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Making Old Metal Look New !!

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  • Making Old Metal Look New !!

    By photos of people making tools for their lathes and mills etc. I've noticed that the material always seems to look new. What if you are using used materials is there really a good way to make the metal look better than just using a wire wheel to clean it up? I am building a retractor tool for my lathe and just wanted to make it look better when it is done. Thanks
    John From Slinger, Wisconsin

  • #2
    scotchbrite and ellbowgrease


    • #3
      Wire brush then sandpaper works pretty good.


      • #4
        Most of the time the original surface has been machined off, exposing fresh metal underneath.
        Kansas City area


        • #5
          ^ What that guy said. Skim off all the skin and there is new metal underneath.


          • #6
            If you can't skim off the old cruddy surface, maybe paint. I like the hammertone spray paint for some things.

            Of course, not for precision machined surfaces...



            • #7
              Or you could always go the Ebay seller route, and spray a thick coat of Bright Baby-Blue paint over everything.


              • #8
                I use a lot of POR's Metal Prep. Removes surface rust very easily with a bit of scrubbing with a ScotchBrite pad. It leaves a zinc phosphate coating which prevents rust from returning for a long time.
                This is a project I am finishing up. I repurposed an old milling fixture I had built 20 years ago. It has a nice "patina" of surface rust from sitting around.
                Here is a pic as I was cutting off the top in my H/V saw.

                After I cleaned it up with the Metal Prep it looked brand new.

                This stuff works especially well on sheet metal and steel welding table tops. This is a mock up/proof of concept pic of the tubing straightener AND the top of one of my welding/set up benches. This top was cleaned two years ago with the Metal Prep and is still rust free with no additional work.

                Get some and give it a try.


                • #9
                  Thanks for the tip on POR products. I have ordered some of the rust remover/cleaner.
                  Paul A.
                  SE Texas

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


                  • #10
                    Like all the rest said. It helps to start with some decent base material to work with. JR

                    My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group



                    • #11
                      Ha ha. Start with a good machine to begin with- doesn't matter how bad it looks- clean it up and paint- walla, something awesome!

                      I got lucky today. Found some flat bar in a size that I could use, about fifty feet of it. Decided what I was willing to pay, then went to ask about buying it. Guy said, oh, that belongs to my friend, he'd be upset if I sold it. Ok. It's been outside in the rain for what looks like years, and is fully coated in rust. I did NOT waste that money today
                      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-