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Removing pitting on chrome/metal

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#1
sa1126

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I tried to do a search but it would only let me go a few pages deep and I didn't find any suggestions.

What will remove pitting from rims and other metal parts? I have tried mother's wheel cleaner and steel wool but it is only getting me so far. Any other ideas for large spots of rust?

Thanks :occasion5:
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#2
mlayton

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for large areas of chrome i think some of the guys here have soaked the parts in vinegar for a while. but be careful and dont soak them too long as some mentioned some problems with that.

i have also used a product called naval jelly from hardware stores. its like a gel that goes on and dissolves the rust. works pretty good.


mike

ps- i just did a search here on the word vinegar and you'll find some more details that way.

#3
DanC

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Pitting cannot be removed. It results from corrosion beneath the chrome plating that causes small pimples in the chrome, like small volcanoes. Pitting is not like dirt or grime and cannot be 'cleaned off', it is actual damage to the chrome.

Never use steel wool to clean chrome, it destroys the finish by leaving 100's of fine scratches in the surface of the plating. It winds up looking 'hazy' and the haze cannot be removed. Clean chrome with a good chrome polish and some towels.
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#4
Damo

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Dan said it best. Pitting can definitely not be removed.
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#5
sa1126

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Thanks for the heads up. I guess I just need to replace the tom mount for my vistalites.
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#6
Suggs2369

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This won't remove any pitting but will help with suface rust.
Try soaking in coke to remove large spots of rust,but like others have said be careful not to soak to long. for heavily rusted areas try smothering in tomato ketchup or brown sauce for no more than 48 hrs at a time..Last but not least,keep polishing.I hand polish the chrome hoops on the 'Premier Vintage Royal Ace[' i restored last sept,at least once every 2 weeks....Hope this helps
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#7
poot

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Toothbrush and a paste of baking soda mixed w/water works very well and does no harm. Got that one from Chas.
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#8
jptrickster

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What works well on pitted chrome is a nice soapy hot brillo pad. It really doesn't scratch the chrome at all, especcially lugs, you'd never notice,maybe with a microscope but it's moot anyways, were talking about pitted chrome here not showroom finish! It will not fog/haze or dull the chrome like straight up steel wool. It takes the lumpy loose stuff off,smoothes them out and gets them clean. The secret is to keep the pad wet and soapy. Rinse/dry....done
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#9
Q-Dog

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jptrickster said:

What works well on pitted chrome is a nice soapy hot brillo pad. It really doesn't scratch the chrome at all, especcially lugs, you'd never notice,maybe with a microscope but it's moot anyways, were talking about pitted chrome here not showroom finish! It will not fog/haze or dull the chrome like straight up steel wool. It takes the lumpy loose stuff off,smoothes them out and gets them clean. The secret is to keep the pad wet and soapy. Rinse/dry....done


Billo and SOS pads ... I've used them on chrome for years with no problems. Works on car wheels, chrome bumpers and drum hoops. Keep it soapy and you won't scratch anything. I think the steel in the pads is softer than standard issue steel wool.
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#10
sa1126

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I opted to use the course side of a sponge and some meguiars chrome car wheel cleaner. I let the stuff soak and scrubbed them down. I followed up with mothers chrome polish and everything came out looking better. The heavily pitted stuff still looks rough but the dirty chrome cleaned up nice. Thanks for all the suggestions.
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#11
rwl7532

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Never use steel wool to clean chrome, it destroys the finish by leaving 100's of fine scratches in the surface of the plating. It winds up looking 'hazy' and the haze cannot be removed. Clean chrome with a good chrome polish and some towels.


I have a hard time believing that 000 and 0000 steel wool does damage to chrome. Any thing less that 000 could but I see no haze from 000 and 0000.
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#12
DanC

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Trust me, it does. Chrome is very soft.
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#13
Pounder

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Dan's right. BTW Drum hardware chrome is decorative chrome and it is even more sensitive to small scratches than is auto chrome, or like a chrome bumper.
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#14
Rythymboy

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I'm thinking about giving one of these ultrasonic cleaners a try for lugs and small parts. Anyone tried either one of these two ?
http://www.harborfre...aner-66218.html

http://www.harborfre...eaner-3305.html
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#15
longfellow3469

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Ive used 0000 steel wool on lots of drum hardware. If its not bad try Flitz metal cleaner and polish. I use it after removing the bad rust spots with 0000 steel wool.
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#16
Stixnergard2

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I use chrome polish and aluminum foil to remove rust
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#17
Steele

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I use chrome polish and aluminum foil to remove rust



I would also go with the aluminium foil. soak all screws and tension rods in vinegar (not for too long, keep an eye on them) then grip each rod tightly in a piece of vinegar drenched aluminium foil and twist tightly. for lugs and mounts I wouldn't soak, probably just go straight to foil, depends how bad it is. I would usually only soak if there was difficult to clean areas involved (such as the thread on a tension rod).

It will take a lot of time and effort. As mentioned by some of the others, there is no way to remove pitting, but aluminium is the best for getting rid of rust and will have some kind of oxidising reaction with any deep rust spots that can not be removed. The result is that these rust spots will turn a dark grey colour and blend in with the chrome some what.

This is a before and after of some rail consolette mounting plates that had pretty caked on rust. You can see in the after shot that the rust is all gone, but it's not shiny chrome, rather rust that has been oxidised by the use of aluminium foil during cleaning. looks pretty good though right?

[attachment=111765:Downbeat rail consolette 2 pre.jpg]

[attachment=111764:Downbeat rail consolette 2 after.jpg]

Steele
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#18
homeby5

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I'm thinking about giving one of these ultrasonic cleaners a try for lugs and small parts. Anyone tried either one of these two ?
http://www.harborfre...aner-66218.html

http://www.harborfre...eaner-3305.html

I know in the marine industry, the very best way to clean heat exchangers (kinda think of a radiator)is by ultrasonic cleaning. I never knew they sold inexpensive small units. Wow! I would like to try one and see how it works. Thanks for the tip!
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#19
troutstudio

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I don't disagree with any posts on this - they're all correct, imo. Having restored an ultra pitted and rusted Ludwig kit, I think I've tried it all. What worked for me was a rust remover called Rainex. Now that's Australian, but I am sure there are USA versions based on the same phospor based formula. But you have to monitor them. These modern products will dissolve rust, but not fix pitting. For the pitting I went ahead and used ultra fine steel wool. Of course it scratches, but imo it's so fine; and since the part is already wrecked - I thought - why not? The restorer's first motto should really be "do no harm" but I think everyone makes a judgement call, depending on the drum. Is the part so rare that it should be left alone? Should it be netralized and re-chromed? Or should it be brought as close to a shine as possible? So for those reasons I don't think there is one valid viewpoint on this question. It just depends on what you want to achieve. If the drum was owned by Gene Krupa, I'd hesitate to do anything. But for a Vistalite kit without provenance I'd just go very carefully with what you can achieve, until you are happy. Or re-chrome. Good luck.

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#20
pstone

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I've been using 0000 steel wool with either Brasso or Barkeepers Friend...Doesn't remove the pitting, (Nothing will) but makes it less noticeable.
Works great on hoops, lugs and other chrome or Brass parts, just don't scrub too hard.
Do Not use Barkeepers Friend on cymbals...Turns them yellow.
Also, try crumpled up tin foil, (A trick my Grandmother taught me) to brighten up dull chrome.
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