(Topic ID: 294331)

Save those legs!

By Gotemwill

20 days ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 60 posts
  • 29 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 9 days ago by DCRand
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    Topic Gallery

    View topic image gallery

    20210601_165302 (resized).jpg
    20210601_131443 (resized).jpg
    20210601_125305 (resized).jpg
    20210601_125733 (resized).jpg
    20210601_125723 (resized).jpg
    20210601_120219 (resized).jpg
    20210601_122057 (resized).jpg
    20210601_120229 (resized).jpg
    20210531_130153 (resized).jpg
    082B7DDF-3F13-42D2-8796-3B551CDFA3B1 (resized).jpeg
    885576AF-C6AF-4155-85ED-13B6640D2152 (resized).jpeg
    1818CD77-FDB0-422F-A062-1077CAD1A129 (resized).jpeg
    tray (resized).jpg
    IMG_5798 (resized).jpg
    29A3B07D-A77E-4DFE-ABB5-96265C260B72 (resized).jpeg
    30C01FC8-00F9-4B72-9435-264021E929C6 (resized).jpeg

    There are 60 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    12
    #1 20 days ago

    I recently picked up a Williams Super-Flite which sat in a garage for a long time. Everything needed a deep clean including the legs which had significant surface rust. I had never really done anything with the legs on my machines before. Most looked good from a few feet away and I was satisfied with that. But when I started looking closer, I realized that they also had surface rust in places so I started looking for a cost effective solution for how to clean them all up.

    Enter Evaporust. There are many threads on this site already documenting the great results that are possible with this product. When it comes to legs however, I was surprised by how many people said it was just easier to get new ones and that cleaning up the originals wasn’t worth the effort. Well, I wanted to test that theory out.

    So I created the “clean-o-matic”. It’s made out of some pieces of 4” PVC pipe and some fittings. I made it approximately 36” tall so that it fits the longest leg inside with room to spare. With the 4” diameter, I am able to fit all 4 legs from one game with the leg levelers attached! It takes approximately 1.5 gallons of Evaporust to submerge them. All in, this setup cost about $60...approximately the same cost as replacing 4 legs on ONE machine. The solution can be used again and again. I put a screw cap on the end to prevent evaporation over time.

    3EA0CBC0-9A9E-495D-9903-A964CB1C2C60 (resized).jpeg
    444EB7C2-AAFB-42E0-BD1E-A16611152A4F (resized).jpeg

    After the legs sat in the clean-o-matic for about 24 hours, I took them out and rinsed them off in the driveway. The best part about Evaporust is that it is non-toxic and safe to handle. The results are nothing short of amazing. After I dried them off, I gave them a good coating of playfield wax to discourage them from rusting again.

    Before
    E1B85CE2-B88B-4334-B141-E85CA0F81CE6 (resized).jpeg
    800839B1-960F-4771-A71B-BE7BA4FE547D (resized).jpeg

    After

    54AFDF61-0805-4A08-9A99-5647A09775E7 (resized).jpeg
    30C01FC8-00F9-4B72-9435-264021E929C6 (resized).jpeg
    29A3B07D-A77E-4DFE-ABB5-96265C260B72 (resized).jpeg

    So I started doing the legs on my other machines. Here is an after shot of ones that were just as bad as the ones above.

    IMG_5798 (resized).jpg

    As you can see the surface rust does leave some surface imperfections behind. But these shots are taken out in direct sunlight. In the game room, with a coat of wax, they look brand new. Actually, they look BETTER and brighter than new legs I have on another machine. I am now working through my collection to get the legs cleaned up.

    The bottom line is this. I like to save original parts where I can. This is an easy and cost effective way to do it. Would I put these legs on a 10/10 restoration? Probably not. Would I put these on an above average game or a nice original game? Absolutely. This method has the added benefit of cleaning up the original leg levelers which are not anything like the reproductions. As some will probably also point out, the reproduction legs do not fit exactly like the originals and so it is nice to have the legs match the cabinet paint marks when they are put back on.

