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Oxalic acid question

Old 04-01-08, 11:23 PM
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Rocksteady
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Oxalic acid question

Hi everyone....

Im interested in trying out an Oxalic acid bath to de-rust a bunch of bike parts and had some questons...

I found this stuff at Home depot -
https://www.behr.com/behrx/act/view/p...ioners&catId=3

Has anyone used this stuff? If so did you use it at full strength, and how long did it take?

thanks
RS
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Old 04-02-08, 12:20 AM
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I don't know what that stuff is but that big jug is probably costly. Go to a smaller hardware store and look for Wood Bleach crystals. Comes in smaller containers in the paint section and costs +/- $7. I use the type made by Dap and got it at an Ace or True Value store (can't remember which place). Last I looked Home Depot didn't have it. Use a pinch at a time with some warm water, and using some gloves when handling it is suggested by a number of us here.

Also, there are plenty of threads on oxalic acid so a Bike Forums search should turn some up for more info.

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Old 04-02-08, 12:26 AM
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I could never find it at Home Depot or Lowes. The Behr stuff might contain oxalic acid but its surely not 100% oxalic acid like the wood bleach crystals are.

I went to a local True Value and found wood bleach crystals in a small container for $7 (as above). The small container goes a long way when used sparingly.
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Old 04-02-08, 02:59 AM
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I use the premixed stuff (someone gave me a couple of gallons) I used full strength on an old chain...cowabunga! cleaned that sucker right up. On some smaller pieces I cut it 50% with water and it did a good job.

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Old 04-02-08, 05:54 AM
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thanks for the feed back -

The Behr solution is only about 5-10 % Oxalic. I might have o resort to it if I cant find the other stuff.

Has anyone used citric acid to de-rust stuff? Ive used it on old cast iron woodworking tools to great effect. I leaves a layer of gray stuff that needs to scrubbed off though...
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Old 04-02-08, 11:10 AM
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You can buy the crystals on ebay as a last resort, pretty cheep too.
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Old 04-02-08, 11:13 AM
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Check your local paint shop for OA in crystal form. I found it at a Sherwin-Williams store.
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Old 04-02-08, 11:15 AM
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Rockler Woodworking stores have it cheap, too. Any lumber/woodworking store should have it. It removes black rings from wood without changing the natural color of the wood.
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Old 04-02-08, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by dwoloz View Post
I went to a local True Value and found wood bleach crystals in a small container for $7 (as above). The small container goes a long way when used sparingly.
+1. I have had a giant tub in the basement going on one container of DAP wood bleach for weeks. I'm starting to run out of rusty stuff.

It's a bit slow going, but the results can be amazing. Advice I've gotten on this forum has been excellent:

* Don't mix it too strong (like I was doing, a whole 10-oz tub of DAP in three gallons of water--my parts were encrusting with nasty yellow-green precipitate-stuff (converted rust, i assume), which, when I laboriously scrubbed/wire wheeled off, hid quite a lot of un-eaten rust).

* It takes a while (like a few days, sometimes) to eat all the rust, depending on the rustiness. Whatever strength you use, REGULARLY (like at least once every twelve hours), take the part out of the solution and scrub with a (non-metallic) scrub brush or other softer-than-chrome abrasive to get rid of the nasty yellow-green stuff, free loosened rust, and loosen other rust. This dramatically speeds the process, and you get to see the progress you make toward lovely shininess. It's fun!

* I haven't done this yet, but I'm a believer. When you're done de-rusting, give the part a thorough scrubby bath in regular soapy water. Then use a base agent (i.e. baking soda) ... I'm not sure how, dissolved in water? to neutralize any remaining OA hiding in crevices and inside the part. Rinse, dry thoroughly, then wax the bejeezus out of it or otherwise use some sort of preservation agent. Certain metal polishes, for example, promise both to clean and protect afterward.

Tonight I pulled a Schwinn tubular rim out of the bath. It had been sort of, I dunno, rust colored when it went into the OA bath. But I pulled it out, wiped it off, and, as I was inspecting it, it caught the light and almost blinded me. Amazing!

My $.02. Thanks to Old Fat Guy and a cast of C&V thousands for my Oxalic Acid orientation.

Eric
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Old 04-02-08, 09:11 PM
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You can always pick some up with your next shipment of books. Does amazon still sell books?

https://www.amazon.com/Dap-65072-12OZ.../dp/B0001N9YDK
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Old 04-02-08, 09:38 PM
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I've bought and used that stuff from home depot. It works great I was using about 1/10th of that container in a 5 gallon jug of water and it did the trick beautifully. Next time I'm buying the crystals.
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Old 04-02-08, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Roll-Monroe-Co View Post
* I haven't done this yet, but I'm a believer. When you're done de-rusting, give the part a thorough scrubby bath in regular soapy water. Then use a base agent (i.e. baking soda) ... I'm not sure how, dissolved in water? to neutralize any remaining OA hiding in crevices and inside the part. Rinse, dry thoroughly, then wax the bejeezus out of it or otherwise use some sort of preservation agent. Certain metal polishes, for example, promise both to clean and protect afterward.
I'm a believer as well however never done it myself. It seems to me that parts taken out of an OA bath without a post clean water wash can turn chalky (or even yellow) once removed. A wash gets off all the residual OA which seems like a good idea

I have an ultrasonic cleaner on its way and am excited to start testing OA with the cleaner
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Old 04-02-08, 10:38 PM
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Thanks guys for the input -

I got a small container or crystals at the local hardware store and I'm eager to try it out. Neturalizing the acid post de-rusting is the part I'm most concerned about esp on the inside of the parts.
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Old 04-03-08, 09:04 AM
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baking soda bath
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Old 04-03-08, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by g-funk View Post
baking soda bath
Not a bad idea at all. Have you done this?

I think what seems best is: highly diluted oxalic acid -> baking soda -> water -> dry well
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Old 04-03-08, 05:08 PM
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yep, I do that with all my baths including the ones I put my kids in!!!!!
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Old 04-03-08, 05:16 PM
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You can find it at Wal-mart or Ace hardware for sure in powder form. I use DAP Wood Bleach (Oxalic Acid). Been using it since Quik Glo went out of business and had to find a replacement product. Less hrs spent tying to get that chrome back into shape since using Wood Bleach. You will have to buff and polish the items after use as it leaves behind a yellow residue. Even after the water back. I will have to try the baking soda idea. I have soaked entire rusted frames in the mixture. I was informed of this product by a collector\restorer on VintageBMX.

Good stuff.

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Here is link if you are interested:
https://www.vintagebmx.com/community/...hl=oxalic+acid
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Old 04-03-08, 06:20 PM
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Has anybody tried CLR?

https://www.walgreens.com/store/produ...1765587#review
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Old 04-03-08, 08:51 PM
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Remember to use safety goggles as well as gloves eh?
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Old 04-03-08, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by g-funk View Post
yep, I do that with all my baths including the ones I put my kids in!!!!!
I hate it when I forget to run the kids through the neutralizing bath. Only years later do you notice the pitting in their surfaces. Or is that acne?
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Old 04-07-08, 04:59 AM
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Another method:
Use half muriatic acid, half water. You can buy this at Home Depot for $3 a gallon.
Do it outside.
Don't breathe the fumes.
Put the parts in the mix, and let them in for 5 minutes. Rub them with #0000 steel wool to clean any remains, and rinse in water for 1 minute.
Dry them, and prime them right away.
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Old 04-07-08, 08:48 AM
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The wife and I wandered around Saturday tried Canadian Tire TSC Home hardware no luck everybody new what it was but none in stock. I did see the muriatic acid. Is that as good? And can you do frames and painted parts?
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Old 04-07-08, 09:29 AM
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Im also wondering if an acid bath will get rust thats under paint. My raleigh sees to have several tiny mounds of rust that appear to be under the paint. Also, will acid and neutralizing baths get at the inside of the top tube? As far as I can tell there is no point of entry into the TT?

thanks for the input

RS
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Old 04-07-08, 02:06 PM
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I've never seen a bike whose top tube cannot be accessed through either the seat tube or the head tube, or, most likely, both. Of course, you'll need to disassemble the bike.

Muriatic acid: Yikes! That stuff is scary. With any of this stuff, you need to be VERY CAREFUL about ventilation. Watch out for powdered acid blowing through the air and the steam if you are using hot water. Also, unless anyone has experience, don't assume that some of these things won't melt your pain clean off. Phosphoric acid (e.g., in Naval Jelly) does that.
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Old 04-07-08, 02:14 PM
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You can buy it at marine hardware stores, e.g., Oxalic acid is used to clean and brighten teak.
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