LumberJocks

Caster Wheel Restore

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Grasshopper069 posted 03-24-2019 04:27 PM 265 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Grasshopper069's profile

Grasshopper069

21 posts in 48 days


03-24-2019 04:27 PM

Hey, I know this isn’t about wood per se, but I have some nice vintage large diameter swivel cast iron casters. They have a reddish/brownish finish on them now and they’re really rusted out. I wanted to get some input about the best way to restore them, or at least to de-rust them. Can I soak swivel casters in evaporust or something similar given that they’re swivel casters? Should I also be looking to re-grease the swivel component? I wanted some guidance before I took a wire brush to them, and wanted some input on whether I should (and how to) re-grease the swivel mechanism. I’m assuming they have ball bearings. If this isn’t appropriate for this forum, my apologies. Surprisingly little info on the web about this outside of the basic soaks, jellies, and wire brushing,but no mention of re-greasing. Not sure if I’m going to repaint these, I wanted to wait on an answer before I did anything. Thanks!


12 replies so far

View John Smith's profile (online now)

John Smith

1752 posts in 492 days


#1 posted 03-24-2019 11:35 PM

can you post some photos of what you have ?
first job is to remove all traces of oil, grease and other contaminants.
I have had good luck with very hot vinegar (almost to boiling point)
and soaking for a few hours. brass wire brush and the rust just falls off.
of course there are dozens of excellent commercial products available
such as OSPHO that will neutralize the rust for painting.
then add the grease accordingly after you are satisfied with the cleaning.

.

.

-- Failure is proof that you at least tried ~ now, go do it again, and again, until you get it right --

View Grasshopper069's profile

Grasshopper069

21 posts in 48 days


#2 posted 03-25-2019 12:39 AM

Hey John, yeah I guess that would have been more helpful. I have 4 of them and the original finish I think is reddish brown, hard to see with the rust. They are 6” in diameter. Also hard to see but the bracket or housing for the wheels have a lot of rust. I just wasn’t sure if I could soak casters that swivel, not sure if that would mess up how they move. Thanks again.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7306 posts in 2529 days


#3 posted 03-25-2019 12:48 AM

Evaporust should be fine… or alternatively (cheaper but more messy) electrolysis. Try to clean out the ball bearing races as good as possible and then apply a liberal dose of white lithium grease (or whatever your favorite is).

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Grasshopper069's profile

Grasshopper069

21 posts in 48 days


#4 posted 03-25-2019 01:13 AM

Thanks, Brad

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

276 posts in 3123 days


#5 posted 03-25-2019 11:14 AM

There are some rust conversion products where you leave the rust and it turns black. Rust oleum has a spray, another brushes on . Then paint any color. I have used it for outdoors items and it stops rust without painting for years.

View John Smith's profile (online now)

John Smith

1752 posts in 492 days


#6 posted 03-25-2019 11:39 AM

thanks for the pics – it puts everyone on the same page.
you mentioned greasing the bearings . . . . .
upon closer look, it “appears” that all you have is a sleeve in the wheel,
not ball or roller bearings. if that is the case, just remove the sleeve (if possible)
and clean it like you would the rest of the wheel. just don’t paint it.
as for the body of the casters, I would start with just a good cleaning with
a commercial degreaser and stiff fiber brush and not concentrate on
removing any rust or paint.
depending on WHY you are wanting to restore the casters, dictates
how much further you want to go. if it has a good patina after cleaning,
I would leave it as is and enjoy it for what it is – a nice iron relic.
greasing or oiling the ball swivel bearings is not necessary. the bearings are open
and the oil or grease will only collect dirt and grit.
they have served someone well for 50-100 years, why mess with them now ??

- – – don’t overthink it – – -

.

.

-- Failure is proof that you at least tried ~ now, go do it again, and again, until you get it right --

View Grasshopper069's profile

Grasshopper069

21 posts in 48 days


#7 posted 03-25-2019 12:59 PM

Thanks for all the comments. John, the reason I wanted to take some rust off is that right now they are just in my garage shop with a concrete floor, and there’s so much rust on the wheels that when i would roll them around (previously attached to some wood) they’d leave track marks on the concrete. Good advice about cleaning. If i can somehow get the rust off and not have to paint them, i think that would be ideal. One last question, you mentioned a fiber brush, so is that a brass wire or not even that? Thanks again. They were a good find and larger than I usually see, just want them functional.

View John Smith's profile (online now)

John Smith

1752 posts in 492 days


#8 posted 03-25-2019 01:23 PM

stiff nylon brush.

if you are only trying to address the rust on the outside of the wheels
so as not to leave a mark on your concrete floor, that is not gonna happen.
the wheels are iron – they rust if not used daily.
no matter what you put on the wheel rolling surface, paint, epoxy, baked enamel,
powder coating, etc. will just wear off.
what you have is industrial casters meant to be used under heavy loads on concrete.
if marking the floor is the only issue, you will have to get urethane wheels and put those away
until you have a need for some kind of static project that will not roll around (coffee table).

.

.

-- Failure is proof that you at least tried ~ now, go do it again, and again, until you get it right --

View Grasshopper069's profile

Grasshopper069

21 posts in 48 days


#9 posted 03-25-2019 01:51 PM

Duly noted, thanks.

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

276 posts in 3123 days


#10 posted 03-25-2019 02:45 PM

That coating I mentioned chemically converts the rust to a hard black finish. It will not work on clean steel and has served me well for years.

View Grasshopper069's profile

Grasshopper069

21 posts in 48 days


#11 posted 03-25-2019 03:53 PM

Thanks, ibewjon, I’ve heard of converters but wasn’t trying to change the color, but I’ll keep it in mind.

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

276 posts in 3123 days


#12 posted 03-25-2019 07:02 PM

I like them pre paint because most of the rust stays which is alot less work..

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com