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  #1  
Old 07-03-2007, 07:29 AM
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evaldart evaldart is offline
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Rust removal

I am preparing a body of work, much of which has been stored outdoors unpainted, and will be needing to get some of the loose rust off for a general cleaning and re-sealing. The problem is that these pieces yield largely unreachable surfaces (and they are big 12 -15 foot pieces) - cant even get a tiny brush into the interiors which are very visible. Sandblasing is over kill, as I do not want bare metal (can the sanblasting be altered to be less aggressive?), powered wire brushes only reach outside areas. Can a power washer be used for this, is there an additive or a grit that can join water-pressure to do this? Afterward I will simply do my usual clear spray coat). Any good tricks out there for this?
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  #2  
Old 07-03-2007, 09:20 AM
ironman ironman is offline
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Re: Rust removal

Hi, Cut it apart, clean it and then weld it back together again! AHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!
Or was that humpty-dumpty and they couldn't put him back together again?
Seriously, how about a nice muriatic acid bath?
If all else fails, just tell the client that you wanted that decaying, rusted interior as a counterpoint to that nice slick clear coating of the exterior. Sort of a, "you can't tell the book by it's cover" concept.
Have a great day,
Jeff
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  #3  
Old 07-03-2007, 12:45 PM
PTsideshow PTsideshow is offline
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Re: Rust removal

You can look up and see if you have an outfit near by that does baking soda power washing. It is the latest thing in building and antique restoration work. Tractors, farm show magazine had a story on it back a couple issues ago. Equipment rental places may have the power washers that mix sand with the water jet and remove graffiti ect. You can vary the effect of blasting by the pressure used and the amount of media you are putting thru the nozzle. Of course the choose of media will determine the amount removed. Walnut shells (soft), to the black beauty(hard) to the steel shot used for grave markers. Have you see the spot blaster with the different shaped rubber boots to go over the nozzle they also have a bag recovery attachment or it can be hooked up to a vacuum hose and reused the vacuum depending on how much you have sucking will determine the amount of media to reach said surface.spot blaster can be found here so you know what you are looking for
It can be also found at your local Harbor fright store or most larger auto parts. you don't have to buy the media in the small jars as I have run play sand thru mine. The wet sand deal is just a larger dia hose that a slurry of H2O and sand will pick up like the soap siphons on some of the. I have thought about trying to use the cheap bucket blasters with the slurry and see if that will work. Haven't had the need to try it yet. If it does please let us know if it does or doesn't work
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  #4  
Old 07-03-2007, 01:45 PM
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Lunarburn Lunarburn is offline
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Re: Rust removal

I have come across some sandblasting services that use plastic and rubber media, even walnut shells. all considerably less aggressive then silica based media.
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  #5  
Old 07-03-2007, 03:07 PM
anatomist1 anatomist1 is offline
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Re: Rust removal

I would try the power washer first, as you can rent one very cheap. You should be able to vary how much it takes off by the distance of the nozzle from the piece. A big power washer is quite powerful - easily cutting holes and trenches in concrete.
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  #6  
Old 07-03-2007, 04:33 PM
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Re: Rust removal

I would think the pressure washer would work fine for removing the loose rust, working with those things can fiscally wear you out though, with the splash back of grit, water, etc….yuck

I’ve used a weed burner to heat up a large piece and then squirted it down with acid, (used a pump up sprayer) rinsed it off with a garden hose, re-heated with the burner to dry it off…works okay…but it leaves a uniform sealable rust patina you might not be interested in….might try it on something smaller first if yer skittish.

Good luck
duck
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  #7  
Old 07-03-2007, 05:24 PM
Rojellio Rojellio is offline
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Re: Rust removal

Quote:
Or was that humpty-dumpty and they couldn't put him back together again?
Actually... The King can put Humpty back together.

