Author Topic: Rusty wrenches  (Read 2800 times)

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Offline plowwrench

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Rusty wrenches
« on: December 03, 2015, 10:07:03 AM »
Hi to all - I just registered on this site and I have a question to ask:

I collect farm wrenches, and I'm in the process of making a display of them to hang on the garage walls.  Many of them are rusty, and I'd like to clean them up somewhat.  They don't have to be pristine, but I'd like to remove most of the rust.  I'm experimenting with electrolysis, and it appears to be a good way to remove the rust.  Granted, the pitting will remain, but they appear much better having been cleaned. 

I find these cleaned wrenches must be coated with something right away or they'll look just as bad in a day or two. So, the question is, what is recommended to spray on (?) or otherwise coat the wrenches with?  I've seen collections where all the wrenches have a nice, uniform hard patina of some sort, but I don't know how this is obtained.  This issue may well have been addressed on this site, but a quick look through the postings didn't show me what I want to know. Any thoughts will be appreciated.

THANKS!

Plowwrench

Offline Papaw

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Re: Rusty wrenches
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2015, 08:06:01 PM »
Members have their own ideas as to what to do. Clean enough to get rid of the rust, but leave the patina, I sometimes just oil them, but also use paste wax on some.
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Offline amecks

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Re: Rusty wrenches
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2015, 08:21:08 PM »
"but leave the patina," as Papaw said.  Some methods will clean the metal but leave it totally without character.  And as you've noticed without protection. 
Some methods I've used: gentle brass wire brush; small stainless steel wire brush;  brass wire wheel; Bon Ami cleanser, water and a regular scrub brush; fine steel wool - lightly.
Linseed oil will dry and form a clear coat (but somewhat glossy). 
Al
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Offline jefftrin

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Re: Rusty wrenches
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2015, 02:04:26 AM »
I have seen people clear coat them in varnish after the clean up
ive just started collecting tools.....starting off with Sidchrome  Australian made

Offline geneg

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Re: Rusty wrenches
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2015, 05:34:05 AM »
When you get it looking like YOU want.  Use some cheap satin clear spray paint to prevent future rusting.  Boiled linseed oil works well also, but will darken the appearance with time as will some waxes.  If its something that will lay around in the shop or be used, I give them a light oiling or use any spray lubricant I happen to have handy. My opinion is that MY old tools shouldn't look shiny & new.  Acid dipping or electrolysis  both can remove any patina that the tools have earned.  I pretty well use amecks' cleaning methods.  A good first step for scaling rust or grime is a soaking in kerosene, ATF & acetone, or even a few days in the bottom of the parts washer.  Just use common sense with flamable solvents.

Offline turnnut

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Re: Rusty wrenches
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2015, 08:47:37 AM »
clear coating would have to be done in perfect weather & conditions.

moisture may get trapped under the clear coat and start to rust. 

ART

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Re: Rusty wrenches
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2016, 06:25:44 PM »
I find that electrolysis works well very little brushing.  I coat with silicon spray, PAM or paste wax and clean with a rag.

Offline plowwrench

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Re: Rusty wrenches
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2016, 02:27:21 PM »
Thanks to all of you for your responses.  There seem to be any number of ways to clean wrenches - it's just a matter of choosing which seems best for each situation and more "friendly" to use.

Art, I agree with you - I like electrolysis best as a means of removing rust.  I clean all the grease &/or dirt off first, then wire them up and toss 'em into the electrolysis tank (a five gallon plastic bucket wired to a 12v battery charger - with a little baking soda mixed in), and then I'm freed up to do whatever else I want to do while the electrolysis process does all the hard work. The results (at least so far in my limited experience), are satisfactory.  Thanks for your input!

Plowwrench

Offline Sudsy

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Re: Rusty wrenches
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2016, 10:04:13 AM »
For display items, (for me that would be antique salt water surf fishing gear) I wipe them down with food grade mineral oil from the drug store. Unlike machine oils and linseed oils, it doesn't yellow.
Put on a healthy amount and let it rest for a few days to soak into all the pits and pores. Wipe it down well then rub it down with paraffin wax, (again, no color) and buff it out on the Baldor.

Offline Twertsy

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Re: Rusty wrenches
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2016, 03:51:39 AM »
I use this stuff and absolutely love it.  http://boeshield.com/

I also use Boeing's boelube products for ratcheting mechanisms.