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I Forge Iron

Mousehole anvil

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If you are silversmithing you may want to polish the horn and faces of the anvil, if you are blacksmithing a good wirebrushing usually is enough.

Using the anvil will polish out the areas that get used and you can wax the areas that don't or if you will not be using it for a while.

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If you seriously want to get rid of the rust there are a couple methods I'd use rather than brushing and certainly before grinding.

Method 1, electrolysis, hook the anvil to the anode, positive side of a 12v sourse and a piece of sacrificial iron/steel to the cathode, negative pole. Submerge completely in a tub of water with a couple percent baking soda for electrolite. turn the power source on and check every so often till the rust is gone.

Remove and oil, wax or otherwise seal with rust inhibitor. I really like LPS3 on warm iron, it leaves a very durable wax and has rust inhibitors in the formula. A bit expensive but very effective. IMHO

Method 2 is sumerge the rusty item in a solution of between 15-30% phosphoric acid and let it soak till the rust is gone. The weaker the solution the slower the action but the less chance you'll damage the metal. It most certainly can damage iron / steel if you leave it too long. Remove, neutralize with baking soda and wax, oil, etc.

Naval Jelly (pink stuff) is 30% phosphoric acid with surfacants (helps cut to the bare metal) and polymerizer(s) (thickening agent)

If you try either of these methods on tools or equipment you want to disassemble them as they tend to weld iron/steel together, especially a phosphoric acid bath.

Lastly be extremely cautious with any acid, and especially phosphoric. If you buy a high concentration it will react explosively on contact with calcium like you find in concrete or bone.

Add acid to water, wear eye, skin, clothing protection, ventilate, etc. For sure read the MSDS and follow the precautions recommended.

If I were recommending one of these I'd say use electrolysis, it's way safer and just as effective.


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