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Thread: Tool clean up and preservation

  1. #1
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    Tool clean up and preservation

    I should know the answer to this question and with a little help from our search engine here I am sure I can find a lot of information on this topic posted in the past. But I have been off this forum for years and just wanted to get back with my neanderthal buddies. I was in a time long long ago a practitioner of neanderthal woodworking trade (hobbyist only). As such collected some stuff over the years. But in the last 5 yrs life has gotten busy and I haven't been able to do much. It's gotten to a point that I am going to get out of the hobby altogether.

    I've been cleaning my garage the last few days and getting all my hand tools out so I can prep them up for sale. Noticed a lot of hand saws have a fine layer of rust on them. So what would be a good method to clean them up and then preserve them to have a sale some time this fall. I live in Dallas TX. which is not very humid but I do have a small in the back yard which probably contributes some to the corrosion from chlorine etc.
    The means by which an end is reached must exemplify the value of the end itself.

  2. #2
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    I clean up rusty handsaws with 220 grit sand paper with a sanding block followed with steel wool. When the saw is shiny, I coat it with Johnson floor wax. After that, they do not rust and I live in a coastal county.

  3. #3
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    Zahid, sorry to hear you’re leaving the hobby, but certainly understand the time constraints.

    For hand saws, I like to start as non-abrasive as possible. Look for scotch-brite light gray or white pads and start with those and WD40. If you need to go a little more aggressive go with the green pads (my understanding of the “grits” is green is somewhere around 600, gray somewhere around 1000, and white even finer). Or if necessary, you can carefully scrape off excess rust with a razor blade first.
    If it’s really just a light coating, you may find it comes up with just WD40 and a paper towel.

    After cleaning, a coat of wax should suffice to keep them in good shape until they are sold.

  4. #4
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    WD-40 and a mild abrasive. Wipe clean with a paper towel, and wax. Works for saws, planes, just about anything really.

  5. #5
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    Nice to hear from you again Zahid. Sad to hear you may be leaving again.

    A wise man once said, "don't take 80 grit paper to a tissue paper problem."

    On the other hand someone purchasing the saws might like to earn a little bonding time while restoring it them self.

    Will a little elbow grease increase the value?

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 09-08-2019 at 1:56 PM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #6
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    Zahid,

    I have found that a bit more aggressive approach works better than the light gray and seems to work faster for me. I like the red or red brown Scotch Brite pads followed with 320 or 400 wet or dry sandpaper. This is if it is just a light flash rust with no pitting. The Scotch Brite does a pretty good job of cleaning things up, and I sometimes use it and the sandpaper with WD40, but I think the Scotch Brite seems to leave the surface dull. That is why I follow it up with the 320 and sometimes 400, sanding only lengthwise with the blade. This seems like it shines the blade significantly.

    I have found that lightly clamping a piece of soft lumber over the tooth line so the teeth are not exposed helps significantly. The exposed teeth catch and tear up the Scotch Brite and the sandpaper and also slow things down a lot. Having them covered up helps things go better and faster.

    Finally hitting the plate with metal polish will make the saw shine. Having the saws look good will help sell them, and will also cause them to bring more money.

    Regards,

    Stew
    Last edited by Stew Denton; 09-08-2019 at 2:18 PM.

  7. #7
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    Thanks Stew, and others. I like the idea of shiny metal. I think many times people just getting into the hobby do not have the skill to restore tools so they shy away from anything looking older, the experienced ones are bargain shoppers so they look for old stuff they can restore themselves. I was one of them once, we don't make good customers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stew Denton View Post
    Zahid,
    Finally hitting the plate with metal polish will make the saw shine. Having the saws look good will help sell them, and will also cause them to bring more money.

    Regards,

    Stew
    The means by which an end is reached must exemplify the value of the end itself.

  8. #8
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    Zahid, I think you've received some good advise already but I'll add to the previous comments in saying it's good to see you here again and I'm sorry you're getting out of woodworking! But I sure do understand how life and work can get in the way of a hobby.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2014
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    Sydney, Australia
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    Hi Zahid,

    I have had good results with a brew I found on a website a while back:

    a 3 equal part mix of white vinegar, boiled linseed oil and mineral turps....apply with a light or medium scourer pad according to the level of rust/grunge.

    Good luck.
    Peter Widders

  10. #10
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    Agree with all above but if very rusty, scrape off most of the rust first with a scraper, razor blade etc... Not fun but helps a lot as you clean.
    Jerry

  11. #11
    I do a lot of tool restoration, I really like "evaporust", you soak the item in it for a couple of hours, rinse, quick redip and it takes off the rust. It doesnt' go shiny though, it leaves the carbon behind, so leaves the patina for vintage tools. IF you're doing vintage tools, this is better than shiny. If you're dealing with new tools though, yes, steel wool, sandpaper, scotch brite are your friends.

  12. #12
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    Apr 2015
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    Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
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    I just mentioned in another thread: use molasses thinned (1:8 to 1:20 ratio) with water and let it soak, turn it over every two days and after a week, or two, it will be all clean. Little work and non toxic. Use the molasses that has not had the sulphur removed.

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