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Rust questions

Old 06-22-17, 03:59 AM
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toyotaduck
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Rust questions

Hi! I am new to bicycle repair and restoration. I recently picked up a 70's Raleigh Sprite on Craigslist and would like to preserve it as it is. It has some rust on the frame but it doesn't look serious. What can I clean it with to get all the rust but not hurt the paint? After it is ready I plan to clear coat it and get it ready to ride. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 06-22-17, 04:04 AM
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Lots of previous threads on here about rust removal.

But, many here have had good luck using Oxalic Acid

Last edited by cb400bill; 06-22-17 at 04:33 AM.
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Old 06-22-17, 04:10 AM
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Your order of what to do is out of order. Before going for cosmetics, make sure the bike fits you and rides well. If both of those requirements are met, then make it look good. You can learn a bit more about this by looking through Test Riding A Vintage Bicycle.

Don't do what I did the first time I built up an old bike. It was too big for me, had a bent frame/fork and I went to the trouble to paint the bike before I learned that it did not fit or ride worth beans.
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Old 06-22-17, 06:43 AM
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I was impressed with Evaporust and used it on a pair of rusty forks, it's best to submerge the piece, however a frame would require several gallons, there are creative ways to submerge a frame. You can also wrap portions, though I'm not sure how well that would work. A gallon is approximately $20.





I don't have any good before pictures unfortunately but there was quite an improvement. It won't get rid of pitting, and I'm not sure how well it works with paint, it didn't hurt the paint on the forks, but then there wasn't much rust on the painted areas, rust was mainly on the chrome bits. I have used Evaporust mainly on small parts.
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Old 06-22-17, 06:48 AM
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In my experience, oxalic acid and Evapo-Rust are similarly effective. I've never had an issue with either harming paint. Oxalic acid will remove some black oxide finishes, though, like you'd find on some headsets and Allen wrenches.

Oxalic acid is much cheaper than Evapo-Rust. I can pick up a small tub of oxalic acid crystals, sold as wood bleach at my local hardware store, for about eight bucks. Mix it with a kiddie pool full of water and you're good to go.

But if you're only dealing with spot rust, you may not need to go for full submersion.
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Old 06-22-17, 08:21 AM
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Barkeepers Friend, $1.99, on a wet sponge. Non abrasive cleaner.
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Old 06-22-17, 07:06 PM
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Thanks! I will probably try the less expensive oxalic acid first. Oddly enough it doesn't matter if the bikes fits me or not, I just want it to be useful again-to someone if not me. Thanks again!
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Old 06-23-17, 03:13 AM
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Does anyone have an experience on stripping sections of painted frame back to metal? Would you have to apply a chrome layer? Is it easy?! Just for the little welding decals im thinking...
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