    Hopefully this inspires others to do the same with their original legs. They CAN be saved and look good too!

    #2 20 days ago

    I have done the same and gotten the same results.
    I’ve also cleaned up coin doors, lock bar receivers, and other random parts with good results overall.

    Dave

    #3 19 days ago

    You may want to spring for new leg levelers. Just saying... And how many uses can you get before you change out the Evaporust stuff?

    And old legs are wider then new Steve legs. Can't use new Steve legs on an old cab without a repaint because you'll see the cab gouge lines, must use old cleaned up legs.

    #4 19 days ago

    I have the same kind of setup but I'm struggling to find a way to filter/clean the evaporust- what's your method of reusing it?

    #5 19 days ago

    Just did this a few weeks ago for my Night Rider EM. I use vinegar, but same idea.

    Of course, it goes without saying that it works amazingly well as a paint remover also, , ,

    I agree, for "most" machines that won't be a 10/10, just clean 'em up and run with it.

    To each their own though. Nice work!

    As an aside, I attach fishing line through the bolt holes to make them easy to put in and take out.

    #6 19 days ago

    Nice setup! I'm lazy and went super easy and bought a plastic wallpaper tray. Think it was $4.00
    Just like a bathtub!! Was only able to do 2 legs at a time.

    tray (resized).jpg
    #7 19 days ago

    If your gonna repaint them you can wire brush them and save some life on evapo rust.

    There are some inexpensive car chrome polish that work too, blue magic gave a really nice look to some old legs but it was more work then waxing.

    #8 19 days ago

    I've never tried EvapoRust, but for lightly rusted parts, CLR works pretty well. I've brought back many sets of legs with only hot water, soap pads, and elbow grease. I'll lightly wire wheel any really bad spots, and around the base. A slightly dull razor blade is also useful to remove any heavier rust. Try it! This step will significantly speed up any further rust removal process.
    To get them really dry, after cleaning them, I heat them lightly with a propane torch, until surface moisture haze no longer appears. This is important, because you don't want to trap moisture in the pores (yes, metal has pores!) by coating with wax or polish.
    I finish them off with Mothers Mag and Aluminum Polish. Can do a set of four in about an hour, and it's a good upper body workout as well.
    It's often amazing how well a set of legs or a coin door can come out, considering what they looked like before.

    #9 19 days ago
    Quoted from pinhead52:

    You may want to spring for new leg levelers.

    The pictures above were taken just after hosing off the Evaporust with water. After that, I hit the leg levelers with a brass wire wheel on the bench grinder. They clean up great! To get the water out of the inside of the disc, I swish them in alcohol.

    Quoted from pinhead52:

    And how many uses can you get before you change out the Evaporust stuff?

    From the Evaporust website: "The product can be re-used until its effectiveness starts to wear off. In general, one gallon of Evapo-Rust® will remove 1/2 pound of pure dry rust. Since rust is 1/17th the weight of iron, the workload is quite substantial."

    The surface rust on these legs is a cake walk compared to some of the heavily rusted stuff that many use it for.

    Quoted from truemagoo102:

    I have the same kind of setup but I'm struggling to find a way to filter/clean the evaporust- what's your method of reusing it?

    I haven't found the need to filter the solution. Whatever doesn't cling to the legs when I pull them out just settles to the bottom of the pipe. I simply remove the legs and put the next set in.

    The biggest problem you will read about is that the solution evaporates. That's why I chose this setup instead of an open tray so that I could use it over and over again.

    There are many other good ideas in this thread but I was looking to minimize the amount of extra elbow grease since I'm doing so many of them. The results above are attainable simply by removing the legs, brushing off the cobwebs, dunking them over night and hosing them off the next day. Again, I also like that Evaporust is user and environmentally friendly. The bottle says the following about disposal "When EVAPO-RUST® is spent, only the iron content of the solution will dictate how it can be disposed of. In most cases it can be dumped into the city sewer."

