Rust on blue steel hands

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  • #48691
    msp2502
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    • Topics Started: 6
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    Hello all , completely new to all this but reading everything I can find to get a reasonable understanding before taking first movement apart. I have acquired a few Ansonia clocks – one iron , one wood and have the cases looking quite good. They both have blue steel hands which are in good condition but do have some areas of rust. I am in two minds whether to leave the hands as they are or try to clean them in some way . Any suggestions would be very welcome.
    Am waiting for a few basic tools to arrive in post then will take deep breath and have a go at the movements ! Have found Bobs videos invaluable in understanding the count wheel striking but still struggling with the rack and snail – but that can wait.
    Many thanks
    Malcolm

    #54088
    arutha
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    • Topics Started: 85
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    Hi Malcolm,
    You can re-blue the hands, just polish them so they are bright and shiny and you can either heat them until they turn blue and then quench in oil or you can use gun blue on them. The heat treatment takes a bit of practice and can be a bit patchy if you don’t get them heated evenly but the gun blue gives a nice overall colour. Something else you can try is to polish off the rust and then “paint” them with a blue permanent marker, I did this today and the results were certainly passable.
    Good luck,
    Paul.
    p.s. the snail just turns with the hour hand so the clock knows how many hours it has to strike, you will see a lever with a pin in it or maybe just the end is bent round, this rests on the snail and determines how far the rack drops for the number of strikes so if the lever is resting on the snail at its highest point the rack can only drop one tooth and strike 1, if the lever is resting on the snail at its lowest point the lever can fall all the way down which in turn allows the rack to drop all the way and the clock will strike 12.
    Hope that makes sense?

    #54089
    msp2502
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    • Topics Started: 6
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    Paul
    I appreciate the advice , the marker pen sounds good for a novice like me .
    Regards
    Malcolm

    #54090
    arutha
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    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Hi Malcolm,
    the beauty is if it doesn’t come out very well you can then always try one of the other methods. If you are completely removing the old blue finish then try a black permanent marker, have used this in the past for touching up very dark hands and again works quite well.
    Paul.

    #54091
    david pierce
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    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Msp2502,
    I live in a part of the country that has a lot of rain and deal with a lot of rust; mainly on machinery surfaces. If you sand and grind a metal surface to the point where it looks clean to the naked eye and then put it under a microscope, you will see small pits in the metal that are still filled with rust. The only way I have found that works is to treat the rusted area with a rust removal chemical. I buy it from a woodworking supply but any hardware store or home improvement center should have it.
    david

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msp2502Rust on blue steel hands