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Thread: Cleaning recycled steel

  1. #1
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    Cleaning recycled steel

    Iím about to make an outdoor light mount using some old crap I have laying around. Iíd appreciate your thoughts on the least-irritating way to clean this type of steel (painted, rusty 1.5Ē pipe) in a home shop:

    It seems like sand blasting might be a good option? Iíd be willing to buy a cheap setup since it sounds like they work okay for at least the first project...

  2. #2
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    Re: Cleaning recycled steel

    3" knotted cup brush for your angle grinder.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Cleaning recycled steel

    X2 on the knotted brush (cup or inline) first, and a flap disc (use a light touch, and always pull) after depending on how "nice" you want it. With the knotted brush at the edges be sure it's always rotating off the surface being brushed. Rotation of the brush from the plate to off the edge. If you go the other way you will get bad kickback, and will have a heck of a time removing the brush later.
    Last edited by SlowBlues; 03-26-2019 at 10:20 PM.

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    Cleaning recycled steel

    Burning or soaking in some kind of a pickling solution is also pretty good. Muriatic acid or vinegar will work, I have also tried a molasses fermentation that worked quite well at getting rid of the rust. A pint of molasses in ~6 gallons of water, let it soak for four days or more.
    Last edited by Brazin; 03-27-2019 at 10:37 AM.
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    Re: Cleaning recycled steel

    Burn it .
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  6. #6
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    Re: Cleaning recycled steel

    Thanks all; I plan to try all these options.

  7. #7
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    Re: Cleaning recycled steel

    Iíd just take the grinder to it with a black normal grinding wheel that way you will get the rust off. Might have to take couple break to let your arms rest

  8. #8
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    Re: Cleaning recycled steel

    Cupped wire AND this is where the 6010 and 6011 belong in your pocket. THAT is what they do best. Welding scrap.They Whip paint, scale , rust and cement skin and anything in the way. Won't be purty but it'll be fixed !
    For all new material here's where the 7014(thin) or 7018(heavy) rule the stick. 7024 is a real and mostly unknown jewel to the box store aficionados, run too...... under the right circumstances.

  9. #9
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    Re: Cleaning recycled steel

    Stick it in a vented enclosed container with about a gallon or less of paint brush cleaner. Let it sit. Keep it vented and in open space.

    Paint remover might work,too?

    If you have a project in mind it might easier to cut the metal and strip what is needed.

    What is the cost to have it sandblasted?
    Last edited by tapwelder; 03-27-2019 at 03:26 PM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Cleaning recycled steel

    A lot of times I go with a needle scaler and then wire cup brush. Also agree with Bonzoo on the rod selections.

  11. #11
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    Re: Cleaning recycled steel

    I did play around with 6011 a while ago but I am terrible so far. So I planned to TIG this. And I know that means it has to be clean; hence my question. I was hoping for something easy but it sounds like that may not exist.

  12. #12
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    Re: Cleaning recycled steel

    Not sure why anyone would TIG something like this

    Well.....maybe I do if a guy can't run stick, or doesn't have a wire machine.

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    Re: Cleaning recycled steel

    Wire wheel and 6010, tig could be a disaster if it's not clean. By the time you invest cleaning it , two 6010 rods and your done.

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    Re: Cleaning recycled steel

    So youíre saying learn how to stick weld; my first try was not encouraging. I do have a 120V MIG I could use but I wasnít sure it is up to the job. Iím not proficient at any of the methods but have the most time with TIG so tend to use it.

    Iíll update after I try some things. I may just switch plans to using new metal...

  15. #15
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    Re: Cleaning recycled steel

    Quote Originally Posted by jwmelvin View Post
    So youíre saying learn how to stick weld; my first try was not encouraging. I do have a 120V MIG I could use but I wasnít sure it is up to the job. Iím not proficient at any of the methods but have the most time with TIG so tend to use it.

    Iíll update after I try some things. I may just switch plans to using new metal...
    I made a stupid comment. I forget that not everybody has all the stuff necessary to choose a particular process at will.

    Hell, I can't work with aluminum because I'm not set up for it.

    I agree that the small 120v wire welder is out. Not enough oomph.

  16. #16
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    Re: Cleaning recycled steel

    There are so many variables with welding, with all processes, so as a beginner, at least eliminate one of them, and use as clean as possible metal. You can get away with some rust, etc, with flux core, but Tig, nope. As a beginner, don't make it harder to learn, clean, clean, clean.

  17. #17
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    Re: Cleaning recycled steel

    I do have a spoil of flux core I can run with the 120V machine. But I agree that my skill demands some help by minimizing challenges.

  18. #18
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    Re: Cleaning recycled steel

    needle scaler.

  19. #19
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    Re: Cleaning recycled steel

    Well I tried a few things: paint remover; knotted cup brush; electrolytic rust removal; vinegar. At this point maybe I could spend some more time with the wire brush but they are still nowhere close to TIG clean.


    Could I use 6011 on them as is? Hereís a picture of my one attempt at stick welding, with some of this same pipe and 6011; as you can see I am not good:

  20. #20
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    Re: Cleaning recycled steel

    Looks clean to me. I had instances where paint came off during electrolysis.

  21. #21
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    Re: Cleaning recycled steel

    jwmelvin get yourself a ceramic grit flap disc. I buy them online usually but in a pinch I get shopsmith brand from lowes (at $10 they are expensive but work well, online is the way to go), make sure you get ceramic grit. It literally cuts slivers of the metal off like a carbide die instead of grinding, throws hot micro chips so wear protection bc they will burn the heck out of you, and make light passes at a 15% angle with a pulling motion always. Be careful bc it will EAT metal It will leave your metal Tig clean. cheers! PS wait for the edges to wear down to round to get into corners, these discs are great for shaping metal smoothly, you'll be amazed if you haven't used them yet
    Last edited by SlowBlues; 03-30-2019 at 10:44 PM.

  22. #22
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    Re: Cleaning recycled steel

    I see the problems with lack of practice with 6011. But as clean as you have that metal I would just run a good bead of 7018 or even 6013 as you might have a lot nicer looking weld. Just pay attention to your rod angle and puddle and watch it burn.

  23. #23
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    Re: Cleaning recycled steel

    I did some more cleanup and cut a couple pieces for the first joint. Itís not TOG clean just because of the inside (I used a carbide burr but itís tough to get perfect).

    I ordered some 7014 and am thinking about trying that instead of the 6011 in case itís a bit easier.

  24. #24
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    Re: Cleaning recycled steel

    Quote Originally Posted by pigpen60 View Post
    needle scaler.
    Agreed, provided he has air to run the thing

  25. #25
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    Re: Cleaning recycled steel

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonzoo View Post
    Agreed, provided he has air to run the thing
    Iíll try that on the next one to see how it compares. I do have a small needle scaler. My compressor isnít great but it will let me try it out at least.

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