    #10 19 days ago

    Someone on the forum said to use these sand/finish wheels. They work great and shine up the metal fast and easy but don’t fit the inside corner. Maybe I’ll try the evapo rust method. Thanks for posting your process and pvc tube

    082B7DDF-3F13-42D2-8796-3B551CDFA3B1 (resized).jpeg1818CD77-FDB0-422F-A062-1077CAD1A129 (resized).jpeg885576AF-C6AF-4155-85ED-13B6640D2152 (resized).jpeg
    #11 19 days ago
    Quoted from truemagoo102:

    I have the same kind of setup but I'm struggling to find a way to filter/clean the evaporust- what's your method of reusing it?

    Coffee filters.

    #13 19 days ago
    Quoted from KenLayton:

    Coffee filters.

    I tried doing the coffee filters and it took like 30 minutes.

    I use a large funnel and lay paper towels in the bottom of it.

    #14 19 days ago

    I think these are beyond saving. Going out in the trash.

    20210531_130153 (resized).jpg
    #15 19 days ago
    Quoted from jrpinball:

    I think these are beyond saving. Going out in the trash.
    [quoted image]

    Evapo-Rust could certainly save those legs. Even if after the Evapo-Rust there is pitting, you could have these legs powder coated. Don't throw them away!

    #16 19 days ago

    Yeah I would save those. The legs I restored for my Quicksilver build were about on par with that. Evaporust and rustoleum hammered silver spray paint. They look great.

    #17 19 days ago
    Quoted from jrpinball:

    I think these are beyond saving. Going out in the trash.
    [quoted image]

    I'll take them!

    #18 19 days ago
    Quoted from northvibe:

    Someone on the forum said to use these sand/finish wheels. They work great and shine up the metal fast and easy but don’t fit the inside corner. Maybe I’ll try the evapo rust method. Thanks for posting your process and pvc tube
    [quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

    In my opinion, that sanding flapper wheel is not recommended for plated parts like legs. It ends up leaving sanding marks in the finish which is unattractive to me.

    On the other hand, that wheel is exceptional for cleaning up stainless steel parts like lockdown bars and side rails. I have a few around for just that purpose and the lockdown bar and top edge of the side rails of every EM game that comes through gets treated with it. It effectively regrains stainless steel.

    #19 19 days ago
    Quoted from jrpinball:

    I think these are beyond saving. Going out in the trash.
    [quoted image]

    This thread is called “Save those legs”!!!

    #20 19 days ago

    I just knock off the loose rust and hit it with Hammered Silver paint and they look great. Half a $6 can of paint yields tough finish on front and back of four legs that sticks directly over the surface rust.

    #21 19 days ago
    Quoted from Gotemwill:

    This thread is called “Save those legs”!!!

    Ok, ok! I'll keep them around. Coarse wire wheel treatment, and Hammertone paint will at least make them useable. Let's see how close a sow's ear can approach being a silk purse. One already has the leveler stud broken off in it, and I'm not counting on the others to come out easily. They really are heavily rusted.

    #22 19 days ago

    That’s the spirit!

    #23 19 days ago

    Evaporust is the greatest stuff ever. I've saved tons of legs using it, with the same setup as the OP did. I have a four inch piece of PVC I use for stuff like lockdown bars and receivers etc.

    Quoted from jrpinball:

    Ok, ok! I'll keep them around. Coarse wire wheel treatment, and Hammertone paint will at least make them useable. Let's see how close a sow's ear can approach being a silk purse. One already has the leveler stud broken off in it, and I'm not counting on the others to come out easily. They really are heavily rusted.

    They will come out once you drop them in the Evaporust. I just had four legs with seized levelers from the Merry Go Round I'm restoring. They all came out.

    I agree with Mike on the legs. If there is bad pitting I'll paint them or powdercoat them. Don't use the flapper on legs but I love it for lockdown bars and especially rails.

