Concrete tamper

I bought a two handed concrete tamper at a yard sale yesterday, probably spending too much for it ............ $10. But I needed one.
On the bottom screen, it's reasonably clean, but has some residual concrete on it. From the looks of it, it has been on there for quite a while. What is the best way to get that off? I don't want to beat on it with a hammer and bend it all up. It's expanded metal. Would soaking it in water, or maybe spraying it with some petroleum base product soften it enough for a power washer to take it off? How do you clean yours when it has hardened? The spaces are still there, so it hasn't hardened totally all the way across.
Steve
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sandblaster, the concrete is softer than the metal.....
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Steve B wrote:

Acid will remove hardened concrete from lots of different surfaces.
I remove concrete residue from ABS plastic textured form liners (4 ft by 10 ft) by spraying concentrated sulphuric acid on them using an ordinary hand-held spray bottle. This is the suphuric acid that's sold by the gallon in stores like home depot, labelled as muriatic acid (I think it's used for swimming pool maintainence).
I pretty much have to wear a mask and rubber gloves while I'm doing that - the fumes will really mess up your nose even if you're doing it outside. I spray it on full strength (no dilution) and let it sit for a few minutes and then take a hand-held nylon (or some sort of plastic) scrub brush to the surface. The concrete comes off like it's loosened wet dirt. Nothing else can do this - no amount of elbow grease, etc. I then spray it down with water and it all comes off like loose crud. The spray bottle can't be used again - I think the rubber inside the trigger gets messed up by the acid.
You can get concentrated sulphuric acid on your skin and it really doesn't do much, but it will sting if it gets onto any scratches on your skin, particularly around your finger tips.
I've also used the same acid to remove dried concrete from my 3-cf Red Lion steel-drum electric cement mixer.
You can buy some really expensive concrete remover that may not be so caustic to bare steel - I think it's just some other form of acid (might also be similar to rust remover). They won't tell you on the label what's inside. I think the bottle I had once was called "Concrete Blaster".
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On 6/12/2011 2:16 PM, Home Guy wrote:

Muriatic acid is hydrochloric acid. It is used to etch concrete and will clean up the tools but could also attack the metal. Fumes and liquid are both hazardous.
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Frank wrote:

Yes, I knew that. But for some reason my fingers typed sulphuric acid. Might be because I seem to remember always smelling a rotten-egg odour when using it.
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Home Guy wrote:

Smitty was a chemist, Smitty is no more, What he thought was H2O, Was HCl.
No, that's not right...
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Just for clarity: muriatic acid is another name for hydrochloric acid (HCl), NOT sulphuric acid (H2SO4):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muriatic_acid
HCL is not nearly as strong as sulphuric acid, and is much safer to use. Sulphuric acid is way more damaging and dangerous; it'll dissolve skin or mucus menbranes (or metal, or even rock) in a flash.

-Zz
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On 6/12/2011 2:41 PM, Zz Yzx wrote:

Both acids are sold in concentrated form which is 38% for hydrochloric and 98% for sulfuric. Both are strong acids and form the same low pH in water. Concentrated sulfuric is a strong dehydrating agent which makes it more dangerous to skin. Hydrochloric will evaporate but sulfuric will not and trace acid will remain to do harm to clothing and the like.
Many people have been burned pouring water into sulfuric acid which will boil and spurt because of the heat generated from hydration. The dilution rule is to slowly add acid to water but never add water to acid.
A drop of either acid in the eye can cause permanent eye damage.
We had a project using sulfuric and operators were complaining that while their acid resistant clothing was holding up, it was degrading their underwear. Supervisor wanted to buy them acid resistant underwear but I said, after the underwear, there is their skin. If acid splashing is so bad, they needed to wear acid proof (rubber or plastic) garments.
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If it looks anything like this
http://www.pricegrabber.com/p__Kraft_Tool_Concrete_Tamper_36_x_8_Diamond_Hole_Kraft_Tool_Made_in_the_USA,__849112699 /
$10 was a steal. I bought one like this ~20 years ago for ~$40. Loaned it out to ???? & never got it back. :(
To clean it up, either:
back it up with a hard flat surface & go after it from the top side with a 3 lb sledge & a large diameter rod where you need it.; harder than tapping but don't pound on it. OR place it in a shallow plastic tray and soak it in a 50/50 solution of pool acid & water. You can also spray the acid solution one but you'll "waste" more of it due to runoff.
I really don't see spraying the concrete with any kind of petroleum based product as softening the concrete
cheers Bob
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wrote:

If it looks anything like this
http://www.pricegrabber.com/p__Kraft_Tool_Concrete_Tamper_36_x_8_Diamond_Hole_Kraft_Tool_Made_in_the_USA,__849112699 /
$10 was a steal. I bought one like this ~20 years ago for ~$40. Loaned it out to ???? & never got it back. :(
To clean it up, either:
back it up with a hard flat surface & go after it from the top side with a 3 lb sledge & a large diameter rod where you need it.; harder than tapping but don't pound on it. OR place it in a shallow plastic tray and soak it in a 50/50 solution of pool acid & water. You can also spray the acid solution one but you'll "waste" more of it due to runoff.
I really don't see spraying the concrete with any kind of petroleum based product as softening the concrete
cheers Bob
This is one of those types. The guy was a retired 72 yo contractor. Man he had some "stuff". The tamper had to be 20+ years old, probably USA made. I shall take your advice of the 50/50 soak. Just wanted to check before I go after it in case there's some easy way to do it. Think if I get it softened up that some power washing, and light tapping with a hammer and backup will take off all that I want to take off.
Oh, goody. Now I can pour a slab between my containers, and take a big step in making my shop. 1280 sf. Two 40' containers with 16' between with complete metal cover and hoist frame.
About time.
Steve
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The tool is usually called a jitterbug. They are dicouraged or completely forbidden on commercial concrete work. The original intent was to use them to knock the heavy stone deeper in the concrete and develop more cream on top which can lead to spalling and delamination, especially with air entrained concrete.
Sand blasting would be the easiest way to clean it. There is a product called nox crete that is made for cleaning up tools and equipment: http://www.nox-crete.com /

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If it is an illegal tool, I shall give it no special treatment. Oh, wait, it's now my special tool. It gets special treatment. Never mind.
I do believe it will qualify for the engineering parameters of flat concrete driveway. Unless, of course, we convert it at some future time to space vehicle launches, which may be the case. In that case, I shall make a small contribution to the Presidential candidate du jour, and get a presidential waiver and citation for work done for the furtherment of mankind. Maybe even turn in a request for reimbursement for $175,000 for my $10 investment.
Steve
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