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View Full Version : Rust removal


David Berkowitz
December 16, 2006, 11:51 PM
I just purchased a Winchester Model 12 trap gun in excellent mechanical condition.
The bluing and wood are also very fine, except for a very small amount of rust where the barrel enters the receiver.
What is the best way to remove this rust without doing damage to the rest of the blue?
I'd be willing to make this a long process if that is what is necessary to preserve as much of the existing blue as possible.

Dfariswheel
December 17, 2006, 12:17 AM
One of the few that won't further degrade the bluing is this one:

Buy a can of Kroil.
Liberally apply a coat of Kroil to the rusty areas and allow to soak at least 24 hours.

While it soaks, make a scraper from sheet brass, or by squashing a brass rifle case mouth closed and filing it into a sharp chisel shape.
Also buy a brass "toothbrush".

After soaking, apply more Kroil and use the brass scraper to scrap the crusty rust.
Then give the entire area a brushing with the brass brush.

After the rust is removed, wipe clean and apply a coat of CLP Breakfree.
The CLP will prevent further rust, and will continue to "work" on any hidden rust.

Unlike steel wool or other methods, this doesn't damage the remaining blue.
After the rust is gone there will still be tiny pits and missing blue, and there's nothing that can be done about that except a full refinish.

David Berkowitz
December 17, 2006, 01:23 PM
I have never heard of Kroil. Is this something you get at a hardware store or someplace like Cabela's?

Bill DeShivs
December 17, 2006, 02:00 PM
Here is a simpler method. Soak the rust with WD 40. Then use 0000 steel wool to remove the rust. 0000 steel wool will NOT hurt the bluing, unless you scrub it as hard as you can for hours. Wipe the area clean and coat it with a good gun oil.
Brass wool is the best bet, but is difficult to find.
Bill

Dfariswheel
December 17, 2006, 06:53 PM
You can buy Kroil in many gun shops, and machinery supply houses.
You can order it from Brownell's.
http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=7610&title=KROIL

Kroil is a super penetrating fluid.

I don't recommend any steel wool for rust removal since it DOES degrade and thin bluing.
You can usually detect when steel wool has been used to remove rust because the wool has a tendency to "bounce" over the crusty rust like a car going over a speed bump.
This leaves a crater-like area in the bluing.
This looks like a thinned spot in the blue with a pit in the middle where the rust was.

Bill DeShivs
December 17, 2006, 07:36 PM
I sure must have ruined a lot of bluing over the years, but I didn't notice it!
Bill

revjen45
December 17, 2006, 08:38 PM
+1 for 0000 steel wool. You might place the rusted area close tp a light bulb or some other source of heat that will gently warm the metal to facilitate penetration by opening the pores of the metal. Break Free, Tetra, or some other high quality penetrating lube applied and allowed to soak for a while will aid in rust removal. Masking off the undamaged bluing might not be a bad idea. A popsickle stick for backing behind the steel wool helps too. I too must have ruined a lot of bluing without realizing it.

Dfariswheel
December 17, 2006, 10:50 PM
The difference between your steel wool rust removal methods and my brass brush method is, you're doing your OWN guns.

I was doing customers guns.
They notice little things like degraded bluing.

You can remove light rust with very fine steel wool if you're extremely careful.
Most people aren't.
When you say 0000 steel wool, they figure ANY steel wool and buy #1.

The end result was my explaining that when their friend Billy Bob told them to use steel wool to remove rust, he didn't mean that they should use it like sandpaper on an old 2x4.
The end result was damaged bluing.

THAT'S why I recommend a method that won't harm the bluing even if you over do it.

Bill DeShivs
December 17, 2006, 11:03 PM
I was a licensed gunsmith and engraver for 25 years and did lots of customers' guns. 0000 steel wool, used dry, will remove most surface rust. A second careful scrubbing with WD 40 added will remove even more. Of course it must be used carefully. Having done delicate work with my hands for so long makes me forget that a lot of people have no finesse.
But I have to agree with you about being cautious with advice. Brass wool WILL NOT harm your gun.
Bill

Romulus
December 18, 2006, 03:31 AM
0000 steel wool, used dry, will remove most surface rust. A second careful scrubbing with WD 40 added will remove even more. Of course it must be used carefully. Having done delicate work with my hands for so long makes me forget that a lot of people have no finesse.
But I have to agree with you about being cautious with advice. Brass wool WILL NOT harm your gun.
Are you endorsing the use of 4ought steel wool or recommending against it? Your post is confusing other than confirming Dfaris's counsel regarding brass abrasion for rust removal...

Bill DeShivs
December 18, 2006, 03:40 AM
I'm endorsing it's use by people who are sensible enough to understand how to use it. I'm NOT endorsing it for the imbeciles who scrub with it for hours and the realize they have screwed something up. Brass wool is safer. Steel wool is for experts. I use a lot of things in my shop that I wouldn't dare recommend to the casual enthusiast. I forget how stupid some people can be!
Does that explain it?
Bill

Romulus
December 18, 2006, 05:13 AM
Check. Brass wool it is, then

ammo.crafter
December 18, 2006, 07:36 AM
Try products by Bull Frog. I have good results with them. It is IMPERATIVE you follow the manufacturer's directions.

Dfariswheel
December 18, 2006, 01:41 PM
Bill DeShivs:

Therein is the difference.
Pros can do these things safely, but we have to be careful what we recommend.

The problems start when a pro says "use some 0000 steel wool and a penetrating lube gently", the recipient HEARS, "Use some steel wool, and buys #1 with which he then proceeds to dry scrub the metal.

What people are TOLD, and what they HEAR, especially on the internet are two different things, which is why I always recommend the safest method.
You never know if you're giving advice to an experienced person, or someone new to guns who's getting all kinds of conflicting advise, often from people who have no idea what they're recommending.

In a case you can relate to, a few years ago a poster on a gun forum asked about getting his S&W Model 29 engraved, and was seriously advised to get a hammer and a center punch and do it himself.
The adviser assured the poster that it was "Just like the factory did it", and he could save the money you greedy engravers over charged.:eek: :eek:

skeeter1
December 18, 2006, 02:14 PM
If you're bound and determined to try to get rid of the rust yourself, you could always try some "naval jelly", available at just about any hardware store.

I have no idea what affect it has on the surrounding bluing. It contains phosphoric acid, so be careful with that stuff. Gloves and eye protection are a must.

RwBeV
December 18, 2006, 03:43 PM
Over the years I have used a lot of 0000 steel wool on costomers guns with great sucsess. It will however remove patina and some of the older finer bluing and browning found on older guns. I have however reblued god knows how many guns that people tried to remove the rust themselves with steel wool. Last I heard brass wool was advalible from MSC I'm sure they have a web sight. Kroil is also advalible from Midway but any good grade of light oil will do, my favorite is the old military gun oil before they came out with LSA.

Naval jelly will remove the rust BLUE and all so unless you want to spend $ on a blueing job NO NAVAL JELLY.

As mentioned you will have some small spots where the rust came off just keep the gun oiled and dry and they should be know problem.

Keep your powder dry
Bob

skeeter1
December 18, 2006, 08:21 PM
Naval jelly will remove the rust BLUE and all so unless you want to spend $ on a blueing job NO NAVAL JELLY.

I'll defer to RwBeV. Sounds to me like he knows what he's talking about. I've never tried naval jelly on a firearm, only things like lawn tools. Ignore my previous suggestion.