Rusty stainless steel handrail
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  1. #1

    Rusty stainless steel handrail

    Hi,

    I made this handrail from 304 stainless steel and now its rusty. Everywhere that i used a flap disc / sanding disc there is rust. Is it from a contaminated disc? Or by grinding did I destroy that chromium Oxide passive layer? How can I fix this?

  2. #2

    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    ill try to add a picName:  unnamed.jpg
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  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    Cross contamination. A passivation solution such as citrisurf 77 should clean that up. I like to spray it on and than rub it in with a scotch brite pad in the the direction of the grain. I like to passivate all stainless prior to install and than once after. I think it helps to leave a smoother brushed finish. Here's an example after passivation. I did not do the glass rail. Just the staircase and rail attached to it.Name:  20170627_105836.jpg
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  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    Quote Originally Posted by Boweniron View Post
    Hi,

    I made this handrail from 304 stainless steel and now its rusty. Everywhere that i used a flap disc / sanding disc there is rust. Is it from a contaminated disc? Or by grinding did I destroy that chromium Oxide passive layer? How can I fix this?
    Wipe down with acetone.....neutralizes the iron oxides and then use a commercial stainless steel appliance cleaner.....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    500

    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    Never use the same grinding wheel, flap-disc, etc, on stainless that you use on steel.

  6. #6

    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    Quote Originally Posted by SmoothOperator View Post
    Wipe down with acetone.....neutralizes the iron oxides and then use a commercial stainless steel appliance cleaner.....
    ok will this keep the rust from coming back for a long time?

  7. #7

    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    If it from a contaminated disc can i clean the rust of then just grind consecutive layers off using a new disc for each layer?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    Quote Originally Posted by Boweniron View Post
    If it from a contaminated disc can i clean the rust of then just grind consecutive layers off using a new disc for each layer?
    Maybe. You will contaminate the new disc when you clean off the rust and previous contamination.

  9. #9

    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    If I pickle the rusty areas will it keep the rust from coming back for a long time?

  10. #10
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    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    Quote Originally Posted by Boweniron View Post
    If I pickle the rusty areas will it keep the rust from coming back for a long time?
    whats a long time? whats the environment like...

    stainless will rust, the best results are to completely dip and passivate. i only use even brand new flap wheels on stainless as a worst case. fleece or scotchbrite abrasives remove the back with out smearing it back it. even when using an ss wire wheel immediately follow with a fleece.
    General Contractor
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  11. #11

    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    How can I fix this? It can't be removed.

  12. #12
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    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    Quote Originally Posted by Boweniron View Post
    How can I fix this? It can't be removed.
    Wipe down areas affected w/ acetone and then the whole rail with S.S. Appliance Cleaner......I've had this " problem " on almost EVERY S.S. rail job I've done.....Some how, some way iron oxides get on the product......Standard procedure on every "punch-list" when the job is completed/ inspected......Can get shop rags, S.S. Appliance Cleaner and acetone at Lowes or homey depot.........

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    You might be able to buff it out with the right wheel and black compound.

  14. #14
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    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    Quote Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post
    Never use the same grinding wheel, flap-disc, etc, on stainless that you use on steel.
    That goes for a wire welding brush also.


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  15. #15
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    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    In future projects use one grinder Only for SS always new wheel at the start of a job. Mark the grinder SS only.
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  16. #16
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    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    if cant be removed, use a burnisher witha fleece pad. its all you can do. come back in a month and do it again. and again until no more issue.


    in the future, everything. grinders, gloves, tungsten, wire bushes, wheels, everything, everything..... should all be kept separate and only used on stainless.


    my shop, i have a storage for stainless tools and when job comes up i spent an entire day cleaning the work bay and have a plastic curtain that drops to separate it from the other work. small handrail jobs are a shop clean then no other work until the stainless is out. stainless work cost allot for a reason. hope you charged accordingly.
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  17. #17
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    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    Oxalic acid is worth a try. It's found in Barkeepers Friend cleanser. BEHR PREMIUM® All-In-One Wood Cleaner #63 also contains oxalic acid.
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  18. #18
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    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    First I would try buff and buff again as suggested. However, I assume that is a seam. Looks like it is. Looks as though the entire rail will need to me sanded in order to blend the finish. How much is there? And can just redo it, dust seem like finishes don't / won't match? Perhaps use mechanical connectors and adhesive.

  19. #19
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    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    316 is better for outdoor stuff, I've used a mild steel wire wheel by mistake finishing a stainless sink for a restaurant, it rusted in about 3.5 seconds after they starting washing dishes,

    Just get a fresh flap wheel, sand it down, done, don't overthink it. Put some wax on it to protect it after you finish polishing it.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    I should probably ask how much grinding you actually did in that area. Wonder if you overheated the stainless....

    Though you probably ground in some steel bits. It doesnt look that bad, I've used orbital wax or polishing compound on a buffer and gotten that stuff out. Just depends on how deep. Once its all gone and a mirror finish, you can use a new pad and try to make it look like the same finish as the other sections.

  21. #21
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    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    Any one ever try rubbing compound? curious if it removes deeply enough. I used some intended for auto body paint work on a polished stainless sink to remove water stains and minor scratches, it worked amazingly well once I developed a good technique. It's safe, easy, not messy, and cheap, but I don't know if it's abrasive enough to get the iron contaminants out.
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  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    Yes. I have, it will work, but the compound has to be abrasive enough. For ground in iron like this, its probably good to start no higher than 600- A DA polisher will be your friend here.

  23. #23
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    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    I have use rubbing compound on stainless steel barstool parts. Easy to end up with a burnt mess if your grit is not agressive enough to get you where you desire. Time consuming.

  24. #24
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    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    If you're going to get into doing stainless on a regular basis, do yourself a favour and, get yourself educated on the subject.
    There's a wealth of free knowledge out there.

    Also, invest in the correct tooling, e.g. https://www.eisenblaetter.de/en/prod...-max-overview/

    https://www.csunitec.com/metal-surfa...-and-polishing

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  25. #25
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    Re: Rusty stainless steel handrail

    Don't know if you can remove the handrail and have it passivated, but that is what I would try to do. Here is a description.

    http://www.ableelectropolishing.com/...ation-process/
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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