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Refurbishing tools #1: Calipers

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Blog entry by Mark Shymanski posted 04-22-2008 02:01 AM 634 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Refurbishing tools series Part 2: Photos of the finished calipers »

Well I finally had some time (and warm weather) to get into the shop this past weekend. I had inherited several hand tools from my Dad and I’ve finally decided to start cleaning them up. I think I’d mentioned my success with one of the #4 planes Dad had. I should take some pictures of it when I’ve got it all reassembled. This photo is of the set of three calipers he had. Dad was a welder and had these tools mostly for welding and I guess after he got sick some of the tools got neglected so were pretty rusty. I soaked these in citric acid solution and they came as clean as a whistle.

I’ve got anther #4 I’m going to clean up. I’ll take some before and after photos and post them here.

I seem to be having technical difficulties getting the pictures up…it seems the operator of my web page hasn’t a clue as to what he is doing ;-) Once I get him/me sorted out I’ll post the photos.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2



5 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2474 days


#1 posted 04-22-2008 02:57 AM

Hi Mark,

A blog showing the refurbishing a the plane would be nice, especially if the before pictures are included.

I am looking forward to seeing the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5111 posts in 2365 days


#2 posted 05-01-2008 05:15 AM

I will try to take some pictures as it develops, but I am probably going to put this project on the back burner while it is warm enough, here, to work in the shop. I’d already done a lot of removing the rust and grime by steel wool and sandpaper so the ‘before’ pictures I’d take now would be a bit misleading as to the state the planes were in initially.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View joey's profile

joey

396 posts in 2556 days


#3 posted 05-02-2008 02:03 AM

What is citric acid solution you used, if you could post the recipe that would be great. I have some calipers I need to clean also.

-- Joey~~Sabina, Ohio http://sleepydogwoodworking.blogspot.com/

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5111 posts in 2365 days


#4 posted 05-03-2008 09:21 PM

I mixed about 200 grams of citric acid (sold at pharmacies or organic food stores in bulk quantities) with about 5 litres of water. I’ve used it over and over again for several tools and it doesn’t seem to be diminishing in strength at all. I first read about this I think in FW but have read about it in various newsgroups elsewhere as well.

The trick is to rinse it thoroughly and dry thoroughly after the cleaning is done so there is no moisture to restart the rust. I used Jenn’s hairdryer to dry the plane off ...maybe don’t mention that to her;-) On tools that I’ve not been able to rinse thoroughly or dry well enough I’ve rubbed sidewalk chalk 1) to soak up the loose moisture and 2) to neutralize the acid of with the basic nature of the chalk. It works pretty well as I’ve had no reappearance of rust. Of course I coat each newly cleaned surface with wax (except for the files I cleaned, these I just rinsed, chalked and brushed off.

I used warm water initially and that of course make the solution work that much faster, but I’m using it now at whatever room temperature is and it is working fine (perhaps a bit slower when the shop is ~10 degrees C).

I recommend trying this, it is a fairly inexpensive solution with great results.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View joey's profile

joey

396 posts in 2556 days


#5 posted 05-04-2008 10:20 PM

Thanks Mark, I will give this a try since most of my tools have been storage old man rust has been taking over pretty bad.

-- Joey~~Sabina, Ohio http://sleepydogwoodworking.blogspot.com/

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