How do I prevent flash rust after electrolysis but before painting?

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Forum topic by matlock_50 posted 01-10-2013 08:53 PM 11980 views 0 times favorited 37 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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11 posts in 2436 days

01-10-2013 08:53 PM

I am restoring an old Stanley no.8 that probably should have been used for parts. Anyway, I have done one round of electrolysis on the sole and frog. I was amazed at the results—I couldn’t even see the “Stanley” on the lateral adjuster before. There is some pitting, but it is really minimal compared with what I thought it had.

The solution was pretty nasty by the time I pulled them. Most of the Japanning was gone, so I planned to repaint. The problem I have is that I had some flash rust pretty quickly after I pulled them from the solution. Other than that, now that it has been scrubbed up it is pretty well prepped.

I am in Kansas and it has been cold lately, but we are supposed to be in the 60s tomorrow. I was planning to throw the sole and frog back in the tub overnight tonight with fresh solution to get a thorough final bath. What is the best way to do the final clean off and drying prior to painting?

Should I fill another tub with hot water for a final rinse and then hit it with a towel and hair dryer? Should I try and clean it off with mineral spirits?

I’d like to get it from electrolysis tub to painting as quickly as possible.

Thanks for any help.

37 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11143 posts in 3665 days

#1 posted 01-10-2013 09:07 PM

I’m watching this thread with interest. I don’t have an answer but would like to know what to do, also.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Don W's profile

Don W

19043 posts in 2804 days

#2 posted 01-10-2013 09:10 PM

drying it with a hair dryer (I use a heat gun) should help quit a bit. I also wipe it off with MS, I’m not sure its necessary, but its an added precaution.

I try to go from there right to priming and painting, but if its good and dry it should be ok. If its still a problem keep some heat on it.

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

View hhhopks's profile


654 posts in 2614 days

#3 posted 01-10-2013 09:24 PM

I guess there is no way to prevent it after you bring it out of the water based solution.
You can’t dry it fast enough. Rust starts to form but should be very lite.
I either ripe it off with WD40 or use a small dremel wire brush.

What kind of primer and paint are you using?
Are you spraying or painting it by brush?
I am debating which method is easier.

1. Spray: Requires masking. Seems to be more work.
2. Brush: Has limited paint selection (locally). No masking (relying on a study hand).

In both cases, I go back with the dremel wire brush to remove paint off of the unwated paint surfaces.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View matlock_50's profile


11 posts in 2436 days

#4 posted 01-10-2013 09:54 PM

Don: Do you wipe is with mineral spirits before hair dryer (while still wet from water) or after? I was toying with wiping with mineral spirits then lacquer thinner, then hair dryer.

hhhopks: I am using Rex Mills’ method of spraying duplicolor semigloss black ford engine enamel. He says to use it with no primer.

I was probably only going to mask where the frog meets the sole on both the frog and sole. I may also do the frog. The frog mating surface is pretty simple as I think I am working with a type 8 or 9, so it wouldn’t be bad to tape, but it also would be fairly easy to clean off after painting.

The lever is off the frog (the mushrooming was really weak on the pin and it came right off when I received the plane, I’m going to try and repeen it after painting). If I’m feeling really energetic I’ll tape the sides and bottom of the sole. I was just going to clean the rest of after painting with some careful filing, sanding, and/or scotch-brite pad/wheel work.

To give you an idea what I started with:

I had to find a lever cap, blade and chip breaker. But i got what was in the pics for $15, so I’m not complaining.

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3885 days

#5 posted 01-10-2013 10:03 PM

once you take it out of the solution, dump it in a bath of warm soapy water to clean it up, at that point I take it out of the soapy water, spray it with WD-40 to displace the water (what WD-40 is designed for, hence the W-D), and wipe it clean and dry with a (paper) towel, should minimize if not eliminate flash rusting.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19043 posts in 2804 days

#6 posted 01-10-2013 10:03 PM

I dry it first and heat it to dry, then wipe it down.

I’d suggest not painting the sides and sole. The sides will get dinged up easy and the sole should just be waxed and kept waxed. I like the wire brushed look for the sides.

I’ve used dupli and tried it with and without primer. I never seen any difference.

