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How do I clean rust off of a old bayonet? Answered

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I have this old bayonet from 1878. It has an inscription on the blade. I would like to clean it up. Could anyone recommend a good way to clean it up but not de-value the item?

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lemonieBest Answer (author)2009-10-13

See this page for some advice:<br /><a href="http://thearmouryonline.co.uk/Collecting.htm">thearmouryonline.co.uk/Collecting.htm</a><br />Looks french(?)<br /><a href="http://rallypointmilitaria.com/for-sale/model-french-gras-bayonet">rallypointmilitaria.com/for-sale/model-french-gras-bayonet</a><br /><br />L<br />

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user

How did you guess it is french.

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user

I didn't guess. I noticed (by chance) that the first link pictured some rather similar looking ones and went from there. It may not be, but it looks like the same design.

L

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owlart101 (author)2012-01-18

Well, unless you are patient and diligent, I would not recommend you do this. At places like Home Depot-wait... this was posted over 3 years ago... but anyways- they sell these cloth like things that take rust off like sandpaper, I would get one of those and some super fine grit sandpapers ranging at about 800 for the finest. Then just begin sanding it, it's what I do for all the knives I make that need some polishing up. Well, that and a polisher...

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frenchcreekvalley (author)2010-12-11

The previous (Oct 13, 2009, Prfesser) post has a link to my website, which is fine, but they put a period at the end of the link, so it won't work. Remove the period after
---htm and it will work properly.

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Jawa888 (author)2010-01-12

 By hitting chaves with it

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Re-design (author)2009-10-13

FIRST!  take it and have it appraised.  If it is valuable and you can't tell unless you are a bayonette expert you will want to have it restored by and expert or you run the risk of ruining an antique.

If is just a run of the mill old thing the there are several good methods of getting the rust off.

Electrolic derusting as mentioned is a good way but will harm the wooden handle.  What every method you use needs to be done to the whole piece as a unit so that it all looks the same.  It's going to be really odd looking if the blade looks great and the handle looks less so.

Google "remove rust" and get an idea of all of the possible ways to do this before you begin.

Nice find and good luck.

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Prfesser (author)Re-design2009-10-13

Good advice.  I had not considered that someone might immerse the whole thing in the derusting bath.

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Prfesser (author)2009-10-13

Electrolytic derusting will remove only the rust. http://www.spaco.org/Blacksmithing/Rust/ElectrolyticDerusting.htm. Downsides: it will NOT remove pits; the part may rust even faster once it's out of the bath, unless it's cleaned up and oiled immediately; may have an effect on other metals. And I'm told that it will not remove black iron oxides, though I haven't tried it on that.<br /><br />A piece of PVC pipe capped at one end should do nicely for a derusting vat.<br /><br />Good luck! -- Prfesser<br />

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