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TIPS ON BEATING RUST

Some of the following tips were gleaned from various sources, while some are of my own invention.

  1. Removing rust from chrome plated parts.
    I have removed what seems like a ton of rust from old bikes. The best method I have found is to use 0000 steel wool and Brasso. Those of you who are army vets will know about Brasso. Both items can be found in most hardware stores. I know a lot of people swear by using aluminum foil but that doesn't get into small places and doesn't work without elbow grease. Brasso as well as some chrome cleaners attack the rust by nature of their chemistry. Steel wool just speeds up the process. A note of caution: Products e.g., Naval Jelly work fine on rusted steel parts but if you apply it to chrome plated parts it may turn the chrome plating black. Its best to avoid acids for derusting chrome.

  2. More rust removal tips.
    Another method for derusting small parts is to use Oxalic acid. This chemical will remove rust but will not harm the base material. It is also safe in the concentration required. I buy the acid in chrystaline form from a vendor in "Hemmings Motor News". A tablespoon mixed in a pint of water is sufficient. Use only glass or plastic containers. Emerse the part in the acid, cover the container and forget it for a couple of days, then remove the part and wash thoroughly with hot water and soap. You will see that a yellow substance settles to the bottom of the container. Don't discard the mixture but you may want to decant the clear fluid and transfer it to another container after a couple of uses.

  3. Preventing rust/oxidation binding.
    Oxidation often forms on threads of components such as pedals and freewheel hubs. Other problem areas are the seat post, the stem, and stem binder. Oxidation on aluminum and steel interfaces can be prevented by the use of a molybdenum disulfide compound such as Never Seize, available in most automotive parts stores. I prefer it to grease since it stays in place and is not affected by water or temperature. A little goes a long way so use it sparingly.

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    Last revised 07/23/99
    E-mail me at: fredhaj@aol.com