Corrosion on metal rollers

Hello All,

I was wondering if anyone knew an effective and safe way to get rust/corrosion off of the surface of metal rollers on a Vandercook. It’s not a massive amount, but enough to cause inking problems.

Thanks in advance.

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Any photos? 400 grit sandpaper used lightly may do the trick.

An automobile paint polishing compound on a soft cloth might do the job for you. Follow it up with a wipe with a solvent to remove any residual wax that might be the carrier for the polishing compound before you ink up again.

Evaporust is the easiest way to remove rust. If you can not remove the roller from the press to immerse it, wet a rag with Evaporust and wrap it around the area to be treated and cover it with plastic wrap. If the rust is light 1/2 hour should do it. It’s not cheap but it works really well.


400 grit sandpaper is too coarse for a polished roller. I have never used less that 1000 grit wet or dry or crocus cloth on polished metal and then only in the immediate area of the corrosion not on the polished roller. Use some kind of support (a small piece of soft wood) behind the sandpaper and rub gently - don’t expect it to come off quickly. You have to keep the same plane as the roller itself or you will have another problem. If you can locate a machinist and talk them out of a small amount of cutting oil your job will go faster and cleaner, the cutting oil will carry the filings off and allow the sandpaper to do a better job. Work slowly and carefully otherwise you can cause real damage to the roller.

The same company (Orison) that makes Evapo-Rust (which is quite amazing) makes a product call Rust Bomb, which can be brushed on any surface, rather than soaked (or wrapped). Quite fantastic, as are all their products.


Thanks for all your help & advice! The rust is on the large drive roller, so I think I’ll give the Rust Bomb a try…

I’ve used fine steel wool with good results.