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| | |-+  Using Coca-Cola to fix rusty files
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Author Topic: Using Coca-Cola to fix rusty files  (Read 8728 times)
agaboric
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« on: March 15, 2010, 04:08:32 PM »

I was wondering if anyone of you guys and gals ever heard of using coke to "fix" rusty files. Since I have some that were given to me I thought I would try it out, but I sprung for the cheap stuff and I do not think that it worked real well. So does anyone have any input on this, and how should you take care of files so they do not get all rusty, should I coat them with a little bit of oil or just leave them in a bucket of water like I have been doing (just kidding). Let me know what you guys think.
Thanks,
Andy
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omark west cen colo
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2010, 06:18:56 PM »

actually, coke makes a pretty good penetrant. ive never used it on files, but i would give it a try. i know it is pretty rough stuff (and i keep drinking it).   mark
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Mark Elliott
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2010, 03:19:42 AM »

You need to actually use real, original Coca Cola.   That product has phosphoric acid in it.   That is what dissolves the rust.    It actually alters the molecular structure of steel.   

Mark E.
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agaboric
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2010, 08:02:18 AM »

You need to actually use real, original Coca Cola.   That product has phosphoric acid in it.   That is what dissolves the rust.    It actually alters the molecular structure of steel.   

Mark E.

When you say I changes the metal, does it change it in a bad way that I should not use coke? I do not want to damage these files but some of them may not be any good anyway so I guess it does not matter to much.
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heinz
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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2010, 08:30:38 AM »

I think Mark meant to say it changes the molecular structure of the iron oxides, the rust.  It is fairly gentel on the steel itself altough it does have some minimal activity.  Phosphoric acid in much stronger form is an active ingredient in Parkerising, which may get you in some touble with traditionalists  Grin Be sure to remove all of the coke residue.

I oil my files for metal working whem I am done.  The ones for wood use I jaust brush off.
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kind regards, heinz
T.C.Albert
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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2010, 11:46:05 AM »

I have never poured it on my files, but Coke will clean a battery terminal so an engine with a corroded one will start..
wicked stuff....
(and we regulate the sales of alcahol while the soda flows free...  Grin)
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Mark Elliott
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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2010, 12:06:14 PM »

I actually meant that the phosphoric acid affects the bonds between crystals.   I don't remember the mechanism.   It has been over 30 years since college chemistry and metallurgy, but I remember the warning about keeping Coca Cola away from stressed steel.    All engineering students at VA Tech were told the story of some researchers at Tech that were working with high pressure vessels.  The steel in these vessels was extremely stressed.   One a researchers spilled Coke on the vessel and left it over night.   In the morning, the lab had been destroyed.   The Coke had caused the pressure vessel to fail with explosive force.   The take away was to never have Coke or anything with phosphoric acid in it anywhere near steel under pressure such as in metalurgical test cylinders.   Perhaps someone else could enlighten us as to the mechanism.    

That said, there should be no danger to files as long as you clean them off after removing the rust.    By the way, Naval Jelly does the same thing as Coke given the same active ingredients.  

Mark E.

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Dennis Glazener
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« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2010, 12:29:17 PM »

I have used muriatic acid to clean rust off metal. I have also heard that some use it to clean/sharpen files but I have not tried that. You can buy muriatic acid at most hardware stores. Its commonly used to clean brick.
Dennis
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The other DWS
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« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2010, 01:36:50 PM »

Most of the commercial "rust away" rust stain removers found in the supermarket or hardware store home cleaning products areas have some form of phosphoric or "muratic" acid in them.

While they may remove rust they are dilute acids that present other hazards and must always be neutralized after use.

As to "sharpening" a tool it is only in the sense that they will remove rust that is clogging the teeth of old files and rasps.  Its not a magic potion.  If you have a rusty worn and battered file you may get rid of the rust but it'll still be a worn and battered file when you're done. 
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PIKELAKE
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« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2010, 01:43:01 PM »

I use muriatic acid all the time to clean files. It will not only remove rust but will remove all the crud a file card can not get out. I threw a file in the juice that I had loaded up with pewter from a knife bolster I poured. It cleaned the file just fine. I have never oiled them after but I guess you could. I wash them with soap and water. I think the acid etches them to a point where they seem to be sharper. Sometimes I leave them soak a few hours and sometime over night. I would not leave them sit forever though, just check em once in a while.
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JOHN ZUREKI
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« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2010, 04:14:38 PM »

Boggs Tool Sharpening in California use an acid process (they call it liquid honing) to sharpen files. They come well-recommended on some of the woodworking forums. Cheap too...which is always good.

John.
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KNeilson
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« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2010, 07:25:56 PM »

Not too long ago (beginning of the 20 Century) when files were hand cut,good files were expensive and hard to come by. Sharpening in acid (vitriol, or muriatic) was fairly common, as opposed to sending it to be reground and recut .You could squeak a bit more use out of dull or plugged file with this method. I have hand cut files and rasps and experimented with this technique, but have found that nothing will touch a new good quality file. IMHO keeping your files clean and protected, and sorted for use, will make them last much longer than abusing them , or buying used ones and attempting to sharpen them in this way......  Smiley Kerry
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agaboric
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« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2010, 08:17:10 AM »

When using muratic acid to redress the files do you need to dilute the solution or just put them in and be done? Also how long do you leave them in the acid? It sounds like I will give this a shot and like one said if the file is wore out and then pit it and move on. Thanks everyone for the good advice.
-Andy
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Dphariss
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« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2010, 10:06:57 AM »

I may have posted this before but here goes anyway.
While working at Shiloh Wolf bought a acid file sharpening system.
Yes it will sharpen files. BUT it also puts a "tooth" on the surface and material be it wood or metal bonds to this with wonderful tenacity. So one spends about as much time trying to clean the file as using it.
So when a file wears out, be a it a $5 mill file or a 50 dollar item it goes to the scrap file pile.
Though I admit I tend to hang onto the Pattern Makers rasps even when pretty dull.

Dan
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heinz
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« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2010, 11:16:24 AM »

Dan, the only thing I would question is the "scrap file pile"  I always think of it as the new knife and tool stock pile  Smiley
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kind regards, heinz
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