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

View LukieB's profile


966 posts in 2567 days

#7 posted 01-10-2013 10:22 PM

I use compressed air, a towel, and a hair dryer. And if I do get a little flash rust some fine steel wool works really good for knocking it off.

Compressed air to get the water out of all the screw-holes, a towel to get the bulk of the water, and the hair dryer to finish up and get the nooks and crannies.

I also use mineral spirits to wipe it down before paint, just to make sure the new paint sticks good.

+1 on what Don said about Dupli-Color Engine Enamel stuff works good, just follow the instructions.
When they say lay all your coats in 1 hour…they mean it. If you have to re-coat after the first hour wait at least 7 days…14 is better.

+1 on not painting the sides or sole as well

-- Lucas, "Someday woodworks will be my real job, until then, there's this"

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2722 days

#8 posted 01-10-2013 10:32 PM

”If I’m feeling really energetic I’ll paint the sides and bottom of the sole.”

Uh…why? Those surfaces should only be bare metal and wax.

-- Brian Timmons -

View matlock_50's profile


11 posts in 2436 days

#9 posted 01-10-2013 10:40 PM

PurpLev: everywhere i’ve read warns against using WD40 on anything you are going to paint (especially with lacquer), do you have any experience painting over it?

Don: I wasn’t going to paint the sides and and bottom – I was just not going to tape them and clean the overspray off later. I just got a scotch-brite wheel and intend to shine the sides and bottom with that (then wax) after I’m done cleaning up with painting. I did the lever cap with it and it is all shiny and fancy now.

LukieB: I definitely will hit it with mineral spirits, probably also with lacquer thinner, too.

I guess you all have talked me into taping the sides and bottom of the sole as long as I work fast. One of the other reasons I was thinking against it was the time it took to do it was time for flash rust to appear.

I’m planning on having about 4 hours for this tomorrow afternoon, so hopefully that will do it. It is my last chance for a while, as the temperature is supposed to be back in the 30s on Saturday.

View matlock_50's profile


11 posts in 2436 days

#10 posted 01-10-2013 10:41 PM

Brian & others: I just noticed that I mistyped above. It should have said if I feel energetic I will tape the sides and bottom of the sole, not paint the sides and bottom of the sole.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19043 posts in 2804 days

#11 posted 01-10-2013 10:44 PM

That makes more sense. I misunderstood about not painting the sides. Take it from a guy with lots of experience, you’ll only forget to tape the sides once, assuming you can just sand it off. The dupli comes off hard.

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

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3367 posts in 3346 days

#12 posted 01-11-2013 02:55 AM

In the machine shop biz, to keep steel from flashing it gets rinsed in HOT water, and wiped/blown off. It should evaporate before the rust can form. I wouldn’t recommend WD-40 for this, personally. You’ll just have another oily residue to clean off. YMMV.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View matlock_50's profile


11 posts in 2436 days

#13 posted 01-11-2013 10:20 PM

Before I left for work this morning, I cranked the hot water heater as high as it would go. I took the afternoon off, so when I got home, I filled a Rubbermaid tub with hot water. I preheated the oven to 300 degrees. Then, I pulled each piece one at a time (frog, sole, fork) and did the following process to each: first I put the piece in the tub and scrubbed off with a green scotch brite pad, then rinsed really well with fresh water from two other pails of hot water. Next I hit it with the hairdryer, then put it in the over for a few minutes and moved to the next piece. It went sole, frog, then fork.

It only took a couple of minutes for each piece. I then pulled each one at a time and wiped with mineral spirits (they were warm to the touch but not too hot when i pulled from the oven – just trying to get the water out of all the pores). Next I wiped again with lacquer thinner and taped all mating surfaces and the bottom and sides of the sole.

I am on the third coat of duplicolor now.

View a1Jim's profile


117417 posts in 3814 days

#14 posted 01-11-2013 10:39 PM

I agree with Sharon (Purplev) clean it spray it witn wd40 and just before you paint it dip it or wipe it down with naphtha to take the WD40 off. Experiment with some other piece of metal by going through these steps and make sure you don’t have problems with the paint. I haven’t restored any planes but when I restored cars it was always important to use a coat of primer then do a light sanding (320grit) before painting.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Brett's profile


665 posts in 2920 days

#15 posted 01-11-2013 11:07 PM

I spray heavily with WD-40 and wipe it down after a while.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

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