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Old October 7, 2018, 02:31 PM   #1
old fart
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removing smooth rust?

my step dad has given me his old model 54 sears 30-30, he can no longer hunt with his age and health. he told me only 3 boxes of ammo has been through it since he got it new many years ago. he only used wd40 on it all the years he had it and it jelled inside the magazine tube and action as he hasn't used it in several years. i got the jelled stuff out and it had surface rust on the outside magazine tube and just a little on the barrel but tube was the worst. i used flitz and a soft cloth followed by oil and 0000 steel wool. now i can run my fingers over the tube and everything is smooth but i can still see rust where it was. is there anythng i can use to remove this rust? is it as good as it can get without removing bluing? to close my eyes and run my finger it feels glassy smooth but rust can still be seen if you look. i don't want to reblue, the few spots of barrel rust are gone and left shiny spots and i'm good with that, just can't figure the tube out. thanks for any help.
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Old October 7, 2018, 02:51 PM   #2
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You might try some Kroil with the steel wool and rub lightly.
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Old October 7, 2018, 02:57 PM   #3
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Use rust converter. It de-oxidizes rust. It turns rust into a nice black. If it is already smooth, it should look pretty decent.

https://www.amazon.com/Henkel-Corp-1...rust+converter
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Old October 7, 2018, 04:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onward Allusion View Post
Use rust converter. It de-oxidizes rust. It turns rust into a nice black. If it is already smooth, it should look pretty decent.

https://www.amazon.com/Henkel-Corp-1...rust+converter
Extend will not hold up well unless it has a coating of something applied over it.
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Old October 7, 2018, 05:39 PM   #5
4V50 Gary
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No steel wool.

Just put on coconut oil and a copper penny. Scrape it off.

To remove the copper, wipe with a Hoppe soaked cloth.

That Henkel stuff looks interesting, but remember this, your blue won't be consistent.
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Old October 7, 2018, 06:28 PM   #6
HiBC
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The link will get you to the "Carding brush" section of the Brownells catalogue.

Please consider them an option,rather than a recommendation.I can't predict your results.

I've done some pretty nice rust bluing in a tank full of boiling water.After the parts are polished and degreased,they go in the boiling water.Then they are pulled out,and swabbed with a solution,then back in the boiling water.My first experiments were with "Mark Lee " Muzzle loader browning solution.
The point is,my workpiece then took on a uniform coat of rust.The "blue" happens when the rust is carded off with the fine,soft stainless brush.
In my case,noKroil,penetrating oil,etc was used.
I don't know for sure,but your "smooth rust" may card off to as natural of a patina as you will get.

Consider you can take the finest,deepest,most beautiful old school bluing and strip it off (ruin it) by a number of methods. Naval jelly,abrasive polishing,etc.
Thats starting over. Carding rust to blue is a naturalpart of rust bluing.

Take that for what its worth, and gently proceed your own way.For myself,I would not think of "removing "the rust,I'd think of carding it to blue.

Any etching/pitting of the surface will remain.Short of polishing it out and a reblue,thats just part of the historical patina.IMO,think"patina"

Gary's "rubbing with copper" is a tried and true method.

Turpentine doesn't exactly dissolve beeswax.It does soften it to sludge.I wanted to "seal" my new bluing with something after carding it.The beeswax/turpentine idea came to me. I rubbed it in warm,lightly wiped the excess,and let the turp dry out of it. I'm happy.

https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-t...-prod6732.aspx

Just for clarity,I'm NOT suggesting you reblue. I'm pointing out that the rust you have is not so different than the rust stage of bluing.I suggest carding the rust rather than removing it.

It might be hard to comprehend if you have not seen it. My rifle came out of the tank red-brown rust.I carded it to a nice blue.You card off the red-brown.That leaves the lightly burnished "roots" of the rust,which is the blue

Last edited by HiBC; October 8, 2018 at 01:12 AM.
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Old October 7, 2018, 07:43 PM   #7
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44-40 blue and it will look great, you do not have to do the hole think it will blend in nicely !!
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Old October 8, 2018, 10:37 AM   #8
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I'm guessing 44-40 is cold blue. That's what I would do also!
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Old October 8, 2018, 04:14 PM   #9
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Once the bluing is stained by rust, you cannot get rid of the mottling without rebluing. Just keep it oiled and shoot it every now and then to remind yourself to oil it.

