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Question about 0000 steel wool

1650 Views 16 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  JohnnyP
When removing rust do you suggest rubbing the rusted area in isolation or is it better to treat the entire area to avoid wearing a small area?I've left the parts to stand in penetrating oil for two days now need to rub the rusted area.
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I'd use 'Big 45 Frontier Metal Cleaner' before I'd even think about using 0000 Steel Wool - it's far, far gentler to the metal, and leave the remaining finish intact.

You might also try bronze wool.

The 'Big 45 Frontier Metal Cleaner' is a large 'pad' that looks like something you'd clean your grill with, but the thing does a helluva job.

Look it up online.

Good Luck!
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I would also suggest trying your thumbnail or finger nail before you try anything else. Old gunsmithing thing. Bronze wool is a much better suggestion than steel wool. I can guarantee you the fingernail won't upset any existing finish. Sometimes the minimal pressure of a nail will remove the loosened rust.

I would not remove any existing finish around the periphery of a rust spot if that area wasn't rusted. Try to just clean the offended area. If you hands are clean and you are using a cold blue paste like Oxpho Blue or G96 you can blend the cold blue with the border of the existing finish with your fingertip. This has worked for me but may not for you. Partly it depends on how much oils and acids your body secrete and that varies a lot between people. A Q tip will work also, but paste cold bluing is harder to apply well with a Q tip than liquid cold bluing.
You are supposed to lightly bronze or steel wool after each coat of cold blue you apply anyway. This makes the preceeding coat or two primer coatings. Excepting the final coat. That usually isn't necessary.

If you wind up using any steel wool make sure to brush out any very tiny steel wool particles before you apply an additional coat of cold bluing. It is possible to trap small particles of steel wool under bluing. If this happens you could wind up with rust again on the treated area. I would do the same when using bronze wool, although the bronze shouldn't accelerate rusting.
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It's some surface rust on the sideplate of a 4" Lawman. Fortunately most of it is under the stocks. I bought some Big 45 pads, which have worked well with lots of penetrating oil but there are a couple of stubborn rust spots I can't get rid off. I thought the 0000 wool might work better for these because I can't find bronze wool anywhere.
In my experience, 0000 steel wool 'will' remove the blue finish.

No matter what you do - short of a refinish - you're going to be left with dark spots where the worst of the rust was, so get everything as clean as possible, and keep the area oiled, or with the lightest touch of grease.

Alternatively - look for a brass toothbrush, or even a used brass bore brush.

I've had luck with those.

Again - Good Luck!
The only place I was able to find bronze wool was Brownells or MidwayUSA and I can't remember which.
No local stores carry it.
Brownells have the bronze wool and the brass brushes. I'm going to do the best I can with the Big45 and then do the rest once I get the stuff from Brownells.

On a gloss blue like Colt revolvers, making the surface dull is as much of a problem and removing it.

Thanks guys
It is easy to get Bronze Wool on the internet...ebay, Brownells, etc...

An older Copper 'Penny' can work well also.

Steel Wool, even "0000", is too hard and will scrape or score the Blueing.
The pre-1982 dated cent is what you're looking for if you go the penny route.

Bronze wool is the way to go for removal. Very gently. It might take a few soakings and gentle scrubbing to get it all. Don't expect pristine surfaces to magically appear once the rust is removed.
Don't even think about using steel wool.
There are many way better choices.
Found my bronze wool at my local ACE Hardware.
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+1 for Ace hardware - I buy a pack every time I visit as I've never been able to get it over here.

How do you get rid of the cold blue smell? I haven't had luck in the past on a shotgun I touched up.
How do you get rid of the cold blue smell? I haven't had luck in the past on a shotgun I touched up.
Which product are you using? I've touched up spots on carry and shooter grade guns (not collector grade or rare guns) and I have never smelled any lingering odors when using Oxpho Blue Paste. I have no experience with Vanns or the G96 product. I don't care for the Birchwood Casey stuff at all.
Guys, to removed the light rust, I have used the 3M pads which come in 3 colors; Grey is the finest, Green is mid, and Red is coursest. use with caution and start with the Grey. I also use Blue Wonder Cleaner. Blue Wonder will not removed existing blue and will remove the rust. Use common sense and rub with a course cloth first! It the rust remians, use the 3M GREY pad and rub lightly and check often (the pad itself can remove blue). Watch what you are doing and let the Blue Wonder do the work. I have used it for years and it works!
The smell from the cold blue is the copper sulphate. Even though it may not smell, if you suspect it on a gun you are purchasing just rub the suspected area with you thumb enough to warm it up, and if cold blued the stink will be there. If you find cold blue, then you wonder what else has been covered up.
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