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Cleaning rust from vintage leather stamps?

Discussion in 'Sheaths & Such' started by xdoomsongx, Jul 4, 2018.

  1. xdoomsongx

    xdoomsongx

    37
    Mar 25, 2018
    Okay, I started toying with making my own sheaths a while ago, as a southpaw that strongly prefers a fixed blade for edc, the sheath struggle is real. Didn't think I would want to tool, but a co-worker heard that I was working with leather and gifted me some tools her father used. Everything looks okay, it has just been in storage in a humid climate without much more than a box. Most is surface rust that I'm comfortable removing. However, there are two stamps with significant rust on the stamp surface. One is a small camoflage the other is a flower, so lots of detail. Just wondering what I might be able to try to save them. I'm not a metal expert, and am not sure what would give the best chance. Thanks for any thoughts.
     
  2. leatherman

    leatherman leathermoderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 30, 2001
    I'd start with a bit of penetrating oil, like WD-40, and let it soak on the stamp for a day or so. A nice stiff plastic brush should get most of it off. If you need a little more umph get a hold of a brass brush and scrub it with that.
    I'd be a little reticent to use any steel brush or steel wool as you might lose some definition.
    If all else fails Naval Jelly will work but its risky.
     
  3. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    I was gonna make the same suggestion as Dwayne but also another thought occurred to me. If these stamps are rusting, which means they are carbon steel, even once you get them cleaned off are they gonna leave a mark , a discoloration on cased leather? maybe they are display items once ya get em cleaned? Won't know till ya try though.
     
  4. xdoomsongx

    xdoomsongx

    37
    Mar 25, 2018
    Have them soaking in some WD 40 now. I have all three brushes, and they are ready and waiting. Kind of surprised how much WD 40 I had laying around in the garage, stuff sort of clones itself. I've got a bunch of scrap leather that I can test on once I get them cleaned up. Thanks for the tips.
     
  5. Scott Hanson

    Scott Hanson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 6, 2014
    I've heard of people spraying stamps with clear lacquer after the rust is cleaned off of them. This is to prevent them from leaving rust stains on the leather when they use them.
     
  6. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    Good idea. I do this with my metal straight edges.
     
  7. Ebbtide

    Ebbtide

    Aug 20, 1999
    I've heard of using molasses for removing rust from tools, wrenches and the like....
     

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