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Old 02-12-2008, 12:09 PM
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Muriatic Acid Rust Removal

OK I KNOW this subject has been beat to death! BUT hear me out, and we can go from there.
I just purchased a small old knee mill (WWII vintage). I have taken it all apart and had all the major parts hot tanked. This has removed all the paint and grease/oil from all the places I couldn’t have hoped to reach. BUT it has allowed a surface rust to form on all the parts. SO I need to remove this rust and re-paint. To do this I have decided to try the muriatic acid method! Now before everybody started telling me they have some better way, let me state my goals and the obvious problems! This mill is broken down to about 6 LARGE parts …i.e. they are large, and being cast iron weight a ton! So I can’t move them around with easy nor do I have a large “tank” to submerge them. ALSO I would like to get this mill back together in short order, so I can’t wait days for some rust removal process to work. And lastly I’ve spent most of my money get this mill, so coughing up $$ for some semi-exotic rust removal system just isn’t going to happen! I have reviewed most (I can’t say all) the common rust removal receipts, and have determined that the use of muriatic acid “appears” to be the fastest/cheapest way! It does have some “limiting” factors, but nothing that can’t be worked through. AND that is why I’m posting here now, although I’ve searched the internet for a way to use muriatic acid to remove rust on metal, I haven’t found a totally clear picture as how to do this! SO with you guy’s input I would like to run that down. I’ll state what I know and the steps I plan to take, and if you can add anything where you feel it is appropriate, please feel free!!!
1. In a well ventilated area, using rubber gloves and eye protection, I use muriatic acid reduced 10 to 1 (acid to water) in a spray bottle.
2. I spray the part and with a non-steel brush lightly brush the wetted parts. Rise with water and re-do if rust remains.
3. Once the part is rust free, neutralize remaining acid on the part with baking soda and water.
4. Towel dry and heat part to drive out remaining moisture.
5. Finally prime and paint.

…Now obviously I can do this to only one or two smaller parts at a time. I don’t plan to do this around any of my shop tools, and when this is over I plan to give the remaining muriatic acid to my neighbor for his pool! …SO can anybody WITH experience add anymore to my procedure? …OR a totally different way that’s faster/cheaper? THX! …Mark
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