Surface Rust Removal - Good Products?

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Forum topic by robdelman posted 07-09-2010 05:23 PM 4063 views 1 time favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View robdelman's profile


8 posts in 3116 days

07-09-2010 05:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: rust removal

Unfortunately, I have to work in an area where it’s hard to control the moisture. As a result, I have some minor rust issues, particularly on the exposed work tables on the tools (my scroll saw is the worst offender here). I recall a long time ago applying some sort of rust prevention oil when I first got it, but I can’t seem to find the bottle, and over time, whatever effect it may have had has worn off.

I have heard that naval jelly can pit the surface if you use it to remove the rust – so is anyone out there aware of any rust removal products that they know and trust?


-- Rob, Ohio,

14 replies so far

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3160 days

#1 posted 07-09-2010 05:33 PM

Take some steel wool and light oil or wd40 and clean the rust off. Then use a wax on it. Make sure you have a wax without silcone in it. I use Johnson’s Paste floor wax. Also you can sprinkle pure talc( not talcum) on it. Talc repels moisture(talcum has cornstarch in it and absorbs moisture)

-- Life is good.

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3966 days

#2 posted 07-09-2010 05:58 PM

not sure if this is what you want, but I’ve had luck with 7-9 rust remover. It is basically phosphoric acid. a little spray and some scrubbing got some pretty bad surface rust off a jointer i bought. I’m not done yet, but it cleaned the one bed up nicely. It is messy though and I’m sure it can have side effects (like you wouldn’t want to breathe the fumes). just my thoughts.

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3429 days

#3 posted 07-09-2010 06:15 PM

I’ve tried a bunch of different stuff and the best thing I’ve ever used for removing rust is TopSaver by Empire Manufacturing. It’s also a protectant.

For longer term protection, I’ve used TopSaver, Boeshield T-9, Johnson’s PW, Top-Cote, Renaissance Micro-Crystalline Wax, and a couple others I just can’t recall. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, but I keep coming back to TopSaver. Top-Cote is a really close second, I just wish they’d come out with a non-aresol version.

-- The Wood Nerd --

View edgarO's profile


68 posts in 3142 days

#4 posted 07-09-2010 06:33 PM

I just used evaporust to clean the rust off of 3 old stanley bailey planes. It works awesome. and it is not caustic to you skin.

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3508 days

#5 posted 07-09-2010 06:49 PM

For rust removal, steel wool and a mild abrasive – or a medium/high grit emory paper (300+ or so) does the job well. One of my favorites is rubbing compound and a (grinder, orbital or drill) buffing wheel (for the flat areas). I also cover my tools when not in use with a painters tarp or something that breathes and absorbs some of the moisture. There are also some rust inhibitors available (I have not tried them).

I have used most of the Top Saver brand stuff….works great but expensive….luckily my area is not that humid so a mild protectant is good (winters are wet though) – I use a standard clear paste wax….be careful of the ones that have other additives as those are made for autos with clear coat or synthetic paints. Top Saver and others are good too…but again expensive…I do recommend you get after it right away as there is nothing worse then pitting caused by neglected rust.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Russ's profile


357 posts in 3315 days

#6 posted 07-09-2010 07:03 PM

I’ve used a product call The Works! toilet bowl cleaner with a great amount of success and it’s like $1 at Wal-Mart.

-- Russ

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3596 days

#7 posted 07-09-2010 11:23 PM

I use T-9 for power tools and Camilla Oil for hand tools.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View charlie48's profile


248 posts in 3407 days

#8 posted 07-09-2010 11:34 PM

Rob, try WD 40 on the surface then put a 3M scotch pad on you ROS and have at it, then use Johnson’s paste wax,or any of the products mentioned above.

-- Charlie............Only time will tell if it was time well spent.

View BobG's profile


172 posts in 3199 days

#9 posted 07-10-2010 12:01 AM

NEV-R DULL Greatest stuff in the world! Not yelling just the way it is printed on the little blue can.

Bob G.

-- BobG, Lowell, Arkansas--------My goal in life is to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am! Make more saw dust!!

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3298 days

#10 posted 07-10-2010 12:46 AM

Naval Jelly will pit the surface if you leave it too long. It can also leave a white haze.

View robdelman's profile


8 posts in 3116 days

#11 posted 07-10-2010 03:00 AM

Wow – thanks to everyone for all the suggestions. I actually have some WD-40 handy and some brillo pads (I think that qualifies as steel wool – and I can get the soap out of it). I always thought WD-40 was just a lubricant – who knew?

I might try some protectant as well when I am done.


-- Rob, Ohio,

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3429 days

#12 posted 07-10-2010 04:25 AM

Yep, everyone thinks it’s a lubricant, but it’s actually primarily a solvent. Works great for removing cosmoline off new equipment and it’s terrific for cleaning off label goo.

What it definitely isn’t is a long-term protectant. Cast iron will rust in just a few days if don’t use something like TopSaver to protect it.

-- The Wood Nerd --

View mathom7's profile


69 posts in 3148 days

#13 posted 07-10-2010 04:52 AM

I’ve had great result with Krud Kutter’s The Must for Rust. I picked up a small bottle at one of the big boxes, the orange one I think for around $5.

i used formula 409 to get any grease or wax off, then used the krud kutter, then cleaned that up with WD40 and scrubbed it with a brillo pad for metals. Finally finished with Johnson’s Paste Wax.

The product states it can be used as a rust remover and an inhibitor. You have to let it dry for it to function as a preventative.

View A10GAC's profile


191 posts in 3316 days

#14 posted 07-16-2010 03:06 AM

I second the Evap-O-Rust followed by a coat of Johnson’s paste wax. I’ve cleaned up a 50yr old plane, my drill press, and my table saw with great results. For the bigger items I’ve coverd the table with paper towels, soaked it with the Evap-O-Rust, and wrapped it in plastic to keep the surface wet. Not as effective as immersing in the solution, but it works. I usually put a coat of wax on the tables every 6-9 months and have yet to see any rust return.

Russ – I have Evap-O-Rust in the garage and “The Works” in the bathroom…looks like I have a new supply of rust remover when I run out. Thanks for the idea.

-- Men have become the tools of their tools. - Henry David Thoreau

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