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Is there a way to treat stainless after grinding or heating to straightening to eliminate the surface from rusting?. I've been polishing with a brass wire wheel and can get the shine back to origonal but two weeks later rust starts forming.

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Having it electropolished is the best method.

DIY the best thing to do is get a small bench buffer for $50 from HF and a stick of green abrasive. You can keep all your metal looking good with that.

It's one of my most used tools when I'm restoring a boat.

Doing it with wire anything is way too abrasive - it scratches which is where the oxidation starts.

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I was having the same problem of rust or what I thought was rust until a friend suggested I check to make sure I do not have an electrical short?  Turned out there was a short.  Something to look at?

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Plus one for Spotless Stainless.  We've used it on our rails, stanchions, misc. deck hardware, etc.  Keeps things looking good, but the recurring problem with rust is the grade of metal you start with.  Spotless will tune it up and make it look pretty for a while, but if its a low grade SS to begin with (as is the case with our mid-70's Taiwanese cutter) it'll just start rusting all over again.

Learn to love your "patina"...

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36 minutes ago, Christian said:

Does it actually passivate the SS?

Yup, that's all it does. Unlike Wichinox, there's no polishing action.

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"Stainless steel" is an alloy (mixture) of iron, nickel and a small assortment of other stuff. Iron rusts, nickel does not. It ACTS stainless when it has been treated (passivated) to etch the iron molecules off the surface leaving the nickel. When you work the surface you expose more iron or install iron from the tool.

True passivation can be done by "cooking" the polished and degreased parts for a couple of hours in a 140 degree (Fahrenheit) 4% (by weight) citric acid bath. Citric acid can be had from the canning section of your local grocery store.

This, of course, assumes that you can get whatever you're passivating into the vat. If not, you've got to resort to the various approximations mentioned previously and repeat as necessary ...

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Go to a welding supplies shop and buy some "pickling paste" for stainless steel. This is a pretty nasty acid, so use with caution, but it'll beat the pants off any other hardware store chemical for passivating the material. After treatment with the paste, polish or electropolish to requirements.

On another note, keeping stainless steel at an elevated temperature for too long causes carbide to precipitate out of the alloy which reduces it's corrosion resistance. Avoid holding the material at high temperatures for too long and choose "ELC" (extra low carbon) grades of material. These grades are designated with an "L" postfix e.g. 316L

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On 5/23/2018 at 7:16 AM, ARNOLD said:

Thanks all. I'm going to try the polishing wheel and finish off with spotless stainless.

Did it,.... looks good, will report back in 6 mo.

Arnold

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1 hour ago, ARNOLD said:

Did it,.... looks good, will report back in 6 mo.

Arnold

You didn't do it until we see pics.

Preferably before & after.

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