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Old 9th September 2006, 05:14 PM   #1
Bill M
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Default GREAT RUST REMOVAL process.

I put together this concept using a plastic garbage can with 6 steel rebars as electrodes. It works great! I am cleaning a mandau (private collection buy, the guy died and the wife put his stuff in the basement ARGH!.)

Should have taken a picture of the blade beforehand, but it was wall-to-wall red rust. After a two day soak, and one or two rubdowns with a plastic brush, most of the rust is gone.

Usiing an old battery charger for the power source.

Try this at your own risk. I am using it on a heavily rusted blade of no great value. There may some adverse effects I don't know about, but it sure looks like it is working well.

Obviously can't remove pitting where the metal has combined with oxygen, but sure seems easier and less invasive than steel wool or sandpaper. The pictures show only the process done to the blade. No steel wool, sandpaper or anything else hzs been used

The solution does not seem at all caustic, but remember it is water and you may not want to get your wood handles wet for a sustained several days. The bubbles do come up and the mandau handle is wet.

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/andyspatch/rust.htm
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Old 9th September 2006, 05:41 PM   #2
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Hi Bill,
just a suggestion.....perhaps to prevent water penetration in a wooden (or similar absorbent material ) handle... 'cling film' (I'm not certain whether this has the same product name in the US) the handle and for added security a few elastic bands wrapped round that
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Old 9th September 2006, 05:55 PM   #3
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I will added that process to my www.martinihenry.com/links.htm.

Here's a couple of others with a slight variations.

Metal Care and Restoration
Electronic Bore Cleaner http://ca.geocities.com/snidey@roger...recleaner.html
Electrolytic Rust Removal http://www3.telus.net/public/aschoep...lyticrust.html
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Old 9th September 2006, 06:13 PM   #4
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nice patina, and neat method
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Old 9th September 2006, 06:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katana
Hi Bill,
just a suggestion.....perhaps to prevent water penetration in a wooden (or similar absorbent material ) handle... 'cling film' (I'm not certain whether this has the same product name in the US) the handle and for added security a few elastic bands wrapped round that
GREAT Idea! We call it Saran-wrap here. Possibly cling film also.

Thanks
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Old 9th September 2006, 07:18 PM   #6
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Hi Bill,
after following the link provided by DD ...there was a concern regarding this method.....

'there is a chance that metal cleaned this way may be subject to hydrogen embrittlement. This can happen in many processes such as electroplating or welding. It should not be a problem unless you are cleaning hardened steel such as saw blades, knives, or chisels. If you are and you intend to use the item (rather than simply displaying it) you may want to try baking the part in an oven, I've heard of using temperatures from 300F to 440F (150C to 225C) for several hours.'

Apparently hydrogen atoms 'get into' the steel structure and weakens it....
HOWEVER.....there is the possibility that this only occurs when electro-plating.
I have checked several websites regarding this method of rust removal...a 'sword' site and a site that deals with old tool collecting....BOTH state that this is a SAFE method.........bearing in mind that we are talking 'hardened steels in both of these sites.......it seems that 'hydrogen embrittlement' would be either unlikely or of little consequence.....

But I am no metallurgist....
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Old 9th September 2006, 09:04 PM   #7
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In my experience, non-scouring Brillo pads and liberal WD-40 work very well. Bit smelly, but the results are instantaneous and there is no danger of damage to vulnerable parts and no concern about possible interactions with the blade. I suspect the mandau was patinated, and the patina was lost too...
This electrochemical method looks more suitable to semi-industrial uses.
Also, knowing my cats, I am a bit leery of finding one or both of them de-haired
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Old 9th September 2006, 10:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
In my experience, non-scouring Brillo pads and liberal WD-40 work very well. Bit smelly, but the results are instantaneous and there is no danger of damage to vulnerable parts and no concern about possible interactions with the blade. I suspect the mandau was patinated, and the patina was lost too...
This electrochemical method looks more suitable to semi-industrial uses.
Also, knowing my cats, I am a bit leery of finding one or both of them de-haired
Hi Ariel,

I don't like patination on metal. Love it on wood and ivory. I can make a blade look very patinated quite easily.

But I am concerned with metallurgical changes. These blades could house spirits, maybe did at one time. Of course maybe brillo and wd 40 is invasive. the electrochemical process seems less invasive than rubbing or worse yet, a power buffer!

Sheesch, where do you start and end in this arena?

