Author Topic: Rust Removal - How to clean the worst pinball legs !  (Read 1138 times)

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Offline Strangeways

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Rust Removal - How to clean the worst pinball legs !
« on: September 12, 2016, 09:14:10 PM »
I've been trying a lot of different methods to treat those rusty legs, and finally, I've found a CHEAP product that has saved dozens of legs that I would have otherwise discarded. The reason I needed to save these legs, was because some of them are impossible to obtain new (sys3 27 inch and 28 1/2 inch). I tried a bunch of different products and then I thought I'd try a product that caught my at bunnings while looking for something totally unrelated...

I showed Tim this product on Saturday, and he was impressed. These legs would never be used on High End pins - but for "shop" legs etc, they do a great job. So I thought I'd share my experience.

The product is called "Diggers Rust and stain cleaner". No way is this just a cleaner. This product removes rust and corrosion off ANYTHING.



Easily found in Bunnings - https://www.bunnings.com.au/diggers-2kg-rust-stain-cleaner_p0960276


You need to buy some standard drainage / stormwater pipe, a cap for the bottom of the pipe, and the cleaner and cement to install the cap on the bottom. I have two sizes, one fits 7 litres of water and the other 14 litres of water. You also need to make a hook to drop the legs into the solution.

OF MOST IMPORTANCE - Wear gloves AT ALL TIMES and protective glasses. This stuff is REALLY BAD on your skin. But it can be washed off in water if you are quick enough.

OF MORE IMPORTANCE - DO NOT have this setup anywhere near KIDS or Animals. Have is set up in the corner of the garage AWAY from anything you value.

This process is MESSY, and while the chemicals are working away at your rusty parts, they emit an odor. Don't breath it in ! Keep a window open, or do it in an area with ventilation.

What else is required ;

A couple of large buckets
A couple of old paint brushes
Lots of rags
Red Scotchbrite
Grey Scothcbrite
Wire brush

The Process


Safety gear on.
Read the instructions on the product to mix the crystals 100grams per liter. Don't guess, just do as the instructions say. The pipe I bough fits 14 liters of water.
The small pipe is filled with just normal water. The buckets are filled with normal water.

Grab the legs you want to save. Give them a quick clean of any dirt or sticky substance like tape.
Remove the old leg leveler. Can't get it off ? Leave it on.
Using the hook, lower the first leg into the solution. Keep going until you fit the maximum of 8 legs. Lower the first 5 normally, and the other three upside down.

Here are your typical container legs. This solution will not eat away at the chrome legs.








On the right, the 14 liter tube with the solution. On the left is the 7 liter tube with water. On the bench is a small tub filled with legbolts. That container has the chemical reaction in full swing.





Leave the magic to do it's work for 6-8 hours - bad ones are left overnight.

Here's is the 14 liter tube with 8 legs. It has finished the job as the solution has settled. You will see the solution has gone from a cloudy colour to almost a green or clear colour. On the exposed areas where rust was present, there will be a yellow paste that will slowly rinse off when you remove a leg. So with the safety gear on, grab the hook and pull out the first leg. It will look like crap, with residue all over it. Just dip it back into the solution and remove it a couple of time and the reside falls off. Then lower it into the 7 liter pipe and rinse it in that pipe. By now, you will notice there is a yellow film where the rust was.

Remove the leg from the 7 litre pipe and into one of the large buckets.

If there was surface rust on the front of the legs, literally, use a old paintbrush and you simply won't believe what you are seeing - the rust FALLS off like dirt. The inside of the leg should be cleaned with either the wire brush or scotchbrite. Use the wirebrush for the section where the leg leveler was. You should be able to EASILY remove a rusted Legleveler in a minute ! Once there is no residue on the leg, move it to the second busket of water and rinse completely. Then grab a clean cloth a wipe down the entire leg. No water should be left behind.

After drying by hand - no jokes - this is what you will see ;





Once you have dried the legs, immediately polish with Autosol. This prevent any future rust.


Legbots


Follow the instructions and measure the correct mount of crystals with cold water.

