Rust Removal - Front Panel

Bob Nickels ranickel at MWCI.NET
Wed Jun 6 23:06:02 EDT 2001

> So, I don't suppose there's much that can be done to get rid of the rust
> without leaving "bare metal" beneath

This was the subject of an article in one of the antique radio publications
a number of years ago.  The author claimed that oftenttimes, rust that is
visible on the surface of a painted item usually begins at a "pinhole" in
the finish and spreads along the top surface from that point, making the
rusted area look larger than it really is.   His technique was to use a mild
abrasive (such as automobile polish that has abrasive content) to remove the
surface rust at the point of origin, attempting to minimize the amount of
paint material removed.  A wooden "popsicle stick" is used to apply to
concentrate the force in the area where rust is visible, and to use very
light pressure and a swirling motion to remove the surface rust without
cutting all the way through the paint layers.    I first used this technique
on the panel of an HQ-180 that had numerous visible rust spots and in the
end I was able to polish away all but the tiny original pinholes that are
nearly invisible.  I touched these up using a single paintbrush fiber and
applied a protective coating to the panel.    The panel looks great, over 5
years later.

Patience and a light, gentle touch are key, and I've found nothing better
than the popsicle stick for the task.  Of course if the metal has truly
rusted clear through the paint and the finish is gone, this method won't
work, but there's usually little to lose by trying...

73, Bob W9RAN

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