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Old 05-10-2012, 12:51 PM   #1
nosrac
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Default Old tool salvage - how to preserve

Digging around my parents farm I salvaged some old wrenches that where destined for the scrap yard.

No real direction with these - just like quality tools, and hated to see these melted down. Also thought some day they might make nice door pulls in a barn or shop. No real emotional tie to them - I have quite a few heirlooms from the family farm already. Also considered using them as wall art in my garage.

So I guess I have two questions:

1 - what is the right way to preserve these? The first batch has been sitting in vinegar for 3 days, and most of the rust is gone. They had been laying outside for decades, so they are in rough condition. I have then been hitting them with a wire wheel and a coat of grease.

Is there a better method? Should I leave rusty and just oil them?

2 - are they worth anything? These are all pretty rough. The only one I have able to identify is a Fairmount Cleve. I have several that have markings but I have not been able to identify them using the web. Anything jump out at anyone?

I have about a dozen or so all together. Two of the most interesting are one that has been welded in the middle, but it doesnt look like electrical, and then another that really looks home made.
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: Old tool salvage - how to preserve

the fairmount cleaned up..
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Last edited by nosrac; 05-10-2012 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: Old tool salvage - how to preserve

dump them in a tray of evaporust, then I'd just wipe them down with a little wd40 or something of that sort
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Old tool salvage - how to preserve

What you are doing is fine. No significant values (at least, not this century...) If making them wall art, you may even want to paint them, or some prefer to leave the rust... (not me, unless I'm intending to make art intended to be outside and rusty...)
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Old 05-10-2012, 02:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Old tool salvage - how to preserve

The center one is a Ford sparkplug and cylinder head wrench, 11/16 X 13/16, that came with Fords made from 1940-1948.
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Old 05-10-2012, 02:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: Old tool salvage - how to preserve

Bruce - thanks for that info on the ford wrench. Would be great if these wrenches could talk!

Anyone recognize the diamond trademark? I havent found anything like it yet.
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Old 05-10-2012, 02:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: Old tool salvage - how to preserve

Tempted to say Williams, which did make an early S wrench, although the diamond-shaped line around the W is more fanciful than the plain line I have seen with their early logo.

Fairmount Tool and Forging Company open-end wrenches without a "CLEVE" or "CLEVELAND" marking on the shank or faces could be worth some beaucoup bucks, by the way. Might want to check your pile again after they're cleaned. Otherwise, not much.

For what it's worth, I give all my restoration projects a very short (no more than 5 minute) bath in a common household toilet bowl solution, such as ToiletWorks. Non-invasive natural solutions such as vinegar and molasses are great, but slow, and often won't budge the most stubborn corrosion. If you try this, rinse tools immediately and vigorously in cold water, then oil well, because the acid (HCL) in the cleaner can give certain alloys a bronze hue, and, it ironically promotes the return of light surface oxidation very quickly.
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Old 05-10-2012, 02:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Old tool salvage - how to preserve

If you strip them, I would suggest floorwax rather than oil or WD 40. Oil is messy and WD40 will eventually evaporate, after a period of messiness...
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: Old tool salvage - how to preserve

I use wax last, after some iterations of oil and slow evaporation, just before placing the tool into a display or a mailing package, because I have found that a coating of oil permeates the steel better after stripping than wax. But, I'm not crossing swords over de-rusting methods, which is like, oh hell, it's the end of the day and I can't think of a good analogy!

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Old 05-10-2012, 08:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: Old tool salvage - how to preserve

The s- wrench is in fact a Williams. I had a set of 3 I sold recently for 12.00 so they aren't commanding very high prices.

Cool tools though. They would look great in your garage so hang on to them
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:41 PM   #11
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Default Re: Old tool salvage - how to preserve

Something about the shape of the s-shaped wrenches that I find very fascinating. Clean them up with either chemical or electricity then buy some chemiacal with a wax base and spray them all over. Either hang them on display or have a tool board that people can see and appreciate their beauty.

