Cleaning rusty nails screws and bolts


Old 01-15-07, 12:07 AM
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Cool Cleaning rusty nails screws and bolts

I have buckets of Mildly rusty nails and C. I am loath to chuck them out as there are many threads and parts I cannot replace anywhere (I lived on a farm for some years). Ordinary rust remover leaves a residue and does not stop them rerusting. I do have a compressor and was wondering if anyone ever managed to get shiny new nails again. Would sandblating be a solution?
Old 01-15-07, 12:16 AM
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Old 01-17-07, 08:11 AM
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I'll tell you what came to my mind when I read your question. I'll bet that a rock tumbler with a mild abrasive would clean up your collection of nuts & bolts. However, that is probably not something that just everyone would have sitting around in the basement. A small portable electric cement mixer might work in the same manner, but once again not just everybody has one of those sitting around.
Old 01-27-07, 04:19 AM
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They'll never be shiny-new without removing some metal. That would make them sloppy.

If you have a battery charger, old computer power supply, etc. (source of 12vdc) you can electrically de-plate the rust to some sacrificial metal.

Nice photos, and link to instructions, here:

Note this process will leave the hard black oxide (AKA gun-blue) on steel. That kind of rust inhibits further rusting, so it's not too bad.

With the bolts, I would agitate them in a good coating of oven cleaner first, just to remove loose rust. Then blast well with water so the acid cleaner doesn't throw off the ph balance of the electrolitic (washing soda) solution. I would jumble them on a steel mesh - negative electrode goes to the mesh and so charges the bolts. I did something similar with drill bits.

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