With the powerwasher, you might mix up a semi-thick slurry of baking soda, and see if that can be drawn through the cleaner thingie. (the straw/hose that injects cleaner)

You could also get an airbrush sandblaster. If it takes media as large as 80 mesh... a box of glass blasting beads at Harbor Freight runs like $40. Most hobby stores that have airbrushes also have the wee sandblaster airbrush.
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  #8  
Old 07-03-2007, 08:16 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Re: Rust removal

Glass beads had been overlooked until just the last post (Rojellio), and I wanted to mention those. My main founder, who does only bronze, has used walnut shells, glass beads, and sand of various grit properties, and he says the abrasivenesss increases in that order.
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  #9  
Old 07-03-2007, 09:25 PM
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evaldart evaldart is offline
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Re: Rust removal

has any one used one of these harbor frieght blasters. they're only 80 bucks. are they crap? Is just a plain old siphon version better. Can I use play sand? Like I said I'm not really trying to clean it down to bare. I like your idea Sideshow about getting something in the water of the pressure washer (and I'm gonna rent it so if it jams up I'll play dumb). I'll be doing this outside so I dont give a damn about the mess.

Ever grateful, E
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  #10  
Old 07-03-2007, 09:40 PM
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Tired Iron Tired Iron is offline
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Re: Rust removal

Matt , we don't want pictures of the sandblaster...we want pics of the sculpture....sheeesh!
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  #11  
Old 07-03-2007, 09:46 PM
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evaldart evaldart is offline
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Re: Rust removal

Hi Wayne,I'm trying to have these figures ready by October for an opportunity and they're just lookin a bit rough and not necessarily 100% done. Let me re-size a couple images and I'll put them up so you can see what I'm up against.
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  #12  
Old 07-03-2007, 10:12 PM
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evaldart evaldart is offline
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Re: Rust removal

One is made from hundreds and hundred of pairs of scissors, knives, cleavers, swords, shears barbed wire, nails, spikes, and any other nasty sharp thing I could get my hands on. The other is made out ofchains, a thousand pounds worth. But they are in need of some restoration before I can turn them loose. Can't have my boys showing up at their big party looking shabby and neglected.
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  #13  
Old 07-03-2007, 10:28 PM
anatomist1 anatomist1 is offline
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Re: Rust removal

If you want it to still have rust on it, I don't think you want any kind of media blasting.

Walnut shells are actually quite hard, it's just that they are brittle and break when they hit. They are considered a mild media because they won't do anything to the metal surface itself, but they will take off paint and make the metal perfectly bare. Their primary use is paint stripping.

If you are wondering what glass beads will do, they will take off all rust and fire scale and leave steel looking somewhere between a silver spray paint finish and polished. Look at the Viper Skull piece on my site - it's glass bead blasted with light wire wheel polishing with a die grinder on the places the wheel would reach.

Glass beads will remove nearly anything Black Beauty or silica sand will. They aren't going to merely knock off a little loose rust. The main advantage is that the beads are round and peen the surface instead of scratching it like the jagged particles of sand or BB. I have used them to remove factory fire scale from plate that was nearly impossible to strip off with a braided coarse wire wheel attached to an angle grinder. They are also too expensive to use practically, unless you recycle them in a closed cabinet (they can be reused up to 20 times).

Extremely mild media like plastic or rubber beads might work, but they will probably be even more expensive than glass beads. It might take a few hundred dollars worth to moderately clean one sculpture the size of the one in the above pictures. A powerful pressure washer rents for about $30/day at Home Repo.
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  #14  
Old 07-03-2007, 11:49 PM
PTsideshow PTsideshow is offline
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Re: Rust removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by evaldart
has any one used one of these harbor frieght blasters. they're only 80 bucks. are they crap? Is just a plain old siphon version better. Can I use play sand? Like I said I'm not really trying to clean it down to bare. I like your idea Sideshow about getting something in the water of the pressure washer (and I'm gonna rent it so if it jams up I'll play dumb). I'll be doing this outside so I dont give a damn about the mess.

Ever grateful, E
I have the larger one if you have the compressor to move the volume of air needed to make it work. They work fine light duty stuff. they aren't like a rental pressure pot with a construction compressor.
Using play sand you will need to run it thru a stainer to remove larger particles other organic debris ect. also it tends to be wetter, with the smaller pots. Wetter tends to mean that it clog up more often. So dry it out or use the smaller siphon bucket gun the wetter play sand works good thru that and its cost under $20 Since you are outside the mess doesn't matter and if it plugs they are easy to unplug. Again the pressure, and distance from the items being blasted and the media it self you can regulate how much you are taking off.
Just remember that if you are using any silica containing media. That you and anybody in the area are wearing breathing gear. To prevent silicosis.

