Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My Rust Removal Team

Pinball machine legs have levelers that are screwed into their bottom. You can make sure your machine is even by raising or lower each leg and checking your work with a level. This is what a typical set of four legs looks like.

My latest pinball machine project came with the rustiest legs that I have come across. I bought the machine from a guy who bought it from a guy who bought it from a guy who had it in storage in Minnesota. I'm pretty sure his storage unit has a floor covered in standing water.

Check out what's left of these levelers.

Last year I would have looked at these and thought, "No way. These legs are toast." But this year I have a new, powerful weapon in my garage. I have Evapo-Rust!

Read the label, and you're sure it's all marketing lies. This stuff is safe on skin, reusable (just funnel it back into the jug when you're done), and biodegradable? And it dissolves rust?

Yep. It's all true.

I left the legs and the levelers in the Evapo-Rust for 24 hours.

I then used my bench grinder's wire wheel to remove what was left of the loosened rust.

For step three I sprayed each leveler with Kroil. Kano's Kroil has gotten me out quite a few rusty spots when I was working on my VW Bug.

I waited 10 minutes, and then I put each leg in my bench vice. I was able to free each rusty bolt after using a Vice-Grip wrench to slowly turn the leveler's bolt back and forth, back and forth, and back and forth. You can't rush it. The bolt's so rusty; it'll snap off if you use too much force. The trick is to tighten each bolt a little at first. Then you turn it to loosen.

The chrome on the legs was too far gone for a polish, so I sprayed the legs with a "hammered" silver paint. It's a cheap solution, but I'm not going to re-chrome the legs of a machine I don't know will even work.

The leg looks pretty good with a new leveler installed.

Thanks, team!

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