    #24 19 days ago

    I've used Evaporust for quite some time for auto restoration projects over the years, and one thing I've experienced that seriously seemed to reduce the effectiveness of it is using it on cast iron (calipers, master cylinders, wheel cylinders... etc). With anything steel you can reuse it many times over, and it still works great.

    Anyone else see this?

    -Paul

    #25 19 days ago

    Oh yeah... what I wanted to say before I went off on the cast iron tangent is if you don't have PVC pipe or a container long enough for the legs you can simply lay out some 2x4's to make walls around the part you want to submerge, and line the walls with a cut up contractor bag. You can make it as long or as short as you want, and when you're done with it just pick up the 4 corners of the bag containing the used Evaporust and carefully pour it out into a large funnel lined with a coffee filter for reuse.

    The bag is stiff enough to not ooze out between the boards yet strong enough to not be easily punctured by the parts you're cleaning.

    -Paul

    #26 18 days ago

    I like the tube idea as a container. I'd been using a wall paper tray but this is better. Thanks for sharing

    #27 18 days ago
    Quoted from jrpinball:

    Ok, ok! I'll keep them around. Coarse wire wheel treatment, and Hammertone paint will at least make them useable. Let's see how close a sow's ear can approach being a silk purse. One already has the leveler stud broken off in it, and I'm not counting on the others to come out easily. They really are heavily rusted.

    Drop them off at my place the next time you're around. I'll soak them in my tube a few days and those level stems will pop right out.

    #28 18 days ago
    Quoted from MikeO:

    In my opinion, that sanding flapper wheel is not recommended for plated parts like legs. It ends up leaving sanding marks in the finish which is unattractive to me.
    On the other hand, that wheel is exceptional for cleaning up stainless steel parts like lockdown bars and side rails. I have a few around for just that purpose and the lockdown bar and top edge of the side rails of every EM game that comes through gets treated with it. It effectively regrains stainless steel.

    Ah, sure understood. This was my first time and I think I did see the legs were plated. It’s been a learning experience. I’ll do the evapo to the legs and wheel to the other parts. Need to do the side rails on. Joker poker

    #29 18 days ago

    Every time I use Evaporust I get frustrated that the parts look *amazing* at first glance once first removed, but then quickly seem to take on a sort of residue film if I leave them lying for even for just a minute or two. Of course it stands to reason the parts should be rinsed off anyway, but as soon as I do so they look dull... as if they need to be repainted or sanded or plated or whatever. For parts that were originally "plain bare metal" this is aggravating especially if most of it had been OK except for the rusty portion, and is now uniformly dull.

    I've yet to do an Evaporust treatment that left the part ready-to-use. Which is understandable to a point, but how are you folks getting away with using it without having to rework every last part after all?

    #30 18 days ago
    Quoted from goingincirclez:

    Every time I use Evaporust I get frustrated that the parts look *amazing* at first glance once first removed, but then quickly seem to take on a sort of residue film if I leave them lying for even for just a minute or two. Of course it stands to reason the parts should be rinsed off anyway, but as soon as I do so they look dull... as if they need to be repainted or sanded or plated or whatever. For parts that were originally "plain bare metal" this is aggravating especially if most of it had been OK except for the rusty portion, and is now uniformly dull.
    I've yet to do an Evaporust treatment that left the part ready-to-use. Which is understandable to a point, but how are you folks getting away with using it without having to rework every last part after all?

    I've found this with CLR as well, but not with all metals. I know that if you leave parts in CLR too long, they will start getting a black coating on them. I rinse the parts with very hot water and scrub them with a brush, as soon as I remove them, but usually I need to polish the part with Mothers Mag and Aluminum Polish to get it looking good and bright.

    #31 18 days ago
    Quoted from goingincirclez:

    I've yet to do an Evaporust treatment that left the part ready-to-use. Which is understandable to a point, but how are you folks getting away with using it without having to rework every last part after all?

    Rinse off the part with hot/warm water as soon you take it out of the Evapo-Rust. Then dry it right away with a hair dryer. Now apply some chrome polish to the part.