If you rent the pressure washer any way look around for one that can use sand or other media. most places that deal in painting products commercial should be able to hook you up with somebody that rents them.
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been there done that !
I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
All the usual
and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only
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  #15  
Old 07-04-2007, 08:49 AM
PTsideshow PTsideshow is offline
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Re: Rust removal

Here are pics of the spot blaster and one version of an air brush style blaster. Used mainly for doing window glass on cars and removing small sections of rust and paint. It is time consuming and does only a small area at a time.
Badger has come out with small cheap bottom bottle filled media blaster again, strictly as siphon blaster.
The stop/speedy blaster has only one moving part and that is the lever valve near the front with the little red booty on it. contrary to what is stated in the instructions You can use any media that will flow thru the nozzle. Which is no more than a ceramic cone. The bag does fill up fast, and the attachment with wire pull ties is a pain to change the bag.(cut the wire tie each time) but If you remember to keep the cup you are using 90'to the surface of the item being blasted. It does keep the mess down and over blast to the area you are blasting.
Here is Eastwoods blast selection chart
The chart doesn't include the standard sands, silicas, cinders(black beauty) or dupont's ruby star carborundum blasting media.The forum they have for questions and thier archives are a good source of info.
This is probably the best media for gentle cleaning of a surface by blasting
I have seen it used on wood at low pressure and it works.
This is their new version of a large capacity siphon blaster
Yo can knock up one if you have the blast gun with two 5 gallon buckets and a large plastic funnel. With the hose attached to the funnel for constant media feed you need the second bucket turned upside down and cut outsides for the feet for the first bucket.
Here is McMaster's Carr media chart
This is the page for baking soda and other media including the steel shot ,corn cob and a few others.baking soda
The two above sources are always great source of info even if you choice to buy locally.

AGAIN I HAVE TO ADD THE DISCLAIMER FOR ANYBODY NOT AWARE OF THE DANGERS OF USING ANY BLAST MEDIA THAT CONTAINS SILICA, IT CAN BE AND WILL BE A DANGER TO YOUR HEALTH.
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glen
been there done that !
I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
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  #16  
Old 07-04-2007, 04:11 PM
Rojellio Rojellio is offline
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Re: Rust removal

Quote:
has any one used one of these harbor frieght blasters. they're only 80 bucks. are they crap? Is just a plain old siphon version better. Can I use play sand?
That harbor freight model pretty much is a siphon can. It has some help from the air to push it through. I used one recently and was very disappointed. Not exactly the smooth action that I had in mind.

As for the play sand... if your going to use sand I would go with good old fashioned Unimin industrial quartz. It costs about the same depending where you buy it. Some concrete ready mixes sell supplies over the counter, thats one place i get it. Concrete Accessory/Supply type places have it, and Whitecap construction supply has it. Sutherlands has one mesh size, I believe it is 30 mesh. HD has a white quartz sand too.

If you are going to screen or filter your blast media for whatever reason, gold prospecting supply places have the screen / sieve that you need. It fits over a common 5 gallon bucket and comes in a good variety of mesh sizes.
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  #17  
Old 07-04-2007, 07:37 PM
PTsideshow PTsideshow is offline
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Re: Rust removal

The biggest problem with any media blaster is to small of a compressor. The CFM@the pressure recommended is what is important. The higher the pressure the more the cfm drops on most compressors. Thats why they have two cfm's and pressure ratings. It is the same biggest problem with using air tools is the ratings of the tools are not matched to the compressor.The CFM is the volume of flow Cubic feet per minute. The larger compressors with more than one stage, and 220 volts if electric will have a larger tank that is for volume or make up so you have some wiggle room while the compressor is keeping up.
The Harbor Fright pressure pot, same one sold by Clark, Tractor supply, Eastwoods and probably everybody else.If the CFM is at or above the stated will work for what it is. A light duty blaster. The real media blasters need a contractors 90 psi at 125 CFM to really remove the material be it rust or blasting redwood wood signs. That is the biggest reason that 2nd hand contractor compressors cost so much and generally are hard to find and when for sale don't last long. Anybody that does much blasting is looking to pick one up.
Another thing with the pot blasters either the pressure or siphon type if the if the media is damp it will tend to clog up and slow down the flow. Dry is better till it is near the discharge nozzle thats the way the power washer/media blaster are made. Keeping the organic and larger stones out of the media keeps the number of clogged lines down. Somebody gave me a couple bags of play sand from the kids sand box. I didn't screen it till I was rolling along real good and the sand shut off, not a trickle. After a lot of cussing and poking of a rod down the hose I pushed out a glass marble. after screening it I found a bunch more.
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glen
been there done that !
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  #18  
Old 07-06-2007, 09:54 PM
fused fused is offline
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Re: Rust removal

