Rita -vs- Cast Iron


Well as you might guess I was kicked in the butt by hurricane rita. The house and shop both survived but my cast iron took a beating by the rain. My shop has a metal roof and the sideways rain was forced up and into the ridge and down on the tools. Now this is no rust from humidity, it's down right a soaking. I have dealt with surface rust when my tools were in storage. A little scotchbrite pads and elbow grease got it back. This time it's a little different. I work for the fire department and worked the storm so I was able to get back and check things out the next day. They all got a good coat of WD40. Now I'm too the point of getting them cleaned up. I think I got to them in time to avoid pitting but they are all stained with black water spots once the surface rust is removed. Any other suggestions? Jody in Beaumont TX
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Best I've found is Top Saver. I don't know if it will save yours if the stains are deep, but it is easy to use and cleans CI up pretty bright.
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black stains don't impair their function any, you can consider them battle scars.
work the surfaces over with a razor blade to get any built up rust off first. then clean with a rag and thinner, then apply a coat of wax.
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Jody:
Had the same problems when we have been caught in the rain our tools were rained on for a couple of days. Amazingly, the motors still worked. I had someone tell me to blow out the motor for several minutes with the compressor to make sure no residual moisture was in the windings or would wind up in the brushes, and it seemed to work.
As for the top on the contractor saw (your gonna love this...) I cleaned it with emory cloth and 3 in 1 oil powered by hand. Then I ran the ROS over it with a 180 grit alox grit pad on it. Then I hit is with the big power buffer with black emory on the wheel from the hardware store. Finished it up with red rouge on the wheel, and it was better than when it was new. It took all signs of machining out and truly looked polished.
Robert
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If you worked enough to remove the machine marks by hand, I'm wondering if you got any dishing in the surface. Did you check it for flatness after that? I'd be hesitant to polish something by hand that much.
Bob
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Mine were submerged by katrina. Completely under water for the length of time that the storm surge came in and then receded. Then sat for two weeks in a mini-warehouse full of wet stuff before I could get back to them.
I've torn down the Unisaw to the basic pieces. All the internal castings have been de-rusted using Top Saver, emory, scotch bright, and 30 micron paper. castings repainted with machine surfaces masked with vasoline.
Arbor bracket assembly being rebuilt with new bearings.
Motor was completely disassembled (cap covers still had standing water when I got to it) flushed, baked at 190 degrees F for about six hours bearings changed, reassembled, and I'm waiting for new capacitors to see if I did any good.
Don't know what to do with the table. Nothing has worked so far. It is derusted but the black mottled staining remains. Smooth to the touch,and flat but stained.
This was a brand new, collectors item. No doubt I will make it functional again, but its value as a collectors item is probably gone.
Have several other working units to do when I've completed the Unisaw.
Hope you come out OK. I know folks in that area appreciate your being there to work the storm.
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you got any dishing in the surface. Did you check it for flatness after
that? I'd be hesitant to polish something by hand that much.<<
It was fine, Bob. I checked as I went. There is still tiny areas of staining as I was careful NOT to concentrate on one area or blemish (after all, thats all these are... please don't think the rust ATE into the top as it has on some of my other tools) so I wouldn't dig in.
As for the machine marks, this is the satin finish machine marks left after final lapping. So it has gone from satin to a nice polish. The upside is that the coat of orange rust completely gone, but with the polished surface every tiny scratch shows, and the small stains that were left after refinishing the top really stand out in the new polish.
Robert
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Jody wrote:

I had pretty good luck with a rusty garage sale table saw using wet or dry sandpaper wetted with WD40. Had to use emery cloth on one pitted area. Then waxed the top with Butchers paste wax and it slides wood like new.
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I would be careful of the wax, you could get it on the wood and the wood not take finish or stain
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