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Old 17th April 2008, 05:55 AM   #1
t_c
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: ca, usa
Posts: 92
Default Rust Removal with Tomato Paste

Thought I'd share this little experiment with you...

I have had a very hard time trying to clean up some nasty deep black pits in this blade (sanding, scrubbing, WD40, etc). I didn't want to use an immersion technique (pineapple juice soak or similar) because I'm not sure how to get the handle off and the rust is only really bad in certain areas. I decided to try tomato paste, the advantage being that I could apply it to just the areas I wanted to and not have to treat the whole blade. The areas of the blade that aren't black and pitted are in pretty good shape. I applied about 1/4" thick coat of tomato paste and let it sit for about 3+ hours - I tried a 1/2 hour and 1 hour, but it didn't do much. Most of the tomato paste dried and turned almost lack after 3 hours. I cleaned the paste off with a brillo pad, sanded, and REALLY scrubbed with a brass wire brush, and a lot of rust came away. The tomato paste does etch the blade, but I was able to sand it clean. I did two coats (3 & 5 hours +-) and got some decent results. One side is mostly done, the other is untreated - sorry no real before and after pics, but both sides were in the same condition originally. The pitting is visible, but the heavy rust is gone.

I want to take the handle off to clean the tang and stablilize the wood as the rust on the tang (I'm assuming it's the rust) has expanded to the point of splitting the wood handle. The handle is on really well though. Does anyone have any tips on removing the handle safely?

thanks
tom
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