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Cleaning a straightedge

Best way to remove rust spots and staining?

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Grindstone Cowboy27/07/2019 21:55:36
268 forum posts
24 photos

Today I was given a Moore & Wright No. 312B straightedge (Grade A and Hardened). Unfortunately it has a few rusty spots and general staining over much of the surface. Any suggestions for the best way to clean it up?



old mart27/07/2019 22:01:01
1479 forum posts
136 photos

Nothing more than oil and wire wool on the edge, but fine wet and dry paper, say 600 or finer on the rest.

Grindstone Cowboy27/07/2019 22:08:08
268 forum posts
24 photos

Thank you, I'll give it a go tomorrow yes

Nigel Graham 227/07/2019 22:09:18
578 forum posts

Obviously not wanting to abrade it, I'd start first with one of those plastic kitchen scouring-pads, the sort usually found backing a small sponge block. Use it wet with a spot of WD-40, paraffin or thin oil.

If that's not quite enough, try fine steel wool - raid the under-sink cupboard again, for a Brillo pad. Again, use it wet; but as these are impregnated with soap, use warm water.

Sounds odd, using soapy water on something you want to be rust-free, but not if you wipe the straight-edge clean and completely dry immediately afterwards then apply a smear of lubricating-oil or petroleum jelly (' Vaseline '.

Provided the working edge has not become badly pitted by corrosion, light rust-patches on its sides spoil its appearance more than function. You may have to compromise between some remnant etching and risking harming the working surfaces.

Nigel Graham 227/07/2019 22:11:57
578 forum posts

Sorry - I forgot the anti-silly-face break has to be at least two spaces long. I had not intended that wink at all.

Can the site's managers please get rid of these childish symbols completely?

Michael Gilligan27/07/2019 23:30:16
15418 forum posts
665 photos
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 27/07/2019 22:09:18:

Obviously not wanting to abrade it, I'd start first with one of those plastic kitchen scouring-pads ....



I hope you don't mind me mentioning that 'those plastic kitchen scouring-pads' are rather variable !!

Some of them are just plastic, but others have abrasive particles bonded into the fibres ... and can be much more abrasive than steel wool. Just try [if you dare] rubbing 'across the grain' on a brushed stainless steel surface.





At relatively low magnifications, several embedded particles 30-100µm in size were rapidly identified by the SEM, using both secondary electron and then HDBSE imaging. HDBSE imaging distinguished the elemental variations of the particles, piston coating and aluminum substrate, which were then subsequently qualified and measured to determine their composition using EDX.

This data was used to further investigate the engine assembly process. What the engineers found was that the source of the contamination was the Scotch-Brite pads consisting of Al2O3 abrasive employed in engine block cleaning. The elimination of the use of Scotch-Brite pads has resulted in zero re-occurrences, thereby saving considerable time and money.



Edited By Michael Gilligan on 27/07/2019 23:39:05

Grindstone Cowboy28/07/2019 00:46:39
268 forum posts
24 photos

Having been told many years ago that nylon scouring pads would scratch chrome trim on cars, I think I'll stick with the steel wool.

Neil Wyatt28/07/2019 10:11:36
17686 forum posts
697 photos
77 articles
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 27/07/2019 22:11:57:

Sorry - I forgot the anti-silly-face break has to be at least two spaces long. I had not intended that wink at all.

Can the site's managers please get rid of these childish symbols completely?

( 'One space is ample' )

I'm afraid they appear to be build in to the editor.


Michael Gilligan28/07/2019 10:19:36
15418 forum posts
665 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 28/07/2019 10:11:36:

I'm afraid they appear to be build in to the editor.


Albeit, I believe, as a selectable option



Edit: The  HTML script for these forum pages has become near-impossible to navigate, but there was previously a clear statement declaring the software that is used ... I had a skim through the documentation at the time, and found reference to the 'ON/OFF switch' 

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 28/07/2019 10:27:45

Mike Poole28/07/2019 10:59:41
2537 forum posts
60 photos

The scourers for not stick pans and baths are non abrasive, these usually seem to be white and the abrasive type seem to be green. The white seem good for getting flies off windscreens and even paint without an harm to glass or paint, not bad on alloy wheels if they are painted type.


Bill Davies 228/07/2019 12:22:54
180 forum posts
10 photos

I also find the green kitchen ones are abrasive, leading to find scratches on tea spoons leading to more rapid accumulation of tea stains. On a separate tack, I have found that Cif is abrasive, in spite of claims to the opposite, a soft abrasive that breaks down easily (chalk?) and I think it contains an alkali. It is an effective cleaner for greasy things, though, only needs a spot or two.

Zan28/07/2019 12:31:58
161 forum posts
12 photos

I use neat cif to clean the bench tops and epoxy coated floor with a damp cloth. The muck grease and pile just vanish

Edited By Zan on 28/07/2019 12:32:23

AdrianR29/07/2019 10:29:31
418 forum posts
22 photos

Scrubbing with scrunched up aluminium foil in water is quite a good rust remover.


Vic29/07/2019 10:46:46
2487 forum posts
14 photos

The most gentle abrasive I’ve used is Malamine Foam, sold in supermarkets as magic sponges. Non woven pads without added abrasive are white if buying in a DIY outlet or blue if buying in the supermarket ... smiley

Mark Gould 102/08/2019 00:53:37
193 forum posts
117 photos

Have you thought of using a rust remover like what WD-40 currently offer? Or would that eat the parent metal too? I have used it on old rusty tap wrenches etc and it works well. I have never used it on anything with a precision finish though.

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