Rusty knives

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by Mateos, Sep 8, 2020.

  1. Mateos


    Dec 2, 2015
    Hello Folks,

    I have a few knives that I need to polish up due to rust and general grunge/sap/tar. Both polished and villager (satin) finishes. Nothing too serious, mostly surface stuff, I dont think any pitting.

    Any recommendations on grade(s) of steel wool to get? I have some metal polishes already. I have gone after it with plastic pads, but too labor intensive.

    Also might be interested in blueing one of my blades for fun, so any recommended product for this would be great.

  2. Khanvoy44

    Khanvoy44 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 22, 2016
    Skotch brite, barkeepers friend and elbow grease.
  3. Bawanna

    Bawanna Moderator Moderator

    Dec 19, 2012
    Sometimes steel wool doesn't get the job done, as mentioned scotch brite or I usually just start with sandpaper. Depending how bad it is, I'll go with like 220 and then finer and finer.

    There's a lot of cold blueing products out these days. Birchwood Casey has paste and liquid. There are others at like Brownell's or Midway etc. No doubt on Amazon these days too. I often times use different brands and types back and forth to get the look I want. Sometimes it helps to take the blue better if you heat it a bit with a hair dryer or heat gun. Not super hot just good and warm.
    EricTheRedBeard likes this.
  4. scdub

    scdub Basic Member Basic Member

    May 29, 2004
    Before you start with sand paper or steel wool, consider using hot distilled vinegar to remove the rust. It’ll leave a dark patina in place of the rust but won’t leave any scratches like abrasives will. If you’ve looking for a perfect finish then yes - sanding followed by buffing will be best but will take much more effort... Good luck and post some pics if you can!
    EricTheRedBeard likes this.
  5. Howard Wallace

    Howard Wallace . Moderator

    Feb 23, 1999
    For using knives I use whatever scouring pad and scotchbrite pads are currently in the sink.

    Sometime back I documented my most extensive cleanup story.

    That 15” AK is still in service, riding in the back of my SUV, after almost 3 decades of use.
    scdub, gyr and George Azar like this.
  6. scdub

    scdub Basic Member Basic Member

    May 29, 2004
    Man - that must have been a horrible feeling to find all that water in your trunk!! Great job on the restoration though!
  7. Gatnom


    Aug 7, 2020
    It depends on how bad things are....I like start light and work up....steel wool or scotch brite to sand paper in increasing grades only going as far as needed to see the results I want. Then I work back down to polish things out... I sometimes finish with a die grinder/ Dremel with polishing compound for the final finish. Be careful near the thinner points s it is possible to overheat them with high speed tools.
  8. Mateos


    Dec 2, 2015
    Thanks everyone. Love that AK comeback story :)
  9. ndoghouse

    ndoghouse Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    Before you do anything get the sap and tar off with acetone, gasoline, alcohol, Wild Turkey 101 or whatever is your favorite. There is nothing better than sap and tar to clog up your abrasives rendering them useless. I use scotchbrite pads to do that.
    EricTheRedBeard likes this.
  10. Elgatodeacero

    Elgatodeacero Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 5, 2014
    For very light surface rust I have found bronze wool (not steel wool) and WD40 work very well.

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