HELP! Rust on collets

Hi all,

Well this weekend I got back from cabin fever all fired up and went to the basement to look all through my Myford gear. I opened my wood box with the #2 morse collet set and there it was: RUST! Not staining, but real rust. Some of them were real bad, some not even touched. I did a little searching on the archives but most of what I found was about removing rust from "non-precision" surfaces. What can I do with these new, never even used collets to save them? What is good to keep them swabbed down with to prevent this from happening again? BTW everything else was fine... Regards, Rusty on the Delaware

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Reply to
Grant Erwin

Electrolytic de-rusting is the best way to recover them as much as possible.



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Reply to
jim rozen

If it is not really massive, use a little plain steel wool and LPS #1 and rub it off. I had an accident where dirty dishwater dripped through the ceiling and got on a rack of tooling. Places where I didn't get the water removed from rusted. A couple collets were pretty bad, but most of them were recoverable. I use a lot of LPS #1 (available from all of the major shop suppliers) in the 20 Oz pump bottle for rustproofing. They have a #2 that sticks and coats better, but it is for stock, not tools.


Reply to
Jon Elson

Disolve as much salt as you can in vinegar. About a full box in a gallon of vinegar. Submerge the parts for about a day. Do NOT let any part partially submerged. Keep fully submerged. Rines off, wipe any rust with scotchbrite. Immediately oil with Marvel Mystery oil.

Avoid ANY hits to your homeowners insurance! Save it for that one big event. The insuranc eagent loves to pay out little claims, then cancel. The record of claims lingers forever. 15 years ago, I had ONE claim for theft of a boat motor in my yard... It STILL figures against my policy. Even after switching companies several times.


Reply to
Pete Logghe

I've used a product called Knorrostol on lightly rusted (no pitting) tooling with good results in the past. I had mixed results on some old 3C collets.

It's a paste that smells a bit of ammonia and is made or distributed by SPI. McMaster-Carr was able to special order a couple of 14-oz tubes for me, around $10-14 each. I still have most of the first tube.

Reply to
Mike Henry

Looks like cool stuff, but I'm not sure I have anything that is worth as much as a bucket of that stuff :-)

Reply to

I used glassbeads on mine at 40# air pressure. Glass is soft enough to remove the rust but not metal. Plastic media would be even better

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I think Jim is right.

The advantage of this process is that it doesn't dissolve any more material from the surface. Naval Jelly, and salt and vinegar will do just that.

The disadvantage of the process is that it's a bit messy and it's a PITA the get set up. By comparison, Naval Jelly is a whole lot quicker.

Use washing soda in water. Hook an automotive battery charger up with the positive clip on a scrap piece of stainless steel and the negative clip on the part. The process is self limiting so you don't have to worry about leaving it on too long.

For rust prevention, I've been amazed at the effectiveness of a product from Loctite. It comes in an aerosol can and it's just simply called "Rust Preventer." Only problem is: my local Ace Hardware has run out of the stuff and I can't find anyone else around here who carries it.


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I think the salt/vinegar mix also will not touch good metal, but IMO it is tougher to neutralize when done. I did a

*bunch* of 5C collets this way, as you say with nothing but supermarket washing soda and a power supply that could give a few amps. I used a scrap of stainless as the (+) electrode.

Things don't really get going til the solution is warm, so the first one takes a lot longer. There will be a bit of black spooge on the surface which a quick pass with scotchbright or bronze wool will remove.

Rinse under clear water and oil immediately.


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Reply to
jim rozen

I use Evapo-Rust. I bought a gallon for $21, and I'm still using it. Safe, disposable, and works well. Costs much less than the Rusteco.

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I'll leave it to others to handle the rust removal question, though my ideas would be either the saturaged-salt-in-vinegar approach, or the electrolytic rust removal (both of which are probably described in detail by one of the other followups).

However -- what I want to do is to help determine a possible cause for the rust.

Is this wood box fitted with a sliding clear plastic cover? I had such a box for the small double-angle collets used by a Unimat SL-1000, and removed a collection of very badly rusted collets from it, oiled the interior, and put some new collets in it. Within a day, the new ones were starting to rust, and I finally tracked the problem down to the sliding plastic cover. It had a yellowish tinge, and I believe that it was a cellulose nitrate plastic which was starting to decompose. I replaced it with some Plexiglas milled to the proper thickness at the edges, and that cured the problem entirely.

If it is an all-wood box however, the source must be something else, and I wish you the best of luck.

Enjoy, DoN.

Reply to
DoN. Nichols

Your cover was probably cellulose butyrate or acetate. I've had old screwdriver handles decompose like that, the insides of the tool box become one big mass of rust unless you catch them in time. My grandfather had a bunch of screwdrivers like that, must have been from when they first started in with plastic tool handles. Some were still good, others had decomposed to the point where they disintegrated. Didn't do the other tools in the tool box any good at all. The decomposition of those plastics releases an acid, even with a waxy rust preservative, it's hard to prevent rust with that stuff floating around. Now, if the handle smells acidic, the screwdriver goes in the trash. Plenty more where it came from. The scent is unmistakable, it's like the worst case of dirty sweat socks you ever encountered.


Reply to
Stan Schaefer

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