I'm Running Out of Options, People!! Wait: Free At Last!!

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by poopiekat posted 07-08-2019 07:36 PM 2155 views 0 times favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View poopiekat's profile


4500 posts in 4189 days

07-08-2019 07:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: rusty threads bolts de-rusting

Okay, so this is only vaguely related to woodworking, but we can hopefully share some information here.

I sometimes construct things based on iron pipe. My Reed #7 pipe vise is currently in the hands of a borrower, so I snagged this low-cost vise from an antiques shop as a standby and also because it looked like an easy de-rusting project.

The threaded stock is so impossibly frozen to the cast iron body that I cannot turn it.

Now I’ve tried various penetrating solvents like Liquid Wrench and Seafoam Penetrant. I’ve tried heating with a heat gun, and propane torch. It has been soaked in vinegar for 36 hours. A pipe wrench with or without cheater bar, and a pneumatic air chisel to try and get this threaded shaft to turn. I’ve tried inverted cans of dust spray, to try and chill the superheated parts. I am shying away from absolute bull heavyhandedness because I’m afraid of twisting something, either in the vise or in me, so I keep within my limits. I’ve even drilled a .00625 hole midway in the threads to allow extra penetrant to find its way into the unseen threads. No Dice!

Next I will try Butyl Cellusolve, once I get to the paint store. I want to get this vise painted and back to working condition without ruining it!

Do you know of a proven method that you have successfully used?

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

41 replies so far

View GR8HUNTER's profile


6348 posts in 1167 days

#1 posted 07-08-2019 07:40 PM

i would try and soak it 24 hours in evaporust if that dont work im at a loss :<((((((((

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View waho6o9's profile


8714 posts in 3032 days

#2 posted 07-08-2019 07:43 PM

ATF and Kerosene 1 : 1 ratio and immerse the frozen vise and wait.

ATF ( automatic transmission fluid )

Best of luck

Some folks use Acetone and ATF one to one ratio as well.

View bold1's profile


328 posts in 2302 days

#3 posted 07-08-2019 07:59 PM

Best stuff I’ve ever used for freeing corroded parts is the Army bore cleaner for cleaning rifle bores. You can get it at most Army surplus stores. Old stuff was in small green cans, newer in plastic. It will take off paint and blueing if left on. You wrap a rag around it and soak it. If after a couple days it’s not loose, there’s probably no way it’s coming loose. Not sure what’s in it but so far I’ve never had it fail.

View MrUnix's profile


7451 posts in 2654 days

#4 posted 07-08-2019 08:13 PM

Soaking in Evaporust would probably work, but you will need quite a bit to fully submerge it. Next best thing would be electrolysis IMO. It has always worked for me on badly frozen parts. Other than those, soaking in various concoctions along with heat will usually get things loosened up, but might take a while.


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

View HokieKen's profile


10437 posts in 1593 days

#5 posted 07-08-2019 08:14 PM

I’ve always had good success with Phosphoric Acid PK. It’s very thin and I think it would penetrate into the threads. I’m not sure if it would loosen them though… It works by converting iron oxide (rust) to iron phosphate (which is a anti-corrosive) So if the two parts are bonded via rust, they might just remain bonded. I don’t see any harm in trying it though. Best of luck!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View hairy's profile


2887 posts in 3987 days

#6 posted 07-08-2019 08:22 PM


I’ve only used the liquid. It’s the best penetrating fluid.

-- My reality check bounced...

View LeeRoyMan's profile


214 posts in 182 days

#7 posted 07-08-2019 08:25 PM

Keep the threaded part in water and heat the brace. That way the screw doesn’t expand with the brace.
Just a thought, don’t know.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19295 posts in 3022 days

#8 posted 07-08-2019 08:28 PM

How hot did you heat it? Go hotter and hotter until it moves.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View SMP's profile


1318 posts in 360 days

#9 posted 07-08-2019 08:33 PM

I use a torch and a BFH. Heat til HOT. If really thick I use my propane/oxygen torch, then tap with a hammer various directions. Tap on the very top, tap from the very bottom, tap the handle one direction, then the other, rinse, repeat.

View poopiekat's profile


4500 posts in 4189 days

#10 posted 07-08-2019 09:14 PM

Thanks for all the thoughtful replies! Tony: Soaking in Evaporust is a possibility, but I’m at the point where I believe deep penetration with solvents will outperform a de-rusting medium. I’ve already had this soaking in vinegar for 36 hours. Wahoo: Which type of ATF, Ford or Delco? Or is there any difference?
Hairy: Jeez, I haven’t seen Aero Kroil in Decades! They still make the stuff? Dad used to swear by it, and he was a machinist. I’ll look on Amazon.
DonW and SMP: I was just using propane, but I will go hook up my brazing kit and give it a go. I’ve got some snapped #7’s ready to re-attach anyway, might as well see what’s in the sick bay. Thanks all for the great replies! I’ve never been stumped so badly by rusted threads before.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Don W's profile

Don W

19295 posts in 3022 days

#11 posted 07-08-2019 09:18 PM

I’ve heard drizzling some wax on the threads as you heat it helps. I’ve never tried. I just keep heating until it gives up.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View LeeRoyMan's profile


214 posts in 182 days

#12 posted 07-08-2019 09:22 PM

My brother worked in a machine shop and when he would mount a piston to the rod he would heat up the rod until it was glowing red hot. Point being is you may have to get it pretty hot.

View therealSteveN's profile


3390 posts in 1029 days

#13 posted 07-08-2019 10:19 PM


I ve only used the liquid. It s the best penetrating fluid.

- hairy

Absolutely +++++

Kroil costs a few pennies, but is the best rust cutter I have ever seen.

I have 3 cans of the spray, with a tip (similar to the red tip for WD40) it can get into stuff you’d never get a hand into. I spray, and walk away, come back the next day, and it’s ready to comply with hardly any pressure at all. If you want to stand there it really only takes about 10 minutes for most jobs.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Delete's profile


439 posts in 827 days

#14 posted 07-08-2019 10:33 PM

I keep a can of Keystone No.1 penetrating oil in the shop and it usually works for me, a good soaking left overnight usually frees it up, sometimes a couple of good sharp raps with a ball peen on the end of the threaded member helps to break the bond after soaking.

I would be careful with high heat depending on the material of the vise frame, cast iron has a different coefficient of expansion than the steel threaded screw, too much heat will crack the iron, if it is forged or cast steel high heat might be what you need to break the bond.

View Brawler's profile


41 posts in 285 days

#15 posted 07-09-2019 11:36 AM

An old trick of unseizing an engine that has sat too long is soak the cylinders in diesle fuel, that may be an option.

-- Daniel

showing 1 through 15 of 41 replies

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