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#6551120 - 11/19/16 10:06 PM cleaning up a rusty heirloom
Txhuntr2 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 02/19/12
Posts: 230
Loc: Houston and Val Verde
My great grandfather owned a general store and did some butchering. I have inherited a few cool old butchering knives that I still use. Recently I found his old meat clever at my family's house in the garage. It's been in that garage for decades and is now pretty rusty. I want to clean it up so I can use it when needed.

1. What's the best way to remove the rust and preserve the blade?

2. The handle is wood and is held on by what looks like 3 rivets or pins through the blade handle. It looks like the metal between the wood is rusted too. What's the best way to remove the wood handles to clean up the metal below.

3. Is reinstalling the wood handles a difficult job best reserved for someone with knife making skill or is that something I can do?

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#6553988 - 11/22/16 06:04 AM Re: cleaning up a rusty heirloom [Re: Txhuntr2]
Dave Davidson Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 06/24/06
Posts: 4315
Loc: Hurst, Tx
I have one of those. It's massive. I've done some restoration and use Loctite Rust Dissolver as a first step. Don't sweat the pitting. That happens on old steel. Use a drill press to remove the old rivets or pins. On the handle, I've sometimes just had to make new ones. It all depends on how bad the wood is.

When you use a non stainless blade it should be washed, dried and set aside to air.
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#6556059 - 11/23/16 02:45 PM Re: cleaning up a rusty heirloom [Re: Txhuntr2]
poisonivie Online   happy


Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 7379
Loc: Bridgeport, Tx
I've had some luck with vinegar as rust remover. It does take a while.
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#6594411 - 12/19/16 05:37 PM Re: cleaning up a rusty heirloom [Re: Txhuntr2]
okiehuntr Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 730
Loc: SE Oklahoma
do not use vinegar it willl soften the metal if you use any chemical go to oreilly auto and buy evapo-rust, works great
okie

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#6595134 - 12/20/16 09:20 AM Re: cleaning up a rusty heirloom [Re: okiehuntr]
blackcoal Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 01/19/12
Posts: 7672
Loc: 60 Mi North of DFW
Originally Posted By: okiehuntr
do not use vinegar it willl soften the metal if you use any chemical go to oreilly auto and buy evapo-rust, works great
okie


confused2 Soften the metal ???
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it is the illusion of knowledge.--Stephen Hawking

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#6595893 - 12/20/16 07:23 PM Re: cleaning up a rusty heirloom [Re: okiehuntr]
MikeC Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/09/05
Posts: 11897
Loc: Grayson County
Originally Posted By: okiehuntr
do not use vinegar it willl soften the metal if you use any chemical go to oreilly auto and buy evapo-rust, works great
okie


Never heard of that. I've soaked farriers rasp in white vinegar and certainly didn't soften them any.
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#6596013 - 12/20/16 08:39 PM Re: cleaning up a rusty heirloom [Re: Txhuntr2]
maximum Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 09/30/09
Posts: 1558
jmho
i wouldn't take the handle scales off at
all unless they're in poor shape.
mix up half and half turpentine and linseed
oil and figure a way (like hang it from a length
of wire) to suspend the cleaver to where you
can immerse the length of the handle in a clean
soup can of linseed/turpentine. it'll soak into
the wood and preserve it and stop the rust underneath
the scales. just use an sos pad to clean off
the blade in the sink like you would any other
rusty knife blade. any other carbon knives you
have you should give the wood handles a coat of
johnson's paste wax regularly.
good luck
EDIT-
(up here ^ ^ ^ i should have written to put wax on
any wood handled knife regardless of blade material )


Edited by maximum (12/21/16 12:40 PM)

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#6602266 - 12/25/16 02:14 PM Re: cleaning up a rusty heirloom [Re: MikeC]
okiehuntr Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 730
Loc: SE Oklahoma
Originally Posted By: MikeC
Originally Posted By: okiehuntr
do not use vinegar it willl soften the metal if you use any chemical go to oreilly auto and buy evapo-rust, works great
okie


Never heard of that. I've soaked farriers rasp in white vinegar and certainly didn't soften them any.

If left in long enough, cheap steel or cast iron.. a rasp is usually pretty good steel.
okie

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#6628902 - 01/12/17 10:05 AM Re: cleaning up a rusty heirloom [Re: Dave Davidson]
HankePanky Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 11/21/09
Posts: 16
Loc: Houston, Texas
Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson
Use a drill press to remove the old rivets or pins. On the handle, I've sometimes just had to make new ones. It all depends on how bad the wood is.


I agree with this, only if the tang is rusted behind the scales. As far as rust removal, I've found that WD-40, various grades of steel wool, and good-old-fashioned elbow grease gets the job done. I've used this method to great success more than a few times on my great grandfather's butcher knives.

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