44-40 is cold blue, and crappy cold blue at that. I used to use 44-40 to discolor new bluing on old guns to make them look old again. Keep it far away from your rifle.
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Old October 10, 2018, 01:24 AM   #10
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I can't convince myself to become anti-steel wool. I've been using 0000 steel wool, mineral oil, and a light hand for years for surface rust removal. I haven't seen a finish yet that has been fragile enough to become boogered up from such use. I'm sure other oils work fine, but that's the way I was taught. And, I like the clearness of it. When the floating oil becomes too dirty to monitor progress, I wipe and replace with fresh clear oil until it quits turning brown. Rust removal shouldn't be a hurry up and fast kinda ordeal- that's where boogered finishes come from. But, that's just my $.02.
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Old October 10, 2018, 07:48 PM   #11
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If you are going to use the copper penny method make sure you're using a Pre 1982 penny. Pennies were phased over to zinc with copper plating in 1982.
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Old October 11, 2018, 03:21 PM   #12
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I'm not sure what to say about people who say no steel wool/oil on rusted steel or the ones who tell people to use steel wool on stocks.

* Using oil and steel wool to remove rust is similar to carding, used when rust bluing steel, so I don't see how it is going to harm the steel. The gun steel is harder than the steel wool, anyway. Can you scratch bluing with steel wool? Sure, but not if you use the right grade and proper technique.

* Steel wool used on wood will crumble as it snags small slivers, leaving behind little steel slivers in the grain of the wood. When you whisker/wet sand the wood, the steel reacts with the tannin in the wood and leaves a small black spot. After the finish is applied, the reaction continues, leaving small "freckles" or "measles" in your beautiful newly finished stock.
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Old October 11, 2018, 08:08 PM   #13
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While steel wool seems soft and fluffy, it's still steel which is fairly hard. I'm surprised there is no such thing as stainless steel wood which would be softer. For this type of rust removal I prefer bronze wool and oil. I also like it for carding rust bluing and it doesn't contain any oil.
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Old October 12, 2018, 12:11 PM   #14
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"...without removing bluing..." Anything that chemically removes rust will also remove bluing.
It sounds like you're fighting 'patina' vs rust. Patina is oxidization and is best left alone. Jelled WD should come off with regular solvent. Might take several applications of something like Hoppe's #9. Or just take off the stock and drop the whole thing in a tub of mineral spirits for a few hours then wipe off the gunk(that you will not dump down a drain).
Flitz is a metal polish not a rust remover.
"...Can you scratch bluing with steel wool..." Never have myself. Surface rust comes off with no damage to the finish.
Stainless steel wood(snicker) isn't softer than 0000 steel wool. And 0000 steel wool is expensive enough these days, never mind how much more expensive SS wool would be.
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Old October 12, 2018, 05:05 PM   #15
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Rust is a form of oxide. You have a couple of options here. If you can take the gun down and have a long enough container, degrease the tube with a strong solvent and then boil it in distilled water. This may convert the red rust to black magnetite which is what bluing is. However, older rust that has developed pits underneath it won't respond well. It needs to be removed to prevent it from penetrating the steel further. I recommend a product called Evaporust. It is a chelating compound rather than the usual acids and reacts to turn the rust black and loose and it then brushes out. Polish afterward. It will leave the surface slightly matte. Polishes on cloth patches should handle it. Bronze wool or a 100% copper scrubbing pad, like Chore Boy, would be preferable to steel wool. Stainless steel wool may be OK because the particles it leaves behind should resist rusting, but I'd have to try it before I was sold on it.

Regarding steel wool, it can leave traces of iron behind that initiate new rust if you don't get it perfectly cleaned off. That's really the only drawback to it, and careful cleaning will prevent the problem.
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Old October 12, 2018, 09:36 PM   #16
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I would never ever use steel wool on a barrel or any visible gun part, it will leave scratches in the metal. I do use a Stainless Steel wool pad tho. SS won't cut the metal, but it'll cut the rust. I get mine from a local hardware store for $1. At local gun shows, they sell the same ones for $5 - $10 ea.
But if the metal is glass slick, it's the best ur going to get it. Be thankful it isn't pitted. If you didn't rub the bluing off, I'd just keep some high heat oil on it, you should be fine.
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Old October 13, 2018, 10:19 AM   #17
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Why do anything more just oil it, rub it till the cloth is clean and shoot it . Vintage guns have character
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