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To dump or de-rust?

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Cornish Jack23/01/2014 14:56:18
1190 forum posts
163 photos

G'day all.

At long last in long-term temporary house and dealing with the post 'surge' damage, particularly the workshops (sorry, hobby sheds).

Apart from the ridiculous amounts of accumulated 'stuff', most of it has been recovered from some 6 weeks of immersion in sea water or lying around in a damp atmosphere. Rather a lot of rust and while the Myford, D-W, Fobco et al have gone off for a bit of tlc, there are lots of smaller objects with varying amounts of rust. Question is ... dump or derust? Not at all certain that I shall go back to ME involvement as much as previously and, at 78, not hugely keen on spending hours with wire wool and 3in1 or stirring a big container of diesel full of milling cutters etc.

Opinions sought and welcomed



PS for Michael Gilligan - two of the items are the Pultra slides ... and they look AWFUL!

Lambton23/01/2014 15:40:15
694 forum posts
2 photos

Ideal candidates for electrolysis.

look the process up on the net there are lots of useful sites. This is a much used method in the USA.

I have used this safe and effective method of removing rust from ferrous metals for years. No great physical effort is needed just clean off grease etc. and hang the item in the electrolysis tank then let low voltage a weak washing soda do the rest.


Russ B23/01/2014 16:21:34
597 forum posts
26 photos
Posted by Cornish Jack on 23/01/2014 14:56:18:

stirring a big container of diesel full of milling cutters etc.

Wouldn't the cutters dull as they rumbled around against each other wink

Electrolysis sounds like the easiest method, maybe a dip in a water soluble degreaser (Jizer?) before hand.

John Billard23/01/2014 17:05:45
42 forum posts

Could I add a word of condolence. Its is bad enough having workshops etc flooded but the house etc must be very difficult and long term as well.

I hope that things are not too bad and that you and your family are back to normal as soon as possible Bill.

Kind regards

John B

Oompa Lumpa23/01/2014 17:08:24
888 forum posts
36 photos

Well, for what it's worth, this is my take.

Shortly after I found this forum I read on here about using Citric Acid to remove rust. This I thought, was a load of old cobblers. Plenty of Amperage in Caustic Soda I say!

How wrong I was. I have been waiting for a question like this just so I can report back. All you need are a couple of plastic buckets and some Citric Acid powder, sprinkle on, add water, come back a day or so later. I cleaned some VERY rusty Router Cutters this way very recently and I am delighted with the result. The issue with the Electrolysis route is that you are likely to rust up everything around you whilst derusting the contents of the tank/bowl. The Citric Acid route is much less aggressive.

Don't get me wrong, I really think electrolysis has a place, but for day to day derusting of mundane items, it will be the Citric Acid way by me.


Stub Mandrel23/01/2014 17:58:17
4311 forum posts
291 photos
1 articles

I understand that with electrolysis and phosphoric acid they convert the rust to compounds with similar dimensions to the original steel, whilst acids just remove the rust. Which you choose will depend on the degree of pitting that is acceptable. I have restored morse tapers to an acceptable finish with electrolysis followed by oiling.


Cornish Jack23/01/2014 19:11:19
1190 forum posts
163 photos

Many thanks to all. I like the sound of Citric acid - mainly 'cos I'm an idle sod and Michael W's suggestion re the engineering route is already in train.

John B's condolence is much appreciated - and, yes, the recovery process is quite lengthy. Just in general interest terms I'll try to post a piccy of the result of the 'surge' on my second shed and its rather unconvential resting place!



Cornish Jack23/01/2014 23:29:06
1190 forum posts
163 photos

As mentioned ...shedmovestart.jpg

This shows (large slab centre right approx) where the shed lived normally.


and this where it ended up, perched on the remains of the wall it destroyed on it journey. It was 'secured' by two strong tie ropes and 4 very long screws through the concrete slab base!

SWMBO and self were rescued from the very small bathroom window on the far end of the (just visible) upper floor. Moral - don't underestimate the power of Nature in a bad mood!!