Gonna go check on my mandau blade. Still cooking.
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Old 9th September 2006, 11:39 PM   #9
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Thumbs up Chemically removing rust

Hi all,
I have used this product,"Evapo-Rust" for rust removal and it worked well for me.
The only caution is that at the air/solution interface line ( where the solution ends and the air starts) will cause an fine etch line so the answer to that is to submerge the blade totally if possible or keep the solution moving by wiping the solution over the blade.
This is the link to a source for the product, cheapest one that I found, and there are others as well. http://www.theruststore.com/
Read and follow the instructions on the container.
The fine etch line it very light and easy to remove but it is better not to have it there in the first place.

If anyone does use this product get back with us and let us know how you made out. It saved me a lot of work and no I do not have stock in the company,
Gene
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Old 10th September 2006, 07:47 AM   #10
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Default pineapple juice

Hi,
as mentioned many times before simple things like pineapple juice and some elbow grease work well too. I just had a pedang blade cleaned in this manner followed by ferric chloride treatment to bring up the pattern. Whilst I realise some prefer to leave blades 'as is', in a heavily laminated blade such as this one the skill of the maker and the beauty of the blade might have never been seen again without a clean up like this. There is a before and after of a section of the blade and then a full view of the results.
DrD
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Old 10th September 2006, 12:22 PM   #11
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i have heard that pineapple juice is a good rust remover and certainly seems in everyday use in Java for that purpose.

How do you prepare it? Do you put pineapple slices in a blender? Buy ready made pienapple juice?
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Old 10th September 2006, 12:29 PM   #12
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Hi Bill, I believe this was just pineapple juice out of a can.
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Old 10th September 2006, 12:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drdavid
Hi Bill, I believe this was just pineapple juice out of a can.
drd

Will give it a try. Guess the can is rust free.
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Old 11th September 2006, 05:47 PM   #14
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Is that chisel bevelled? It looks more like a jimpul? I'm currently all about the vinegar.
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Old 11th September 2006, 05:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom hyle
Is that chisel bevelled? It looks more like a jimpul? I'm currently all about the vinegar.
Think it is a jimpul. What is the difference in a jimpul and a langgai?
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Old 18th September 2006, 08:50 PM   #16
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what's a langgai?
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Old 19th September 2006, 12:52 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom hyle
what's a langgai?
See here Tom.
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=2060
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Old 21st September 2006, 05:15 AM   #18
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Thanks alot bill and other fellows for sharing this tip

Bill, do you have some picture of the mandau before using your tip i would like to see comparation before and after rust removal.

Regarding the pienapple rust removal, we usually used the Pineapples/ Pineapples skin to remove hard rust. Just rubbed the rusted area with Pineapples skin couple of times until the rust fade away.

just my 2 cent
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Old 8th February 2007, 07:33 PM   #19
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We are going to find out how good the pineapple method is this weekend.

I got this iklwa today and it has some serious rust issues.

So here are the before pictures.






I'll post the after later...
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Old 8th February 2007, 07:49 PM   #20
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DD

Good luck that spear has some serious scale that needs removing you will need a wire brush to get that scale off first and then you can use the juice.



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Old 8th February 2007, 08:29 PM   #21
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From what I can see in this thread. I think one has to try and differentiate between cleaning and etching. Is one cleaning to a parade standard or to achieve an aesthetic appearance of antiquity. Where the physical removal of rust is controlled by material, hand and eye/taste. The blades that look cleaned with acid or heavy chemical etching, are they really then the same as they were?

This is does depend on whether the original culture was in the habit of cleaning with acids.
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Old 9th February 2007, 03:46 PM   #22
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Tim which method would you then recomend to achieve an aesthetic appearance of antiquity of this nasty rusty Iklwa?

Norrmally I would fly at this with brass brush and oil followed 0000 steel wool and oil.

I just wanted to try a different method to see how it works.
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Old 9th February 2007, 05:32 PM   #23
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Hi Douglas,

When I am faced with rust like this I use a brass or even a steel brush with oil to start with. Then from your local DIY store an assorted pack of abrasive paper for metal surfaces. Using finger tips, folded pieces of paper and lots of oil go through the grades. Also large lumps of course steel wool to get in awkward places or clean round sections. Wipe clean regularly to check on the progress. It is easy to work on small stubborn spots in circular movements. The end finish is up to you. In a couple of hours of careful work you should end up with a clean but old looking surface, there may still be dark stains on the blade but this is what I want to see and like. At the end I give the blade a good rubbing or polishing with the fine steel wool and shoe wax. Your spear does look a bit scary but I think a Saturday morning or afternoons work on this will end up with a nice looking spear that somebody would pay good money for. There is no real substitute for hard dirty and most often painful work. If the blade does not cut you, pieces of steel wool get into your fingers. Show us the before and after pics.
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Old 9th February 2007, 06:05 PM   #24
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http://www.theruststore.com/Evapo-Rust-C21.aspx

I am using this with great success on some less-than-fine pieces. The problem, as with all chemical rust removers is that it leave the metal a bit grey and then you need to lightly sand.

