Saturday, June 16, 2012

Weaver's Delight - Vinegar Soak

Some of the end brackets for the shafts were really coated with rust.  I used naval jelly to remove it on two of them, and it worked well with a bit of scrubbing and sanding.  For the other six, I thought I would try the vinegar method. 

I needed something long enough to submerge them, and found that an old toilet tank cover was just the right size.  Vinegar is definitely the cheapest way to get rust off of metal, but the rust also comes back pretty quickly.

While researching using vinegar, some cautions were mentioned.  First, don't use it on aluminum.  I didn't realize that the brackets were a mix of metals, one of which was aluminum. The aluminum very quickly turned powdery white after the parts were dried, and the other metal quickly got a thin film of rust.

The second caution was to neutralize the vinegar with baking soda in water.  I used that for my final rinse before drying.
To thoroughly dry the parts, I put them in the oven for about an hour at 225 degrees.

I still had to brush them a little bit before painting.  The aluminum part of the brackets also needed sanding with fine black sandpaper to try and remove the white film.
The photo of a sanded and unsanded bracket show the rust developing again, and the white powder on the aluminum part.  I didn't notice the rust developing so quickly after using the naval jelly.

After drying, get the parts painted right away, or if they aren't going be painted, get some light machine oil on them to inhibit the rust.
Here are more cast iron parts that were wire brushed with a drill, and primed and painted.

We think this loom had someone start working on it, because some of the bolts that should have been identical are different lengths, many washers are either missing, or the wrong size, and three of the four identical brackets on the right side of the photo are cast aluminum, and one is cast iron.  I'm not sure which was originally on the loom.


  1. Another wonderfully informative post. I am so pleased that things are moving along. You didn't mention this time about how much elbow grease was involved before the painting process, so I hope it truly was less than before?

  2. Oh, these took elbow grease also. If I use the drill and wire brush, or the electric sander, I can count on having to take a couple days off from them to give my poor thumb a rest!

    Did you get the intense storms over in Wisconsin the last couple days? Judging from the water in a container on our back porch, I think we got almost 4" during two wild storms last night and this afternoon (6-18 & 6-19).

    I'm waiting for the humidity to drop a bit before getting a second coat of varnish on the wood.

  3. We are drier than a bone over here in the Madison area. The storms seem to go north or south of us, and when they do look like they will hit us, they either change course or dissipate. Tempos have been record breaking, too. Yesterday 101 with today predicting 103, and those are not heat indexes but the actual temps.
    We drove out to a small town yesterday for dinner and the fields are all in drought mode, corn leaves are pointing up and curled inwards, although "making hay" has been good so far......I'm "assuming" the baling now is 2nd cutting, but not sure. If we don't get decent rain soon, there definitely won't be any 3rd cutting.