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Cleaning/polishing complicated pieces


Karn3

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I've got some pieces that I've just finished and need cleaning, but they all curvy and  full of nooks and crannies that I'll never get a wire wheel into in a million years. How do I go about cleaning stuff like this?

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14 minutes ago, Karn3 said:

How do I go about cleaning stuff like this?

  When I do small stuff, like 3/8" snowflakes for example, I run them through my sandblast cabinet. For larger pieces that won't fit, a pot sandblaster works well for me.                  Life is Good                           Dave  

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Thanks for the relies! Sand blasting was my go-to thought, but I was wondering if there were any other methods that I'd overlooked. I think anything that involves brushing is a no go as there are just too many places that I cant get to.

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jlpservicesinc taught me a way to clean mild steel on the inside folds of the billet where nothing can reach (so the forge weld is clean). It was amazingly simple!  She heated the piece to light red and plunged it in the water.  The reaction blows the scale off the piece.  She then immediately pulled it out, put it on the anvil, and tapped it lightly with a hammer.  I watched the final tiny pieces of scale fall off leaving a nice clean layer of metal.  The forge weld went perfectly.  

Im not sure if this is possible for your piece but, if there is heavy scale, it will do a lot of the work for you.  I’ve never tried the chemical methods but the above posters know a lot more than I do.

 

Lou

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On 3/21/2018 at 12:09 PM, ThomasPowers said:

vinegar soak overnight to remove scale, then rinse while brushing with a soft brush and immediate treatment to prevent flash rusting.

X2 on what Thomas said...vinegar is safe, cheap, harmless (the 5% stuff) and environmentally friendly.  I use it all the time.  Use dilute baking soda solution to neutralize against rusting as he pointed out.

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On 3/22/2018 at 2:20 PM, JustAnotherViking said:

Once you're done with it, it makes a great weed killer too (the vinegar) 

No, it doesn’t. Vinegar is decent at killing off the leaves of plants, but it doesn’t do anything to to the stems or root systems. It looks like you’ve killed the plants, but everything grows back pretty quickly. 

Also, there are many beneficial organisms in the soil (e.g., mycorrhizal fungi) that get killed by the vinegar, so in addition to being an ineffective herbicide, it’s actually quite bad got the soil. 

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It makes a great soil killer then? 

I have a gravel driveway and poured my last batch of vinegar from cleaning old horseshoes over some stubborn weeds.

Killed off the leaves instantly, and also appears to have had the desired effect of purging the ground of any weed nutrients.  

So yeah, as you said, a bad weed killer in the traditional sense, but somewhat handy when you don't want any growth, e.g. Path or driveway. 

I may have also mixed in some salt and liquid dish soap... Was quite a while ago, so I can't remember the exact mix. 

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