IF you plan to paint your steel pieces a color there are treatments containing phosphates available at most paint outlets called "rust converters" that stabilize the oxidized steel surface. They work on fuzzy rust, but not crusty, flakey or scaling surfaces.

Ospho, Phospho etc. are some of the brands and they are very thin viscosity that can be put in a squirt bottle and liberally applied. The appearance can be kind of mottled and ugly grey to black, so this is best when you plan to apply paint over it.

Another type is Sur-Prep V a Rust Converter made by Coronado Paint Company which is more like a water based latex coating that turns the oxidized steel (and unground welded joints) a nice looking black iron color. I do like the look of this stuff and tend to clear coat, wax and leave as a nice sculpture finish.
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  #19  
Old 12-16-2008, 10:00 AM
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suburbanartists suburbanartists is offline
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Re: Rust removal

Any updates on the blasters?

Been thinking about getting one as many of my piece's surfaces can't be reached by the wire wheels i've been using.

The blacksmiths say to go to the depo and get a cheap blaster to hook up to the compressor and go with the play sand.

Mostly Using for cleaning forged rebar (TO BIG FOR ACID/ VINEGAR BATH.)

Last edited by suburbanartists : 12-16-2008 at 06:06 PM.
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  #20  
Old 12-16-2008, 05:12 PM
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cheesepaws cheesepaws is offline
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Re: Rust removal

I know that Evaldart probably resolved his issue but I wonder if some kind of submersion acid bath would work for rust removal? Don't they do an acid bath prior to dip galvanization? I wonder if this would even be cost prohibitive given most of our "bigger" works are still tiny compared to what these place usually have the capacity to dip.
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  #21  
Old 12-16-2008, 05:23 PM
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Re: Rust removal

I ended up shooting these sculptures with an acid/abrasive power washer (rented). I dont think I screwed up the machine and it seemed to work fine. 50 bucks instead of the thousands and the having to move much tonnage back and forth to some facility...somewhere. You trying to do me in early, Cheese, I do not think that the dipping method will ever be necessary for me and where I see things going. But you never know. "Jobs" have us doing all kinds of nutty things.
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  #22  
Old 12-16-2008, 06:59 PM
rustyjames rustyjames is offline
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Re: Rust removal

I've mixed up phosphoric acid (1 part acid to 3 parts water in 5 gal. buckets) for rust removal before and it works great. I've heard muratic acid works as well. I'd leave the bucket outside(covered) because the fumes are corrosive.
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  #23  
Old 12-17-2008, 01:40 PM
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Re: Rust removal

Build a big fire,getum real hot,then brush on Kwick black and brown shoe polish.If it steams when applyied,shes just right,It ia a great cheap finish.Buff with rag when cooled.DO NOT BREAtH VAPORS,and DO OUTSIDE...hillybilly tricks from the south...IA
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  #24  
Old 12-18-2008, 11:00 AM
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Re: Rust removal

There is an amazing non-nasty liquid solution that is a chelating process. It binds the rust to itself, and sinks to the bottom of a tank that it is in. Leaves an immaculate clean fresh steel surface. Alas, can't remember the name -but google a chelating solution + rust removal. Google search string that might help.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...earch&aq=f&oq=

The phosophoric acid is also great for a patina. I am fond of OSHPO, having tried about 7 on the market. But -if there is any residual contaminent salts - you get white streaking in the patina (good or bad depending on what you want). OSPHO is used on ocean going steel ship hulls for repair to passively remove/convert oxidation.

e-)
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  #25  
Old 12-18-2008, 11:19 AM
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Re: Rust removal

Quote:
if there is any residual contaminent salts - you get white streaking in the patina (good or bad depending on what you want)
That explains it. Always got the streaks. It seems that non rusty metal goes purple/brown, while heavy rust goes black.
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