Best way to get deep rust off a hawk?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Aerose91, Mar 17, 2018.

  1. Aerose91


    Feb 11, 2014
    I have a nice HR Forge medium hawk and it's great. I just took it out to re oil it and a few weeks of damp, muggy Florida weather rusted it pretty badly. I have a patina on it and kept it slathered in mineral oil while i was traveling but i wrapped it in a microfiber cloth and that sealed in the moisture.

    I scrubbed it down with heavy gauge steel wool and rubbed it with oil but barely any of the rust came off. Before i go and do something stupid, i want to ask for advice

    *I tried to add some photos but I'm on my phone and don't believe i can from here
  2. Mr. Tettnanger

    Mr. Tettnanger

    Jul 14, 2012
    Evapo Rust
  3. Deep rust scrubs away a lot easier if you let it soak in something like WD-40 for a while. One thing I've done with heavily rusted knives, is to spray them down HEAVILY with WD-40, then wrap them in a cloth or towel or several layers of paper towel, also SOAKED with WD-40, and seal the whole thing in a plastic bag for a day or two (24-48 hours). Then, after it soaks, it's a lot easier to scrub the rust away. WD-40 softens it up in that time, which makes it easier. If the handle of the hawk can be removed first, it'd be a good idea to do that, so the WD-40 soak and dissolved rest rust won't stain it.

    You could also try scrubbing it with baking soda and a little water to make a mildly abrasive, gritty paste. It's abrasive enough to dislodge some surface rust, but not abrasive enough to scratch anything. The baking soda 'grit' also gets down into pits & cavities in the steel while scrubbing with a stiff brush (toothbrush, brass/wire brush, etc), which helps on items with a very rough surface finish. When you're done scrubbing with the baking soda, just rinse it away; it'll dissolve completely with more water, so it cleans up very easily. You might try this method first; if it works, it's much less messy to finish up. The WD-40 soak method works real well for very heavy rust, but it's a lot more tedious & messy, cleaning up afterward.
  4. jpm2


    Nov 19, 2014
    For any rust that doesn't clean up with steel wool, I completely clean, degrease, and submerge in vinegar for 3-24 hours, depending on the depth of corrosion. The vinegar will eat all the rust away, leaving a clean, etched surface.
  5. Aerose91


    Feb 11, 2014
    Will vinegar work better than wd-40? I put a good vinegar patina on it when i first got it but that still didn't stop the rust
  6. jpm2


    Nov 19, 2014
    WD40 and other oily solvents loosen the rust so it can be wiped away, vinegar dissolves it. If WD40 and steel wool doesn't get it all, the vinegar will.
    Patina is a thin stain barrier that helps, but doesn't entirely prevent it.
  7. Vinegar will generate more oxidation and rust, if it's not completely removed afterward. It does loosen existing rust, but will also further etch & pit the steel underneath it. If the existing rust is really stubborn, it may be something to try. But make sure you clean it up real well afterward. The baking soda will help with that, in neutralizing the acidity.
  8. Goose 7279

    Goose 7279 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 22, 2015
    Elektra kleen is the best rust remover i have ever used it takes off stuff that emory cloth struggles to remove. I just spray it with elektra kleen and use rags and wipe/scrub it away. You can use your steel wool and elektra kleen at the same time but i would bet that elektra kleen alone will remove most if not all with just wiping/scrubbing of a rag..
    Here is a picture of the bottle.

    I found about this stuff while working maintenance for a mining outfit. We would use it to clean rust off of the shafts of motors to put shivs on. They never cover the shafts before storage and some were even left out in the weather. The shaft/shiv fit was super tight so any rust made it imposssible to put it on. As i said tho this stuff would take off rust that sand paper struggled to remove.

    When u get it clean use a coat of CLP you can buy it from collector knives comes in a wax or liquid but after you apply it it leaves like a waxy like layer or film of oil and it definately is the best rust prevention i have found. I use to use 3 in 1 oil and renwax but neither hold a candle to seal 1 CLP
  9. Spideyjg


    Nov 7, 2017
    WD40 rust remover or Evaporust work awesome but darken carbon steel. Dip the blade for an hour scrub with a green scotch brite, dip again until the rust if gone. Either sucks all the moisture out of wood though.

    Knives and acid are a bad idea. Barkeepers friend is the best cleanser for rust but does that by using an acid component. I scrub with baking soda paste after using it.


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