I was going to skip this step and use shiny new hardware, but you guys shamed me into doing it right. I decided that here at the end of the pickup bed-building process is not the time to get lazy.
So I took a page from Steve Jelf's book and clamped bunches of bolts into my vise at a time, then "polished" the markings off using a flapper wheel on my angle grinder. Here are before and after shots:
That took only about 30 seconds of grinding time per batch, so it went very quickly. The carriage bolts were more trouble because of their rounded heads. I had to do them one at a time, but I came up with an easy way to do it. I chucked each one up in my cordless drill, clamped my angle grinder in my vise and turned it on, then spun the bolt while using the flapper wheel.
Those are the before and after shots of that. I couldn't take a "Jelfie" of the actual process, since I don't have enough hands.
Now I'm trying to strip the plating from all the hardware prior to painting it. I googled that process for old forum posts and other suggestions. I learned that various acids will do the trick, but I'd rather not get into that if I can help it. Someone said on our forum a couple of years ago that Evapo-Rust will do it, so I'm trying that. It's biodegradable and won't damage skin.
That's all the hardware soaking in it. I talked with a tech guy at the Evapo-Rust Corp. and asked him whether this would work. He said it depends upon the chemical composition of the plating, so maybe. He recommended leaving it soaking overnight, then check it. Leaving it longer won't hurt anything, according to him. If the plating is not dissolved in a couple of days, it's not going to work, he said. I'll paint it anyway, but I think the paint will stick better if the plating is gone.
Stay tuned, I'll have a full report in a day or two. Anyone who has done this before, go ahead and chime in with what you learned.
I use muriatic acid.
: ^ )
I think you are on the right track Mike. My paint won't stick to cad or zinc very well. I use vinegar but it takes 2 or 3 months. Screwing screws into a log and building a bond fire works fast and well. I'll keep an eye on this thread to see how yours works.
I agree with Keith. You DO want to remove the modern plating, because paint won't stay on it, and muriatic acid is the remedy. It doesn't take long, just a few minutes until it finishes bubbling. After a thorough rinse with cold water, I give the parts a bath in DuPont 5717S metal prep (phosphoric acid) to inhibit rust and etch the metal so paint will stick. Wipe the parts dry with paper towels, let them sit to dry completely, and paint.
I use muriatic acid, to remove rust and plating and after it has done its' work, I neutralize it with a solution of baking soda, then rinse it with clean water and immediately heat the steel very hot with a Milwaukee heating gun on the high setting of 1200 degrees F. This will not only quick dry it to prevent the formation of rust, but it will also vaporize any acid that might remain in the steel and prevent embrittlement. In 2011, we had a great discussion on muriatic acid and embrittlement (www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/180985.html). Sometime during the discussion, someone introduced the concept of embrittlement which is a phenomenon caused by hydrochloric acid embrittleing the steel at the molecular level that could result in cracks forming in the steel over time. At first, I started out pooh poohing the notion of embrittlement, because over the 40 years I had used muriatic acid, none of my parts had ever suffered cracks or embrittlement, but at the end of the discussion and after a little online research, I found there was something to it. Fortunately, one of the remedies for embrittlement is heating the steel to a high temperature, which I had always done to quick dry my parts to prevent rust and unknowingly was performing a crucial step in preventing embrittlement. Jim Patrick
As far as a bake for preventing embrittlement, 400 deg F for several hours will do the trick.
Mike, I recently tried some white vinegar and salt and had satisfactory results. You could try it without the salt as I used that to aid in the aging process. It took a few days but it too is bio degradable.
Mike - I just hit the heads of everything with the wire wheel on a bench grinder. Playing comes off and it goes pretty quickly.
I just bead blast them,quick and easy.
Well, I left the hardware in the Evapo-Rust for 24 hours, and I'm not sure whether it did any good or not. I don't consider bead blasting or wire brushing viable alternatives, since I'd need to handle each nut, bolt, and screw individually and work on each face of each nut and bolt head. Since I have 80 or 90 pieces to treat, I'll forego those options.
This afternoon I took the parts out of the solution and rinsed them well, then dried them. Then I painted them. It'll have to do.
If you don't want to mess with muriatic acid you might try a toilet bowl cleaner called "The Works".
Of course it's muriatic acid also.... but, it's relatively dilute and in a very convenient form to dispense. I use it for a lot of things that require muriatic. Cheap too.
Mike, there also another method you could use--but it would involve buying some things.
You could get a vibrating tumbler and some media for it. I have a friend that uses one for cleaning hardware on old arcade games. It works amazingly well and it is kinda a set it and forget it type thing. Dump your media and hardware in, turn it on, and walk away for a day or two. His only advice to me was to buy a good one. He went through a couple cheap Harbor Freight ones pretty quick---its like a 'you get what you pay for' deal.
Evapo-Rust removes rust, not plating. I agree the wire brush option is OK for a few items, provided you can reach all the surfaces, but for several dozen pieces a bath in HCl (muriatic/hydrochloric acid) is quick and easy.
The label on my bottle of Evaporust says it will not harm "galvanization."
However, my personal experience is that it does strip galvanized plating.
This agrees with what others say about Evaporust on the internet including Caswell Plating which says this on their website:
"Evapo-Rust is highly recommended by the NRA Gunsmithing School and will remove blueing, browning, zinc phosphate, zinc plating and cadmium plating in approximately 30 minutes. It will not harm solder points or lead and preps the surface for refinishing like no other product."
My experience is that Evaporust does not hurt nickel plating, chrome plating or paint.