What's the best way to rejuvinate a carpenter's square

I have one that sat in the shed and has surface rust to the point where it's hard to read the square. It's steel. I thought about steel wool but I need something that will get to the grooves in the numbers. Once clean, I'd like to "paint" the numbers only and then apply something to the whole square to protect it. Ideas?
--


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On 02 Jun 2008 00:04:22 GMT, "dan" <> wrote:

electrolysis
Regards,
Tom
Thos.J.Watson - Cabinetmaker tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet www.home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
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This might sound funny, but I do that with my older steel squares on purpose, sort of. My eyes aren't as good as they used to be, so when one of my squares starts getting hard to read because of surface patina I leave it out overnight for a few nights until it's got a bit of rust on it, and then blocksand it with, say, 150 wet-or-dry sandpaper to take off the surface rust and shine it up. The rust down in the grooves and numbers gives me better contrast. Sometimes I'll spray paint the whole rule with black primer and then block-sand off what's on the flat surfaces to get even better contrast.
I know this isn't exactly what you were asking for, but I thought you might enjoy a different perspective. Maybe some of the old-timers here will see themselves in this situation.
Tom Dacon
<dan> wrote in message

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If I could find my glasses ...
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On Sun, 1 Jun 2008 17:22:50 -0700, "Tom Dacon"

That's pretty much my thought as well. Of course I can't read the blasted numbers no matter what unless I get real close and squint, so it's all a bit of a moot point.
-- "We need to make a sacrifice to the gods, find me a young virgin... oh, and bring something to kill"
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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Makes me think of a problem I noticed recently. My regular glasses don't let me read anything close up and my reading glasses don't let me see things very sharp far away. Now, I'm noticing that I have problems seeing things in between close up and far away which for me equates to about a distance of 3 feet. It's getting to be a pain in the ass and I'm damned well not going to get a third pair of glasses.
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Try progressives. Zenni Optical which has been mentioned on this group many times is a good source.
Chuck P.
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<dan> wrote in message

I'd scrub it with WD40 and steel wool or Empire TopSaver and Scotch Brite pads and not worry with the numbers.
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That's probably molasses based as it hits the trigger words, chelation and non-toxic. Buy the molasses and make your own, it's cheaper.
R
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Works faster than molasses, so if it's molasses-based, it probably contains some sort of accelerant, probably a degreaser. At $10 per pint vs $2.50 per pint of Grandma's (dilute to 1/8 to make 1 gallon), I'd go with the cheaper of the two and be patient.
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Father Haskell wrote:

I finally tried this stuff (on some inherited auger bits that were coated with rust), worked quite well but at that price I won't be using it often. Making sure the pieces being treated are completey immersed is important, otherwise there's a sharp line of demarcation where the solution ends and the air begins, duh. It kind of smells bad too, and leaves a black residue behind which wipes off to some extent. I'd use it for something intricate enough that steel wool and elbow grease were inappropriate, but not for big pieces.
I tried Naval Jelly on the same bits and was less than dazzled with the results, at the very least repeated applications would have been needed.
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Naval Jelly doesn't know when to stop working. Electrolysis or molasses only attack rust. Naval Jelly leaves a pitted surface great for painting, but not for leaving bare. Even then, DuPont blue metal prep works better.
Using it on a blade ruins it, pitting it badly enough that it can't be sharpened. For rusted knives or chisels, the only real way to clean them is rubbing with oil and wool.
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"dan" <> wrote:

Electrolysis to get rid of the rust and preserve what's underneath. Clean up after with synthetic wool and some WD40. Preserve it with a coating of paste wax.
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<dan> wrote in message

Naval Jelly works best to remove the rust, then lightly sand it or steel wool it to get it smooth again.
Then wipe on and then wipe off some yellow or contrasting color enamel paint. It will fill the lines and numbers making them much easier to read. If you can't get all the paint off the flat surfaces, put a very small amount of paint thinner on the rag and wipe the surface again. If you use too much thinner you will remove the paint that's in the lines and numbers and you will have to start over again. When finished let it dry overnight before using.
I brighten up all of my engraved scales and squares this way, even new ones. I use yellow paint for dark finish tools and black paint for chrome or stainless tools. It makes them much easier to use.
Charley
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"dan" <> wrote:

I just did this a few days ago. I used a product called "Rust Free" from Woodcraft. It comes in an 8oz pump spray bottle.
Spray it on, wait 60 seconds, wipe it off. For heavy rust, scrub with steel wool before wiping. I used the steel wool. Most rust came off on the first pass, but I had to treat a couple of spots a second time. Unfortunatley, it can't remove the pits the rust left behind.
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This'll most likely be phosphoric acid - often sold as rust convertor in auto shops.
Works a treat and turns surface rust into a grey coating (iron phosphide) - it actually passivates the surface, slowing down any further rust development.
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