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I Forge Iron

Handling issues of scale for complex buildings?

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How do you get scale or get rid of scale? Assuming the latter, there are a few ways. First use a stiff brush at a red+ heat and brush thoroughly. For stubborn stuff, give it a quick quench in water and then brush thoroughly (the water can make some scale in those concave features pop off so they can be brushed away). For really stubborn stuff, use a wooden dish swage to dish the flower back slightly (flower side convex), thereby loosening the scale and allowing your brush to get deeper in there. You can flip the flower over and use another wooden/rawhide/non-marring hammer to bend the flower back when you're done. If all else fails, a soak in vinegar will remove scale.

Usually a more thorough brushing at an appropriate heat is all you really need IMO, but I have found some pieces are indeed quite stubborn.

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Acid removes scale; vinegar == acetic acid, is a generally used one.  Soak overnight and then scrub with a soft bristle scrub brush under running water---I use the hose bib. Inspect, repeat if needed.  Neutralize  in a baking soda solution rinse and immediately finish as flash rusting will start.   Note: the item must be free of oil/wax/blo/etc for the vinegar to work.

Stronger acids work in less time with MUCH GREATER dangers and risks! (Both to you and the item and any tolls close by...)

Items without semi enclosed spaces can be sandblasted, wire brushed, sanded/ground, etc

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