Lie Nielsen No. 4 Bronze Bench Plane

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Removing Rust from Cast Iron Tools

Finding rust on your power tools can be a very scary experience. Once the rust starts, it is more difficult to keep it away. Since my tools sit in my garage or my basement they are exposed to some favorable rust producing conditions.

Rust Removal from Cast Iron

Removing rust from cast iron tools can be frustrating. There is no easy way to do it. However, I've tried a few different methods that take some of the frustration out of the process.

I like to spray the surface down with some type of rust removal liquid. Most of these liquids are acid based and quickly remove rust. I've had good luck with using Rust Free from Boeshield. This product contains phosphoric acid so be careful when applying and keep it away from children, pets, etc. Since most cast iron tools have horizontal tops, the liquid can be sprayed or dripped where the rust is worst. There is no need to spray the whole top if the rust is only located in a few places. After letting the Rust Free soak for a few minutes, it is best to use some type of abrasive pad to remove the liquid. If rust persists just repeat until the rust is completely removed.

If the top of your tool is only slightly rusted, I like to use a Sandflex block made by Klingspor. These blocks are basically abrasive rubber pads that scratch away the rust. If the rust is minimal this is a very quick and effective method.

Preventing Rust from Cast Iron Tools

Since removing rust is not exactly the most exciting or productive tasks, it is often best to prevent the rust and avoid the whole process of rust removal. The easiest way for most woodworkers is to coat the cast iron with some type of rust preventative. I've used a product called Boeshield T-9. It can be sprayed or dripped on to the cast iron surface. After applying you just need to wipe it down to remove the excess. Not only does it help prevent rust, but it also reduces friction. I've found the reduced friction to be a major benefit on jointers and table saws.

Purchase Rust Removers at The Rust Store


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