Restoring "shine" to de-rusted tools

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spindlecraft

Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2014
Messages
56
Location
Philipsburg, PA
Hi all,

Over the winter, we had some basement flooding (which is where I have my wood shop at) – and a couple of my tools had developed a coating of rust on them.

I got some rust remover, let them soak, and scrubbed them down – and it did a great job of removing the rust. But now, they all have this matte, bluish gray look to them.

The function fine – but I worry a bit that they will be prone to rusting again.

Is there a way to restore the shine to them to help them look new again?
 
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egnald

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Joined
Jun 9, 2017
Messages
1,561
Location
Columbus, Nebraska, USA
Depending on the tool of course, I usually take the small rust spots off with steel wool then oil the tool well. WD40 (Water Displacement 40) is pretty good for giving tools a light coating as well.

For heavier rusted items, like a couple of old sledge hammers I recently restored, I took the bulk of the rust off with a steel brush and then used a rust re-former to convert the remaining surface rust. The result is kind of a hard black surface coating. Then just to even everything out I used some high temperature black spray paint - yes, I know it will get beat off over time, but when such changes occur gradually over time they don't seem to look quite as bad.

For some smaller items, I use a wire brush, solvent based rust removers, steel wool, etc. to get down to the bare metal. Then I apply "Cold Blue" - the DIY liquid gun bluing solution followed by a coat of oil. The bluing helps restore a more uniform color to the metal and the oil is for prevention. (It is my DIY version of having Black Oxide applied to something.

Dave
 

grpass

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
102
Location
Grants Pass, Oregon
Hi all,

Over the winter, we had some basement flooding (which is where I have my wood shop at) – and a couple of my tools had developed a coating of rust on them.

I got some rust remover, let them soak, and scrubbed them down – and it did a great job of removing the rust. But now, they all have this matte, bluish gray look to them.

The function fine – but I worry a bit that they will be prone to rusting again.

Is there a way to restore the shine to them to help them look new again?
The good news is that they now are worth more, they're vintage. Just protect them they will be fine. I restore a lot of old axe heads. (I soak them in vinegar overnight after getting off the heavy rust, then rub down with wd40, amazing what vinegar does and it's really cheap) Salvages a lot of old rusty tools that would be thrown away.
 

David350

Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2017
Messages
310
Location
Dallas, TX
Do you use the grocery store bought vinegar (5% I believe), or more like a 20% specialty strength? Thanks, David
 

grpass

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
102
Location
Grants Pass, Oregon
Do you use the grocery store bought vinegar (5% I believe), or more like a 20% specialty strength? Thanks, David
I've used both, the higher percentage, the less time to soak. I usually leave them in overnight. Vinegar is a lot cheaper then some of the specialty rust removers.
 
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