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Hot Rods Rusty old tools

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by old rat, Nov 13, 2020.

  1. old rat
    Joined: Oct 22, 2009
    Posts: 91

    old rat

    Going through a 150 year total collection of old tools, mine my older brother's and my father's. Many have severely rusted and I want to save/restore them as much as I can. I've used vinegar to derust some in the past but they rust again quickly. Vinegar, dry quickly and throw them in some kerosene until I can work on each one sound like a reasonable idea ? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Some of these tools I used were dad's and I used on my first cars 60 years ago. Yes I have newer but using the same tool that we all used over the years means a lot to me. Have wire wheels, polishers etc so that's no problem.
  2. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,862

    from NKy

  3. ronzmtrwrx
    Joined: Sep 9, 2008
    Posts: 825


    Citric acid powder and water. 1 cup (8 oz) powder to three gallons water. Warm water even better.
    Sporty45 and Bugguts like this.
  4. Oh, i thought the subject was about the old guys here :p
    Sandgroper, X-cpe, Budget36 and 6 others like this.

  5. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 2,694

    from norcal

    Using my tool keeps it rust free.....
  6. Wash your parts in a baking soda and water mixture after the vinegar, this will stop the acid reaction. Then soak or spray with boiled linseed oil. They won't rust and have a nice finish
    jazz1, mgtstumpy and stillrunners like this.
  7. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,955


    Get a jug of evapo-rust from Advance, Autozone, etc. Works like magic, doesn't hurt good metal. Let 'em soak as long as you want, rinse, done. I keep my bucket covered and when the solution evaporates, I just add more water, and use it again.
  8. stuart in mn
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 2,131

    stuart in mn

    This is what I do, it works great. Vinegar is an acid, so besides removing rust it also attacks the metal and has to be neutralized afterwards.

    After they're cleaned up, put a vapor phase corrosion inhibitor emitter cup (vpci) in your toolbox - they do a real good job of preventing rust. There are a number of brands, one good one is Bull-Frog:
  9. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 4,595


    Evapo-rust is great but I always like reverse electrolysis as well. Not sold on citric acid yet...
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
    ffr1222k and williebill like this.
  10. no55mad
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 1,921


    After a vinegar acid bath, a wash with high PH drinking water will also neutralize the acid bath.
    mgtstumpy likes this.
  11. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 40,127


    Had a crusty old ratchet that was rusted so bad it wouldn't turn. Put some marvel Mystery Oil in a container. Dropped in the ratchet and forgot about it for maybe a month. Came out with no rust and turns great like new. Still use it and just in my toolbox and no rust ever came back.
    williebill, ClarkH and mgtstumpy like this.
  12. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 9,125


    Soak in molasses and water solution, 9 x parts molasses & 1 x part water. Rinse in clean water and dry with compressed air. Treat with something to inhibit flash rust from exposure to air. Boiled linseed oil sounds good however I've never used it.
    Barrelnose pickup, 73RR and loudbang like this.
  13. BTExpress
    Joined: Mar 26, 2015
    Posts: 12


    use transformer oil. linemen use it on old pliers.. like a pair of 9 inch Kleins.
    Sent from my SM-G970U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    loudbang likes this.
  14. Oilguy
    Joined: Jun 28, 2011
    Posts: 642


    I too have been happy with Evapo-Rust.
    williebill, egads and loudbang like this.
  15. J. A. Miller
    Joined: Dec 30, 2010
    Posts: 1,788

    J. A. Miller
    from Central NY

    If you use linseed oil, be cautious about the rags and spontaneous combustion.
    deathrowdave, tractorguy and loudbang like this.
  16. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 4,068

    from illinois

    Doesn't anybody use naval jelly anymore ? Removes rust & leaves a phosphorus coating that lasts a year or two ....
    loudbang likes this.
  17. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 6,250


    Pictures of these 150 year old tools.
    loudbang likes this.
  18. rusty rocket
    Joined: Oct 30, 2011
    Posts: 4,572

    rusty rocket

    Citric acid bath for a day or two and then a wire wheel. No need to do a measurement, I just pour a little of the powder in Water and mix. Citric acid is cheap and it works wonders. I’ve never had it ruin a part.
    ronzmtrwrx and loudbang like this.
  19. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,723


    Molasses works great if you are not in a hurry. I would not use in a ratchet unless it was disassembled.

    loudbang likes this.
  20. Dave G in Gansevoort
    Joined: Mar 28, 2019
    Posts: 1,262

    Dave G in Gansevoort
    from Upstate NY

    Definitely Evapo-Rust. It was recommended to me a couple months ago, had never heard of it, thought Snake Oil. I now keep it on the bench for constant use. As I'm lazy, i also keep a gallon parts wash can from NAPA, and if the tool, part, widget, etc doesn't have some strange plastic stuff, in it goes after being wiped off from the Evapo-Rust can. 20200920_124200.jpg These valve seat cutters were rusted on all the steel surfaces and looked unusable. Over night soak in Evapo-Rust then into parts cleaner and all the screws are free, the cutters are able to be used, and best of all as they were free with a batch of valve grinding equipment, I can now do my own valve jobs...
  21. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 5,089


    Evapo-Rust seems to come in $29/gallon "original formula" and $15/gallon "water based formula".

    • Which one works better? Or do they work equally well?
    • Can you put it into a larger bucket with a basket/strainer in it, soak stuff in it (lid on I presume), remove parts, recover, and reuse?
    • Do you need to wear rubber gloves when handling parts that just came out of the vat/bucket?
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
  22. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,053


    I've got a jug of Evapo-rust That I have used on several rusty tools and a lot of smaller rusty parts. I have a couple of plastic containers with lids from Dollar Tree that I stick the tools in, pour the Evapo-Rust in on and let it soak for as long a needed and fish the parts out and pour the liquid back in the jug.
    williebill and egads like this.
  23. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,903


    I prefer oxalic acid, wood bleach, to citric but both work. Need to neutrailze after baking soda works, or, any dishsoap is basic on PH scale and will neutralize. Remove grease before acid treatment.
  24. Was 196 #'s
    Joined: Dec 18, 2016
    Posts: 63

    Was 196 #'s

    To stop them from rusting again, after the citric acid or the vinegar bath, I rinse the tools with water. If I'm in doubt that I got all of the prior solution off I throw them into a water / baking soda bath, then I dry them and oil them with baby oil (aka mineral oil). They will rust quickly if not oiled.

    'Boiled' linseed oil is usually not boiled, but processed with cobalt and manganese and one or two other interesting and troubling substances. Mineral oil seems to be the least problematic of the options. If I don't need the tool or the drill bit or the end mill for a few days, I'll let it soak in the mineral oil for a day or two or three, and then let it drain and just wait a few days before wiping it off and putting it away. I recently de-rusted hundreds of the above items brought home from their previous long time resting place.
  25. TOMMAY
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 86

    from MOBILE,AL

    You might try a spray can of PB-Blaster and if you like what it does get a yourself a gallon can of it and a plastic spray bottle. I've not found anything better for rust removal and rust prevention.
  26. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 3,677

    Flathead Dave
    from So. Cal.

    Evapo-Rust is my go to.
    loudbang likes this.

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