Cleaning up old Starrett Tools

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Forum topic by zippymorocco posted 04-18-2018 11:25 PM 1767 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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39 posts in 2055 days

04-18-2018 11:25 PM

I was just given all of these wonderful tools. Most of them are Starrett. Does anyone have insight on how to clean and refurbish these? I am afraid to experiment on them without having a good plan. Don’t want to damage them.

I was incredibly excited to receive these.

Thank you for any advice!

12 replies so far

View patcollins's profile


1687 posts in 3632 days

#1 posted 04-18-2018 11:32 PM

Depends on if you want to take things apart or not.

The mic, I would just clean off with a rag and some WD-40 or kerosene. The others you could go as far as disassembling and using some metal polish on.

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10477 posts in 4415 days

#2 posted 04-18-2018 11:40 PM

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13383 posts in 3147 days

#3 posted 04-19-2018 12:15 AM

For the rulers I would stick down a sheet of 600 or 800 grit sandpaper and gently push them back and forth. That will remove the oxidation but leave the ink in the numbers. You can then polish with finer grits as you like.

-- Rick M,

View darthford's profile


612 posts in 2691 days

#4 posted 04-19-2018 03:01 AM

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Bill White

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#5 posted 04-19-2018 12:24 PM

Doth I dare to detect SPAMMERS?

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3859 posts in 2729 days

#6 posted 04-19-2018 12:34 PM

There are places that will recondition the mic but that takes special skills so I wouldn’t do anything beyond wiping and cleaning as Pat said. The others you can do as mentioned above. I wouldn’t put the rules in evaporust as it can remove the paint sometimes.

View ChefHDAN's profile


1636 posts in 3617 days

#7 posted 04-19-2018 12:40 PM

Doth I dare to detect SPAMMERS?

- Bill White

Cricket must have left a gate open, I’ve seen them in many threads this morning.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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612 posts in 2691 days

#8 posted 04-19-2018 02:31 PM

Evoporust won’t damage paint. If the paint is no longer attached e.g. rust underneath it, flaking off well that’s not the evaporust. I used a gallon when restoring a 1950’s radial arm saw that had significant rust, the stuff is amazing especially if you have rough surface cast iron casting it gets all down into the nooks and cranny’s. Where there was rust it won’t remove the darker stain caused by the rust so its not going to come out all shiny new looking. Read up on this stuff its awesome trust me on this. I soaked parts overnight, rinsed in my garage sink with a plastic bristle brush and done, so easy. You can pour this stuff down the drain its biodegradable its not an acid or harsh chemical.

View ChuckV's profile


3307 posts in 4294 days

#9 posted 04-19-2018 03:37 PM

I’ll give another vote for Evaporust. I have used it on many mid-1800’s metal tools and plane irons at our town’s historical society. The results are always great.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 2729 days

#10 posted 04-19-2018 04:44 PM

I agree evaporust is great, but it will soften and or remove some types of paint. I’ve had it remove the background color in the logo on plane lever caps for example. The paint in the markings on a starrett rule should be ok, but it’s worth being careful.

View Bill_Steele's profile


705 posts in 2499 days

#11 posted 04-19-2018 10:06 PM

White Vinegar?

View Gentile's profile


361 posts in 2586 days

#12 posted 04-20-2018 03:00 PM

Years ago,(20+), I had a Starret OD caliper. I sent it back to Massachusetts and they refurbished it for me. It came back looking brand new.I forget what I paid. It’s worth investigating…

-- "I cut it twice and it's still too short"

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