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cleaning bolts, nuts

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  • cleaning bolts, nuts

    I have several big coffee cans of bolts and nuts that have greasy dirt imbedded in them. A large percentage of them are from several SBC and BBC motors that I tore apart years ago.

    What's a cheap way to clean them up ?


  • #2
    I don't clean my collection until I'm ready to use them for something. If you clean them, then you have to worry about keeping them from rusting. You'll have to make provisions to store them in a dry area or coat them with oil. I'd say most will be black oxide but they'll still rust with any moisture after cleaning.

    In any case, lacquer thinner works for me.

    [This message has been edited by CCWKen (edited 10-01-2005).]


    • #3
      Probably not PC for nowadays but I soak all my old crap in a coffee can full of gasoline for a day or so. Vise grips and a wire wheel after they're clean gets them clean enough to paint or what ever you want.
      I have tools I don't even know I own...


      • #4
        If you could put them in some kind of basket, I don't see why you couldn't stop in at the local engine rebuilder and have them put in with an engine block the next time they clean one. Maybe a few bucks or a dozen dougnuts. Your nuts and bolts will be clean! Then preserve them and put them away.


        • #5
          I remove the crud with easy-off oven cleaner, then soak them in kerosene followed up by the wire wheel and then put into a bucket filled with motor oil.
          Non, je ne regrette rien.


          • #6
            You could keep a eye out for a ultrasonic cleaning tub with a metal tub. Place some Simple Green in it drop in some nuts and bolts and vibrate the curd away.
            Wow... where did the time go. I could of swore I was only out there for an hour.


            • #7
              You could try the electrolytic rust removal method. It also takes off paint or at least loosens it a lot. It does not change dimensions. You would need a steel basket.

              Use lye for the electrolyte and make it stronger at maybe 3 or 4 tablespoons per gallon of water. Warm water would help too.

              The hydrogen evolves from the surface of the steel and will blow off whatever is there. For nuts and bolts it would be a good idea to bake in the oven afterward at 350 for several hours to burn out any hydrogen absorbed in the metal.

              [This message has been edited by Evan (edited 10-02-2005).]
              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


              • #8

                I use a shell case (bullet) vibrator (large one) to clean "old" nuts and bolts.

                The one I use is liquid tight so I filler up with bolts and a water soluble cleaner like 409 and water. I tumble them for two or so days and they come out shiny and "new".

                Then I drain and dry followed by a drenching in WD-40...JRouche

                If I want a certain amount of polish I will use a final tumble with walnut shell abrasive...

                [This message has been edited by JRouche (edited 10-02-2005).]
                My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group



                • #9
                  If you're rebuilding cars then you already know about parts washers - put them into a small basked and put the basket in for awhile.

                  Simple Green is corrosive so don't use that. Just use a good stoddard solvent and you'll be good to go.


                  • #10
                    A guy I met in Holland rebuilds old BMW bikes. He collects all the various nuts, bolts & small fittings and when he has a couple of kilos, he takes them to the platers and gets them nickel plated.

                    He reckons it's cheaper than buying new hardware.

                    All of the gear, no idea...


                    • #11
                      get a steel container,add water, TSP and boil away .


                      • #12
                        The gasoline works for me when cleaning old oily stuff it can be brushed on or do as Torker suggest it works Alistair
                        Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease


                        • #13
                          I would suggest that mineral spirits is a lot safer to use than gasoline and will probably disolve most of the things that gasoline will. I also use alcohol and WD-40 for cleaning. I used to like Freon FT for what those would not touch but can't get that any more. And it was a bit expensive.

                          Paul A.
                          Paul A.
                          SE Texas

                          Make it fit.
                          You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!