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Last weekend I went to my first estate sale where the previous homeowner was a woodworker. I ended up scoring a number of very cool items. My main purchase was the woodworking bench which came bundled with a bunch of bar and pipe clamps.

The Bar Clamps turned out to be a couple of antique EC Stearns Bar Clamps and a couple of antique Cincinnati Clamp Company Bar Clamps (Hargrave).

I was thinking of using these clamps and was wondering if I should restore them by removing the rust or just leave them as is. I was concerned that if I remove the rust that it would significantly reduce the value of the clamps.

Any thoughts?
 

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If you bought them to be users, then get them in shape to use.
 

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Hargrave is nothing to worry about, rehab and use as you see fit, as they were produced into the 1950s. The Stearns may have collector value to a small few, but if they're useful to you, I say use those too.
 

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clean them up and use them. Even if they are antiques, you won't hurt them. I know we hear it all the time (don't remove the rust you'll hurt the value) but really? What collector wants his collection all rusty and dirty?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks. Any recommendations for removing the rust? Wire wheel/brush? Citric Acid bath? Electrolysis? EvapoRust?

Also, any recommendations for treating them after I have the rust removed? Wax? Lacquer? WD-40?
 

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I bought a bunch of long bar clamps that were standing outside an antique shop. They had been there a while.

I got a 5 gallon bucket and stuck the clamp ends in citric acid for a while. Then just wire wheeled the rest. After drying I usually give my metal parts a coat of wd-40, then fluid film.

Any of the processes you mentioned would work however.
 
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