I’ve been using the same carbon steel shot purchased (used) over 7
years ago it’s condition when received was pitted, coated with red
rouge and rusty. I used the coke method and followed the storage tips
very much like the ones below. They can be found in the Orchid
archives. I’ve saved them for times just like this.
Don’t throw away your shot until you give them a try.
Sunday, May 30, 1999 9:17 PM
" Well, after telling all you Orchidites how my shot stayed
shiny bright all these years, the impossible happened: It turned dull
grey, would not respond to cleaning, and developed a spreading patina
of rust. Before dumping the whole lot out and investing in stainless
shot, I tried cleaning it with burnishing compound, which washed
off some of the rust; with ammonia and detergent, which washed off
more; but nothing would get rid of the dirty-looking opaque grey
finish on the shot. In desperation I turned to my personal file of
useful gleaned from Orchid e-mail, and guess what?
Coca Cola turned up as a great shot cleaner. (Not Diet Coke, not
Pepsi nor RC …just good ole Coca Cola) . So I cleaned the barrel
of my rotary tumbler, rinsed out the shot (still dirty grey
looking), added the fizzless Coke,turned the thing on and let 'er
roll. …all the while being very skeptical about this folk remedy.
After two hours, I took a peek. Marked improvement. So I
emptied the barrel, rinsed it, rinsed the shot, added more Coke
and repeated the process…"
From Peter Rowe
Saturday, May 29, 1999 9:58 PM
"you can get steel shot storage solution. You remove the shot
from the tumbling solution, wash it, and store it in this other,
rust inhibiting solution. that’s good for several days to a week
or long term storage, remove from the storage solution
again, don’t wash it, so it keeps a film of the rust inhibitors,
spread it on a towel under some lamps so it warms up and dries
quickly. Your then storing dried shot with a rust inhibitor on
or shot that’s gotton rusty, if it’s not all pitted, you can
run it in a mildly acidic steel shot “conditioner” solution, that
will clean it right up. For really badly rusted shot, you can
add some actual polishing compound, like cerium oxide, linde a,
or other such lapidary type polish, to the conditioner. Then run
it a long time (couple days.). That will nicely restore the
shot. If it’s so rusted as to be all pitted, you may have to
throw it out, though I know one guy who treated it just like
tumbling rocks, starting with a handful of 600 grit, tumbled it a
week, went to the polish step for another week, and lo and
behold, he had newly reground and finished steel shot.
Easier, though, is to start with stainless steel shot in the
first place. About twice the cost, but well worth it in the
greater ease of care… "
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