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Old tool cleaning part 4 - general cleaning with reviver

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AndyT

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Often, old tools don't really need much doing to them. They don't all go rusty or have paint thrown at them. But fifty years of shed or attic dirt needs something more than a duster. By way of example, a nice old screw-stem plough (yes, the one with the enigmatic price code!) and a handscrew. These are some 'before' pictures:









There's nothing seriously wrong, but it's not a tool anyone would want to pick up and use. (It has had the classic repair in use - one of the big nuts has had a bit sawn off it to replace one of the thin ones which must have got broken.)

The first step with the plough is to remove the iron. This is easily done by gently knocking the wedge downwards, which releases it - the taper of the iron locks against the wedge in normal use, so this is just the reverse.



The irons go off into a milk bottle full of citric acid solution - this is a good way to get full immersion from a minimum amount of liquid; there is room in the bottle for any bubbles released by the chemical reaction.



For the wooden parts of these tools, I am going to use a 'reviver' mixture. There is nothing original or difficult about this. It's been mentioned by several people on here who have more experience than me but somehow it's something I had not got round to trying before.

There are various recipes for the reviver. This one has equal proportions of boiled linseed oil, white vinegar and turps substitute, plus 1/4 that amount of meths, and a dash of ammonia. The proportions don't need to be exact and recipes vary quite a lot, some missing out the meths and ammonia.

Mix it all up in a suitable bottle, LABEL IT! and shake well. The ingredients do settle out quite quickly, so I found it convenient to pour just a little into a dish from time to time.



It's then just a case of using the reviver to gently scrub off the dirt. I used an old green kitchen scourer and bits of rag:



You can see here how it is lifting the dirt off:



The effect was especially marked on the handscrew, going from this



to this, in one easy step





Here's the plough finished and back in working order:









Overall, it's a quick and easy fix for old wooden parts - and it's also effective on steel, where it will prevent further rusting. Every home should have some!
 

Pete Maddex

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Hi, Andy

Another good WIP, that cocktail sure seems to work magic.

Don't you mean tap the iron downwards not the wedge?

Pete
 

AndyT

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Pete Maddex":2y5qcrly said:
Hi, Andy

Another good WIP, that cocktail sure seems to work magic.

Don't you mean tap the iron downwards not the wedge?

Pete
Thanks Pete that's what I was thinking but not what I wrote!
 

dickm

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Is there any advantage in using turps substitute in your brew? Other than cost? Reason for asking is a slight allergy to white spirit, and a preference for the smell of the real thing. :D
 

AndyT

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dickm":23qvd7qw said:
Is there any advantage in using turps substitute in your brew? Other than cost? Reason for asking is a slight allergy to white spirit, and a preference for the smell of the real thing. :D
Not as far as I know. I was running out of real turpentine but had plenty labelled as 'turps substitute' so I used that.
I'd always thought that turps substitite and white spirit were the same thing, but I'm not certain. Strangely, the mixture seems to have less smell than the separate ingredients.

I agree that genuine turpentine smells lovely and I've often used it on its own for cleaning tools.
 

Phil Pascoe

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White spirit has a B.S. no. - turps sub. hasn't. Turps sub might be white spirit, but needn't be - that's why you should use white spirit to dilute varnish and paint, and turps sub just for cleaning up - you don't actually know what's in it.
 

dickm

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phil.p":3u385vos said:
White spirit has a B.S. no. - turps sub. hasn't. Turps sub might be white spirit, but needn't be - that's why you should use white spirit to dilute varnish and paint, and turps sub just for cleaning up - you don't actually know what's in it.
Intereesting; that may be why I don't always get the reaction to turps substitute.
 

Yorkshire Sam

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phil.p":37wpr6on said:
White spirit has a B.S. no. - turps sub. hasn't. Turps sub might be white spirit, but needn't be - that's why you should use white spirit to dilute varnish and paint, and turps sub just for cleaning up - you don't actually know what's in it.

excuse my ignorance but whats a B.S no?
 

AndyT

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Yorkshire Sam":ibf0wpou said:
phil.p":ibf0wpou said:
White spirit has a B.S. no. - turps sub. hasn't. Turps sub might be white spirit, but needn't be - that's why you should use white spirit to dilute varnish and paint, and turps sub just for cleaning up - you don't actually know what's in it.

excuse my ignorance but whats a B.S no?
British Standard.
 

Noggsy

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Thanks Andy, I've just used this reviver to start the clean-up of a load of old woodies which I have been given. There's some crackers in amongst the rubbish, but sadly, all had been left in a damp place and need quite a bit of TLC. All are now looking much better though, so cheers for that.
 

JimB

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dickm":ptn9cjbh said:
Is there any advantage in using turps substitute in your brew? Other than cost? Reason for asking is a slight allergy to white spirit, and a preference for the smell of the real thing. :D
My thoughts entirely. I tend to use the real turps and it does smell more 'authentic'. :D
 

Self Taught

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Pete,

Nice job on both, they look terrific. Must admit I also like the smell of real turps, and how it helps oil paints lay out flat. Jamey
 

Vann

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Hi Andy. Can I suggest that this thread - and the others in the "Old Tool Cleaning" series go into your (formerly Alf's) Hand Tool Review Links folder, or a similar sticky folder.

They're a handy reference - but can be hard to track down after a while.

Cheers, Vann.
 

Sheffield Tony

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I experimented a bit with the batch off woodies I recently bought off ebay. These had paint spatter and streaks, some drips of glue and a sticky black grime presumably of linseed and dead skin. White spirit had little effect, but isopropyl alcohol and elephant's loo roll fetched off the sticky black and paint, after a wipe over with linseed they do look quite like the better cared for examples I had already.
 

bugbear

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Sheffield Tony":1qu06gyz said:
I experimented a bit with the batch off woodies I recently bought off ebay. These had paint spatter and streaks, some drips of glue and a sticky black grime presumably of linseed and dead skin. White spirit had little effect, but isopropyl alcohol and elephant's loo roll fetched off the sticky black and paint, after a wipe over with linseed they do look quite like the better cared for examples I had already.
Meths works too, and is (probably?) cheaper than posh alcohol.

BugBear
 

marcros

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it depends how much you buy and from where. I was surprised when i wanted some of either for mixing with shellac to find that it was cheaper per litre to buy the posh stuff from ebay in a 5L container than to buy 2 1/2 2L containers from tool station. It does rely on you buying 5L though.
 

Sheffield Tony

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I was in the workshop at work, which is equipped for electronics work, where IPA is the standard cleaning solution. I guess meths might work much the same.
 

bugbear

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marcros":o5m8dujg said:
it depends how much you buy and from where. I was surprised when i wanted some of either for mixing with shellac to find that it was cheaper per litre to buy the posh stuff from ebay in a 5L container than to buy 2 1/2 2L containers from tool station. It does rely on you buying 5L though.
Just goes to show how dangerous (my) assumptions can be. Thanks for the info.

BugBear
 
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