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  • Cleaning steel

    I'm looking for some advice on the best method and products to clean steel. I plan on ordering from King Metal and they advise using Simple Green and/or a pressure washer with plain water. Since I will be building some railings with a bunch of C & S scrolls, I'm thinking the cleaning may be best done with a pressure washer. Can I, and is there any advantage to doing just a spot cleaning of the areas I will be welding and then cleaning the whole panel once assembled? How long can I leave the metal unprotected before painting?

    Also, minor detail, I don't yet have a pressure washer (but this could be a good opportunity to finally buy one) so any suggestions on alternate methods are appreciated.

    Matt.
    "A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing"

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  • #2
    Originally posted by Matt_in_Brooklyn View Post
    I'm looking for some advice on the best method and products to clean steel. I plan on ordering from King Metal and they advise using Simple Green and/or a pressure washer with plain water. Since I will be building some railings with a bunch of C & S scrolls, I'm thinking the cleaning may be best done with a pressure washer. Can I, and is there any advantage to doing just a spot cleaning of the areas I will be welding and then cleaning the whole panel once assembled? How long can I leave the metal unprotected before painting?

    Also, minor detail, I don't yet have a pressure washer (but this could be a good opportunity to finally buy one) so any suggestions on alternate methods are appreciated.

    Matt.
    Matt Hi;

    There's No way I would be pressure washing any steel prior to welding !

    If you want to clean any areas that are to be welded, OK, but not necessary.
    Fit it up , Weld it up, then clean the completed unit with lacquer thinner !
    Dry it all off with a dry, clean, lint free cloth before you paint it !

    Just my 2 cents,.......... Norm
    www.normsmobilewelding.blogspot.com

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    • #3
      You are going to need some cleaner with a degreaser in it i.e Simple Green-

      Plain water-even in a pressure washer ain't gonna cut it.

      Simple rings from King were no problem but the textured solid bar was a beech- maybe they use the oil to help run it through the dies, dunno but it was just a PIA to prep.

      The scrolls may not need quite as much cleaning. I use Simple Green Max found at Auto Zone- works mo' better than the regular flavor Simple Green for cutting oil.

      You will need to be ready to paint after cleaning and drying as the metal will want to rust up quickly after removing the protective oil.
      Ed Conley
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      • #4
        cleaner

        I use oil-eater. Available at Checker Auto.

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        • #5
          I usually like to take a length of tube, toss some water on it, squirt some simple green then scrub it down with a scotch brite pad, then pressure wash it. just to get most of the oil and what not off before cutting peices. For paint prep we usually wipe down the part with lacquer thinner

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          • #6
            you could always take the pieces down to the local coin-operated car wash and use the high pressure rinse. Probably not as high a pressure as a pressure washer but should work well enough. PLus any mess you make stays there
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            • #7
              I use a rag and a can of gas then let it set and evaporate for an hour or so. Sometimes my wifes Nail polish remover.
              Just cause I ain't old don't mean I ain't old school.

              "Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."
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              • #8
                Originally posted by kandrwelding View Post
                I use a rag and a can of gas then let it set and evaporate for an hour or so. Sometimes my wifes Nail polish remover.
                Yall are talking Laquer thinner, gasoline !! you know where the vapors are going... around youre feet and elsewhere traveling to find the nearest source of ignition. Please do even think about it!. I was in the pro. fire service for 28 years and yes I have seen the same as you have described and the severe burned people I have witnessed is beyond comprehension. Just use a grinder with a wire brush. Clean it, weld it and then paint it.

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