I saw somewhere on this workshop the best way to clean tools. Does anyone know where I could find that post or have any ideas on the best way to clean tools eg Allan Keys, an old clamp etc.
There's also this step-by-step guide you should find useful: How To Clean Rusty Tools.
You might like to post a picture showing the extent of the rust. That way, our members will be able to provide some specific advice about your tools. I've used Bondall 250ml Ranex Rustbuster Rust Converter on tools in the past after removing the bulk of the rust with sandpaper, which has worked quite well.
Let me mention @TedBear to see if they have any tips or tricks.
Hi @Ricochet , I use the same methods suggested by @MitchellMc . Rust Converter is a favourite, but keep in mind that it is an acid (as is vinegar), so use gloves (at least have water & bicarb nearby to dip fingers into) and most definitely some glasses. No good getting your tools clean if you are never going to see them. Spray with CRC or WD40 to stop them re-rusting in a hurry. I don't usually wipe it off with a rag as in the video, I just let any excess run off onto a rag, but it may depend on how & with what you will be storing the tools. For really gummed up tools (eg gardening tools) I have used sandpaper on a Multitool to get past the gunk, followed by WD40 of course.
This post from @Super66 has also been very popular on the site - Removing rust from tools without caustic chemicals
Let us know how you go with cleaning up your tools.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge, @TedBear.
Your comment on the Rust converter being an acid opens up an interesting discussion point, the difference between removing rust from older steel tools versus newer chrome plated tools. I'm not sure if it is a subconscious decision, but I find myself much more likely to restore steel tools than anything coated. It might be because I know with enough effort, a steel tool can be returned to the original condition. In contrast, a chrome vanadium coated tool that has rusted indicates that the coating has been penetrated, and even when you clean it up, the coating is still compromised. This is where I believe it is a subconscious decision as a partially coated chrome-plated tool still has more protection than an un-coated steel tool. Given that, I'm not sure why I'll put effort into something like the tenon saw I restored below, but happily let my chrome tools rust away; perhaps nostalgia plays a role.
That is an interesting point @MitchellMc . I haven't had to deal with anything like that. I wonder what the answer is. If you leave the rust then I'd imagine that it could spread underneath the compromised coating anyway. Rust remover tends to stabilise the rust, so perhaps spot treatment (apply with a cotton bud perhaps) could help? Does anyone know if they can they be recoated economically?