How do I clean my 4" chuck? dunk it in soemthing?

I hope one of you nice people here can tell me how I can clean my 4" chuck. I just got it from a neighbor that was going to toss it. It works swell, but
has some surface rust. Please take in consideration, that I'm old, weak and run out of air quick. I still like to get it done. One day the grandkids will have it, and I like to leave it in at least clean condition....What if I dunk it in acid, of course diluted. I'm sure you will talk me out of it, it is dangerous, and I think it does something with the hardening or makes it brittle maybe. I'm not sure what it does. I purchased a nice V block from EBay once, and it was real nice and shiny. It doesn't look that way now. It only been in my house, and I live in CA, no moister anywhere. So I think these guys have some sort of secret formula. I don't need the formula, but maybe a comment or two. As you can see I'm really in need of help.....Peter
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yep, the acid is a bad idea. For removing rust and leaving it nice, I'd use naval jelly. Goop it on, wait, wipe it off.
If you'd rather, you can completely immerse the whole unit in a solution of vinegar and table salt - as much salt as can be dissolved is just right. I'd suggest you completely disassemble the unit for this idea. You'll find its full of swarf and dried out grease.
Karl
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Karl Townsend wrote:

IIRC the active ingredient in naval jelly is phosphoric acid.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Here's how I clean most iron things.
1. I put them in muriatic acid for a while (like 30 minutes). That takes off rust, but leaves highly corrosive acid on them facilitAting future corrosion.
2. After that, I rinse them very well in a solution of baking soda, maybe I would even leave it there for a few minutes -- but rinse very energetically.
3. After that, I heat them enough so that water evaporates quickly (like in the oven at low temp).
4. Then I dunk them in oil or wipe oil on them or any other rust preventative.
i
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Acid dunk? I can't think of any worse way to clean a chuck other than sandblasting .. and the acid fumes will rust everything else in your shop.
I would use a wire wheel , both arbor mounted and in a die grinder. For a 4" chuck it should be short work.
Tony

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Not to want to be TOO picky here but AFAIK the acid is just prepping the metal so that the humidity in the air can do the rusting.
DOC
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That's why you rinse it in baking soda, dry and oil it.
i
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Not when you use phosphoric. Think of it as Parkerizing. When you think phosphoric, think Naval Jelly.
No, I don't have stock in the company-----I just know that it works because of experience. A wire brush won't get where it needs to get, very unlike phosphoric acid. It will leave a rusted item in the best possible condition. If there's any fear of hydrogen embrittlement, a roast for a couple hours in the kitchen oven @ 350 degrees F would eliminate that problem, which applies only to heat treated objects (jaws and screws).
Harold
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
PeterM wrote:

Start by completely tearing it down. Don't even think about doing a derusting soak while assembled - you will never get all the acid out of the inside, and it will continue to eat away. Acid soaks work because the acids eat rust much faster than they eat base metal, so if you take them out and neutralize completely you won't lose much base metal.
I don't like the idea of an acidic soak for a piece like this. I'd clean it mechanically. You don't say if it's a 3-jaw or 4-jaw chuck. It isn't trivial to derust a chuck scroll mechanically, but everything else should work fine. I use a 3M deburring wheel on a bench grinder to remove light corrosion and restore that original shiny finish. They aren't cheap, but lately I've been buying the 7x1" deburring wheels from Industrial Pipe & Tool (www.ipstool.com) when they go on sale, and those are a lot more reasonable.
If you use a die grinder to run a Roloc system, you can put brown 3M pad Rolocs on and those will rapidly remove surface rust but the resulting finish isn't as good as if you'd used a deburring wheel.
Ultimately, you can polish the chuck body with a buffing wheel if you like.
If this is a 4" 3-jaw chuck with 1-10 threaded backplate and either reversible jaws or both sets of jaws, I'd be interested in buying it - I have a little dividing head that needs one.
Grant Erwin Kirkland, Washington
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Quick and easy... Find a plastic 5 gal bucket and fill 3/4 way with water... Dump a box of backing soda in the water... Put a metal rod in the water on one side of the bucket and also put your chuck in the water... Don't let the rod touch the chuck... Hook up your battery charger neg. to the chuck and pos. to the rod... turn it on and let it work overnight... It will look like new...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Dismantle the chuck, and clean it well with Stoddard solvent or mineral spirits (paint thinner works very well). After cleaning, use Naval Jelly. It's a buffered phosphoric acid gel that will dissolve only the rust, and convert the surface to one that resists further rusting.
I'd suggest you avoid the use of hydrochloric (muriatic) or other acids. They are quick to dissolve the rust for the most part, but they are aggressive and will dissolve base metals. You avoid that with Naval Jelly, and it's quite safe to handle. Wear rubber gloves, but even if it makes contact with your skin, it isn't very serious. Wash it off with water and soap and you'll not even know it was there.
When you are finished with the Naval Jelly, wash the entire chuck well in hot water, then dry and oil.
The negative of using acids, aside from dissolving sound metal, is that there is evolution of hydrogen. It is readily absorbed by steel, and interrupts the lattice such that it fails by breaking. Likely wouldn't be a problem for your chuck, but why take chances?
Good luck with the chuck. Cleaning it isn't a big deal, especially if the rust is superficial.
Harold
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I will reply to each one of you of course, but like to at least say that I appreciate you all for being so nice, with generous warnings as well. Many thanks so far......Peter

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I would take it a part and go over it with a scotchbrite pad piece by piece. It is something you can do while watching TV, talking to the young ones, watching the sun rise or set. It isn't like you are in a hurry is it?
Then a coating of some nice oil to protect it.
Wes
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 20 Aug 2007 08:01:50 -0400, with neither quill nor qualm, Wes

I like to coat my tool metal in Johnson's Paste Wax before assembly, then oil. Works slick as silk and prevent rust longer than oil alone.
-- Learn to value yourself, which means: to fight for your happiness. -- Ayn Rand
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I use Johnson's on my table saw, band saw, and jointer. Hey, I'll use it on my chucks also, my 4 jaw isn't so pretty. Maybe this winter I'll take the 4 jaw a part and work it over to make it purdy again.
Likely learned about JPW on R.C.W., maybe from you.
Wes
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Nice quote. I'm just about finished with my 3rd reading of Atlas Shrugged.
Wes
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Peter,
If you do decide to dismantle it, which probably is the best way to be sure that you get ALL the rust and all the other crud out as well, be sure to NUMBER the JAWS and their positions in the chuck BEFORE dismantling it. I believe the other posters may have overlooked this in their zeal to abolish the rust. Abolishing rust is pretty close to the Holy Grail for most of us.
Flash

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

    For 3-jaw scroll-back chucks, the jaws (and the tracks in the body) should be numbered already -- by the manufacturer.
    For a 4-jaw independent, it might not be a bad idea, since if the jawa are worn into fit well in particular places, swapping them around can make it more difficult to use.
    And dunking it *assembled* into any kind of de-rusting solution leaves you with the possibility of galvanic corrosion, since the different parts are different alloys. So *do* disassemble it.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
--
Email: < snipped-for-privacy@d-and-d.com> | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
(too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.