Citric acid and japanning

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by DW833 posted 12-29-2016 02:56 AM 770 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View DW833's profile


220 posts in 2058 days

12-29-2016 02:56 AM

Topic tags/keywords: handplane restoration citric acid rust

I purchased a Stanley #4 today. Believe it is a type 11 in really good condition. The best condition #4 I’ve purchased in awhile for $15. The japanning is almost 100% complete and looks great. Usually I have some evaporust and use it to clean the rust. I’m out, but have some citric acid I wanted to try. However, I want to make sure it won’t remove the japanning. Most of the research I’ve done results in the japanning not affected, but do see a few items on LJ and others that the japanning was removed by the acid.

Wanted to know if anyone has experience with the citric acid damaging or removing the japanning.

5 replies so far

View TheFridge's profile


10506 posts in 1662 days

#1 posted 12-29-2016 04:08 AM

Only if there was rust underneath. Make sure to neutralize the parts. I’ve had stuff flash rust rather quickly after forgetting.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18990 posts in 2743 days

#2 posted 12-29-2016 12:04 PM

Plus 1 to What Fridge said

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View rwe2156's profile


3134 posts in 1657 days

#3 posted 12-29-2016 02:30 PM

From the sound of it, personally I wouldn’t touch it. Just a little WD40 and scotch brite to clean it up a bit.

If it were me, I would spend the time on flattening the sole and getting it tuned and into work.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View OSB's profile


147 posts in 702 days

#4 posted 12-30-2016 06:42 AM

I prefer WD40 with bronze wool. It feels less aggressive than Scotchbrite but has worked well for me on blued steel with surface rust.

View Woodknack's profile


12401 posts in 2556 days

#5 posted 12-30-2016 06:48 AM

I would be very surprised if acid doesn’t remove Japanning. It will dissolve steel if you leave it in long enough. That’s how it works and why knife makers use it to expose patterns in damascus steel.

-- Rick M,

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics