I'm rehabbing an old craftsman saw which has never been used but sat in
a garage for 20+ years. The tar paper had completely rusted into the
surfaces. I have cleaned it up substantially but I just can't seem to
lift the remaining grime off of it. The funny thing is that the grime
seems to move around the saw (for example if I rub it with my finger),
but it's just too sticky to come up. Here are two pictures:
I have tried:
in combinations with:
Any further ideas would be appreciated!
I'm a volunteer with a charity called "Tool With a Mission". We collect
old, unwanted tools, refurbish them and ship to Africa, where they are
used, with some training, to give someone a trade they can get a living
Tools come in, often in a terrible state with all sorts of detritus on
them, apart from rust, including paint, tar, glue and who knows what.
(Sometimes it's better not to give too much thought to what the goo might
My favourite tool for cleaning stuff up is an angle grinder fitted with
one of those heavy-duty, twisted-wire, cup brushes. It's not been defeated
yet but do wear proper eye protection, (I prefer a full face visor because
I don't like the stinging sensation when bits of wire brush hit my cheek)
having a piece of wire brush pulled out of your eyeball at the local
hospital is a rather unpleasant procedure.
Formula 409 and Fantastik sometimes do what others can't. Interesting
Roofing tar remover, for ladders, tools, etc.
Machinists use varieties of degreasers.
A trick the wife showed me, when *nothing* would get deep machine grease out
of my hands:
Scrub in vegetable oil!!! effingAmazing!
Similarly, scrubbing with motor oil, ATF, or some such might help as well.
The wire brush suggestion is not without merit either. Mebbe a spatula, or
even a razor blade, or any sharpened sheetmetal or shim stock, so you just
have a thin layer left to deal with chemically.
To your list I would add:
- Simple Green
- Automotive tar cleaner
- A good citrus-based bicycle chain cleaner
I doubt if a simple household citrus cleaner will do the job, based on
what you have done. The chain cleaner is meant to be a soak, then
scrub cleaner. Give it a try with a scotchbrite or even a wire
brush. The last time I had to clean the gooey preservative off of a
new tool table top the bike chain cleaner practically floated it off
after a 10-20 minute soak.
I can't tell anything from the pictures-- but if your finger 'moves it
around' - try a Magic Eraser. [follow the directions- they are to be
Actually- have you tried all your abrasives dry-- or just with
solvents. Sometimes dry is better.
I've looked at your photos, read what you've tried, and read the
suggestions offered - and if none of these things works, I'll suggest
that you use the proceeds of the saw's sale toward the purchase of a
brand new high-end cabinet saw. :)
If it moves but doesn't come up, try a razor blade scraper.
There's another cleaner that wasn't in your list, that often works
for me; waterless hand cleaner. Lanolin is the old standby,
and the imitation-lanolin waterless hand cleaners are OK substitutes.
Wipe off with a damp rag afterward.
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