Got a Vietnam name era machete finally but it was pretty rusty. Not so bad as to be a major problem but nasty.

So I got a jug of vinegar and poured it in a big tub enough to cover the blade.
I swished the vinegar into the scabbard to make sure it got anything inside out.

The brass had an odd reaction to the the vinegar and turned a bright rose gold color. So be aware of that.

Besides the brass coloration the rest came right off with a bit of brushing.
After that I rinsed it real good and a wiped it with a towel then set it to dry.
Being over 100 this week I wasn’t too worried about it getting moisture inside.

One thing to be aware of in addition to the brass color change is to make sure you submerge or cover the item in vinegar the same amount of time or amount as you can end up with different colors on the scabbard if you’re not careful.

So the blade cleaned up pretty easily actually but the handle was REALLY corroded. I got impatient and tried a wire wheel but even that didn’t work too well so I soaked the handle by itself in a can of vinegar and hit it with a wire brush. I got most of it off but there still a decent bit on the back I can’t seem to get off. I even tried scrapping it with a screw driver but that didn’t work too well so I went back to the wire brush.

There are more aggressive rust removers that I could use but I’m sure they would have eaten up the handle. Once it was done I gave everything a good wipe down with silicone.

Overall pretty I’m pretty happy with the results. Not perfect but a lot better.

Lessons learned
-If you have something with more severe rust on one section work on that part first. I had to go back and redo the blade as it got some light discoloration and rust on it while working on the handle.
-You may also want to let it soak for a few hours. I wasn’t sure how it would go so didn’t leave it to long. But the vinegar doesn’t seem too bad.
– All this cleaning did mess up the handle finish a bit. I’ll try to buff it out when I get some polish compound. So if you are able to remove any non metal parts. (as far as I know the handle is not removable on these.
– Also brass seems to turn a bright rose color when soaked in vinegar. I’ll see if it turns back to a dull gold-ish color we’re used to after a little oxidation. So stand by as this might not be idea for brass items.


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