picture 3 is the inside of the back, with the spring in place. Picture 4 is where the pins engage.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Veni Vidi Vendi Vente! I came, I saw, I bought a large coffee!

  14. #14
    Interesting thread. I recently used vinegar and pieces of rusted barbwire to make some leather dye. After a few days the wire was clean and rust free. Decided to try cleaning a rusty flea market backsaw blade. After three days it cleaned up beautifully, but has a dull finish. Will try fine wet or dry to brighten it up. Just something else to tinker with. I also bought an old handsaw with a lot more corrosion that I am going to give the vinegar treatment. Cider vinegar is needed for the leather dye. Don't know if that makes a difference for rust removal. I may be trying to re-invent the wheel, but that's OK. It's fun.

    Charles

  15. #15
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    Guys (and gals) - Just a comment from a person with a Chemistry background - do not add salt (sodium chloride) to any solution you plan on using to remove rust from steel or iron tools. The chloride anion has an especially active role in pitting steel and iron. This is partly why certain strong acids can be used for rust removal, like sulfuric or nitric, but hydrochloric is out (note - just because it's possible to use a strong acid for rust removal, doesn't mean it's a good idea - strong acids will also attack native (unoxidized) iron).

    If you need to get a citric or acetic acid solution into nooks and crannies in tools, the best way is to add a few drops of hand dishwashing detergent to the solution until it will foam when agitated. This lowers the surface tension of the solution sufficiently to allow it get into tight corners that would otherwise trap air and be un-wetted.

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