Cleanning Rusty Bolts

Joined
Jul 15, 2018
Messages
677
Location
illinois, usa
For years, I been cleaning the rust or oxidation from bolts using a wire wheel. My lungs are getting so sensitive that I been wearing a 1/2 mask respirator/ face shield to do the cleaning but it seems the dust on the air is bothering me.

I need find to find a much cleaner way of doing the work and the idea of a tumbler come to mind. I have a small shed and can run a power cord to the tumbler when need.

I know that the best solution is to just buy new bolts but like to see what you guys think!
 

Attachments

  • IMG_7902.JPG
    IMG_7902.JPG
    65.1 KB · Views: 24

Astro14

$100 Site Donor
Staff member
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
13,737
Location
Virginia Beach
Evaporust.

Northern Tool, Home Depot, should have it.

Throw the bolts in a small bucket (like a one liter paint container) of Evaporust, come back in a couple hours. Non toxic. No strong smell. Works well. Cover the container when not in use, and it can be used for a while, lots of bolts, before it becomes inert.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2005
Messages
18,880
Location
Upper Midwest
I have one of those tumblers and they work great, but cleaning the fasteners (or other parts) is just the first step. The problem is that without any plating the base steel will rust much faster this time than it did when they were new.
 

LazyDog

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 15, 2018
Messages
677
Location
illinois, usa
I have one of those tumblers and they work great, but cleaning the fasteners (or other parts) is just the first step. The problem is that without any plating the base steel will rust much faster this time than it did when they were new.
The main reason I clean mine is the treads, like to avoid broken bolts and bad threads. Once I clean them, I soak the threads in corrosion HD to prevent future problems.
 
Joined
Oct 31, 2017
Messages
2,786
Location
California
Any acidic solution will chemically remove rust. Phosphoric acid (Coca/Cola contains enough of it , cheers!), acetic acid (vinegar is strong enough), citric acid (lemon juice is strong enough), hydrochloric acid (murstic acid is strong enough), and sulfuric acid. Mineral acids will strip zinc off coated steel fasteners. It would have to be an unreplaceable fastener for me to refurbish it.
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2015
Messages
1,304
Location
Arizona
get a set of thread chasers on Amazon and a can of wd-40 and work the threads clean. Other alternative would be an ultrasonic cleaner and some vinegar. Cabelas has some nice ones with cycle times. those tumblers may not get deep into the threads as the media isnt fine enough
 

Astro14

$100 Site Donor
Staff member
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
13,737
Location
Virginia Beach
I keep an aerosol spray can of pure zinc primer on hand. If I wire wheel a fastener, it gets a coat of zinc primer.

Not as good as plating on a new fastener, perhaps, but it prevents subsequent corrosion.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
7
Location
ME
I keep an aerosol spray can of pure zinc primer on hand. If I wire wheel a fastener, it gets a coat of zinc primer.

Not as good as plating on a new fastener, perhaps, but it prevents subsequent corrosion.
What brand is your go to for the zinc primer?

I like to use evaporust but it doesn't leave the metal with much future protection from rust.
 

Astro14

$100 Site Donor
Staff member
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
13,737
Location
Virginia Beach
Joined
Dec 26, 2005
Messages
18,880
Location
Upper Midwest
I use this:


Available at just about any hardware store. We live near the water. Occasionally the salt water comes up our street (storms, king tide, etc.) so rust is an issue for us. This works pretty well. Metal primer and paint works well, too, but is a lot of work for a fastener. One hit with the zinc galvanizing compound, which dries in a minute, and it goes back on.
Thanks for the recommendation.
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
26,830
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
I go through an enormous amount of bolts of all types and keep 5 large cases on hand, I got these a couple of days ago because they have a better coating, heavy hex which is flat on top and works better with magnetic sockets they are made by FMI (Femico) which are not far off the quality of a very high priced US major brand. Very nice and well worth the $100, no shipping or tax outside of CA. Single size refills are available.
I keep an assortment of M7x1 also for single bolt applications (I wouldnt mix a 7 in with a bunch of 6 thats asking for a fiasco) and use them instead of M6x1 helicoils or inserts, the M7 tap is much smaller than a M6 coil tap.

 

Attachments

  • FEMICO-Catalog121208.pdf
    7.5 MB · Views: 3
Joined
Mar 30, 2015
Messages
7,031
Location
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
If your heart is set on tumbling, get yourself a wet tumbler that will allow you to tumble with Stainless Steel pins. They clean much better, and last far longer than any dry tumbling media will. I've wet tumbled some of the grungiest, (is that even a word?), rifle brass in Stainless Steel media, and it came out looking like new. If you deprime before you tumble, the primer pockets come out spotless as well. It will do wonders on rusty bolts, nuts, and fasteners. And there is zero dust when you empty the unit.
 
Top