pics of the rust would help
I need a little help from the cast iron gurus.
I rescued a cast iron tea kettle from the dump. It has light rusting on the exterior and heavy rusting inside. I did a little stripping on the outside with a Dremel and tried the 50/50 vinegar trick on the inside, but there is still a lot of rust. Is there any hope for this? I have a wood stove in the house that I would really like to put this on, but not unless its cleaned up.
Also, if I go down to bear metal, how do I get it blackened again? Does the normal seasoning process blacken it?
Appreciate any pointers...
scotchbrite or wire brush the inside.
are you going to use it for making hot water to drink or for humidity control?
if you're not planning on drinking out of it later, try some wink's, naval jelly, or CLR -- all 3 are phosphoric acid based and will dissolve rust pretty quickly.
another thought would be sulfuric or muriatic acid based drain cleaners.
If you'll be drinking the hot water made in it, I would go with full strength vinegar and simmer it a bit to make the reaction work faster after scrubbing.
to reblacken the outside once you're done cleaning up all the rust, heat it up to 450 or 500 degrees and then wipe beeswax over the outside -- it will carbonize and make a tough black coating -- this is how I blacken forged spoons & forks.
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what about wire brushing the use a rust eraser to finish it off.
I hear electrolysis is the way to go for cast iron rust removal
go buy some lye,drop it in a bucket of water and wait.
as for black it will have to be reseasoned.
That electrolysis method looks pretty bad ass! I have never heard of that before. Think I am going to try that first and the lye as a second option. I had been using a wire brush but it wasn't working all that well and you can't brush the inside of a tea kettle very well. As for use, I only plan on using this kettle for humidity control. But you never know, so I don't want wipe out any future options by poisoning it.
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I will try to get some photos up sometime today. I come across quite a bit of old cast iron cookware. If I can find an easy method to restore it I will start bringing more home.
Stick it in your oven and put it on the cleaning cycle. Takes a little scrubbing to finish the job after that but it will make your life much, much easier. If you do not want to use your oven, throw it on a pile of HOT coals next time you make a fire.
"I'm not sure I'm smart enough to work cold fusion... On the other hand I could shovel kittens into a furnace all day long." --Anonymous
Whatever chemical you decide to use, try using a a good pile of BB's with it. Swirl them around in the kettle with the spout plugged and the cover on until all the rust is broken up. I use this method for cleaning rust out of vintage motorcycle gas tanks.
as for seasoning use your outdoor grill,it will smoke your kitchen and smell the house.
and you know women and there moods.
Cast iron kettles like that never made sense to me, the inside will always rust if you use it for what it is made. The most practical use for them seems to be to keep the humidity up in your house if you heat with a wood stove. I would not fight the rust inside of it but would use a brass wheel brush with a drill and clean up the ext. then coat it with mineral oil to keep it black and pretty. If anyone else uses a CI kettle for hot water for tea is it any advantage over a lighter steel or copper tea kettle?
Wood stove humidity is the only thing I have planned for this thing.
Right, I wasn't sure if anyone used one for anything else. I wouldn't fight what is happening inside of it but a gallon of white vinegar would be a cheap way to do the job.
I wanted to update this thread to let you all know that the electrolysis method worked perfectly to remove all the rust. The hardest part was tracking down the sodium carbonate; I live in a small isolated community and the stores don't stock that. Once I had everything together I started the process and a couple hours later I was done. I spent a few minutes at the utility sink with some steel wool and done!
The biggest problem that I have now is that the wire wheel and Dremel tool brought it down to bare metal and even after seasoning you can still see shiny spots. I have not seasoned in a 450 oven yet and I don't think my BBQ grill gets that hot. But I may try to track down some beeswax and throw it in the oven like 1006vik suggested.
The elelctroysis method was so easy and so effective that I grabbed two more pieces to refurb. One turned out to be a classic Griswold that is selling for $150 on Ebay.
I've used electrolysis before on rusty car and bike parts, it's like magic.
I'm glad it worked for you ... post up some pics .
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