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Removing rust from helmet

Article about: What can be used to remove or retard rust growth on a helmet ? Don't want to harm the surrounding patina or paint, just remove some of the oxidation. Any ideas Thanks

  1. #1

    Default Removing rust from helmet

    What can be used to remove or retard rust growth on a helmet ? Don't want to harm the surrounding patina or paint, just remove some of the oxidation.
    Any ideas
    Thanks
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Removing rust from helmet  
    "When 10 men tell you you're drunk, you better lie down."

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  3. #2

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    Well I'm not sure what brands are available in the US but there are basically two main types. Rust remover and rust converter. Rust remover as the name suggests dissolves rust back to stable metal but this of course leaves a bit of a pit in most cases. Rust converter wil again as the name suggests convert the rust into a hard black material with roughly the same deviation from flat of the surface as the original rust but it is stable and will not progress if done correctly. Most modern brands of both types are formulated to avoid damage to paint. A rust remover is acidic (Phosphoric acid) with all the issues that entails and is usually used when repainting is not intended. A rust converter will usually be non-toxic and creates a stable base for re-painting albeit not smooth. There are all manner of "home brew" recipes using things all the way from oxalic acid to vinegar but I think these are less precise therefore more hit and miss than proprietary media. I have used both removers and converters on painted metal before without damaging paintwork but it depends on the extent of corrosion what you want to achieve. Of course you should test a small area or even another insignificant item of similar nature before working on anything of value (sorry I know that is preaching to the converted but others will read this too). Examples of brands available in UK are Jenolite (which I think originates in the US) and Hammerite (not sure about that one).

    I hope this helps

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  4. #3

    Default

    Thanks Mark
    Yes...I will look into these or similar products with the same ingredients & test a small area first.
    D.
    "When 10 men tell you you're drunk, you better lie down."

  5. #4

    Default

    The "Jenolite" is available on Amazon. Will give it a try. Thanks again Mark
    D.
    "When 10 men tell you you're drunk, you better lie down."

  6. #5

    Default

    Here it is if you cannot find it
    "When 10 men tell you you're drunk, you better lie down."

  7. #6
    ?

    Default

    Once you start painting anything onto a helmet it alters its authenticity (IMO), I tend to spray the metal with WD40 or similar to give it a protective coating, rub off the excess (which also helps clean it) and then leave, the residue tends to dissolve in a week or so, then repeat annually or as needed.

    Others may have tried the rust painting treatment and may testify it works and not to worry, so not saying it doesn't work, just sharing my thoughts on the topic

  8. #7

    Default

    many threads available for this, oxalic acid, white vinegar, all have great results.

  9. #8

    Default

    From my experience WD40 dissolves later added low-quality paints away easily if rubbed, like "normando camo" camopaint helmets.
    I would say Oxalix acid treatment and after that antique wax to prevent future rust.
    And oxalix acid does nothing to leather, maybe only removes natural sweat grease from liner leather away and makes it dry.
    Remove liner for easier handling, bath helmet in oxalix acid 20- max 30 minutes and neutralize acid next in soapwater bowl. afterwards when dry use antique wax (i use shoe bee-wax) on the helmet cos it will rust easily again.

    Oxalix acid bad for kidneys, use glaws.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Removing rust from helmet   Removing rust from helmet  

    Removing rust from helmet   Removing rust from helmet  

    Removing rust from helmet  

  10. #9

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    Looks nice! Im glad it was not too rusty.

  11. #10

    Default

    Your best bet is to coat the rust in beeswax cream, apply it with fine wire wool and rub in. Leave it for a day or so before rubbing over it with a cloth. I'm sure that there are better methods, but this has always worked well for me on anything made of metal. If you remove rust - or convert it, you will make a mess. It's best just to stabilise and leave alone when dealing with helmets. The Royal Armouries (Leeds) use this method too. DO NOT use the spray polish!
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.... 'A Salford Pal: Pte Thomas Jay.'

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