Treating rust

Recently, I was able to buy a box of iron furniture that had been sitting outside for a few years, much rust but the pieces seemed sound and the price was right.

Here’s what I did….
Wire-brush off as much rust as I could using a bench grinder wire-wheel. The surfaces were still covered with hard rust but the loose stuff is gone.

Tumble for a few days with resin pyramids in a vibrator tumbler. After tumbling, rinse with water; lots of flash rust will appear, that’s OK. They’re now much cheaner and this got into the places the brush couldn’t.

Again wire-brush off the surface rust then drip in Ospho. Let dry for a day or two. There will be black and sometimes white gunk all over. This is iron phosphate and will protect from future rust.

Use a flat-belt bench sander with a 120 grit belt to LIGHTLY sand off the deposits of phosphate from the sides. I was able to see the original machining marks appear on some of them. This takes a light touch and you need to work up to a clean surface; think of it like adding packing until you get a perfect impression, you can’t do it all at once. You can also use a hand-held sanding block but it’ll take much longer.

Lightly oil, then enjoy.

The tumbler-

Ospho, available in hardware stores-

I’m not saying this will work for everything, but did for this. It certainly won’t replace Evaporust in my collection of Rust Fighters for more fine jobs, but it certainly worked here.


image: Furniture-text.jpg


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Where are you? it looks like I can get evaporust here, and its “Next step” product, “Rust-Block” by the same company.

I’m in the San Francisco area.

Evaporust is a great product, but it’s not exactly cheap and does eventually become exhausted. It’s better for more precision jobs than furniture or large press parts; and it always helps to mechanically remove as much rust as possible before other treatments.