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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/29/20 8:51 p.m.

We've talked about My Mechanics here before. It's the most wonderful restoration channel on YouTube. No antics, no shortcuts, just meticulous work. Well, I got slightly inspired. Not to his level, but I have discovered two new friends:

Evaporust and Super Blue.

Here are a few of my patients. I'm not sure where this wrench came from, but I picked up the little calipers from an estate sale. They were all rusty. A bit of time in the Evaporust tank plus a wipedown with Super Blue bluing (selectively on the calipers) and voila.

Another. I dunked these in the tank for about 5 hours, rinsed them, rubbed them down with steel wool, blued them, rinsed, another polish with steel wool and a final rinse. About 10 minutes worth of work.



Mr_Asa Reader
1/29/20 8:53 p.m.

Evaporust is my favorite product of the modern world.  As a bonus, its gentle enough to leave original paint intact.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/29/20 8:56 p.m.

Here's the one I'm really happy about. My grandfather made this screwdriver in shop class. I don't know how old he was at the time, but he was born in 1911 if I'm doing my math right. Let's say this thing is somewhere between 90 and 95 years old. I inherited it when he died in 1993 or so.

It's a solid piece of steel. I still use it, although I'm not the one who hammered on the end of it :)

Into the tank to sit for a while. Then it got the steel wool. I almost didn't hit it with the bluing because it was a nice steel color, but I figured why not?

Good call.

Here's the best part. This was never really visible before. My grandfather's name was Cedric Tanner, and those are his initials.

I am seriously jazzed about this. I loved this screwdriver before, but I love it even more now.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/29/20 8:57 p.m.

I put this in the wrong category, it really should be either Tech Tips or Build Threads. If a mod happens to see this, please move it.

I am now going through all of my toolboxes looking for crusty tools, although I don't think I'll be able to beat Grandpa's screwdriver.

Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
1/29/20 9:00 p.m.

I made a similar screwdriver. It taught you many skills on the lathe including knurling.  Then the mill for the flat and stamping letters.  The torch heated the blade then hammered flat and some grinding work on the blade.  

Takes me back to 1977.  

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/29/20 9:02 p.m.

I made a BBQ fork. I'm pretty sure my grandchildren wouldn't want it.

Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
1/29/20 9:03 p.m.

Off thread but I turned my grandfathers workbench top into a coffee table.  Holds a piece of my heart.  

spacecadet SuperDork
1/29/20 9:06 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I put this in the wrong category, it really should be either Tech Tips or Build Threads. If a mod happens to see this, please move it

dude this is some legit main forum material and is super awesome. thanks for sharing with us!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/29/20 9:11 p.m.

I knew you guys would understand.

Love that coffee table!

j_tso New Reader
1/29/20 9:18 p.m.

You didn't have to make a new one?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/29/20 9:18 p.m.

Thankfully no :)


And if you don't get that reference, kind reader, you need to get your butt over to YouTube.

Brett_Murphy UltimaDork
1/29/20 10:27 p.m.

Great work, Keith.

You've also inspired me to stop messing with the tailgate latch on the Terrible Truck and just dunk it in Evaporust to try and loosen it up.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
1/29/20 10:41 p.m.

You got me all excited, I thought maybe this meant My Mechanics had a new video out.  Alas, it was not to be...it's been a month since his last one. 

There are a number of guys who do tool restoration videos but he's at the top of the heap - too many of the others simply do a quick wire brushing followed by a coat of spray paint and call it done.

I'm also a fan of Evaporust and cold blue for cleaning up old tools.

ShinnyGroove Reader
1/30/20 8:32 p.m.

I have never seen that guy's page before, and now I'm hopelessly addicted. I restored an old Stanley Jack plane a few years ago and it came out pretty great, at least from a functional standpoint. The hardest part was lapping the bottom flat. I've used it for the last 10 years and it's looking pretty beat up again. My work is not nearly as beautiful as his though.

02Pilot SuperDork
1/30/20 8:47 p.m.

I used Evaporust on a bunch of old tools last year (I think I even posted a thread here, IIRC), but I never thought about bluing them afterwards. I've got a bottle of Ospho-Blue around here somewhere - I may need to experiment.

ShawnG UltimaDork
1/30/20 8:56 p.m.

Evaporust is awesome.

We use it for removing rust scale in engine blocks. just run it in place of coolant for a few days with filter made from pantyhose in the top rad hose.

You wouldn't believe the junk you take out.

Mr_Asa Reader
1/30/20 8:59 p.m.

In reply to ShawnG :

Ooo... nice thought.

Danny Shields
Danny Shields HalfDork
1/31/20 7:12 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I love old tools, and the family connection makes yours all the more special. I have been using EvapoRust on recommendations from this forum, but the super blue is new to me. When I search for super blue, I get a wide range of topics. Can you give more detail on the specific product that you are using?


Danny Shields
Danny Shields HalfDork
1/31/20 7:15 a.m.

In reply to Datsun310Guy :

That coffee table is awesome!

Woody MegaDork
1/31/20 8:09 a.m.

Nice job Keith!

I'm a big fan of Evaporust and MetalRescue. I've used Super Blue for gun parts, but never for tools. I'll have to give that a try.

This 1/2" drive Snap-On ratchet belonged to my grandfather. He was, oddly enough, a toolmaker. I'm guessing it's about 80 years old or more. The ratchet sat in an old broken toolbox (which itself should probably be restored) for many years after he died. It would barely turn. Not long ago, I took it apart and cleaned it up. It was probably before I discovered EvapoRust, so I may have given it a dip in an electrolytic bath for a while. I disassembled it, cleaned and greased everything and put it back together.

It may not be my best ratchet, but it's certainly my favorite. I use it every chance I get. My grandfather has been gone for 35 years, but I think of him every time I use it.

Maybe we should have a "Restore your grandfather's old stuff" thread!

Apexcarver UltimaDork
1/31/20 8:13 a.m.

I love evaporust, I did a bunch of my grandfathers tools about 5 years ago. 


I wonder what the economics of opening a business of dunking car shells would be...  Acid sucks to deal with (neutralize), you NEVER get all the sand out of a unibody after blasting...


Imagine if you could do a spray-gel on rust spots on your car...  

Woody MegaDork
1/31/20 8:15 a.m.

I just looked up that ratchet. It was made between 1936 and 1946.

You've inspired me, Keith. Maybe I'll take it apart again and try the cold blue.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/31/20 8:31 a.m.

I can't take credit for the bluing idea, that's My Mechanics :) Here's the stuff I'm using. 

Shadeux HalfDork
1/31/20 8:40 a.m.

VERY informative and timely thread for me. I've run across a few tools from my grandfather recently. I don't need to use them, but I didn't want to give them away.

At the very least I can clean them up and display. Great thread, Keith!


Knurled. MegaDork
1/31/20 8:43 a.m.
ShawnG said:

Evaporust is awesome.

We use it for removing rust scale in engine blocks. just run it in place of coolant for a few days with filter made from pantyhose in the top rad hose.

You wouldn't believe the junk you take out.


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