Do not use a steel wire wheel because that will destroy the fine markings and because they are in the state of pitting and heavy rust do not worry about any patina.
Had they been in a better state you would leave the old patina alone.

Do not use WD-40 because it evaporates over time (ask me about garage springs).

A liquid spray with a wax base will preserve them for the next generation to enjoy.

Sit back and enjoy them.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:44 PM   #12
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Default Re: Old tool salvage - how to preserve

I've used boiled linseed oil on my hammers and they look good after the finally dry. it sometimes takes a few days to set up but it leaves a dry somewhat durable finish.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:40 AM   #13
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Default Re: Old tool salvage - how to preserve

Since this is farm related, another note on the Ford wrench: Not only '40-48 cars and trucks, but also N series tractors probably up to '52 or whatever the end of production was. Ford had multiple toolkit tool suppliers, 2 with M names...can't remember whether the M with circle was Manzel or Moore drop forge. I think very late versions of some of the Ford wrenches (they were available as accessories after 1948 and still supplied with tractors) would be FoMoCo rather than just Ford. Too much information better than not enough!
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:50 AM   #14
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Default Re: Old tool salvage - how to preserve

Quote:
Originally Posted by slip knot View Post
I've used boiled linseed oil on my hammers and they look good after the finally dry. it sometimes takes a few days to set up but it leaves a dry somewhat durable finish.
Tung oil also works well, and takes a day or two to dry hard. Tung is great on Brass after it has been cleaned and polished.

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Old 05-11-2012, 10:51 AM   #15
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Default Re: Old tool salvage - how to preserve

If you heat them in the oven a bit (for god's sake, wait until your wife isn't home!) then apply some paste wax, it'll melt into the metal and give you much better protection.

They don't need to be scorching hot, just enough to melt the wax.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:24 AM   #16
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Default Re: Old tool salvage - how to preserve

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Originally Posted by spongerich View Post
If you heat them in the oven a bit (for god's sake, wait until your wife isn't home!) then apply some paste wax, it'll melt into the metal and give you much better protection.

They don't need to be scorching hot, just enough to melt the wax.
For small jobs, get an old toaster oven for various heating, pre-heating jobs in the garage. or if you have space and need a larger oven often, get a remodel castoff electric wall oven off of CL free ads and set that up. You can preheat for paint, do some smaller powder coating, cure paint... lots of uses.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:53 PM   #17
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Default Re: Old tool salvage - how to preserve

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Originally Posted by Outlawmws View Post
For small jobs, get an old toaster oven for various heating, pre-heating jobs in the garage. or if you have space and need a larger oven often, get a remodel castoff electric wall oven off of CL free ads and set that up. You can preheat for paint, do some smaller powder coating, cure paint... lots of uses.
I got a nice little 110v laboratory oven from an old Pfizer plant... they show up a lot on http://www.go-dove.com/ Goes up to about 400F... I think I paid $20.00 for mine.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:26 PM   #18
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Default Re: Old tool salvage - how to preserve

With those wrenches, I'd just clean them off and use 'em. That's what they were made for after all.

Getting larger wrenches like those can take a toll on the wallet, and if you don't make a living out of turning them, those old wrenches will work perfectly fine for everyday stuff. I've always gotten a good kick out of using my old S-shaped "snakey" wrenches on newer stuff.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:35 PM   #19
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Default Re: Old tool salvage - how to preserve

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Originally Posted by spongerich View Post
I got a nice little 110v laboratory oven from an old Pfizer plant... they show up a lot on http://www.go-dove.com/ Goes up to about 400F... I think I paid $20.00 for mine.

I'll have to watch for something like that. I like the idea of a "lab" oven.
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:03 AM   #20
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Default Re: Old tool salvage - how to preserve

A little electric curing oven in the shop keeps one out of trouble with the commander-in-chief of the house, too!
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