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M38 Fallschirmjäger relic - cleaning using... oxalic acid?

Article about: Hi, yes thanks for all of the advice you guys. Well, in contrast to what one might think, the steel is still very solid and firm. Perhaps some of you are already familiar with the term, but

  1. #1

    Default M38 Fallschirmjäger relic - cleaning using... oxalic acid?

    Hi Folks,

    Need some tips on removing rust of this M38:

    I'm planning on using oxalic acid, which I already have... Any tips?

    I know some say clean, other say don't... My gut says clean, especially because there's a name inside and I want to see if there are any decals underneath the corrosion...

    Seller sold this to me as a 'mustard camo relic', however it could be that this camo pattern is just rust.. I do believe there's a light camouflage pattern in purple and black applied though, the rust is quite severe.

    Here's the helmet:








    (Liner itself is included as well, treating that one with leather care product/polish)



    Name:



    Please help, share your experience and opinions with me... Would like to become the best result possible.

    Thanks,
    Ken

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  3. #2

    Default Re: M38 Fallschirmjäger relic - cleaning using... oxalic acid?

    Oxalic acid will not work on thise one, oxalic acid is to remove rust staines... you need something more power full on thise one, like elektrolysis.
    Beware of oxalic acid it is a viscious poison, it will'not hurt or smel but it get to you liver thru evaporation into your skin! If you are about to use it, do it out side, with the wind in your back!And not were children or pets use to play!
    Nice helmet btw!!
    |<
    Always looking for Belgian Congo stuff!
    cheers
    |<ris

  4. #3

    Default Re: M38 Fallschirmjäger relic - cleaning using... oxalic acid?

    Oxalic won't do much and would only hurt your liner even more if you were to soak the lid. Electrolysis is out of the question due to shell condition, it will eat away the thin steel and you'll have more holes than you thought you had.

    IMO the liner is beyond treatment, the leathers dead...

    If it were me, i'd be leaving it alone and enjoying it 'as is'.

  5. #4
    ?

    Default Re: M38 Fallschirmjäger relic - cleaning using... oxalic acid?

    I agree, I think it's beyond any recovery. Only thing that you can do is preserve it as is at this point.

    Nitram

  6. #5

    Default Re: M38 Fallschirmjäger relic - cleaning using... oxalic acid?

    I respectfully disagree with what stuka said, I have used oxalic on helmets in this condition with great results. An overnight bath in 5/10% solution (50/100g of oxalic crystals in 10 litre of water) is usually OK but I always go on the weaker side to be safe. Check it every 4 or 6 hours if you can, wear thick rubber gloves and be very careful with the powder! The liner might not survive very well with this method however, I have only done it with bare shells.

    The soil conditions it was buried in play a big part in whether anything can be recovered too, but you would be surprised the amount of paint that can come back from even something as rough as this. Think hard and be careful, there is no going back

  7. #6

    Default Re: M38 Fallschirmjäger relic - cleaning using... oxalic acid?

    But here's the problem with oxalic, it won't remove heavy rust but it WILL fade any paint that is left, especially with an overnight soak.

    Ken , I suggest you read some of the threads in this restoration/conservation forum regarding oxalic use and make up your own mind. I have a fairly substantial thread on a DD M35 where you'll see what the oxalic does.

  8. #7

    Default Re: M38 Fallschirmjäger relic - cleaning using... oxalic acid?

    Quote by Glenn66 View Post
    But here's the problem with oxalic, it won't remove heavy rust but it WILL fade any paint that is left, especially with an overnight soak.

    Ken , I suggest you read some of the threads in this restoration/conservation forum regarding oxalic use and make up your own mind. I have a fairly substantial thread on a DD M35 where you'll see what the oxalic does.
    Indeed!
    |<
    Always looking for Belgian Congo stuff!
    cheers
    |<ris

  9. #8

    Default Re: M38 Fallschirmjäger relic - cleaning using... oxalic acid?

    Thanks for your replies everyone..!

    Well, I have the oxalic acid so I'm just gonna give it a little try.. I'm not soaking the helmet though, I just want to get rid of the worst rust, especially above the rim inside.

    A soaking bath is out of the option, no way, I know this would ruin the liner (the leather liner is not in the picture though, that one I ca just take out...). Leather isn't supple, and has become hard.

    Well I'll practice on some spots on the inside first, to see what it gives. I'll use small doses first..

    Don't worry about safety, I'll use it in fresh air with two pairs of gloves (a pair of latex gloves underneath a pair of working gloves)... I know how hazardous the stuff is so I'm not taking any risk, will wear a face mask as well.

    Cheers,
    Ken

  10. #9
    ?

    Default Re: M38 Fallschirmjäger relic - cleaning using... oxalic acid?

    This is one helmet that needs nothing doing to it, the amount of corrosion will no doubt be deep and extensive, any type of acidic action will not only remove the heavy rust but reduce the shells thickness substantionally and leave the whole thing very fragile, the rubber padding cannot be removed without further damage and any acid of any sort will destroy it completely, the urge to ascertain a name or decal will render this helmet untold damage, there are some you can get away with, this is'nt one of them

  11. #10

    Default Re: M38 Fallschirmjäger relic - cleaning using... oxalic acid?

    Any good examples of before and after?

    Best,
    Ken

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