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Thread: Who uses molasses rust removal?

  1. #1
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    Who uses molasses rust removal?

    Hoping to get some info from those who have done this; I have got onto a heap of old milk cans that have been sitting in a dairy shed for decades, mostly in good nick but all fairly rusty. One of them will be my new mailbox and a few others will be gifts. I've set up a molasses tank (200L plastic feed bin, 20L molasses diluted in water) and it certainly eats the rust, but I can't find any definitive info on the best way to treat the metal when it comes out of the tank. The first can was in the tank for about two weeks, I rinsed the molasses off with a pressure washer when I took it out, then left it to drain, didn't get time to get back to it for a couple of days and of course there's a lot of surface rust.
    Obviously I have to be prepared to do something with it straight away when it comes out (I foolishly took the first one out when I barely had time to rinse it and then couldn't get back to it for days) but even then, washing off the molasses leaves me with wet, bare metal. How do the vintage enthusiasts proceed from this stage?
    milk can surface rust.jpg
    Whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind...than the whole race of politicians put together.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by POD View Post
    Hoping to get some info from those who have done this; I have got onto a heap of old milk cans that have been sitting in a dairy shed for decades, mostly in good nick but all fairly rusty. One of them will be my new mailbox and a few others will be gifts. I've set up a molasses tank (200L plastic feed bin, 20L molasses diluted in water) and it certainly eats the rust, but I can't find any definitive info on the best way to treat the metal when it comes out of the tank. The first can was in the tank for about two weeks, I rinsed the molasses off with a pressure washer when I took it out, then left it to drain, didn't get time to get back to it for a couple of days and of course there's a lot of surface rust.
    Obviously I have to be prepared to do something with it straight away when it comes out (I foolishly took the first one out when I barely had time to rinse it and then couldn't get back to it for days) but even then, washing off the molasses leaves me with wet, bare metal. How do the vintage enthusiasts proceed from this stage?
    milk can surface rust.jpg
    You need to wash & dry it fairly quickly.
    You can watch it rust when it comes out as it's so clean, even if it's dry.

    I treat with phosphoric acid (rust convertor) which holds the rust at bay while you get time to paint.

    I tend to wear gloves when handling parts straight out of the tank, if you get the molasses on your hands it's difficult to get rid of the smell despite multiple washes. You almost have to 'wear' the smell off......


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  3. #3
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    What gromit said.

    Get some deoxidine from the big green shed or any decent hardware store and follow the instructions.

  4. #4
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    Ok will give that a go, I think I even have a bottle of deoxidine that has never been used.
    Whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind...than the whole race of politicians put together.
    Jonathan Swift

  5. #5
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    I've been using it for about 25+ years. As has been said, steel will get surface rust on it as you watch.

    Getting Rid of Rust - I haven't updated this page in over 15 years!
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  6. #6
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    What everyone else said. Molasses is great. All new surfaces rust rapidly, so do something quickly to sort that. If you have a farm supply mob nearby they have the cheapest molasses, apparently cows like it. Go figure.
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    Rust removal

    Here is a link to cover off this topic….he does a great job as well on plating and restoring a series land prover……

    Rust Removal Methods Explained - YouTube

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by POD View Post
    Hoping to get some info from those who have done this; I have got onto a heap of old milk cans that have been sitting in a dairy shed for decades, mostly in good nick but all fairly rusty. One of them will be my new mailbox and a few others will be gifts. I've set up a molasses tank (200L plastic feed bin, 20L molasses diluted in water) and it certainly eats the rust, but I can't find any definitive info on the best way to treat the metal when it comes out of the tank. The first can was in the tank for about two weeks, I rinsed the molasses off with a pressure washer when I took it out, then left it to drain, didn't get time to get back to it for a couple of days and of course there's a lot of surface rust.
    Obviously I have to be prepared to do something with it straight away when it comes out (I foolishly took the first one out when I barely had time to rinse it and then couldn't get back to it for days) but even then, washing off the molasses leaves me with wet, bare metal. How do the vintage enthusiasts proceed from this stage?
    milk can surface rust.jpg


    I used FERONITE for rust removal.
    It is a natural mix and works way better than Molasses I recon.
    I naturalises the rust in no time at all.

    It is available from boat builders and other places but that is where I bought mine from.

  9. #9
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    > I naturalises the rust in no time at all.

    and what is "naturalises the rust" ?
    I'm familiar with reducing the rust, as in a gain of electrons by the iron but not "naturalising" it :-)

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  10. #10
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    I should have reported back on this a couple of weeks ago; I removed the second milk can from the molasses when I had time to deal with it properly straight away; again rinsed it off with the pressure washer and then dried it inside and out with towels and then compressed air to remove moisture from crevices, coated it with penetrol. It looks fantastic, grey bare metal with the transparent penetrol coating. It's been propped up upside down under cover for the last couple of weeks, waiting now for the right opportunity to give it a coat of primer and then maybe hydrodip it. I have a third can in the molasses, this one was sealed up with a couple of kilograms of salt in it for at least the last 30 years so was more rusty than the others, will see how it comes up.

    On a side note, I brought home from the same location a Ronaldson & Tippet model NA Austral engine in wartime finish, seized solid and full of rat, mouse and bird excrement. It now runs. Not something I'm interested in as a hobby but it was satisfying to make it live again. I plan to tidy it up some more and present it to the family member (he married my mother in law) retired dairy farmer, whose family milking shed was powered by this engine from his childhood.
    Whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind...than the whole race of politicians put together.
    Jonathan Swift

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