Rust, rust and more rust, cont.

Continued from Rust rust and more rust.

So, where were we?

We have a lot of old rusty metal that needs to be brought back to bare shiny metal.

We have said that there are a few ways to get rusty metal back to shiny bare metal.

  • Shot blasting, or sand blasting. — This will cost, and cost for each and every piece that needs cleaning.
  • DIY Shot blasting. — Have you any idea just how much air it takes to sandblast a small piece of metal? You really need the kind of air compressor that you use to dig up roads, the kind you tow behind a lorry.
  • Wire brush, sandpaper, wire brushy thing on a drill and lots of hard work.

There must be a better way.

Enter Google.

After some time looking into the finer points of taking rust off metal, I began to see more and more results with the word Molasses in it. Molasses — a viscous by-product of the refining of sugarcane or sugar beets into sugar. You know, black treacle. What is Molasses doing in search results about taking rust off metal?

Have ago. Better still put the words rust and molasses into YouTube and have a look at a few videos.

So this is what we are going to have ago at.

We went to the local farm shop and bought them out of equine molasses. After trying a few builders merchants we ended up at B&Q where we found the best value for volume for cash to put our rusty bits in.

Diluted our molasses 1 to 9 with water, and put our first bits in to get soaking.

Soon we wanted more space to get more scrap soaking…. sorry wonderful tractor bits gently being de-rusted. So we picked up a large barrel from a local garage. They get their oil delivered in it. So it needed cleaning first.

It is not easy looking dignified while cleaning a barrel.

Then it was time for the rusty items to go in.

Within days the effect was dramatic, but with rust like this it really needed a few weeks. After around 10 days most of the rust would just wash off with a small domestic pressure washer.

A week or so later the metal was fully free from rust and ready to paint… well almost. There is one minor drawback with this method of rust removal. When you have your metal clean and free from rust, it is wet and almost immediately begins to rust again. However, this is just soft thin surface rust and easier to remove than 20 years of rusting in a fallen down barn.

More on how we work from clean, rust free, and wet in another post.

Originally published at on October 17, 2015.