“Ideal” rust

I just purchased a sigwalt ideal so that I could do letterpress demos. I’ve been patiently cleaning and trying to assess the overall condition now that most of the dust is removed. Many of the parts are rusted together. I cannot remove the chase or the ink disc. The press does not operate. The rust looks pretty superficial overall though. The paint is original and the press has a lot of the decorative scrollwork on the sides intact. If I soak the whole press in evaporust, will it remove the decorative paint? Should I wrap the offending parts in paper towels soaked with the evaporust and saran over top of that? Although the paint isn’t in the best shape, I have no intentions of repainting it, I just want it to work well and keep it’s character!

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I would just use liquid wrench on the parts that don’t move, this should free them then you can take out the chase and disc. Dick G.

I would follow Dickg’s advice (you can use liquid wrench, pb blaster, wd40 etc.) but add that you can let it sit overnight or longer for greater effect. Then work the parts back and forth as they become free.

On machined surfaces like the ink disk, I have always had success using a one sided razor blade combined with wd40 and scraping the surface rust away. That way you are not altering the surface, like you would with a sander or wire wheel, just scraping off rust. Time consuming, but you only need to use it on the surfaces that are machined.

I second the PB Blaster vote (get it at an auto parts store) — and when it has had a little time to soak in, GENTLY move the parts back and forth a little while adding solvent. The tiniest movement helps loosen and let the solvent in and as it works its way in it lubricates more and suddenly you will find it free. Then more solvent and add a little lubricating oil and keep working it. The rust will be in suspension in the oil and look really nasty but when you can get the parts apart all will clean up fine. Steel wool is also very good at removing rust in conjunction with something like WD40 and doesn’t remove anything except rust.


Thanks- I’ll go pick up supplies and keep you posted. WD-40 and lubricating oil is what I had been using but no budging after days of applications…moving on to the pb blaster!