<< I would imagine using steel wool is a good idea. >>
No it isn't. Best to use a wet/dry abarsive paper. Your project is similar to
refinishing a car, so one could use techniques and materials similar to
<< Is there a solvent (i.e. naval jelly) >>
Many things that actively dissolve rust are too potent for mere home owners.
Milder acids are OK after most of the rust is removed. IIRC, Naval Jelly is
one of many products that leave a passive surface of iron phospahte behind that
is beneficial for paint.
<< Then, use a primer and rustolium (sp?)?? >>
Rustoleum primers and paints have earned a good rep for years because they
perform as advertised. Bottom line, sand with wet/dry paper, treat with a
phosphating product if you wish, use Rustoleum or similar primer and topcoat.