22 December 2013 at 3:46 pm #24367
Some time ago I picked up a little 6″ combination square in a batch of tools. It’s an old OD green model and I liked it but couldn’t read most of the markings because the whole arm has become stained black over time. I’ve tried steel wool, vinegar and evaporust. Nothing worked.
Yesterday I dug under the kitchen sink for cleaners and polishers and discovered something called “Bar Keeper’s Friend”. We’ve got the powder but apparently it comes in a liquid form as well. I got a rag wet, applied the powder, and supplied some elbow grease and most of the stain came off. More than enough to make the square legible. I’ve got an old Starrett similarly stained and I’m going to give it the treatment today. It’s not magic, it takes some scrubbing, but it cleaned the steel without scratching.
In most cases I don’t mind stains or a patina (as the ebay collector crowd calls it) on steel but it makes reading 1/64 markings a little tricky.
Hubert, NC22 December 2013 at 3:54 pm #24368BrianJParticipant
Good to know John, especially for those items few here scratches makes the tool less legible. Let us know how the other works out.
Ontario, Canada22 December 2013 at 7:05 pm #24370
Just used Bar Keepers friend on a 100 year old dovetail saw and although not shiny,I can see the markings clearly and the saw has enough of a reflection to help me saw straight and true. I also used it on the medallions and nuts notice the shine in the image. This stuff is amazing and at such a cheap cost a must have in any tool chest.23 December 2013 at 3:13 am #24404JayParticipant
It’s pretty good stuff. The powdered version works better than the liquid. Stick with the powdered if you are going to use it.23 December 2013 at 6:33 am #24409dbornParticipant
Thanks for the tip! I scored some rusty tools cheap that need a good cleaning. I was going to try vinegar, but will try the bar keepers friend first.23 December 2013 at 1:47 pm #24431
Whoa Nelly Dan! I didn’t say Bar Keeper’s Friend was ideal for RUST. For that I like Evaporust but vinegar will work. If you get the rust off those tools and find they have a dark patina or stains afterwards THEN haul out the Bar Keeper’s Friend.
And congrats on the tools. I had no idea when I got into woodworking that I’d have such a good time rehabing old tools!
Hubert, NC24 December 2013 at 12:35 am #24461dbornParticipant
That was the product of my multitasking… I did notice that after my post.
Dan24 December 2013 at 4:04 pm #24486John MeaneyParticipant
I’m curious if anyone has ever tries Brasso metal polish on tools especially if has a damaging effect on iron parts.
Anything I make will be better next time.24 December 2013 at 5:12 pm #24487
I’ve used a bunch of it on brass, but never steel or iron. But wikipedia says it’s good for removing tarnish from a variety of metals including stainless steel.
Hubert, NC24 December 2013 at 9:32 pm #24494
I tried using Brasso at first on the saw I have pictured above with little or no success, as soon as I put the Bare Keepers Friend on the saw, cleaned up in a jiffy. Than was my recent experience.25 December 2013 at 11:07 am #24530John MeaneyParticipant
Thanks Lads, I tried it last night and I found Brasso useless on the saw. It’s a more recent 12″ Disston #4 I found in the local market. I hope it comes up like yours Sean but not today!
Anything I make will be better next time.25 December 2013 at 4:20 pm #24540
Good luck, Merry CHRISTmas to all!!!25 December 2013 at 5:34 pm #24542STEVE MASSIEParticipant
Where did you find the Bar Keeper’ powder at ? I have not found it, I usually use vinagar and brasso on the brass and have had decent results.
Merry Christmas everyone !
Steve Massie, I live in the great State of Florida, US28 December 2013 at 7:44 pm #24714JayParticipant
Hey Steve… all the big box stores and w-mart, target, etc should carry the Bar Keeper’s powder. I have had my can for a long time, but I think I got it at Lowe’s.
When you use that stuff, just use a little water and let the powder form a clump of paste on whatever you are cleaning, and let it sit. Also, Barkeeper’s is for light tarnish… if you have serious rust you will want to move up to Evaporust, naval jelly, electrolysis, etc…31 December 2013 at 5:00 am #24866Jim OParticipant
Jay is correct as many grocery stores carry it. Bon Ami is an older product and seems to have a slightly finer grit so it might be sufficient.
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