keeping rust off

Hey all - im new here.

I found a beautiful working C&P Pilot at a garage sale which I am super excited about. I believe it’s an old style (curvy “M” frame). The previous owner had no printing experience or know the history of it - said it was left behind in the garage.

While the press was mainly in good condition (it functions, and all of the parts are there) it was covered with grime and rust. I’ve read several posts on the forum on how to remove the rust (lime/vinegar) which worked beautlfully but the problem is, the rust keep coming back - it’d form into little beads immediately after soaking and then spreads. The quoins as well - it’d be clean from the soak and then within hours, it’d get all rusted again. I don’t feel comfortable disassembling the machine- I dont have experience nor have the tools to do this. Plus I live in a studio apartment.

What did you guys use after cleaning to prevent rust and chalking? other than priming with paint? I tried some of that WD-40 stuff on the bars but that didnt work and im afraid to put some on platen because it’s oily.

any tips, ideas, assistance will be much appreciated!!


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Hi Jeff,

I’ve been using kerosene and steel wool, you can use it to clean it and it will leave a light oily film - I hear diesel is also good (from what I can gather diesel will leave a slightly thicker film - but not by much).

If you are doing the lime juice method it’s important that you get it well and truly dry and wipe it down with kerosene as soon as possible if you want to stop oxidization on the bare metal.

To remove rust on mine I’ve been using citric acid and water (1cup to a gallon of water) and that’s been really effective for soaking parts on my C&P.

If your press is not kept in a heated space the rust will keep coming back. Dick G.

I have a pilot that was in really rough shape as well… I did the vinegar and lime juice method and then dried it off and sprayed WD-40 on a rag and rubbed the press down with that.

Basically, the vinegar/lime gets the rust off, but doesn’t protect the metal at all.

Hi Jeff and all,

I’m constantly battling rust since I live in a marine environment. My latest weapon is POR-15, a rust prevention system marketed to automotive restorers. It may or may not be suitable for your Pilot, but I’m mentioning it here since others may be drawn to this thread because of the title.

I’m using POR-15 on galleys, and so far I’ve been very pleased with the results. Of course it will be months or years before I know if it really works.

“POR” stands for “paint on rust,” and you actually can apply the product directly over a rusted surface. In fact, rust is considered to be the best surface for the treatment. I’ve chosen to remove the rust thoroughly from my galleys, and that seems to work fine, too.

The process goes like this: First, you clean and degrease the surface with their “Marine Clean.” Then you prep the surface with their “Metal-Ready,” also known as “Prep & Ready,” which actually etches the surface to make it extremely receptive to the POR-15, which comes next. You apply two or three coats of the POR-15, which you can then cover with any top coat you prefer, though a top coat is not necessary unless the piece will be exposed to lots of ultraviolet light.

The POR-15 comes in black, semi-gloss black, gray, silver, and clear. I’m using clear on the galleys and they’re looking very good. The company sells a “Super Starter Kit” with small samples of all the products. The kit costs $20 and is enough to cover 12 square feet. Their website is I know this sounds like an advertisement, but I have absolutely no relationship to this company. In fact, I’d love to hear if anyone else has used the product, and what their long-term experience has been.


Spray silicone works wonders on metal that is clean.

It seals out the mosture, wipes easly off.

Rust and rusting can only happen to ferrous metals. All other metals corrode to varing degrees. Printer’s metal or lead will corrode only. However, our machinery and furniture such as galleys will rust.
William Amer, Rockley NSW