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Old 02-17-11, 10:15 AM   #1
William D.
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I Want To Remove Rust, Yet Leave The Paint...Know Of Anything?

Hi all,


Now that I have the bike roadworthy,









I still have some work to do, however, I want to tackle this rust. The bike was originally blue and white, with pinstriping. I want to preserve this if at all possible. Original patina only happens once. While I have no issues with repainting it, it's a last resort, only if most of the original paint cannot be saved. My main concern would be finding the decals, any places you folks know of where I may be able to look?

A few people have pointed me towards this product: www.safestrustremover.com which, while it appears it will fit the bill perfectly, is a bit expensive ($25/gal+shipping.)

Does anyone know of any other products that are cheaper that would do the same job? I have no problem buying the product above and using it, but, hey, a penny saved is a penny earned.

Thank you all,

William D.
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Old 02-17-11, 10:50 AM   #2
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Vinegar. It works. It is cheap and safe.Take the bike apart, then submerge the frame & parts for 24 hours or so, wash them off with water then vigorously wipe down with a rag. Blow off everything with compressed air to keep it from rusting up immediately. Hasn't damaged the paint on anything I've used it on. Don't get it in your eyes.
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Old 02-17-11, 12:15 PM   #3
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.3% oxalic acid solution. it's found in hardware stores as "wood bleach", but can also be found online. basically dilute it to that particular solution and soak the frame (clean and devoid of any wax) for several days, lightly rubbing off the rust every so often. once the rust is gone, frame saver and wax the frame.

where I bought my oxalic acid: http://www.vandykestaxidermy.com/Default.aspx
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Old 02-17-11, 12:18 PM   #4
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oh, and something big enough to soak the frame... i basically arranged some cinder blocks in a square and lined it with a tarp and plastic sheeting.
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Old 02-17-11, 12:41 PM   #5
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What do you guys do afterwards? Wax? Polish? Good to go? Then if it gets dirty, can I use ____ to clean it (Windex?) then re-apply wax?

Just wondering cause I'm thinking of a project this summer that involves a rusty frame as well.
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Old 02-20-11, 11:08 PM   #6
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Hi all, sorry for the delay in getting back to you.



I decided to try the vinegar approach first, since I have vinegar here, and it would be the easiest route. (Simply pour some vinegar in a bucket, and drop parts in)


It works rather well, but I do have a question before I dedicate this method to removing the rust on the bike. How does the vinegar affect the paint? I don't want it to wipe it down to bare metal, if it does that, I might as well go find someone who has a sandblaster they will let me use.
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Old 02-20-11, 11:17 PM   #7
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It never damaged any paint on the frames I put in it. You should test it first, though. Maybe submerge just the drop outs?
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Old 02-21-11, 09:55 PM   #8
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You'll have to forgive me for not being fully up to speed with bicycle parts, but, the dropouts are the little "hooks" that the wheels slide onto, before the bolts are tightened, correct?


Unfortunately, those are not removable, they are built into the frame itself. I'll likely try the "package tray" first, and take some photos of it in case it does go wrong. That part is so rusty, I really haven't much to lose. The issue I have run into, is the fact that I have to lightly sand the metal with #0000 steel wool to remove the rust from the surface. The vinegar "loosens" it, but it doesn't dissolve it. That simple act of gently polishing/buffing/sanding/etc. us what I'm worried about, as far as it wiping the paint with the rust, if the vinegar doesn't dissolve it.
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Old 02-21-11, 11:46 PM   #9
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Use the oxalic acid, it'll do the job just fine. Wrap the frame in rags and soak the rags with the OA solution.

I think it's awesome you're doing this. So many people would have just thrown it on the scrap heap. There's nothing terribly rare or valuable about it, but it's obviously found its way into a little corner of your heart. That's what it's all about.
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Old 02-22-11, 12:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMP View Post
oh, and something big enough to soak the frame... i basically arranged some cinder blocks in a square and lined it with a tarp and plastic sheeting.
Another option would be to get a bike box and cut out one side and line it with tarp.

If you go the Oxalic Acid route, pick up some baking soda to neutralize the solution after your done with the soak.
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Old 02-22-11, 09:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Blight View Post
Use the oxalic acid, it'll do the job just fine. Wrap the frame in rags and soak the rags with the OA solution.

I think it's awesome you're doing this. So many people would have just thrown it on the scrap heap. There's nothing terribly rare or valuable about it, but it's obviously found its way into a little corner of your heart. That's what it's all about.
Indeed it has. I've always liked these old bicycles, but I never thought I'd own one. Granted, if this was for sale for $100 at a flea market, I would have looked it over, and went on about my business. The thing about this one is, I "saved" it. With most any other bike, I wouldn't know anything about it, except who owned it before me, and where my story picks up. With this one, I know nearly all of it. I know it was used for a few years, then put away in a shed. 50 years later, I come in, and find it under a bunch of burlap sacks. The shed will be leveled this summer, so it would have been destroyed in the process. Granted, it was in rough shape when I got it, but the chrome polished up so nice, I figured, "Well, why not?" And here I am.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningPirate View Post
Another option would be to get a bike box and cut out one side and line it with tarp.

