The heddle bars were sanded with 150 & 100 grit sandpaper, followed by black sandpaper, used wet. It did a good job as long as I kept hosing the rust off. They were oiled to keep rust from forming, and to help the heddles slide smoothly.
When I had a group ready, I slid the heddle bars through the end holes before removing the garbage bag ties.
The next project is to clean the rest of the rusty nuts and bolts that my wonderful husband Bob helped remove tonight. I will clean, paint, and oil them, and sand and varnish the remaining wood parts, while everything is apart.
There are lots of parts soaking in vinegar, ready for cleaning in the morning. I'll be smelling like a pickle tomorrow!