Russell Eberhardt24/01/2014 09:33:29
2609 forum posts
85 photos

S**t - that's terrible Bill. I feel for you and send my best wishes.


Hopper24/01/2014 10:35:36
5063 forum posts
114 photos

Heartbreaking pictures, absolutely heartbreaking. I can see why you don't feel like faffing about with steel wool and 3-in-1 for weeks on end. You will have enough work about the place to be done without all that.

Whatever you do though, don't dump anything. Somebody somewhere would take it off your hands and do the work to make it useful again so they can use it.

John Billard24/01/2014 10:36:02
42 forum posts

Just a question Bill. Was your workshop etc covered by insurance? I could not get my normal house insurer to "understand" my workshop so I transferred to Walker Midgley.

Kind regards

John B

GaryM24/01/2014 15:26:09
314 forum posts
44 photos

I think you have all our sympathies Bill. I'd be devastated. All the forum can do is offer support and encouragement, but if everyone on here lived within a few miles of you then you can guarantee there would be a working party round there sharpish.


Mark P.24/01/2014 15:42:35
617 forum posts
8 photos

Sorry to hear of your disaster Bill,hope you get things sorted out soon.

Whilst on the subject of corrosion removal has anyone got any ideas for cleaning up corrosion from aluminium brake calipers? I remember from when I was in the aircraft industry we used a product called Deoxodine 624,this killed corrosion on ally but I can't find a similar product for home use.

Regards Mark P.

Cornish Jack24/01/2014 16:11:14
1190 forum posts
163 photos

Thank you all for the kind thoughts ... exactly Hopper!. JB - yes, apparently it was covered, as was the main shed (garage). Certainly not going to dump major items but almost unbelievable quantities of 'that'll come in handy one day' type things have gone in the skip already! Much more to be sorted through and, dependant on decision-making may well appear here as 'Sale Bargains'



Michael Gilligan24/01/2014 18:07:10
17034 forum posts
756 photos


Sorry, I've only just opened this thread

Thanks for thinking to advise me.

... I will send you an eMail.


Stub Mandrel24/01/2014 18:07:26
4311 forum posts
291 photos
1 articles

HI Bill,

I admire your ability to deal with such an upheaval in such a level headed way. My Dad was one of the Royal Engineers who helped clear up after the big flood in the 50s. He was a motorcycle outrider clearing the way for the convoy through London, but he still struggles to describe how terrible what they found when they got to the East Coast was.

I hope this doesn't become the end of your model engineering - I suspect not!


Michael Gilligan24/01/2014 18:35:49
17034 forum posts
756 photos


For the more precious items, try using that Steel Wool in conjuction with a 50/50 mixture of Paraffin Wax and Liquid Paraffin. This mixture is commonly prescribed to help those with skin complaints, and your Dispensing Chemist would probably be happy to sell some to you.

... Unless, of course, all that Sea Water has upset your skin enough to need it on [free] prescription


Ian S C25/01/2014 10:20:01
7468 forum posts
230 photos

Mark P, I think you are looking for phosphoric acid, after that, spray or brush self etching primer, after washing with water. Ian S C

OuBallie26/01/2014 09:39:18
1150 forum posts
661 photos

Hello Bill,

Cannot imagine what you and family went through, vasbyt.

Most important that nobody hurt.

My method of de-rusting is to use a mix of 4:1 water and molasses.

Just done a handful of rusty calipers and after a week in the mix, stirring daily as the molasses settles, they came out with not a speck of rust on them.

A rub over with one of those Garryflex abrasive blocks, to remove any left on stains, and they are a bright as new.

I've got citric acid powder but never tried that method.

Geoff - Drawer organising marathon extended. What can I say?

Cornish Jack26/01/2014 15:38:07
1190 forum posts
163 photos

Thank you Geoff - the molasses method sounds interesting. Will go for the citric acid first as it sounds a little faster but maybe the molasses mix residue could be fermented for a 'different brew'wink

More standing in the wind and rain tomorrow picking through yucky bits and pieces - 'dump, keep, dump, keep, etc.' Why doesn't Nature have its spiteful days in the Summer? Hey Ho!thinking



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