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Rust removal tool...for lack of a better title...lol


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I posted on another thread about the watch bench I bought that was full of tools.  Many of them suffering some rust.

Well, I did the research.  In particular, the Project Farm youtube channel (which I love) did a review of all the rust removers (well...maybe not all, but some of the obvious candidates).  Happily for this crew, Coca Cola was included in the review.

After watching the video, I decided to go minimalist and least invasive--white vinegar.

A few hours in the soak and not much happened.  So...sez me...I will add heat and a little ultrasonic action.  So I put the rusty parts in a beaker filled with white vinegar, immersed into a mixture which was mostly water (did not matter, because it was just a medium to pass the ultrasonic waves).  Wow.  Fifteen or twenty minutes later and the rust was GONE.  I wish I had taken a "before" picture but I did not.

Even though Project Farm did not give high marks to white vinegar, it can be quite effective in combination with heat and ultrasonics.

Perhaps Coke would have worked as well using heat and vibration...that will be a later experiment perhaps.

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I put the balance complete from the 1912 Elgin 313 into white vinegar and after taking it out soaked it in some WD40 to give it some lubrication. When I took it out of the WD40:

  1. The hairspring and balance wheel feel off the cock
  2. The roller fell off the balance staff and
  3. The pie-shaped piece that fits into the balance cock fell out 

Now I have to rebuild the balance complete.

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29 minutes ago, grsnovi said:

I put the balance complete from the 1912 Elgin 313 into white vinegar and after taking it out soaked it in some WD40 to give it some lubrication. When I took it out of the WD40:

  1. The hairspring and balance wheel feel off the cock
  2. The roller fell off the balance staff and
  3. The pie-shaped piece that fits into the balance cock fell out 

Now I have to rebuild the balance complete.

I would not have used the method on something so delicate.  I used it on WW collets, etc.  I can tell that it probably took off a few microns of surface metal in the process, so, one has to be careful.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, LittleWatchShop said:

I posted on another thread about the watch bench I bought that was full of tools.  Many of them suffering some rust.

Well, I did the research.  In particular, the Project Farm youtube channel (which I love) did a review of all the rust removers (well...maybe not all, but some of the obvious candidates).  Happily for this crew, Coca Cola was included in the review.

After watching the video, I decided to go minimalist and least invasive--white vinegar.

A few hours in the soak and not much happened.  So...sez me...I will add heat and a little ultrasonic action.  So I put the rusty parts in a beaker filled with white vinegar, immersed into a mixture which was mostly water (did not matter, because it was just a medium to pass the ultrasonic waves).  Wow.  Fifteen or twenty minutes later and the rust was GONE.  I wish I had taken a "before" picture but I did not.

Even though Project Farm did not give high marks to white vinegar, it can be quite effective in combination with heat and ultrasonics.

Perhaps Coke would have worked as well using heat and vibration...that will be a later experiment perhaps.

Yey Acetic acid to the resue 👍

5 hours ago, grsnovi said:

I put the balance complete from the 1912 Elgin 313 into white vinegar and after taking it out soaked it in some WD40 to give it some lubrication. When I took it out of the WD40:

  1. The hairspring and balance wheel feel off the cock
  2. The roller fell off the balance staff and
  3. The pie-shaped piece that fits into the balance cock fell out 

Now I have to rebuild the balance complete.

I think that may have been the wd G. OH hates the stuff. I was once working with a joiner that used it to keep his planes oiled.  He left a tin of it in his tool box without the lid on. Something must have pressed up against the spray button . When he open his box on site it was full of wd and his plane handle was all melted.

Edited by Neverenoughwatches
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, oldhippy said:

Good old farm house rough cider is another for removing rust it also cleans coins as well. 

Used to be my favourite tipple years ago. Drink enough of it and go blind with arsenic poisoning lol.

Edited by Neverenoughwatches
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Where I live its called gut rot. I've seen people normally the ones on holiday down the first pint in a few seconds by the time they have the third they pass out of throw up. They always tend to look a bit green. Us locals don't touch the real rough stuff. I used to prefer very strong lager but not now. I can't remember the last time I had a pint. I prefer a mug of hot strong tea. A real sign of old age, but I draw the line to a pipe and slippers.       

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2 minutes ago, oldhippy said:

Where I live its called gut rot. I've seen people normally the ones on holiday down the first pint in a few seconds by the time they have the third they pass out of throw up. They always tend to look a bit green. Us locals don't touch the real rough stuff. I used to prefer very strong lager but not now. I can't remember the last time I had a pint. I prefer a mug of hot strong tea. A real sign of old age, but I draw the line to a pipe and slippers.       

Haha. Thats me. I'm virtuality tea total now and have been for about 30 years  years. My father drank enough for him and me. Good ol scrumpy cider had me on my knees many a time lol

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  • 4 months later...

I'd say i've had very good rust removal results with white vinegar, but it is an acid so will totally eat away at machined faces if left on there too long...when I first used it on a motorbike I was restoring I left some ball bearings in it overnight and they were just rough black balls by the morning...So an hour or 3 at most for delicate parts like watches. it will turn them black if they are rusty and will leave them pitted where it takes the rust off...

I have heard of the wonder stuff Evapo Rust that is totaly inert, friendly to the environment and lasts forever and is very effective but only for Americans I am afraid...or from that there T'internet but 1 amount of it should last a watch maker a lifetime so a good investment I reckon...
here popular mechanics know more than I do about it, they've tested them all...Its what they do...

https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/tools/g2312/best-liquid-rust-removers-test/

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It don't actually see much of any evidence of testing in that article.

It's just a pile of amazon links and every single product tested is "best for something".  Nothing is ranked or measured.

If you read each summary, it's just what is written on the bottle itself!  I think just three products had one sentence each that actually said they used the product on something themselves.

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Evaporust is good but can turn things black if left soaking for too long.

Will have to try the Ultrasonic method next time, with both Evaporust and White Vinegar, as both normally need a good 24 hours soak to work.

I mainly use it to renovate rusty tools though as I have found watch parts tend to just dissolve when left too long soaking and I am good at forgetting things 😉 

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On 9/22/2022 at 11:45 PM, xyzzy said:

It don't actually see much of any evidence of testing in that article.

It's just a pile of amazon links and every single product tested is "best for something".  Nothing is ranked or measured.

If you read each summary, it's just what is written on the bottle itself!  I think just three products had one sentence each that actually said they used the product on something themselves.

Well you want to be getting on to popular mechanics about your disatisfaction and their passing of of label information as a review. Maybe start your mail with "Not so popular mechanics." something like that...

On 9/23/2022 at 9:58 PM, Paul80 said:

Evaporust is good but can turn things black if left soaking for too long.

Will have to try the Ultrasonic method next time, with both Evaporust and White Vinegar, as both normally need a good 24 hours soak to work.

I mainly use it to renovate rusty tools though as I have found watch parts tend to just dissolve when left too long soaking and I am good at forgetting things 😉 

yeah i'm the same sometimes I hold my breath and forget to breathe and its all touch and go in the ambulance for a while and then when they shock me I wake up and say like "WTF is going on here, who are you people, who are you really."...So now i try to remember to breathe and stuff i have soaking especially in Vinegar as a week and you'll go back and there'll be  nothing there but rusty tasting vinegar, as I use it on oven chips when I'm done with it as in these environmentally challenged times we must waste not what we want not...

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