Does anybody have an easy way to clean up bolts? I just got back from shop from cleaning bolts in blast cab. I have tried a rock tumbler and that did not work. Has any body found a way to do this? I was thinking a vibrating tumbler. Has anyone tried one? What media did you use? Thanks, Dan
Have you thought about placing them in the silverware basket and running them through the dishwasher?
If there's paint on them, you can use paint remover first, then rust remover. I've been using Blue Lightning, but some people say Evaporust is cheaper and better so I plan to try it. Before painting, I use a wire brush (motorized, not hand) to remove any residue.
A pass through the correct size thread die doesn't hurt.
Use a bench grinder with a wire wheel.
Throw them all in a can of gasoline. Dry them off, wire wheel them, chuck out the bad ones.
I may be off on this, but I wouldn't do anything except solvent or gasoline on the head bolts. I would think that any type of blasting would have impact on the effectiveness tourque. Best to get new ones.
Am I wrong?
Just toss them in a cup of muriatic acid. It will remove the, grease and rust and usually the paint. After they are clean down to the steel, toss them in a cup of soda water (water mixed with Arm and Hammer Baking soda) to neutralize the acid and when they have stopped bubbling rinse them in hot water (so the water will evaporate from the hot surface), then dry them with a towel and when completely dry them with a hair dryer or heat gun. It is important to dry the parts as fast as possible. If you don't, you will be able to watch the surface rust form on the damp surface of the bare metal, before your eyes. When they have cooled, prime them with red oxide primer. After the primer has dried, you can paint them, or you can paint them after they have been installed on the car. Jim Patrick
PS. For 40 years I have used muriatic acid exclusively for removing rust from my parts. For me it has proven itself to be the best method, by far.
PPS. Unlike sandblasting which leaves a rough finish and wire brushing, which can dull the sharp theads and leave a greasy residue, muriatic acid only removes the rust and will not distort the threads or alter the original surface texture whatsoever. The muriatic acid does all the work for you.
You've got to use a fine wire wheel. It shouldn't hurt the threads. If it does then they're some really cheesy bolts.
I know what you mean about greasy residue. A second degreasing is usually in order.
I send the bolts & nuts along with the rest of the engine parts through the hot tank. That removes every thing but the rust. If need be then I hit them with the glass beads to make them prettier.
What about the molasses trick that was on the forum not too long ago?
Can the bolts be cleaned by the reverse electrolysis method?
Is no one going to suggest the liberal application of roofing tar??? (I can't spell the "B" word!)
Heh heh heh
PS I think I've used all of the above suggestions. The wire wheel can fling bolts a long ways, and removes fingerprints too!
I use Evaporust, rusty bolts go in, clean ones come out.
Wire wheel for sure......
Evaporust works just like it says.
Evaporust does not put that soft fuzzy look on the surface like media blasting and wire wheels do. Auto zone sells it for $22 a gallon bottle.
I recently purchased a gallon of Evaporust for $15.99 at Harbor Freight with a 20% off coupon. (My local Autozone only sells quart bottles and the price is outrageously expensive.)
Harbor Freight's internet price is $29.99 but the local in-store price before the discount is $19.99.
The 20% off coupons are in AAA magazines and other publications. Also, you can also download them from the internet - for example:
You can also purchase it in five gallon pails at your local Northern Tool for $80 ($16/gallon):
Evaporust will not remove the grease, though. I have always soaked them in my parts washer then wire brushed, what wouldn't come off with solvent, on the bench grinder. However, I'm very interested in Jim's idea. Jim, are you diluting the muriatic acid or using it right out of the bottle?
Right out of the bottle, Hal. When you get ready to do the job, it doesn't hurt to mix a bucket of water with a handful of baking soda in it. That way if you get some on your hands or splash some on your arms you can easily neutralize it by washing off in it then use it to neutralize your parts. Of course use face protection and try to work up wind of the fumes. I've gotten pretty good at holding my breath when working over the stuff. Use it out doors too, as the fumes can cause your tools in your garage to rust. Jim Patrick
Stick with the wire brush like Royce....sure it takes some time and care...but all the other methods are messy or expensive, and don't work as well in the long run.
Inspect before or after, then use a thread chaser die on the keepers. Been doing this as method of choice, and easy to do. You really get to know each nut and bolt on your T this way
i would like to learn more. Not certain the molasses trick works and would like to learn reverse electrolysis.
