Digital TS-140

VY2AC on Prince Edward Island - Ridding Parts of Rust!

    While working on my restoration of the Fairchild Teletypesetter, I had a severe problem with the paper punch unit being rusted solidly into one chunk of rust. There was no way the levers which activate the punch could possibly work. Always on the lookout for new ways to handle problems, I decided to try a product called Evapo-RustTM. Being a sceptic, I had a hard time believing the claims made by the manufacturer. Because of the extent of the rusting, and the fact the levers which control the punch were totally encased in rust, I had pretty well given up on the unit, but it still made a great test subject. I felt I had nothing to lose.

    My eyes were opened when Evapo-RustTM met every one of its promises. This unit will operate again! It is an excellent product, and will make it possible to restore many items which would have otherwise been considered to be irrepairable. I highly recommend it for restoring rusty teletype and telephone items.

    Evapo-RustTM is sold here in Canada by Canadian Tire (1 liter stock number 47-7902-2), and Home Hardware, (237 ml. stock number 4581-401, 1 litre stock number 4581-410, 1 gal (3.78 l) stock number 4581-429).


    In the U.S., it is available from:




    Just Google Evapo-Rust to find a supplier in your country, eg. Evapo-Rust UK, Evapo-Rust Australia, Evapo-Rust France, etc.! Depending on the supplier, it may be available in different looking containers.

    The manufacturer states:
    "EVAPO-RUSTTM works through selective chelation. This is a process in which a large synthetic molecule forms a bond with metals and holds them in solution. Most chelating agents bind many different metals. The active ingredient in EVAPO-RUSTTM bonds to iron exclusively. It can remove iron from iron oxide but is too weak to remove iron from steel where the iron is held much more strongly. Once the chelating agent has removed the iron, a sulfur bearing organic molecule pulls the iron away from the chelator and forms a ferric sulfate complex which remains water soluble. This frees the chelating agent to remove more iron from rust."

    One of the advantages of this method, is it claims to attack only the rust and leave good metal alone, unlike acid based rust removers. The acid based removers may work faster, but damage good metal, too, and are far from being non-toxic or friendly to the environment. In this application, it was paramount not to wear the levers thinner than the rust had already done.

    I made an enquiry on one of the mailing lists I subscribe to, to find out if anyone had used it, but no-one had heard of the product. Curious, I then made the decision to test Evapo-RustTM with the rusty punch. I bought a bucket to soak it in, and a gallon of Evapo-RustTM at Home Hardware. The process involves simple soaking in the solution for however long it takes to dissolve the rust. Of course, this is determined by the thickness of the rust layer. Evapo-RustTM is mild to the item, non-toxic, and is environmentally friendly.

    Being a sceptic, I really didn't expect much from it, but as the photos show, it just plain works, and meets or exceeds all of their claims. I am totally impressed!

    Punch before process started. Unit rusted even worse on the inside!
    Help! I need a miracle.

    8 hours into the process.
    The levers which control the punch have been freed and
    now look like new. All other mechanisms are also free.

    At the 8 hour point, according to directions accompanying the product, the punch was rinsed in water to remove the by-products of the process, and then the punch was returned to the product to get rid of the remaining rust. This entire process has been the result of soaking the punch assembly in a pail with Evapo-RustTM - no scrubbing, scraping, or anything else. At this point, I am totally convinced the stuff is pure magic!

    Final Result prior to Lubricating!
    All is done but the re-lubrication. Springs were toast
    before I tried Evapo-RustTM and will need replacement.
    Total elapsed time of treatment 16 hours

    At 8:30 a.m. AST - GMT minus 3, and all the rust showing on it was gone. I left it in the bath for a couple more hours to make certain I got it all. Before that, I manipulated the levers to put them in the opposite position they were in originally to make certain there is no rust left in the pivots. As you can see, the end result is incredible when compared to the first photo!.

    One thing I should caution people about, is if left untreated afterwards, the metal will be susceptible to flash-rusting if any old rust is left on it. Best way to protect against that, I think in this application, is to thoroughly lube eveything right away. They also recommend after the final rinse, dipping it back in the solution then letting it air dry. I am thinking of also spraying a thin coat of rust-stop on it for a lasting protection. As this unit has no clutches in it, it should work well. If your project can be painted, prime and paint it as soon as you can to prevent re-rusting.

    Secondly, if your item has blueing, such as a gun, Evapo-RustTM's FAQ file says it will remove the blueing, since blueing is magnetite (Fe3O4), the black oxide of iron, and it will have to be re-done. Rust is the red oxide of iron (Fe2O3). Because of the similarity between the two compounds, both will be removed. However, there are a number of testimonials on their site from gunsmiths, forensic labs, and collectors who love the product. I guess they simply expect to have to re-do the blueing, or even better to parkerize them afterwards.

    I can think of many times I could have used Evapo-RustTM, had only I known about it. It would be perfect for cleaning rust of just about anything; tools, antique car parts, telephones, even intricate teletype assemblies such as this. Now that I know about it, I will always try to have some in hand; its ability to clean rust off metal without attacking the metal itself, while staying safe to use and environmentally friendly make it a sure thing for me.

    I have no affiliation with Evapo-RustTM or its makers. I tried it and it worked extremely well for me, so put this page on to share my experience using it. I hope this information will help other collectors and restorers with their projects!

    Telephone Museum of P.E.I. - http://www.islandregister.com/phones/museum.html

    Digital TS-140

    Contact me: Dave Hunter -
    Last Updated: 5/19/2010 11:29:34 AM
    Return to "VY2AC on Prince Edward Island"!