Rusty Parts 2019-09-14
Earlier this summer I picked up a small Bolens ST125 riding mower for $50 off Kijiji. Yes, I know Kijiji sucks donkey balls, but it did get me the tractor I guess. Anyways, I had a hard time getting the blades off the deck since the hardware was basically rusted solid. Here's what the bolts and plates looked like after Mike helped me get them off:
I found various humans who presented digital opinions that vinegar would strip all the rust off of parts like these by just soaking them for a day or two. Well, I really like the idea of just waiting for a day or two rather than going looking for replacement hardware to mount blades on some deck that is a few decades old. So, here's what I did:
To be continued...
Well the vinegar is now pretty dirty and the parts are looking a little bit cleaner, but I would not say they look "kickass". Back in the drink for another day they go!
It has been three full days that the parts have been in the vinegar and frankly they look better. Are they "brand new looking"? No. But they do look a lot better than they did. If you are a paid mechanic doing work for customers, there is no way you have time to wait for a process like this. However, if you are a cheap prick like me this really does help clean up your rusty parts. Now I gotta go buy some new blades, cause I am not gonna put them in a vinegar bath.
Update 2019-09-17 Part II:
Okay, so I figured I would go back out and run the wire wheel over them just to see what they looked like afterwards. I spent about one minute per piece on average and this is what I got. I hope this is the last photo. :-)
Update 2019-09-21 Part III:
Okay, so I measured the blades and they were 18.5" long. I bought some 19" blades at Crappy Tire, thinking that I could grind 'em down a bit if they were too big. Turns out they were only 17.5" long. So I took 'em back and got some 20" blades which I figured would be 18.5". Turns out they're too long. So fuck it, I'm gonna try the vinegar trick.
Update 2019-09-24 Part IV:
Well the blades (and the other various parts) sat in the vinegar for a few days and this is what the mowing deck looks like now. I admit that using the wire brush alone probably would have cleaned things up a bit but I think the vinegar made it easier and faster while doing a better job.