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Slip gauges - dealing with patches of rust

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Paul M16/03/2020 11:42:16
43 forum posts

I have just been given a set of imperial slip gauges that have been sitting in a garage for some years. A number of the gauges are slightly pitted with rust.

Any suggestions for getting the gauges back to a state where I can at least use them for setting and testing measurements accepting they may not be good enough to be part of a stack.

Mick B116/03/2020 11:48:12
1726 forum posts
91 photos

Scotchbrite (or B&Q's cheap imitation of it) and WD40 works on my lathe chuck and slide tops if rust spots appear. They disappear as if they'd never been - visually at least.

Edited By Mick B1 on 16/03/2020 11:49:12

Howard Lewis16/03/2020 12:30:20
3605 forum posts
2 photos

Any abrasive is likely to remove material, but since we are unlikely to be working to hundredths of a thou, in a temperature and humidity controlled environment, it probably won't matter.

The object is to remove any rust standing above the hardened surface. Rust pits below the surface will not affect the dimension, although unsightly.

They may now be incapable of being wrung together, but should suffice for most purposes.

Just use the finest grade of Scotchbrite that you can get, which may be red, I think.

Howard

Dave Wootton16/03/2020 13:12:15
77 forum posts
8 photos

I was given an old set of slips, unfortunately poorly stored so quite rusty in some places, I soaked them in citric acid for a few days which got rid of the rust, left it with an overall grey colour then went over them with fine scotchbrite and WD40.

Still pitted but the pits are below the working surface and the rust has all gone , they are good enough for anything I'm likely to do, I find them very useful, just used them to set up loco slidebars, maybe if they were pristine I might be more reluctant to use them!

Dave

My workshop is definitely not temperature controlled!

peak416/03/2020 13:14:07
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1189 forum posts
143 photos

Before going as far as an abrasive like Scotchbrite, the motorcyclist's trick for removing rusts spots from polished chrome, is to use crushed aluminium foil and Coke ( or a brand equivalent that still has a bit of phosphoric acid in it.)

I've soaked rusty stuff in normal vinegar, which seems to turn the rust black, and soften it; might take several hours, or even overnight, so it will be hard to monitor for possible damage.
I've personally not had it affect the parent metal.
One than then just brush it with a soft stainless brush under a hot tap, and immediately spray with a water repellent such as WD 40
The hot tap means it will self dry after a wipe with a towel, as re-rusting starts very quickly.

N.B. I've never tried either of the above with slip gauges.

Bill

Nick Clarke 316/03/2020 13:57:30
avatar
883 forum posts
30 photos

Leave to soak in molasses (Black Treacle) for a while.

I have used this successfully on rusty camera parts - aperture blades

Nick

Kiwi Bloke16/03/2020 20:11:34
461 forum posts
1 photos

Nick. Interesting - what does molasses do to the blueing/blacking on the iris blades?

For the slips, I suppose the safest and most effective rust removal method is electrolytic.

old mart17/03/2020 18:12:53
1981 forum posts
151 photos

I would try a brass brush and oil, but make sure the brush is real, not plated steel.

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