best way to clean old augur bits?


I got one of those deals on a big box that contained more than 70 old augur bits for my brace drill. These bits are really gunky, dirty, some of them are rusty, but they are all filthy and covered with years of gunk. I have been thinking the best thing to do with them is to drop them in a bucket of mineral spirits and let them soak for a few hours, just to get at least the original crud off them. Any better ideas? I'd like to do the initial cleaning as easily as possible, then, when they're clean(er), I can look at the bits individually and scrub/clean/sharpen or discard as necessary. But I need to get to step 1 first...
Thanks for any tips.
Joe
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lustra wrote:

Soak them in a bucket of degreaser (Simple Green would work), brush them off with a stiff brush, then use an electrolysis pit to derust them. (Google on electrolysis rust removal). Finally, spray them with Boeshield or other rust preventive spray.
JP
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Excellent tips. Thanks. Joe
wrote:

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Grinder with a wire wheel.
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I think he said "gunk" ... not caked dirt clots
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Hence the wire wheel - not something I'd use on caked dirt clods.
(owner of 3 generations of brace bits that all have a lovely brushed finish from the wire wheel and no gunk anywhere.)
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I once bought a cardboard can full of bits in a thrift shop, very cool find. They were covered in dirty grease (genuine gunk), I soaked them in a water based degreaser, for a day, like over night, then cleaned them with paper towels and a bucket of water to rinse, then dried them with a clean rag towel. Worked great. Leonard Lee's "The Sharpening Book" shows how to sharpen them and I followed that for one bit, so far. That special file will need replacing more often than it seems, so you might want to buy at least a few or four to start. Small filing stones also work, Norton and Arkansas, with oil. As far as rust, steel wool and wd-40. Congrats on the find.
--
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
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