Cleaning Off Jointer Rust?

I just got a Beaver tool company 6″ jointer. It is a model 3800, Serial No. 2025, and as best I can tell, it was made around the same time I was (65 years ago). Any ideas on using WD-40 to clean it up and lubricate the table races and moving parts? How about using a small mouse sander with 80- and 120-grit paper to clean the tables? How about any help with where I can find parts like a blade guard? – Dave Scott

Rob Johnstone: There are products on the market that remove rust and associated gunk more efficiently than WD40, like Boeshield. You will need some sort of abrasive product: sandpaper can work, but I much prefer steel wool. You can soak the wool in the rust-removing solvent and get pretty good results.

As for finding parts for discontinued tools, one effective way is to go to woodworking message boards like the forum at woodworking.com or at woodcentral.com. Ask the folks on the forums if they know of a place or have the part you need.

Chris Marshall: I’ve had good results with the Boeshield Rust Free product Rob is suggesting. I used a synthetic scrub pad, and the rust I was removing was very superficial. It dissolved the corrosion quickly so I could basically rub it off. Loctite’s® Naval Jelly® works pretty well on light rust, also. Given the vintage of your jointer, if the rust is deep and extensive, you may need a more aggressive approach. Possibly even sandblasting of some sort. Try the gentle “chemical” approach first, and see how well that does on your jointer. Eighty-grit sandpaper is going to leave scratches in the metal that could be hard to remove, and that could be exacerbated by using a power sander. I’d let the chemicals do most of the work instead and work them by hand-scrubbing instead of coarse abrasives. If chemicals aren’t enough, a machine shop or body shop might be able to offer other suggestions for more significant rust removal.

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