Jump to content
I Forge Iron


george m.

Recommended Posts

Is there some sort of "pickle" or other treatment which will remove scale from steel and leave it a silver/grey color?


Almost 50 years ago I worked in the Alloy Bar Mill of US Steel's South Works in Chicago and I recall lowering bundles of steel rods into an acid bath (HCl IIRC) to remove the scale after they came out of the rolling mill and cooled.


I would like to make silvery iron roses but, of course, I can't remove all the scale with a wire wheel after the rose is completed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A little searching on IFI should give you plenty of info. However, I haven't written much of anything today so. . .  If you dilute Naval Jelly 50 50 in water it'll derust/scale/etc. iron/steel nicely. Just remember to rinse, neutralize with baking soda and rinse again, followed by oil or whatever finish you like. If you let any phosphoric acid product dry the steel will have a phosphate finish, flat black as the inside of a fish in a barrel at night. If you don't oil, wax, paint, etc. very soon after the final rinse it WILL rust quickly.


Frosty The Lucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I vote for vinegar, it leaves the steel a nice flat gray, but as Frosty mentioned has to be neutralized after you remove it to keep it from rusting.  I use it on lots of small, intricate pieces, after a 24 hour soak I take a metal brush (toothbrush size) to it under running water to remove any scale that didn't remove itself, it comes off easily.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...