View Full Version : metals -- sources and rust and slag
05-13-2001, 03:37 PM
I read recently that some folks have had trouble finding metal sources and that often what they find is rusted. I am blessed with a free source of end pieces of various steels, brass, bronze, and aluminum. I do have some questions regarding rust control of the steel stock. There was mention of storing machined pieces with mothballs which I have done with some small pieces. The problems are with stock that has accumalated a "patina" of rust. Today I dunked several pieces in an acid bath to see if that would remove the rust. It got some of th rust, so after wire brushing and drying them in the oven, I stored them with mothballs in a large ziplok bag. How do you all deal with rust?? Can rust be machined off?? Is steel that has been cut with a torch problematic??
I mostly rely on a thin film of oil and storage in reasonably dry conditions. I've never heard of the mothball idea. Putting the steel in a sealed plastic bag may have as much to do with any perceived rust protection as the mothballs do.
Steel cut with a torch shouldn't be any more prone to rust than any other steel, except for the fact that the cutting torch will have burned off any protective oil film that may have been there.
As far as cleaning up rusted steel, you can certainly machine it off. For the "patina of rust" situation, I've found that one of those green "Scotchbrite" scouring pads from the grocery store and some kerosene or other thin oil does a really good job of polishing up rusted steel. (n.b. there are also generic brand look-alike scouring pads; they are NOT as good as the real Scotchbrite pads.)
Straight vinegar will soak off rust in a few days, but the resulting surface is extremely prone to rusting; oil it immediately after remving from the vinegar and washing and drying