I picked up a small container of Oxalic Acid (O.A.) from my neighborhood Ace Hardware store for about $8. I've been reading about O.A.'s rust eating ability and wanted to try it for myself.
***Most of this took place the weekend before last but I've been too busy to post about it till now.
Wood Bleach, A.K.A. Oxalic Acid
My pink swimming pool was just slightly too small to allow complete immersion, I flipped the frame over numerous times throughout the process. I kept the frame in the solution for about 6 hours. I removed it when I noticed that the paint wasn't fairing too well (more on that below).
Here's a before shot of the bottom bracket shell.
Here's what it looked like after. Whatever rust remained, which wasn't much at all, was scrubbed with steel wool. I went over the frame and coated the exposed rust free steel with clear nail polish.
Here's a an old REG water bottle cage that I picked up for a quarter at a recent swap meet. I let this soak in the OA overnight.
After-All rust is gone, the metal is pitted in some places but it looks good. The chrome on one of the clamps is gone, but, if you look at the photo above, the chrome was gone before the cage went into the solution. I would like to find another one of these bottle cages with the clamps. The original REG clamps are very sturdy and shaped to prevent the cage from shifting (this frame require clamp on cages).
The chrome on the fork wasn't great to begin with but I noticed quite a bit of pitting after removing the frame from the solution.
Now, about the paint. When I pulled the frame out of the solution I was surprised at how dull the paint had become (unfortunately I didn't take photos). Every scratch in the paint was painfully visible. I sprayed the frame with furniture polish but that didn't help at all. On a whim I grabbed a can of WD-40 and sprayed the top tube, surprisingly it did the trick. I doused the frame with WD-40, the paint seemed to soak it up like a sponge. Most of the scratches disappeared and the shine returned. My advice, if you plan to try O.A., go with a weak mix and long immersion time rather than the other way around.