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Recurring rust problem

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Nigel Burden

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I have a Millers Falls no 75 block plane that I bought alongside a Woden W78 rebate plane at the Stock Gaylard Oak Fair last year. I only paid £3 for the pair as they were both in a fairly rusty state.

I cleaned both up using electrolysis and repainted the block plane. The Woden I left as it was as the logo remained intact. I waxed the plane and have had no problems, but the Millers Falls sole keeps rusting. I lapped the sole and oiled it, but within a couple of days it was starting to rust again. The steel seems soft and almost powdery when rubbed on sandpaper/wet and dry. I've kept it in the garage which is integral with the house, so it's dry and warm, unlike the shed where I keep everything else. None of my other metal planes have ever suffered in this way. It's almost as if the metal is internally rusty. I just can't seem to stop it rusting.

I bought the plane thinking that the cap iron would fit my Stanley 9 1/2 which is broken off at the point where it forms the rounded over end, but it is too short, so nothing lost really, but as I'd got it working it's a bit annoying.

Nigel.
 

dannyr

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You need a metallurgist (not me, but I'll have a go) - what kind of rust? - if light rust evenly coating surface then almost sounds like it could be made of low carbon (mild) steel, which does this quickly - if, on the other hand the rust is in spots/flecks then even though cleaned/waxed/lapped etc, sounds like it may have had some surface porosity (not unusual in cast iron) which trapped the electrolysis solution so it's still there to seep out and cause rust even though cast iron is generally less susceptible to rust.
 

Nigel Burden

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Thanks for that Danny. The rust occurs as a series of small spots and flecks, and the steel does seem as if it's porous. I think the sole will be very thin by the time I get rid of the rust.

Nigel.
 

Phil Pascoe

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Try giving it a smear of m/c wax when you put it away.

Augers always seem the worst to me - even the better ones rust while I'm looking at them.
 

Bod

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Nigel Burden":287ryx9v said:
Thanks for that Danny. The rust occurs as a series of small spots and flecks, and the steel does seem as if it's porous. I think the sole will be very thin by the time I get rid of the rust.

Nigel.
Would it help to dry out the plane by keeping it in a warm dry place, airing cupboard? for a few weeks, to really allow the damp to be drawn out.
I doubt that water displacing sprays would get into the deeper cavities.

Bod.
 

Nigel Burden

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Phil Pascoe":micmwbf2 said:
Try giving it a smear of m/c wax when you put it away.

Augers always seem the worst to me - even the better ones rust while I'm looking at them.
I've tried waxing it but to no avail Phil.

Dampness, one of the disadvantages of living in the South West I suppose.

Nigel.
 

Nigel Burden

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Bod":q256kazk said:
Nigel Burden":q256kazk said:
Thanks for that Danny. The rust occurs as a series of small spots and flecks, and the steel does seem as if it's porous. I think the sole will be very thin by the time I get rid of the rust.

Nigel.
Would it help to dry out the plane by keeping it in a warm dry place, airing cupboard? for a few weeks, to really allow the damp to be drawn out.
I doubt that water displacing sprays would get into the deeper cavities.

Bod.
I'm going to de-rust it again. I'll try putting it in the airing cupboard out of SWMNOs way for a few weeks and see if it makes any difference.

I don't really want to scrap it as it irks me to throw out tools that are serviceable. But if it continues to rust after taking measures to stop it, I guess it'll come to that.

Nigel.
 

AndyT

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You could try one of the anti rust products that you paint on. For example, Metal guard ultra from Workshop Heaven.

I have some carving tools which mostly stay in a box and a few of them rusted, which is very unusual in my dry workshop. The metal guard stopped it happening. You can tell that it's on a tool but it's pretty unobtrusive. Might need frequent renewing if the problem is on the sole.
 

D_W

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dissolve the wax a little bit further or apply it with excess oil at the same time so that it penetrates into all of the parts of the sole.

As far as the softness of the sole, millers falls cast always laps easier and has a really dry powdery feeling. I don't know much of anything about casts and castings, but what you noticed is universal across all millers falls planes.
 

Nigel Burden

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Thanks for the replies. I have just taken it out of an electrolysis bath and there seems to be rust in other areas on the edge of the sole. I'm not sure that the rust has been removed so I'll give it another go tomorrow. The odd thing is that it's almost like a rust sandwich, when cleaned no apparent rust, then a day or two later rust starts appearing again. Clean it, and the cycle starts again.

D W, you are correct about the casting having a dry powdery feeling when lapped, and it does appear to be a softer metal than my Stanley and Record planes.

If all else fails I might have to give Metal Guard Ultra a try as Andy suggested.

Nigel.
 

Pete Maddex

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I have a Record 4 1/2 that had the same problem, I tried epoxy in the pits but the rust pushed it out so l put some super glue in and it stopped the rust completely.

Pete
 

AndyT

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Pete Maddex":296wueam said:
I have a Record 4 1/2 that had the same problem, I tried epoxy in the pits but the rust pushed it out so l put some super glue in and it stopped the rust completely.

Pete
That's probably a much cheaper solution!
 

Nigel Burden

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Well, I took it out of the electrolysis bath and cleaned it up this evening and it is indeed pitted. Back in tomorrow as there's still evidence of rust. There was little evidence as the paint was smooth and not flaking, but now the paint's off I can see that the rust is worse than I thought and it's not just the sole. It just feels rough all over.

Sorry, no pictures as I am totally useless at resizing and posting.

Nigel.
 

deema

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After taking it out if your bucket of water, place it in the oven for an hour. Cast iron is porous, you need to dry it out before waxing.
 

Rorschach

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Try a rust converter like jenolite, that has worked for me in the past. Paint it on, let it sit for a few hours, wipe it off, let it dry thoroughly and then wax.
 

Nigel Burden

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deema":qc61ia29 said:
After taking it out if your bucket of water, place it in the oven for an hour. Cast iron is porous, you need to dry it out before waxing.
I'll do that whilst the wife is at work. She might not, in fact will not, take too kindly to me placing tools in the oven.

Nigel.
 

Nigel Burden

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Rorschach":2eoqo2u6 said:
Try a rust converter like jenolite, that has worked for me in the past. Paint it on, let it sit for a few hours, wipe it off, let it dry thoroughly and then wax.
I've used Kurust on tools before, but the sole of this one is pitted which is my main concern. It's in the electrolysis bath at the moment to remove the last of the rust. When it comes out I will clean it and put it in the oven to dry it out thoroughly, then lap the sole. The body looks as if it'll be ok but the sole felt like a piece of fine sandpaper after I'd cleaned it off last night. If it's bad I might have to do what Pete Maddex suggested.

Nigel.
 

dannyr

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I think Deema is right, but this level of surface porosity can be a sign of a particularly poor casting, even for cast iron. It is often a problem with very complex castings like an engine block and there are commercial solutions a bit like the superglue suggested above, but first using a vacuum to pull the crud out of the pore (only works for the cooler bits of the engine - if hot the filler melts or burns). Unfortunately with a rather porous casting electrolysis might be solving one problem and introducing another.

There are some castings (eg bearings) where the porosity is useful as it can hold a reserve of lubricant such as oil, grease or even a low melting point metal. Just possibly a long soak in an oil of some sort would displace the electrolyte and act like this. Maybe even, the plane-maker was trying for this??
 

Nigel Burden

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I took it out of the electrolysis rinsed it and put it in the oven. When I took it out it was already starting to rust. So I wire wheeled it, waxed the sole and sides, I then painted Kurust on the rest of the plane. I will give it a coat of Paragon paint in a couple of hours. I must say that the sole in particular does seem to be porous.

Nigel.
 
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