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Removing mill scale with vinegar

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:15 pm
by LISA
I have been testing many prep methods. I am currently working with vinegar to remove rust and mill scale. I have had very good results. It is not as expensive as hydrochloric acid and while it has a pungent odor it is not as hazardous to your skin either.

I filled a 55 gallon trash can with 30 gallons of white vinegar and began soaking. Over a weeks time I soaked 20 large pieces, 8-24 hours, with good results. I went over the piece with steel wool and rinsed with water. Because I am anal about prep I also ran over it with wire wheel but I really do not think that was necessary. The steel wool etches it. I just like to see that shiny look before I cover it with a finish!

I have no idea how long the vinegar will stay potent. I did test paint removal with vinegar and while it took several days it does lift high heat paint. I easily scraped it off.

Re: Removing mill scale with vinegar

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:07 pm
by tnbndr
Not sure where you are located but look for a source of pickling vinegar, it is 12% acidic compared to the store vinegar at 4%.
I found a business near me that pickles eggs, etc for bar treats and they sell it to me for $1.75 a gallon.

Re: Removing mill scale with vinegar

Posted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:51 pm
by LISA
Thanks for the tip!