Drop in the legbolts, and watch them cook.




A couple hours later, or even a couple days later, they are ready ;





Using a wire brush, clean each bolt ( time consuming - if you like that sort of thing ).

Rinse and wash with water. Dry by hand and then spray oil on them so they don't rust. I use this method prior to replating original leg bolts like Bally 14mm. Best to buy new bolts.


I'll post more pictures of the polished legs.

All up, the cost was under $50 - and I saved 15 sets of legs before discarding the solution  #*#
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Offline robm

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Re:
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2016, 01:16:43 AM »
Yep. Its great stuff. Been using if for a while - the other thing i do is give it a hit with fine scotchbrite to get some stubborn stuff off. You will be blown away how good wireform ramps come up after this treatment.

As Nino mentioned, it is important to polish afterwards. Also, it only works on chrome finishes....i tried a lockdown bar reciever and it didn't end well!

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Offline morgo

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Re: Rust Removal - How to clean the worst pinball legs !
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2016, 08:27:58 AM »
+1
its good stuff, but cant stress enough the use of safety gear.
one the first times I used it I had some parts on the go and found a couple of bolts i`d forgot to put in . walking past just dropped them in causing the solution to splash back.some got on my face and corner of my eye. burning was immediate in my eye , fortunately the hose was still there and I was able to flush my eye quickly .  safety glasses are a must along with gloves and probably long sleeves .
other lesson learned is dont pour it out on the lawn once finished unless you want to kill the grass

Offline goodolddays

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Re: Rust Removal - How to clean the worst pinball legs !
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2016, 09:36:27 AM »
Looks the goods for sure .
How do you dispose of this nasty stuff after you have finished with it ?
I need more room ! and more $$$

Offline Boots

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Re: Rust Removal - How to clean the worst pinball legs !
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2016, 09:45:12 AM »
The active ingredient is oxalic acid
A guy on AA posted a thread on its use a whole ago, he was using it for wireforms
He had a different brand but it's all the same stuff and the diggers product does seem to be the cheapest option
You can also use long storage containers from the reject shop, they are good for wire forms because they allow for the width a bit better

I like the idea of the pvc pipe for legs though

Offline Boots

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Re: Rust Removal - How to clean the worst pinball legs !
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2016, 09:46:58 AM »
Looks the goods for sure .
How do you dispose of this nasty stuff after you have finished with it ?

Down the sewer as it's biodegradable

Offline Strangeways

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Re: Rust Removal - How to clean the worst pinball legs !
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2016, 12:55:32 PM »
Looks the goods for sure .
How do you dispose of this nasty stuff after you have finished with it ?

Down the sewer as it's biodegradable

+1

Although the next door neighbor took my last batch. something about it tasting the same as XXXX Beer.  :tumble:
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Offline goodolddays

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Re: Rust Removal - How to clean the worst pinball legs !
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2016, 08:07:52 PM »
Looks the goods for sure .
How do you dispose of this nasty stuff after you have finished with it ?

Down the sewer as it's biodegradable

Great .. I should have googled it .. was being lazy . I'll have to give it a try for sure
I need more room ! and more $$$

Offline thejudge

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Re: Rust Removal - How to clean the worst pinball legs !
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2017, 11:21:57 AM »
Thanks for the great tip.
I picked up a High Hand and it has a very rusty coin door, can I assume it would also work on this?

Offline Strangeways

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Re: Rust Removal - How to clean the worst pinball legs !
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2017, 04:46:52 PM »
Thanks for the great tip.
I picked up a High Hand and it has a very rusty coin door, can I assume it would also work on this?

Should work wherever there is rust to activate it. If there is rust under the plating, it will lift the plating straight off.
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Offline pinball god

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Funny the label says not for metal surfaces  :D
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Offline Strangeways

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Re: Rust Removal - How to clean the worst pinball legs !
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2017, 11:13:56 AM »
Funny the label says not for metal surfaces  :D

That's in reference for using it as a "cleaner" on metal surfaces.
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