If you go the Oxalic Acid route, pick up some baking soda to neutralize the solution after your done with the soak.
I've been reading a lot of posts with people saying to avoid the oxalic acid if the parts are painted. The last thing I want to do is completely strip a part of it on accident, because then the entire bike would need to be repainted to match, and that would ruin the "original" look.
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Old 02-22-11, 11:14 AM   #12
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^^^


Awesome!! Loved reading that (the first part) Really neat looking bike too.

andy
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Old 02-25-11, 09:11 AM   #13
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Well, the vinegar is a no-go. I've had it sitting in the underside of the package tray (figured, if it wiped the paint off here, at least no one would notice) for 2 days, and, while it is working on the rust, unfortunately, the force needed to remove the rust (just gentle brushing with a soft toothbrush) is removing some of the paint as well. Oxalic acid is the other method, but people say not to use it with painted surfaces. Have any of you tried this on a frame, and it kept the paint intact? I mean, if this doesn't work, my only other options are the safestreustremoval product, and taking it down to bare metal, and spray painting it. I'd hate to do that, but, if these products wipe out the paint as well, it's the only route left to take.


Is this the proper oxalic acid to use?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Oxalic-Acid-Wood...ht_1195wt_1139

From what I've read, I need to dilute it to .2-.3% of the volume / weight of the water. I've never been a math whiz, but if I just do this in a 5 gallon bucket, and simply soak rags in the solution and wrap them around the frame (the product appears to work in a few hours or less?) I shouldn't need more than an ounce or so to make it the proper dilution (.2%) Actually, likely under an ounce. Would I be correct there, or no?
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Old 02-25-11, 05:56 PM   #14
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The concentration isn't that important. The more you dissolve in the water, the faster the process but a couple of ounces in a 5 gallon bucket of water is fine.
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Old 10-19-15, 08:41 AM   #15
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Thank you for a very informative thread. I've been considering trying to get the rust off the frame of my 1961 Schwinn Co-Ed bicycle. I dug this bike out of my shed to use for transportation during my kayak trips. Since I kayak alone (not a good practice), I either have to paddle upstream and then down, or the other way around. With a bike, I can chain it to a tree where I want to finish my kayak trip and then drive with the kayak to my put in location. Then paddle downstream, chain up the kayak, pedal back to the car and then drive back to pick up the kayak. Anyway, at first, I just wanted to get the bike functioning again. But in the process, I've fallen in love with the bike and have found myself out of the kayak and riding and restoring the bike instead.
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Old 10-19-15, 08:53 AM   #16
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Spend $2 on a can of Barkeeper's Friend cleanser. Use with a wet sponge. It is non abrasive OA cleaner.
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Old 10-19-15, 12:00 PM   #17
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This stuff is totally terrific: Evapo-Rust™ - Lee Valley Tools

Process:

1. Sheet of flexible plastic (like a plastic bag), big enough that the frame will be completely within the edges, plus some more
2. Something like sand, that the frame can be pressed into. You'll likely need this to be at least 4" deep. Lay the plastic on top, and then press the frame down into it. Be careful as the idea is to have the plastic be liquid tight so the fluid doesn't leak out. Preferably you want the entire frame 'below grade' or you'll have to do this in two steps, one for each side. Now, with the frame lying/laying (whichever) in it's cozy valley, poor in the Evap-o-rust. Follow the instructions on the can.
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Old 10-19-15, 01:01 PM   #18
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Just dip some papertowels in evaporust, wrap em on the frame or where there is rust, and cover the bike in a trash bag to prevent the liquid from drying out. Make sure the paper towel is touching the frame, so no air bubbles.

I haven't tried the kiddie pool method, it seems like a lot of evaporust would be needed, even when displacing volume with sand/rocks.
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Old 10-19-15, 03:22 PM   #19
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google reverse electroplating for another good option. OA can be had inexpensively on ebay too. I have about ten lifetime supplies of it
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Old 10-19-15, 05:20 PM   #20
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If the metal under the paint is rusty, then the paint is going to come off too. Not sure, but that sounds like the problem you were having with vinegar. If that is the problem, whether you use electrolysis or any one of the variety of chemical rust removers, you will get the same result.
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Old 10-20-15, 06:11 AM   #21
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The guys at CABE have shown remarkable results

Oxalic acid bath before and afters

I have not tried this myself, but the photos are amazing.

Cabers (Classic Anqtique Bicycle Exchange) find a lot of antique bikes with lots of rust, much more so than C & V. and they seem to have taken rust removal to an art.

I have used 0000 steel wool and Barkeepers Friend (main ingredient Oxalyic Acid) with excellent results on chrome whees but wouldn't recommend this method on painted surfaces.
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