I Have The Answer To The Burning Question You Didn’t Even Know You Wanted To Ask

That question is,

What would happen, if I suddenly came to the realization that like that dumbass Phil over at Bustenuckles.com, I had left an entire bucket full of vintage hand tools soaking in Evap-O-Rust for two solid weeks because I had completely forgotten about them?


This I guess.

I was a little worried that I had pickled the fuckers but good.

One thing I can tell you from experience?


It does pickle it and makes it brittle.

Other than that, it looked like they do when you just leave them in there for 24-48 hours.

The really rusty ones get this nasty black soot like coating on them that you have to wash and wipe off.

Some of the rest of them had a color on them that can best be described as the shade of green your buddy’s face took on that time he went deep sea fishing.

After washing them and wiping them off, they were still pretty ugly looking.

A few rounds with the wire wheel transformed them though.

I did notice on a few that if any chrome that was on them was in bad shape or that rust had gotten underneath it that the minute it hit the wire wheel, it went bye bye.

So beware of that.

Other than that, I thought they cleaned up pretty good.

One thing did surprise me and I was absolutely tickled to see it.

There were some nasty, rusty old files that got thrown in there at the last minute.

Take a look at how they turned out.

It cleaned every last speck of crap out of the teeth on even the finest file in the bunch.

Notice the shine on the teeth on the one on the far right.

They basically look brand new.

I am going to remember that because I like picking up old files at yard and garage sales cheap when I can.

So basically it appears that forgetting them for two damn weeks while they soaked didn’t hurt them a bit.

This was actually just a small sample of what was in that bucket, it was full of old tools.

Most of them came out of the Boomerang Box I got back from my brother that had been sitting for twelve years at least in a storage unit.

I just thought I would share that hand tools taking a two week bath in Evap-O-Rust doesn’t seem to hurt anything in the long run.

10 thoughts on “I Have The Answer To The Burning Question You Didn’t Even Know You Wanted To Ask

  1. I think the term for that is hydrogen embrittlement. I noticed that on some of the spring calipers (I think I gave you a few). A few springs split down the middle while they were soaking. Also, run those files for a while. You may notice the teeth pop off easily after the soak. I’ve hear dipping them in muriatic acid for a few seconds will clean out the teeth pretty well.

    That black soot is iron, I think. It acts just like cast iron dust. Or maybe carbon. It’s hard to tell if you don’t have the ingredients of the dip.


  2. Don’t leave stuff too long in some other common DIY rust removers, like vinegar… not if your goal is to have a working tool afterward.

    I resisted spending the money on Evaporust for a long time, despite my sometimes serious rusted metal addiction. The claims just sounded too good to be true. Then I used a Harbor Freight coupon, in addition to the sale price and it was cheap enough that I bought a jug.

    It truly works miracles.

    I haven’t used electrolysis or vinegar since.



  3. This from my dad, A+P mechanic, Manhattan School of Aviation Trades ’44, Pacific cruise till ’47 and BSME CCNY ’51. You can sharpen files from dipping them in nitric acid. It erodes the tips of the teeth faster than the roots. At what concentration I have no idea. BTW the shiny teeth are the dull ones.



  4. Evapo-Rust doesn’t like cast iron. It put black stains on the table of my drill press when I put laid out some Evapo-Rusted bits out on paper towels and it soaked through.

    I also had some cast iron engine parts I left in a bucket of Evapo-Rust for a week. It turned them into cast iron sponges. They were pretty rusty to start with, though, so it might have been the Evapo-Rust following tentacles of rust deep into the parts.

    I still use the heck out of the stuff, I’m just more careful with it now.


  5. Phil – a little surprise package in the mail to you today. It has to do with rusty tools, so this post was great timing. Yah, the suspense is now gonna killya, but that is part of the fun.


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