Restoring luster to an old rusted tool



Larry, forgot to ask, is it in tool department, or jewelry?
i
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Simichrome is another brand of polish to look for, as is Wenol. Probably in the Automotive section.
--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by

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Ecnerwal wrote:

Restoring luster to an old rusted tool
Younger wife, Viagra and polish it often.
(O;
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On Mon, 21 Jan 2008 07:30:00 -0600, with neither quill nor qualm,

The MAAS metal polish is in with the cleaning supplies and mops, of course. ;)
-- If it weren't for jumping to conclusions, some of us wouldn't get any exercise.
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Have you seen it though another person? Have you seen it though another person?
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I have one of those 15" Crescent wrenches, and as you imply, they are not chrome plated. The entire surface of the wrench aside from the two sides of the jaws, is rough. The two sides in question appear to have been finished and polished. The entire wrench is black oxide finished.
It would probably be pretty easy to lap the two faces on some fine polishing cloth or paper until they satisfy you, but as far as the balance of the wrench is concerned, it would look perfectly good if is was bead blasted and then black oxide finished.
Harold
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Ignoramus4128 wrote:

A sewn buffing wheel, of a diameter apprpriate to the motor's HP, and some emery buffing compound (usually black, but there seems no standardization) would allow you to polish the surface to less than a mirror finish. Add another wheel with some finer grit, say chrome (often green), and you can get it to a mirror finish with some effort. Check what you can get locally for polishing compounds, or check your catalog sources.
Best of all worlds for polishing, is to be able to set up a polishing lathe, little more than a arbor with several different wheels all lined up, so as to be able to skip from one grit to the next, without having to stop to reload the wheel, or change wheels.
If you were willing to put the time into it, it would be possible to polish the whole unit to quite exceed the state of Snap-On's stuff. Or you could glass bead the parts, to get an even surface, and plate them, or blue them, or parkerize them. Electroless nickel, maybe.
Cheers Trevor Jones
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On Sun, 20 Jan 2008 22:05:31 -0600, Ignoramus4128

You're on the right track.
Metal polishes from a jar remove tarnish, but they don't do much for microscopic pits. That requires buffing.
Get an 8" sisal wheel and a bar of aggressive emery compound. Mount the wheel on your 3450 RPM motor and have at it. I seem to recall that yours is a 2HP motor, which is about right for this job. My buffer is a 2HP 3450 RPM motor.
Wear welding gloves, because the workpiece will get uncomfortably warm very quickly. Wear full facemask. Be careful to never present a leading edge to the wheel, because if you do the wheel can "grab" the workpiece and make it a high-speed projectile. (Surface speed of the wheel is about 82 mph.)
When you get done, that wrench will look like it was chrome plated. For some reason, highly-polished steel resists rust surprisingly well.
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Don, my motor is 1 HP, 3450 RPM. This is completely sufficient for my 8" wire wheel.
I looked at sisal wheels at McMaster, and they are all rated at 3,000 RPM at most. So I do not think that I could use a sisal wheel. For now, I put their item 4832A16 into my cart, which is a 8x1x1/2" (8" diameter, 1" wide, 1/2 ID) heavy cotton wheel.

OK, that makes sense. I have never done any buffing before. If you apply abrasive paste to the wheel, would it not be thrown off due to centrifugal forces?
Do you use a separate wheel for every grit?
What sequence of grit sizes would you use?
i
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Ignoramus13999 wrote:

Yup. If you do any amount of the stuff, you won't be allowed into the house, until you have bathed under the hose.
Wear a decent respirator/filter.

Should. Really only matters if you are going to use a wide range of grits. Once the coarse grit is into the wheel, there is always the possibility of it still being there when you want or need the fine grit. Picture s heet of 600 grit sandpaper, with a couple 100 grit grains embedded....

Depends on the material and the degree of material removal required.
Emery is a good start. Check the recommendations in the catalog, or on the package.
Cheers Trevor Jones
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It's got a sticky binder to help it cling, and there's never all that much on there - in fact, trying to apply too much is a typical begnner error - just a bit, and renew a bit when needed.

You have to, the wheel becomes a "whatever the coarsest crap that's been put on it" wheel as soon as it's put into use. Not having set up a multi-wheel arrnagement yet, I store the buffs and the bar of abrasive in a ziplock - one ziplock for each type/grit. Also, you often want a softer wheel to go with a finer compound.

Just go read this, it will save all of us time:
http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/index.html
and particularly:
http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/buffing.htm
Which would appear to suggest "black/white/blue" for your purposes, from their selection. Blue might well be overkill for a wrench. Any of it might actually degrade the usefulness of the tool - a somewhat pitted old wrench is less likely to slip out of your sweaty/greasy hand when you are applying it to something with force than a mirror-polished wall-hanger.
--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by

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Great.
This one is even better:
http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/buffman.htm
It answered, more or less, all my questions.

I agree. I have ordered some wheels and sticks and will experiment. I think that they will have usefulness beyond this wrench polishing exercise, as I could improve appearance of many things that pass through my hands.
I use the wire wheel many times per week.
i
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On Mon, 21 Jan 2008 11:32:35 -0600, Ignoramus13999

Sisal wheel is the right tool whether or not McMaster can provide. I don't pull my suggestions outta me arse, Ig. I've described what I use, works for me, YMMV. I get my wheels and compounds from Caswell.
1 HP will suffice for a buffer if you're patient.
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Don, thanks, I will get a sisal wheel from Caswell. Hopefully, in a week or two I will have some results and photos.
i
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Ignoramus6442 wrote:

> After reading your subject header, I wonder if you are trying to achieve what was never there in the first place? Crescent used to sell 2 versions of their wrenches, chrome plated and unplated. The unplated had a phosphate finish.
Tom
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wrote:

Indeed. And some with a parkerized finish (military) I have examples of all of them.
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
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Indeed, after double checking I came to conclusion that the polishing was never there in the first place.
i
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maybe the polishing fell off. Did you look on the floor for it?
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On Tue, 22 Jan 2008 18:38:04 +0000 (UTC), Cydrome Leader

Be sure to check all the way in the back under the work bench. Stuff tends to bounce back there.
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
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Put it in a 3" piece of PVC full of play sand.with caps taped on lightly. Put it on anything that will tumble it. Tumble it for a while and check. Tumble if until it comes out looking like you want. Maybe have to disassemble it, and then I wouldn't tumble the set screw. Try to buff up what you end up with with soft wheels. Clear coat it if it's got any reasonable amount of shiny stuff left. If not, buy some good spray paint like Rustoleum and get back about two feet. Spray LIGHT sprays at it so you can just see the paint on the thing. Let it hang for an hour or two and repeat several times over a few days until it gets to the luster you want. Then clear coat it. Of course, check your paint and clearcoat to make sure they're compatible.
If someone you know has a cabinet bead blaster or sand blaster, you might try that, although it will probably take off any remaining chrome.
Do it slowly, slowly. You don't want a really shiny new looking wrench. It would look fake, and if it's not in pristine mint condition, it's just going to look like a shiny restored worn item. Particularly, go slow with the paint, wanting only to get a few speckles on each time instead of a coat.
Post a pic of how it turns out.
Anyway, that's the way I'd do it.
Steve
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