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Rust Removal

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  • Rust Removal

    There have been several posts asking about rust removal, and suggestions for using acids, etc. Here is a link to a method a lot of antique engine restorers are using. It works. Safe (relatively) and effective, and uses nothing exotic. These guys throw whole engines in a drum and let it work for a couple of days. It removes the rust, leaving whatever parent metal is left. Removes paint, grease and small animals as well.
    The rest of the site is interesting also.
    Jim H.

  • #2
    This is an intersting idea, I read the page and can apply some of this to what I do.

    Tahnks for posting it.



    • #3
      I have used the method to clean up some yard sale tools. It works very well. It's really easy to do and cheap. A $2.00 box of washing soda will last along time unless you are restoring steam locomotives.


      • #4
        I can attest to the fact that this works really well. I have used this procedure to clean up some 5-C collet parts that I got for my Logan lathe. The really nice thing about this is that if you forget about it there is no harm done. Just DON'T let any part of your negative electrode touch any part of the solution. It will dissappear in short order! Don't ask me how I know that.


        • #5
          sweet! thanks, too bad that page didnt have any before & after pics.


          • #6
            I tried to remove rust from a long shaft by soaking it in naval jelly. I didn't get the results I expected, there was rust still pervading the shaft, even after soaking for 2 days. I did remove as much as possible before soaking. No method short of mechanical removal has been satisfactory. I'm going to give this method a try.
            I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


            • #7
              I am lucky enough to have a ultrasonic cleaner at work. It had worked wonders on many E-bay tools I have bought. I just finished cleaning up a well used flywheel so I could take some measurements without the dirt factor. Had to do it in segments as the whole wheel would not fit. I left one segment in for about three hours while I went to supper and it even removed the old red paint. Rust is absolutely no problem for it.
              Paul A.

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


              • #8
                You are lucky. I have a dead ultrasonic cleaner - I do not know how to diagnose the transducer on the tank. I do not want to damage it by apply incorrect voltages or frequencies to it. Any suggestions!

                I find that stainless steel wire brushes do wonders. I use a very fine gauge one purchased from a jewellery supply house that is about 1/2"x3" with about 40Ga. stainless wire in a hickory handle. The other one I use is made by GC for PC board use - it has an aluminum handle, two rows of bristles, is very stiff, but is designed for Surface Mount board clean up. I also have a very fine brass wire brush, but the brass leaves metal on harder metals - it was designed for goldwork.

                I have been using Vim Oxy-Gel more often than anything else to clean up auction finds and rebuilds. This stuff attacks the greases and gets rid of them fast. it does a very good job of clean up - but you cannot leave this stuff on steel or iron! It will rust it like crazy! I rinse with hot water and towel off the parts and never have any problems. I have left stubborn stuff overnight and ended up with a bigger mess.

                If it is something critical, I use the D-Limonene to remove grease. It is flammable, but non-toxic. (citrus peel oil)


                • #9
                  Thrud, thanks for the stainless brush idea, I've never tried it, so I will.
                  Ultrasonic transducers are pretty rugged devices, you can feed them any kind of signal, and they just do nothing, unless it's the right frequency, then they'll oscillate. In fact, most of the circuits I've seen rely on the transducer to set the frequency of operation, and won't oscillate unless it's good. It's a voltage generator, so hook it up to a scope, and drop a handful of small washers or small steel balls into the cleaner. If there's no signal showing up, the transducer is bad.
                  I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


                  • #10
                    Thanks. I did not want to bugger it, I am sure they are not "free".


                    • #11

                      [This message has been edited by lunkenheimer (edited 03-17-2003).]


                      • #12
                        There's a schematic of a Branson at
                        (chapter 14), with a little bit of repair info.

                        Another way to find information is the newsgroup (be sure to give a model/serial/chassis number in your post)

                        And there is a repair center in Aurora ON:
                        who might be able to help you out.


                        • #13
                          i thought i would try this out on a few old rusty tools and was impressed-so went crazy and tossed a very pitted siezed blacksmiths vice in a barrel -added electricity and presto after 4 hours the handle turned and she was alive again.
                          beats wire brushing grinding ect.
                          one down 6 ,more to go..........


                          • #14

                            Sorry for the delay in answerng your question about troubleshooting the ultrasonic cleaner. It should be basically a circuit board with an oscillator and power amplifier and the transducer. A DC power supply likely supplies power to the board.

                            If it does absolutely nothing, I would check the DC power supply first. It could be just a blown fuse. No DC power, nothing workie.

                            Then a scope (perhaps an AC voltmeter) on the transducer terminals should show the ultrasonic waveform, likely a sine wave. If it's there you nost likely have a bad transducer. If it's not, the circuit board or power supply is bad. I would guess the manufacturer would supply these items as repair parts. If you want to troubleshoot the board or power supply then an electronic parts place can supply the defective part if you can identify it.

                            The manufacturer should be able to provide schematics and parts list. If they are friendly, they may help with troubleshooting - procedures, expected voltages, etc.

                            I wouldn't apply any voltages to the transducer without knowing exactly what it requires. It may not hurt it but the test may be useless or even misleading if you don't know what voltage/frequency is required to operate it.
                            Paul A.

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


                            • #15
                              Thanks - that is a great help. If I cannot diagnose it I will ship it off.

                              Thanks for your help too. I was most concerned about the transducer - there is not point in continuing if it is cooked. The schematic Lunkenheimer patched me to told me a lot about the unit, but it is not as simple as the Branson unit. This was a high power dental unit - problem was the lab that had it let it get wet all the time and one day "it just started blowing fuses". The mineral/chemical deposits inside the case have caused numerous problems and I have to strip it completely to fix it. It has not been a high priority item as I have been using another unit.

                              Thanks for the info guys.