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Cleaning some iron relics.

bootyhoundpa

Well-known member
I’m finally getting around to cleaning some iron relics I have found the last two decades..after some research I’ve come up with a process that works for me..my goal is to get down to shiny bare metal ..
1st I chip off any loose rust,2nd I soak in vinegar for 2-3weeks occasionally sprinkling a Little Rock salt on them,3rd I pressure wash the iron with high pressure water..at this point the metal should shine as bright as silver.. 4th I put them on my grill att low heat just to thoroughly dry them..at this point you can watch them rust right before your eyes,they will also feel very coarse to the touch..5th I wire wheel brush the which puts the shine back on them and makes them feel smooth to the touch..6th I apply wax to them while still warm and wipe off excess.. I then store in a dry place. All the iron I save comes from places that I have found large cents the possibility of some of this being 200 years old is possible..
I enjoy seeing the crude grain and seems in the iron .. they appear to be hand forged..
 

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Ronstar

Well-known member
I may give this a try. I keep some objects I dig just for the sake of yard art. I have some horse tack and a couple of old stove legs that could be interesting to “doll up”.
 

JimmyCT

Well-known member
Nice looking relics! Your method works well in restoration.
 

bootyhoundpa

Well-known member
Thanks for comments guys…most of these items had rust so thick several times I thought I would never figure out how to effectively clean them.. I have a few horse shoes soaking for a 2nd time as they still had a few stubborn spots on them..
the L-shaped items pictured are which would have been used as hinges for the shutters… the advantage of cleaning them this way is there is very little dust created when you get to the wire wheel phase of cleaning…
 

relicmeister

Well-known member
My process is quick and simple. First I use a mini axe to chip off rust and a plier to break off rust from small pieces like square nails or iron buckles. Then a wire wheel. I don’t try to get down to bare metal. Last I brush on a liberal amount of matte modge podge.
This leaves them looking great and stops further rusting. I used to boil them in paraffin but the modge podge is easier and just as good. Used to use cider vinegar but what a smelly mess!
 

bootyhoundpa

Well-known member
My process is quick and simple. First I use a mini axe to chip off rust and a plier to break off rust from small pieces like square nails or iron buckles. Then a wire wheel. I don’t try to get down to bare metal. Last I brush on a liberal amount of matte modge podge.
This leaves them looking great and stops further rusting. I used to boil them in paraffin but the modge podge is easier and just as good. Used to use cider vinegar but what a smelly mess!
I’ve tried wire wheeling them but such a dusty dirty mess and very hard on the wire wheel as well because it take so long do do one piece and the results for me were less than impressive…the rust on these things is very very strong and so etched into the items that I didn’t think there was a way to get them clean.but my method comes with the price of pitted metal as one can see,but it’s only pitted because the rust ate it away…. Yes the vinegar can smell a bit but it disapates in a few day and I don’t go into my basement much anyway…. What is modge podge?
 
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