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Old 08-19-08, 08:13 AM   #1
kg164
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clean with steel wool

Question

I just acquired a '78 Fuji with lots of grime on it. I've found that hitting the steel parts with steel wool brings the shine right up and removes specks of grime at the same time. I have tried it on the chain rings, rims, spokes, derailers, seat post, etc. Is this advisable, and if so should i rub a thin layer of oil on afterwards?
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Old 08-19-08, 08:18 AM   #2
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1) No.

2) Yes.


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Old 08-19-08, 08:21 AM   #3
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If you want to remove grime spray a coat of WD-40 on the stuff, give it a minute to soak, and wipe with a rag. Works wonders and it won't take off protective finishes.
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Old 08-19-08, 08:26 AM   #4
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JT

You say no to the wool. Is this because theres some sort of clear coat on the metal that will be removed?

Thanks,

kg
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Old 08-19-08, 08:31 AM   #5
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Steel parts won't have a coating but may be chrome on nickel plated so don't scrub too hard. Also, regular steel wool can leave small fragments on the parts which will rust and give you discolored spots in the future. Bronze wool or stainless steel wool are better because of this problem.

Yes, be sure to oil the cleaned surfaces afterwards or spray a clear lacquer.
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Old 08-19-08, 09:09 AM   #6
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"NEVERDULL", wadding polish is what you want.

Turn the pad frequently so that what is being removed

will not act as an abrasive to scratch the plating/paint.


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Old 08-19-08, 11:56 AM   #7
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Steel wool is too coarse foo! Yea it removes grimes but also clearcoat + paint.
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Old 08-19-08, 12:15 PM   #8
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Ok I this is something I have used for a long time you get SOS pads soak them the press the soap out let them dry completely use it to remove rust or polish aluminum, on aluminum after take some neverdll or mothers polish and it will look like chrome. The only steel wool that does this job is from those SOS pads why? I have no idea but it does only SOS not the other brands also. It will be like glass with no scratches give it a try and I'm sure you'll be surprised on how it looks after. By the way if it is clear coated or paint don't do it unless you want to remove the clear and polish it completely. If your skeptical find a scrap and give it a try you will like it.
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Old 08-19-08, 12:41 PM   #9
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I find a strong solution of 409+OxyClean does wonders on decades-old crud. I use one of those 3M scrubby kitchen sponges with the green "steel wool". Usually doesn't take more than a couple seconds of scrubbing on any of the difficult spots.
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Old 08-19-08, 03:11 PM   #10
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There are many grades of steel wool. Maybe SOS pads are an extra fine grade and also it could be the soap in there contains some phosphorus or some other chemical that works like a flux or pickling agent.

- Another thing that must be carefully considered in addition to abrasion is contamination. Fab shops that work with stainless steel go to great extremes to be sure no stainless steel gets scratched, rubbed or otherwise contacted by plain carbon steel. All regular steel wool is made from plain carbon steel. I have years experience with this and believe me you do not want to scratch stainless parts with steel wool. It will cause the surface to rust. It will look worse than plain steel left out in salt water after a period of time. Also, once it starts, the only way to stop it is an expensive electrolytic process using acid.
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Old 08-19-08, 03:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crank57 View Post
There are many grades of steel wool. Maybe SOS pads are an extra fine grade and also it could be the soap in there contains some phosphorus or some other chemical that works like a flux or pickling agent.

- Another thing that must be carefully considered in addition to abrasion is contamination. Fab shops that work with stainless steel go to great extremes to be sure no stainless steel gets scratched, rubbed or otherwise contacted by plain carbon steel. All regular steel wool is made from plain carbon steel. I have years experience with this and believe me you do not want to scratch stainless parts with steel wool. It will cause the surface to rust. It will look worse than plain steel left out in salt water after a period of time. Also, once it starts, the only way to stop it is an expensive electrolytic process using acid.
Never thought of it this way, I wouldn't use it on stainless steel either but all I do know is SOS pad steel wool sure works wonders to put a shine on aluminum with a follow up of a good aluminum polish. But the wool is finer than most thats for sure.
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Old 08-19-08, 04:28 PM   #12
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I doubt a '78 Fuji has much in the way of stainless steel parts on it.

Steel wool is fine for removing rust but is overkill for just grime; use a solvent for that.

Steel wool is bad on aluminum parts; most of them are anodized and the SW will take that off. It also doesn't leave the best finish on Al (IMHO).
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Old 08-19-08, 04:54 PM   #13
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Just some "fyi".....we use steel wool at the shop and purchase it by the roll. We have it mounted on a dispenser and GROUND it electrically. Ours come with a lite coating of rust inhibitor and can easily burn (it creates loadso'static sparks when unrolled). Burning steel wool is almost impossible to put out; short of total submersion.......
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