It also may clean too deep and get into the patina, but if you soak a short time and then wpie, you can control that.

It also shows hardened metal as much darker. Not a substitute for vinegar, lime, lemon, etc.

I made a good sword "soak tank" by capping one end of a three foot piece of PVC pipe and hanging it vertically.

I like WD-40 and 400 grit to begin with. Watch your fingers, especially with these bloodthirsty Moro weapons!
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Old 9th February 2007, 06:15 PM   #25
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These two were almost as bad as the spear Douglas shows. Freddy can vouch for how rusty the throwing knife was as I got it from him. just taking your time with small pieces of folded paper and finger tips, plenty of oil, you can keep the age and help develop a patina.
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Old 9th February 2007, 08:56 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Marsh
Will give it a try. Guess the can is rust free.
Hi Bill,
most tins of pineapples have syrup (water/sugar) as its 'juice'.....so its best to check the ingredients. Perhaps a better suggestion could be pure pineapple juice in a carton.

Great thread Guys......

Last edited by katana; 10th February 2007 at 01:20 AM.
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Old 10th February 2007, 12:33 AM   #27
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I haven't cleaned a lot of blades, but as an antique tool collector, I've had to deal with a lot of rust on iron planes, steel chisels, etc.
In the past, when confronted with heavy rust on intricate surfaces, a soak for several days in a solution of half and half vinegar and water will dissolve the rust and allow removal with a light pass of steel wool. Pineapple juice probably works in much the same way. While I have heard of it, I have not used the electric current method, but I suspect the results are rather similar to the acid method. The downside to the vinegar bath is that it not only removes surface rust, but it also removes the pockets of rust inside the metal. So while you clean away all the rust, you end up with ugly surface pitting. Also, the surface finish has a "pickled" look. To make the piece presentable, you have to re-patinate the metal.
If the item is important and warrants the work, I agree with the hand-labor method. 2/0 steel wool and large amounts of WD-40 plus a lot of elbow grease removes the surface rust, polishes the surface of the metal, but leaves a nice warm patina, and does not expose the pitting. After this treatment, a little touch-up of the edges where the patina has been worn through is often helpful. I've found that a quick and easy way to do touch-up patination is with a dilute solution of gunsmith blueing and browning chemicals. You can pick up Some Birchwood Casey touch-up blueing and browning solution at most gun stores. I dilute them with water, so they work much more slowly. I warm up the part in the oven and lightly wipe the surface with the diluted browning solution, followed by a pass with the diluted bluing solution. It cuts the brightness of the bare spots. After it dries, you can polish with 4/0 steel wool, and protect the finish with a bit of mineral oil. The result looks attractive and natural. And it's easy to control the appearance once you've had a little practice.
DD
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Old 10th February 2007, 04:25 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Simmons
Hi Douglas,

When I am faced with rust like this I use a brass or even a steel brush with oil to start with. Then from your local DIY store an assorted pack of abrasive paper for metal surfaces. Using finger tips, folded pieces of paper and lots of oil go through the grades. Also large lumps of course steel wool to get in awkward places or clean round sections. Wipe clean regularly to check on the progress. It is easy to work on small stubborn spots in circular movements. The end finish is up to you. In a couple of hours of careful work you should end up with a clean but old looking surface, there may still be dark stains on the blade but this is what I want to see and like..
What are the dark stains ? I have used exactly the method you state a few weeks ago. Hard work but eventually got good results but lots of dark stains. What are they ?
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Old 10th February 2007, 08:14 AM   #29
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While watching the A&E DVD Shaka Zulu I came up with the solution to my problem, and another great way to derust. By the way if you are interested in Zulu ethnographic art, costumes and weapons this a great video.

In one of the scenes it shows the Zulu's getting ready to go to a battle and the are sharpening their spears on a stone.

So this morning I went out in the garden and found a nice flat quartz like garden stone and started honing.



For finish and detail I got a small stone.



The result was a blade didn't have that fake flat gray chemically cleaned look but a more authentic look with a lot of charactor.



Before and After:



The blade now looks like a typical Zulu blade
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Old 10th February 2007, 12:20 PM   #30
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Nice one!
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