Several weeks ago I posted a topic about using a molasses and water mixture to remove rust from steel and iron. Car restorers have apparently been doing this for some time now. No one replied to say whether or not they had heard of this method, but today I am beginning a test to see how effective this mixture actually is.
I have some well rusted but really nice ax and hatchet heads that need rust removed, sharpening and new handles made. From what I have read the mixture goes like this: About nine parts warm water to one part molasses (ordinary food grade) is all that is required. The warm water just disperses the molasses which is of course thick to begin with.
This procedure can take from three to four weeks to fully strip all existing rust. The tools will remain in a suitable plastic container immersed in this liquid until ready to be removed and washed off. Re-rusting can begin immediately after removal from the bath so a sealer must be applied straight away. That could be etch prep paint or even linseed oil etc.
I will post the results I obtain in a few weeks with some before and after photos. Let me know if you try this and what your own results are if any.
I’m a fan of evaporust. I keep a large plastic bin of it in the garage and when something comes in with rust into the bin it goes. Time depends on how old the solution is (keep using it. It slows down but it doesn’t seem to quit.), how cold it is, and how badly rusted the item is. The nice thing about this stuff is it’s not a “Navel Jelly” variant. It’s quite mild to the hands, I don’t even use gloves around the stuff. Supposed to be environmentally safe. I know for sure it doesn’t kill grass. Non-flammable too. I like safe things that work.
Costs around $25 a gallon in my neck of the woods and is available at one of the local car parts chains.
I have only used White Vinegar with great results, I rinse off the tools off after an overnight bath, oil them ( 3 – 1 oil ) than use Johnson’s paste Wax.
Most of my tools are vintage and have been doing this since I started with Hand Tools about 3 years ago.
One other tip which you probably know, but after each use I have an old cotton face towel that has been oiled over time and wipe my tools clean. I don’t leave any dust or shavings on my tools and wax them again every couple three months. Might be an overkill but I live in Florida and have no rust on my tools.
Thanks gentlemen for the input on this. I have always been searching for a safe (green) non labor intensive and also inexpensive method to remove rust from parts and tools.
I did try white vinegar but with mixed results, but perhaps I didn’t give the tools enough time in the solution. I never tried the evaporust product but molasses is certainly a lot cheaper.
I am going to set up a second tray with some other rusted items this week as well and I will post my results. After 24 hours there is just a hint of slippery black film developing on the metal surfaces in the first container, but we’ll see in a few weeks what gives if anything.
I was given this brace and a number of bits by a friend I have cleaned up the brace not done any thing to the bits yet, just used a hand wire brush and wet and dry on the metal parts and sand paper on the wood parts
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