Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Files rusting


#1

Hi Guys,

I’m wondering if anyone else is having this problem.

I bought some Vallorbe files and I bought some Barco files, both
file makers from the same part of the globe.

The Vallorbes are rusting, but the Bahco’s aren’t. I’ve used both
pretty much evenly, I don’t oil them (apart from the oil in my
fingers), but I do use a file card on them on occasion.

I’m assuming this is due to the alloys used in the files, anyone
else have this problem.

What files do you recommend?

Regards Charles A.


#2

Charles,

The odds are high that the non-rusting files contain more chromium
than the rusting ones. That being said, something in the environment
is causing the low chromium files to corrode. Perhaps it is as
simple as high humidity. There is also the possibility of acid fumes
from your pickle or stock bottles permeating your workspace. If the
latter correct the situation as those fumes are not any better for
you than the files.

Les Brown
goldwork.com


#3

Have you been doing any karat gold testing with acids. Even if my
files are near the testing area, they rust very quickly.


#4

Charles,

Make sure you do not have any Muriatic acid open in the studio.
Better yet if you do have some, move it somewhere else. I come from
the bronze sculpture world and we use a lot of the same kinds of
tools. I have seen this happen with rust on files and other tools
once. The culprit was the acid. It appeared to be closed but was not.
If that is the case for you, after you remove the acid, clean all
your tools. Rust travels like crabgrass!


#5

Carala has made a interesting point about acids in the studio. I have
been having a strange phenomena with sodium bisulfate (PhDown). I
have it in a small crock pot and regularly notice a strange odor of
ozone in that area. Also, there are a number of crystals forming on
the table on which the crock pot rests. Next to the crock pot, I
have a jar of baking soda which I use for neutralizing. I wonder if
there is some interaction between the two.

Alma


#6
Have you been doing any karat gold testing with acids. Even if my
files are near the testing area, they rust very quickly. 

No, the pickle is kept in a fume cupboard, about 20 feet away, and
I’m on the opposite side to the opening of the cabinet.

The pickle is the weakest pickle there is (not supposed to be, just
is).

Regards Charles A.


#7

I keep my files in a plastic bag, and I think it may be a sweating
issue.

Like I said in that environment one brand rusts, the the other
doesn’t.

It is most likely more chrome in one alloy, but I don’t know for
sure, I think the file makers wont tell me either.

Regards Charles A.


#8

I found that almost any oxidizer, from acids to liver of sulphur,
including other patinas used even briefly in the same room as your
good tools, will start them rusting. Outdoors or right under your
vent hood (which might rust too!) is the place to use these
chemicals.

Johnny


#9

Would even Sparex (VERY small amount kept warm with a candle under
it) rust tools? I cover it, but only loosely.

Janet in Jerusalem


#10
Would even Sparex (VERY small amount kept warm with a candle under
it) rust tools? I cover it, but only loosely. 

It depends on how close the tools are, how high the humidity is, how
warm that candle gets the pickle, how strongly you mixed it, and how
good your ventillation in the area is. But potentially, the answer
would be yes if conditions are right (or wrong, actually, since
rusting tools isn’t a good thing…) I’ve had tools rust on my bench
when stored within a foot or so of a small glass bottle (the kind
with the ground glass stopper) of gold test acid that I’d neglected
to return to it’s usual spot over the sink, well away from the
workbench, even when the bottle was capped/closed properly. Now,
that’s strong acid, but the bottle was closed after all. I couldn’t
smell any acid fumes. But my unlucky beading tool set, some needle
files, and a couple gravers “within range” apparently could tell…

Peter


#11
I've had tools rust on my bench when stored within a foot or so of
a small glass bottle (the kind with the ground glass stopper) of
gold test acid that I'd neglected to return to it's usual spot over
the sink, well away from the workbench, even when the bottle was
capped/closed properly. 

Aqua Regia fumes at room temperature and must be stored in a bottle
like the one you describe with a ground glass “seal” it will allow
the acid to vent slightly without generating an over pressure.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#12
Aqua Regia fumes at room temperature and must be stored in a
bottle like the one you describe with a ground glass "seal" it will
allow the acid to vent slightly without generating an over
pressure. 

Yup. Though now I think of it, the test acids you buy premixed come
in little sealed plastic bottles. Those don’t really vent. But I’ve
noted with them, especially those for platinum or high karat gold, a
distinct shelf life, even when never opened. And I’m not talking
about the acid degrading and getting weaker over time (which also
seems to happen, especially if exposed to light) The labels
disintegrate or fade over time, as does the color of the bottle cap.
That suggests that the plastic the bottles are made of is not totally
impervious to the acid over time, meaning acid or fumes escape
slowly, leaching right through the plastic, attacking the labels and
dyes in the caps (and I recall hearing this about most plastic
bottles used to contain acids from other sources too, some time ago)
Since even glass bottles, if actually capped, will use plastic,
perhaps polypropylene, nylon, or similar for the cap, even they
would slowly vent overpressure I suspect, at least for the more
dilute acids that aren’t quite so aggressive and fuming, and
especially for smaller quantities. Sound about right?

Peter


#13

I have found that it does. I use swimming pool acid (sodium
bisulphate, I think) and I did find my tools rusting, so I moved it
away to my laundry room where there is an exhaust fan, and the
rusting stopped. I must say that every so often something blows
through the garage and I find rust on my files. Who knows what it
could be!

Mary


#14

It is exposure to your pickle pot. Move it away and keep a lid on it.


#15
That suggests that the plastic the bottles are made of is not
totally impervious to the acid over time 

No reason to quote Peter except I’m just used to quoting
SOMETHING… going way back to Charles’ original post, that his
Vallorbe files rusted and the others didn’t. Grobet-Vallorbe files
are the best files in the world, rust or not. Don’t get rid of them
because of this issue, just try to avoid it.


#16

Sounds perfect for me, Peter. I had similar problems with a product
called SilverBlack, which contains one of the very strong acids, like
HCl or H2SO4. It was in a little plastic bottle with a screw cap. In
no time at all, anything ferrous began to rust if it was within 3
feet of this tiny bottle!

Gary Strickland