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Relic cleaning - White Vinegar

Article about: by Steve T Can't wait to see the result Datrus ! I have a hard time waiting myself. I will start a restoration of this helmet afterwards.

  1. #41
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    Default Re: Relic cleaning - White Vinegar

    Also you can look for some Incralac or just spray your relics with clear half mat transparent laquer.

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  3. #42

    Default Re: Relic cleaning - White Vinegar

    I might try something like this:

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    Best Regards

    Vegard T.
    -------------------------------
    Looking for militaria from 38. Batterie, Heeres Küsten Artillerie Regiment 977, also from 31, 32 and 36. Batterie.

  4. #43
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    Default Re: Relic cleaning - White Vinegar

    I think some regular thick lubrication oil will be safer. This is also bore cleaner. Bore cleaner is meant to remove metal from the inside of a gun barrel. Maybe it will discolor the relics, maybe not. But try it out on a part of a relic and see what happens.

  5. #44
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    Default Re: Relic cleaning - White Vinegar

    Hi Vegar,
    I make reproductions for a living, and I use a lot of old WW2 U.S. army hardware, buckles and slides etc, I basically do exactly the same as you and strip the brass ware clean with acid before refinishing the items to bring them back up to new, however I’ve found that ether Hydrochloric or Sulphuric acid works the best as in some cases when scrubbed with a Scotchbrite pad it will also remove the pinkish cooper coating which remains on the surface, this being the result of the hard white lead oxide which can sometimes form on the surface of the corroded brass, just beware of the lead oxide is highly toxic as are the fumes given off by the acid during the chemical reaction, as a footnote the white oxide should never be mechanically removed with a wire brush or sand paper etc, as this is pure white lead!

    Nige.
    "Now, I've designed this like a collapsing bag ! "

  6. #45
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    Default Re: Relic cleaning - White Vinegar

    So here is the end result of the helmet cleaning after 5 days. Quite ok i think, but oxalic acid will of course be better. It was more meant as a data point if oxalic acid for some reason is not available. It's possible to do this with venegar, even heaviliy rustet items. I even got the maker stamp out! It's an ET62.

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    Now

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    And the stamp

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    So now i have dumped these items into the vinegar.
    37mm PAK
    Some empty 7.92 Mauser
    Some deac 7.62x54R
    A mortar tail

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  7. #46

    Default Re: Relic cleaning - White Vinegar

    Vinegar should not be able to eat steel-but it will, as you've noted, quite thoroughly eat any Corrosion on it. When it get's done eating the corrosion, what's left is the solid metal. And, yes- it will, indeed, destroy a decal. It treats decals as it would caked on dirt of old paint. William
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  8. #47
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    Default Re: Relic cleaning - White Vinegar

    Quote by Wagriff View Post
    Vinegar should not be able to eat steel-but it will, as you've noted, quite thoroughly eat any Corrosion on it. When it get's done eating the corrosion, what's left is the solid metal. And, yes- it will, indeed, destroy a decal. It treats decals as it would caked on dirt of old paint. William
    I wouldnt think so either, but i got a little worried seeing all those holes appear. Helmet looked quite fine before i started. Only a few small holes on the top, so i was wondering if the vinegar also started eating some metal. I can drain spagetti with this helmet now But still solid.

  9. #48

    Default Re: Relic cleaning - White Vinegar

    The holes that appeared were already there, but when you took the rust out that was filling them, Voila! Instant colander! lol It does look quite nice, though now-despite the new vent holes! Much better than rust you could poke your fingers through! William
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  10. #49

    Default Re: Relic cleaning - White Vinegar

    Vinegar contains acetic acid so it will attack and destroy metal so use with caution... I use a product called "bilt hamer" which works very well with steel and preserves paint. The only problem is it has to be warm - ideally around 20 degrees celcius. Yet to find the perfect cleaner for steel.

  11. #50

    Default Re: Relic cleaning - White Vinegar

    Quote by Elliott1940 View Post
    Vinegar contains acetic acid so it will attack and destroy metal so use with caution.
    Indeed Elliott, but at a concentration of about 5% in 'food' vinegar so the rate of erosion of metal is very slow indeed. So long as you keep an eye on it, like all products, it shouldn't be a problem. I have had excellent results using this on steel items, as have others. I would recommend checking every 3 or 4 hours or so for thin metal items, longer for more robust items.

    I have just removed 4 items from vinegar that I had forgotten about !!! They had been in it for 72 hours. The two LE oil bottles now look almost as good as new, the Vickers barrel cover is shining, and the Bren oil can is now free of all corrosion.



    Steve T

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