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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. #1

    Default Relic cleaning - White Vinegar

    Right boys and girls, instead of occupying the RRPG dig threads with the Vinegar method, it would be best if it were a separate thread(And it deserves it).

    In this thread we(If you RRPG guys want to tag along) will show you how to clean relics by using white/clear vinegar.

    What you will need:

    White/Clear Vinegar
    A container for the vinegar
    Your relic
    Patience


    White/Clear Vinegar:
    This should be pretty easy to get a hold of, any food store should have it.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    A container for the vinegar:
    I have chosen an ice-cream box, which can be sealed.
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    The relic(s):
    For this experiment I will be trying a couple of different rounds. Most of them are German 7.92, but there is one more modern and a very corroded Krag rounds.
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    Patience
    Now it is just to wait. For this experiment, I will try for 24 hours
    Best Regards

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

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Relic cleaning - White Vinegar

    How to do it:

    This is not exactly the hardest method of removing rust in the world, but I better be on the safe side, so there will not be too many questions.

    First: Finding your relic(s):
    For this you will need a metal detector, a shovel and a location. It should not be so hard to figure out what to do next, so get out there!

    Now that we have our relic(s), let us begin.
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    As mentioned before, the relics I am dipping in the mix this time are some rounds. Most are German 7.92 rounds, but there is one modern and a pre-war Krag Jĝrgensen round in there as well(Bottom left corner).
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Finding a suitable container:

    I would suggest getting a cheap plastic box which is seal-able.
    Place your relic in the box.
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    Fill' er up!:
    And just like the headline says, pour the vinegar into the box and close it.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now we wait...
    I am going to try this for a good 24 hours time, so I will get back to you with the result later.
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    Please note...
    I am quite new to this method, so I would advise you to wait and see what the others have to say about which relics that are okay to put in the solution.
    Best Regards

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

  4. #3

    Default Re: Relic cleaning - White Vinegar

    A little result from before:

    Here is a 7.92 round I found and put in vinegar solution for about 24 hours, it was in about the same condition as the other rounds that are currently taking a bath in vinegar.

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    Click image for larger version. 

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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.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Relic cleaning - White Vinegar

    Very nice,great info.
    What type of me metal does this work on?
    chris

  6. #5

    Default Re: Relic cleaning - White Vinegar

    I am not quite sure about that yet, I have only tried it with brass.
    Best Regards

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

  7. #6

    Default Re: Relic cleaning - White Vinegar

    And now the patina got lost!!
    (lol!!)
    ;-)
    |<
    Always looking for Belgian Congo stuff!
    cheers
    |<ris

  8. #7
    ?

    Default Re: Relic cleaning - White Vinegar

    Very cool. Can't wait to see the result. I have let's say quite a few 7.92 and 7.62x54R i will try to clean.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Relic cleaning - White Vinegar

    You can also try this after to give your item a bit of age.

    Select your items and light a candle.
    Attachment 285993


    Move your items back and forth across the flame in till the whole item has turned black, be careful as the item will get hot so attach it to something when doing so.
    Attachment 285991
    Attachment 285992

    Next leave the item to cool

    I would recommend wearing gloves for this part, Use bees wax or Vaseline to seal it
    Attachment 285990

    This is what they look like at the end, you can keep repeating this possess in till the colour suits your needs
    Attachment 285989

  10. #9

    Default Re: Relic cleaning - White Vinegar

    Very nice idea WH. VERY nice

  11. #10

    Default Re: Relic cleaning - White Vinegar

    Here are some comparison shots of before and after the vinegar treatment.

    It works well on brass AND steel/iron items.

    Starter tabs for 250 rnd cloth 30cal belt before vinegar.....

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    Buckles and such like before vinegar......

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    And now after vinegar. Soaked for 24 hrs then a quick rub down with a brillo pad. Amazing.

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    PIAT sear and trigger, before vinegar soak.....

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    And after. Metal taken back to original colour and lots of rust has just fallen away. Also shown are more examples of the effect on brass.

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    Item second from top, Martini-Henry breech block before treatment....

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    And then after. Again, the metal is back to silver colour and most of the rust has just fallen away.

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    And the best item cleaned.........Vickers muzzle booster (DM !! Note it is a booster and NOT a brake).....before vinegar...

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    And after. Rust colour has gone, item looks and feels like it was when new, (kind of )

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    I recommend a soak of 24hrs minimum for steel/iron items and brass. Brass doesn't need more, but steel does well if you remove it from the vinegar, give it a good going over with a stiff wire brush, then re-soak for another 24 hours.

    For thin steel items I would soak for 2-3hrs at a stretch and keep checking on the item.

    Cheers

    Steve T

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