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12

Rust removal basically falls into three camps: abrasive, chemical and electrical. Many people use a little of two of these, for example by abrading most of the rust away and then using certain polishes which have some chemical action in addition to the fine abrasive particles that physically polish the metal. An additional point, it's worth degreasing (...


11

Metal patinas are a whole art unto themselves. I have used ammonia for brass, made stains with vinegar and so on. Sculptors spend a lot of time on this topic. Assuming your nails contain iron, then you are trying to form ferrous oxide, the black 'rust' (as opposed to the orange rust, ferric oxide). Almost any acid will do the trick. Acetic acid (vinegar) ...


10

Light cleaning can be done with #0000 steel wool. Naval Jelly can be used if more aggressive cleaning is needed. SC Johnson paste wax can be used to maintain it.


10

Vinegar-and-salt rust removal has been recommended for tools as slow but very safe and very effective. I'd remove wooden handles first, of course. I've been meaning to clean up a bunch of old handsaws myself, along with a few other abused tools. I'm not a chemist, but my understanding is that the acetic acid reacts with iron oxide to form iron (III) ...


8

Is there any good way to recover from this? Or should I give up and order a replacement top? I doubt you'd need to order a replacement top, no matter how bad the rust seems to you compared to the pristine surface around it. People have restored Craigslist finds where the rust was old and far more pervasive than what you're facing...... and the after photos ...


7

As far as rust-prevention goes, I would caution being very sceptical about the results of published comparative tests. Every one I've seen done by a commercial publication, without a single exception, would fall short of a proper scientific comparison. Some even acknowledge this in the text! So they are far from definitive and the wildly differing results ...


7

You could soak it in vinegar. I know that steel wool dissolves in vinegar and completely rusted.


6

How can I safely clean and restore the surface? If the cleaner that was used has chemically altered the surface of the top, there's not much you can do aside from remove the discolored areas. Unfortunately, you set yourself up for an uneven top if you to that, so I'd advise against it. If it's just a cosmetic blemish, I'd leave it alone. Otherwise, if it'...


4

Unfortunately, someone got a bit overzealous and thought it would be a good idea to use a chemical rust remover. Just for the record, that wasn't really over-zealous. It's perfectly OK to use a chemical rust remover as and when needed to treat rust on any woodworking tool, as long as you follow this with appropriate post-cleaning treatment. That's all that ...


4

If you're looking for a patina/darkness as opposed to an orange-rust color, baking soda will do nicely. If you want to 'lock in' this color, a quick trip to a 450F oven will do the trick nicely.


3

I have a 50+ year old Craftsman cast iron table saw that has seen many years of hard use. Probably 3 times in it's life it needed some serious cleaning and surfacing. I started with a large flat block and a whole sheet of Sandpaper for metal, like emery cloth progressing from medium to very fine, to be sure the surface stayed flat. When the entire surface ...


3

Various people swear by different rust prevention products for cast iron tops, but unfortunately not everyone is able to achieve the same results. In 2012 Fine Woodworking did a torture test on tool steel and cast iron, and found that many popular "tried and true" rust prevention products did ok on tool steel but many did not perform as well on cast iron. ...


2

Hopefully the rust has not been developing for too long before discovery. A while ago I discovered some rust on my table top due to a cup of water carelessly left on the the top and knocked over by the cat. I had not been in the shop for several weeks and the water had dried leaving a large rust spot. I used a buffer with a make-shift steel wool pad to ...


2

I've used water displacers like WD-40 (or Jig-A-Loo -- whatever is on sale) to coat saws and such (I'm in SW Ontario, parts of which are basically the middle of a swamp in the summer) with good results. Just a thin coat and rub with a cloth. For longer term storage I've been known to wrap tools in home-made "oil cloth" which is basically a cotton t-shirt ...


2

not so much information on what to do after the treatment. I think part of the reason for that is that it's simply not that critical. Just as with removing the rust in the first place there are multiple approaches to cleaning up the tool or part after the major rust removal. First step is drying off by some method, including speed-drying with a heat gun or ...


1

After cleaning the parts and drying, a light coat of oil will prevent them from rusting. The application of phosphoric acid is to convert any remaining rust to a more stable compound.


1

Wow. Thanks to both Graphus and Ashlar, for the reassurance that this could be fixed and wasn't going to be a crisis -- especially to Graphus, for including the citations showing that even resorting to sandpaper wasn't likely to do significant damage. Reassured by that, I'm using something halfway between sandpaper and steel wool: 3M's "stripping pads", ...


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