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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

Yesterday, my 'untouched' MH Mk IV arrived from IMA. After an initial, overall cleaning I can say that she looks good for >100 years of negligence. No significant wood damage or visible rust damage. However, she does have the (usual?) pitting at the underside of the barrel, i.e. the part which is normally covered by the forend.

I have removed the rust as much as possible using fine steel wool and WD40. I will reassemble her as soon as I have cleaned the wood and treated it with BLO.

My question: is it advisable to treat the pitting before reassembly, e.g. with a rust converter or by means of oil/grease?

Thanks in advance for your advice,
André
 

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Personal preference, but I'd treat the rust under the barrel. Likely use a rust converter, applied with the tip of a toothpick, then killed, and then light coat of grease.
 

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The rust is in the PORES of the steel. The "converters" will just fill these pores with crap. Build yourself an electrolysis tank and use it to remove the rust. The tank can be made out of a cardboard box and plastic bags/tarps. Your battery charger can be used. ( phone,car,etc)
I've been using mine for years now and the cleaning it does has to be seen. It will NOT hurt the bluing or the finish of the steel parts.
Many how-too articles on the web.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to all of you for your response. I will further explore your suggestions. I am currently on a short holiday; once I am back, I will try to take some pictures of the pitting and post them.
 

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Converters, not rust removers. The converters dry black. The removers expose white steel.

That's why Clyde suggested using a toothpick or similar to work it into the pits only. After painstakingly cleaning as much rust out as possible, I used the finest artists brush I could find to treat what ever miniscule rust might have been left behind. To not leave a black paint-like coating glaring awkwardly on the surface.

The entire process is not something done in an hour or two.
 

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Dental picks are good for getting into the pits. Good lighting and an Optivisor or other magnification is helpful - I got my eye doc to put a set of glasses together for that, customized for my eyes (they differ one to the other). Give about 1.75X magnification.
 

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I wouldn't use anything that claims to "convert" and cover up the rusted area with a paint/undercoating, "ready for painting'.. Every one I've tried has just gotten some of the rust and later you can strip off the coating and find the surface under it rusting.

Trustan used to work very well but is no longer available around here. Kleen Strip Phosphoric Prep and Etch also works well but removes rust, doesn't convert. Use sparingly as there will attack the blue.
 

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I wouldn't use anything that claims to "convert" and cover up the rusted area with a paint/undercoating, "ready for painting'.. Every one I've tried has just gotten some of the rust and later you can strip off the coating and find the surface under it rusting.

Trustan used to work very well but is no longer available around here. Kleen Strip Phosphoric Prep and Etch also works well but removes rust, doesn't convert. Use sparingly as there will attack the blue.
To simply 'paint it over rust'? Nope, neither would I!

Just to clarify a bit, that's not what has been suggested up above. Soaking in penetrant (Kroil, PB Blaster etc.) to soften up the rust for removal. Tediously picking it out of the pits without doing any damage, or the very least possible. This is done several times over a period of time. Soaking, picking, then flushing only to repeat as needed to get as much decay out as possible. Using varying sizes of picks including sewing needles if needed.
Only then does one apply a converter inside the pits to seal whatever miniscule rust may be remaining not visible to the eye. Once dry, then covered over with another sealer (such as grease or some might prefer a paint of sorts). Again, only in the pits. Thus sealing the area from air and moisture (humidity) to keep the rust from reactivating, thus further damaging the arm.

For now, this has been the most practical,safest option available which can be done at a practical cost with the means at most peoples disposal, and does not affect the original bluing in the immediate surrounding areas.

Not everyone is able to build (or have room to build) an electrolysis tank, nor leave a battery charger going while monitoring the progress.

Once again, I agree about not slathering a product onto the area, and also agree about chemicals which will remove the bluing as that is also a form of rust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Last weekend, the weather was warm and dry so I ran out to resume cleaning the rifle. I do it outside because of all the solvents, sprays etc involved. I my enthousiasm, I forgot to take pictures of the pitting.
I treated the pitting on the barrel by subsequently
- rubbing it with WD40 and fine steel wool
- de-greasing with white spirits
- treating the pits with rust converter (Noverox), using a fine, hard artists brush and pushing the rust converter into the pits; NOT wiping over it
- once the rust converter had dried, applying a generous layer of grease before putting the forend back on.

I did not dare to use electrolysis on the barrel and receiver because if I would mess up, I would mess up the whole rifle. I will try electrolysis however on the butt plate (see picture).

I am sure that with this treatment and a visual inspection every one or two years, this rifle will last for decades to come. Thanks for your replies and suggestions; please have a look at how my rifle turned out.



Unfortunately, there is very litte left of the stamping, probably due to an overzealous refurbisher...
 

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Oh dear. I must be so outdated. I just lightly clear off any rust that will let go. Then warm the metal and apply beeswax thickly to it and leave it on where it is hidden by the wood. Works so far.
 

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Knock the lose rust off. Oil it and go shooting,
 

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Knock the lose rust off. Oil it and go shooting,
Yes, that works. I've noticed that if thee is pitting, after shooting there tends to be a bit more of the rust in the pits "knocked loose" so it can be removed. Guess the shock and vibration loosens it up, eh? I like a light coat of RIG or Penn Reel Grease on the metal that is under the stock line - NOT a thick coat, just wiped on, then a wipe with a clean cloth before re-assembly.
 

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Oh dear. I must be so outdated. I just lightly clear off any rust that will let go. Then warm the metal and apply beeswax thickly to it and leave it on where it is hidden by the wood. Works so far.
None of the organic waxes like beeswax or carnauba are very good at rust prevention. Try a microcrystalline wax like Renaissance Wax if you want to prevent rust for decades.
 

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I've used electrolysis tank to good. It will remove some bluing sometimes. I use my large shop charger
and it don't take long. I touch up an item after I'm done with oxopho bluing.
Here's a French 1874 I done.
 

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