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A couple questions on cleaning tarnish and bit braces

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Forum topic by BoardCop posted 05-24-2015 04:37 AM 855 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BoardCop

187 posts in 987 days


05-24-2015 04:37 AM

Topic tags/keywords: bit brace tarnish

Hi guys, any ideas on a removing tarnish from old steel without abrasive type things? I don’t mind putting work into them, I just don’t want to scratch them up. The second question is on a bit brace which part do you measure to determine the size?
Thanks in advance!

-- Angie, If dogs don't go to heaven, then when I die I want to go where they go!


12 replies so far

View jsuede's profile

jsuede

69 posts in 690 days


#1 posted 05-24-2015 05:28 AM

I’ll be interested to hear peoples thoughts on removing tarnish.

The size or swing of a brace is the distance from the centerline of the bit to the center of the rotating handle that you swing to propel it as I understand it.

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Tim

3119 posts in 1428 days


#2 posted 05-24-2015 05:22 PM

This is really technical but the sweep is like the diameter so twice that distance jsuede described and the throw is the radius. That looks like a rather large brace maybe a 6 or 7” throw for a total of 12-14” sweep. Those are rarer and nice to have for boring large holes. Not as nice for driving screws, you want a 6” sweep for that.

It’s really tough to remove the tarnish without any abrasive, particularly on a brace. One problem is you can’t remove the sweep handle so you can’t soak it in any liquids. The tarnish on old steel tools is usually a combination of old dried up oils and rust. If you really carefully tape off the sweep handle you might be able to get away with some degreaser to cut the grease so the rust removers will work better. You’ll probably want to remove the top knob piece of wood to make it easier or you could tape that off carefully too. Or you can try skipping the degreaser and go straight to Naval Jelly (or similar products) because it is a thick gel and you can coat all the metal without getting it on the wood parts. See how that goes and if it doesn’t work well then try the degreaser. Naval jelly will get the rust but since it’s active ingredient is phosphoric acid it leaves a thin coating kind of like parkerization where the phosphorous makes a reaction with the rust and steel. You could remove that with a cloth and some fine polish or rubbing compound or a buffing wheel. If you completely wanted to avoid abrasives you’d need to research exactly what is left over after the phosphoric acid and find a chemical that would remove that. I’ve never seen mention of it because it’s easy enough to remove with buffing or a brass wire wheel that doesn’t do much if anything to the steel.

You’ll want to read this blog series for advice on removing the top knob and general advice even if you don’t use all his methods.
http://lumberjocks.com/Brit/blog/series/4249

Edit:
The thought did occur to me that you could melt some wax and dip the sweep handle in to encase it entirely in the wax, inside and out. Tape off the metal in that case before dipping in wax. Then remove the tape and dewax the metal anyway with some mineral spirits. Then before soaking the brace in degreaser or something like evaporust (also phosphoric acid based but works really well because it chelates the metal ions) or another acid like citric acid or vinegar or an electrolysis setup. You may want to completely disassemble the chuck if you plan the soaking route because you’ll remove the lubrication in it and need to repack the bearings.

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BoardCop

187 posts in 987 days


#3 posted 05-24-2015 05:54 PM

Alright thank you. Looks like I have a little work ahead of me. I’ve got 5-6 of these I wanted to clean but didn’t want to damage the makers marks if I can find some of them. I think one of you chemist out there should figure out a tarn-x type thing for steel!!! Lol :)

-- Angie, If dogs don't go to heaven, then when I die I want to go where they go!

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7179 posts in 2043 days


#4 posted 05-24-2015 06:00 PM

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/27962

Here’s a good thread on cleaning up rust and tarnish. HTH

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4234 posts in 1665 days


#5 posted 05-24-2015 06:10 PM

Nevr-Dull?

Definitely won’t scratch anything, but it’s a bit labor intensive :)

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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BoardCop

187 posts in 987 days


#6 posted 05-24-2015 06:19 PM

I’ll look at both of those. Thanks guys!

-- Angie, If dogs don't go to heaven, then when I die I want to go where they go!

View Tim's profile

Tim

3119 posts in 1428 days


#7 posted 05-24-2015 10:47 PM


I think one of you chemist out there should figure out a tarn-x type thing for steel!!! Lol :)

- BoardCop

That’s basically what evaporust is. Usually the maker mark isn’t damaged much at all by some gentle scrubbing with fine sandpaper. For anything reasonably rusty I just use a wire wheel. Keep in mind most any common tool that has been left to rust long enough to have a layer of rust all over is not going to be harmed by a little abrasive as long as you keep it within reason. The rust has already taken away the surface and unless it’s a rarer collectors item the value won’t be harmed by cleaning it up. I guess you do want to be a little careful with nickel finishes.

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BoardCop

187 posts in 987 days


#8 posted 05-24-2015 11:15 PM

Okay. I appreciate all the help. I’ll be following the directions in the thread above. I got some Nevr-Dull today so I’ll give that a shot. Thanks you all!!

-- Angie, If dogs don't go to heaven, then when I die I want to go where they go!

View bandit571's profile (online now)

bandit571

14611 posts in 2149 days


#9 posted 05-24-2015 11:38 PM

When I clean my braces, I have a BRASS wire wheel in the drill press. Not as agressive as sandpaper.

Which is how this 12” Samson PEXTO was cleaned up. NeverDull, if left alone, will leave a white residue, PITA to remove later.

Note: I use the largest wire wheel I can find, and have the drill press going at full speed. Move the DP’s table out of the way. As long as the wheel has brass wire, should be alright. It also will clean down into any names/numbers stamped into the arms, and chuck.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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BoardCop

187 posts in 987 days


#10 posted 05-24-2015 11:51 PM

I tried finding a brass wheel today and came up with just steel. I looked at HF and they have them so I’ll run over there this week. Where is the makers mark usually in these? Thanks

-- Angie, If dogs don't go to heaven, then when I die I want to go where they go!

View bandit571's profile (online now)

bandit571

14611 posts in 2149 days


#11 posted 05-25-2015 12:01 AM

Depends on the maker. Usually the arm towards the rear knob. Some have it on a couple of spots. The wire whell I’m using new came from WalMart.

Just saying. Lowes has the same thing. Costs a bit more…..

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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BoardCop

187 posts in 987 days


#12 posted 05-25-2015 12:25 AM

Oh okay. I checked Ace and True Value

-- Angie, If dogs don't go to heaven, then when I die I want to go where they go!

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