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Thread: Removing rust from faceplates

  1. #1
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    Removing rust from faceplates

    Hi guys,
    How would you suggest removing the rust from the faceplate of a singer 115? I just don't know what metal it is, and don't want to damage it. Normally I would just use vinegar and salt, but I don't know how that would affect this metal.

    Thanks,
    Benjamin Hall

  2. #2
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    Welcome Benjamin!
    They're either chrome or nickel plated steel. Your usual methods are fine.
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  3. #3
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    So my vinegar/salt method won't damage the plating?

  4. #4
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    As well, do you have any suggestions for restoring the handwheel to some of its former glory? The chromed section has partially gone black, and the paint is flaking off in some places. I could just repaint it black and remove the paint where it was originally chromed, and polish that bare metal.

  5. #5
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    you could try aluminium foil water and salt. ball up some aluminium moisten it with water then sprinkle salt on the plate. scrub. it will scrub up the shine a bit but shouldnt discolor. you can also use this on cast iron but substitute veggie oil.

  6. #6
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    I think others have reported success with the vinegar/salt method. If the chrome is loose and flaking it's going to come off anyway. You can also try Evaporust. A lot of these methods will convert the rust to black oxide and the part will need repolished afterward but as far as I know they're all pretty safe for chrome.
    I have a buffing arbor and wheels so I generally just wire brush then polish parts that need it. I don't do a lot of chemical rust removal.
    If you're going to be cleaning a lot of rusty metal I recommend a set of buffing wheels and the different compounds.
    Steve here has had very good success with a brass wire brush and Brasso for cleaning metal. 0000 Steel Wool is a good choice too.
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  7. #7
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    I would generally use the methods you (Rodney) stated, except this faceplate has a fine checkered pattern in the "grooves". In the recessed squares is where the rust problem is; it's not major rust, it just shows up as black spots.

  8. #8
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    I would really suggest just using 0000 steel wool. You can use Brasso to accelerate the process, but it is not necessary.

    The black spots are most likely locations where the low grade metal used under the chrome begins to out-gas and it forms bumps (like little zits) that literally pop and expose the metal underneath which rusts. these black spots eventually act as conduits for more moisture and then you see lifting or flaking, then it will progress to bubbling when the rust works to below the original steel surface

    The grooves should not be an issue for the steel wool. (Pic's would improve your odds of getting the best advice BTW)

  9. #9
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    I use chrome polish and then wash and dry. It gets the white, if any , off. Then a light oil will help keep the rust at bay.

  10. #10
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Some times that plating is beyond polishing. I have soaked it in evap o rust or vinegar or citric acid over night. Then I took a green scrubby bad and got the plating off and made sure the rest of it was nice and dry. Then I polished up the bare metal Some times that plating doesn't want to come off so it gets soaked again in one of the other choices - it seems like once it flakes it is pretty simple to get it off. Some times Dawn takes off enough grime that all you have to do is polish it up just don't let it air dry.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Find me at Victorian sweatshop discussion group

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