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Best way to polish mildly pitted carbon steel?

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I just finished derusting some plane irons. Many have a dull dark gray appearance and some mild pitting.  I have quite of bit of them to do.  On other parts, I would sand them down and then move up the grit to 400-500.  This method, however, removes the pits and the engravings.

I would like to keep the engravings and I don't mind the pitting.  I want to bring the surface to a reasonable shine quickly.  I tried polishing compounds and buffing wheels, but they seem to only turn the dull gray into shiny gray. I tried emery compound and a sisal wheel, but it didn't do much better and the sisal kept tattering up on the edges.

I added some photos of some plane irons FYI.

Any suggestions?

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Whire brush on a bench grinder is my first choise or a twsted cup brush on an angle grinder , will put a polish on cast iron and steel the quickest .

The oxidation seems a little deep to remove with a light abrasive. Even if you use electrolysis it will remove the rust but could leave some pit marks. I think the best you can do is use a soft metal wire wheel then go up in grades with buffing wax. You could just go around the engraving! :coffee:

tom osselton:
You could etch them a little deeper couldn't you?
A bit of paint on the top and use salt water on the logos?

Electric rust removal ?

Electric plating, like nickel ?


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