Also it is curious that a greasy residue is left by wire wheels, Why?. i always thought it was grease leaking out of a grinder or something but maybe not
The wire brush will hold some of the grease on the wires and that just rubs on the threads and can stay there. No big deal.
If you want squeaky clean fasteners, then dip them in lacquer thinner.
I like the left over shiny lubrication after wire bushing fasteners that weren't too clean to start with...adds some lube for assembly of the nuts or screwing in the bolts too
Molasses surely does work well, especially on steel parts rather than cast iron. I mix 40% molasses and water and simply wire parts together to make it easy to get them out of the solution again. Whereyou guys have a problem with low winter temps. it may not work as well. It will not remove paint or grease, but rust is a breeze. Heavy rust just needs a bit more time in the bath.
Allan from down under
Not too sure on the 'before' picture of the pliers. Sure does not look much like rust I have seen?
In any case, electrolytic does work well - but beware, if you leave the tool in too long it starts to disappear. Don't ask how I know
Adrian - I'm not at home where I could perhaps dig out another photo, but the pliers as you see them in the before photo
were found in the spare tire well in the trunk (boot) of a car without a trunk lid that I hauled for scrap some years ago.
I don't know how long they had been there, but the car was in a small farm yard and had not been moved for a long time.
The rubber plug in the spare well was still in place, so it would have gone through a good many rainfalls and evaporation cycles.
Because the scrap yard was fussy about paying for rain water, I punched the plug out and found the pliers as you see them.
They got thrown in a box as is until I built my 'rust bucket' and I went looking for something rusty for a trial run.
They were never disassembled, and after a day or so in the 'bucket' I washed them down in warm water with fibre scrub brush
and sprayed them with WD40 to displace the water. Still using them!
Ps. something must be wrong with your setup if it eats up tools. I once left a small vise in for weeks.
Adrian, I've seen that type of rust on tools in old tractor tool boxes with standing water in them. Like most Older tools, Channel Locks aren't plated.
White vinegar works well as a rust remover. Just be careful with cad plated parts, as the acid in vinegar breaks down the cadmium and can produce toxic gasses.
Click on this old thread to see a picture of what can be done with molasses. I posted two spring clips which have spent most of their life outside in Minnesota.
I have used both Evaporust and a wire wheel (fine) in the drill press with good luck.
If I am using Evaporust I just drop the parts in over night. I will pull the parts out and use an old tooth brush to clean the parts up, and drop them back in. After removing the parts I just rinse the parts off in plain water and that is it.
I like the drill press with a wire wheel more often then using the bench grinder. I have more choices of speeds, and wire wheel sizes and shapes.
Adrian, You may want to check the polarity on your rust bucket if it eats what you are trying to clean. But then I'm the impatient kinda Guy and usually don't give it a chance to work!
Once tools are cleaned, rinsed and dried, anything other than a spray with WD-40 needed?
Will silicone spray work better?
I have a bad habit of not keeping my tools from rusting. (except of course, the ones I use all the time that have a nice coat of grease on them.)
i wish mollasses worked but i left a piston soaking in it for 2 months with no change (but no new rust either)
The WD40 works to disperse the water used to rinse the tool
and stop the rust from starting immediately again. I doubt that
it will provide much in the way of long term protection.
Boeshield, LPS or other products made for long term storage
After degreaseing with gas or thinner, I soak in muratic acid and dry as mentioned above, and then immediately soak in "Ospho" phosforac acid, and then let dry in the sun shine. A couple of just dip and let dry applications will leave a blackened finish.
Muriatic acid will do the trick. It is particularly good for removing zinc plating.(I don't like zinc plated parts on my T) Drop a zinc plated part in and watch the zinc plating foam away in a few seconds but then you must neutralize the acid with baking soda. Bad side is it smells bad burns your eyes and nose (keep well ventilated)and it may disolve something that you do not want disolved like your skin. Its a very very useful restoration tool.
If you are only interested in removing rust, Evaporust is THE way to go. I put my rusted nuts/bolts in an old jar, cover them with Evaporust and put a lid on the jar. They will be clean overnight but if you are like me it may take days or weeks to get back to them. I just leave them soaking in the Evaporust, that way, I am insured of rust free bolts when I need them.
By the way, Evaporust will not disolve your skin.
brian, don't use silicone if your tools will be anywhere near where you are doing some painting. Silicone and paint DO NOT like each other!