    #32 18 days ago
    Quoted from KenLayton:

    Rinse off the part with hot/warm water as soon you take it out of the Evapo-Rust. Then dry it right away with a hair dryer. Now apply some chrome polish to the part.

    Yup. Get the part good and dry before polishing. Hair dryer, heat gun, or a propane torch.

    #33 18 days ago

    Not meaning to turn this thread into "the saga of JR's decrepit legs", but I decided to get started on making these decent and useable again.
    I managed to get the broken off leveler stud out, and that was the first one I figured I'd work on.
    Got as much rust off as I could using razor scraper, and wire wheel.
    Then scrubbed with cleaning vinegar and steel wool. Rinsed, dried (with my trusty torch), and sprayed with Rustoleum Hammered Finish (dark bronze).

    20210601_122057 (resized).jpg20210601_120219 (resized).jpg20210601_120229 (resized).jpg20210601_125723 (resized).jpg20210601_125733 (resized).jpg
    #34 18 days ago

    Started on the second one. No luck getting the rusted leveler out, and naturally it broke off very short.
    Whipped out the center punch and drill.
    Was able to clear the hole and re-cut
    the threads with perfect results.
    Don't hold your collective breaths waiting for the whole set to be finished. This may take a while as I have bigger fish to fry. I may give EvapoRust a try if I come across it.
    Manual methods of removing this level of rust are pretty taxing!

    20210601_125305 (resized).jpg20210601_131443 (resized).jpg
    #35 18 days ago

    Have been using the same pipe setup for a while now, got the idea from another thread here long ago. Works great , rarely change the evaporust. When really want them to sparkle, use metal polish after, then clear coat with rattle can clear. Almost always replace levelers. And most of the time, use polishing wheel on the leg bolt heads after also soaking them in evaporust.

    Also think we should maybe take up a collection to get JR a couple gallons. He has been working wayyyyy too hard removing rust. LOL

    #36 18 days ago

    I have used the Coca Cola and aluminum foil trick for chrome legs with pitting and light surface rust. Works great. I actually now use Coke and a copper pot scrubber I found at my grocery store. Same thing, heat and dry...then wax. I sold the last set on a game I sold, so no pics on hand. I think I posted pics on another thread here somewhere.

    #37 18 days ago
    Quoted from DCRand:

    Also think we should maybe take up a collection to get JR a couple gallons. He has been working wayyyyy too hard removing rust. LOL

    I appreciate that. I've just never come across it anywhere.
    CLR works pretty good too, and I see it everywhere.

    #38 18 days ago
    Quoted from Skidave:

    I have used the Coca Cola and aluminum foil trick for chrome legs with pitting and light surface rust. Works great. I actually now use Coke and a copper pot scrubber I found at my grocery store. Same thing, heat and dry...then wax. I sold the last set on a game I sold, so no pics on hand. I think I posted pics on another thread here somewhere.

    Coke contains phosphoric acid, which is what helps remove rust.
    I've never looked into getting pure phosphoric acid for rust removal, but I imagine it must be available.

    #39 18 days ago

    I used oxalic acid with great result. You can neutralize it with baking soda and dump it safely after you are done.
    Oxalic acid is lemon salt. You get it through your pharmacist.
    I learned about the technique here https://www.maaca.org/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=7080

    #40 18 days ago

    I used the wall paper tray with a sheet of plastic over it to reduce evaporation.
    Make sure the leg is fully immersed, otherwise you will get a demarcation line.
    I tried to do 4 legs at once and I regretted it.
    You are better soaking 2 legs at a time.

    #41 18 days ago
    Quoted from clempo:

    I used the wall paper tray with a sheet of plastic over it to reduce evaporation.
    Make sure the leg is fully immersed, otherwise you will get a demarcation line.
    I tried to do 4 legs at once and I regretted it.
    You are better soaking 2 legs at a time.

    Same.

    I built a PVC tube but stupidly went with a 3" diameter and can only fit 2 legs at once. Worse - I've had some lock down receivers that won't fit at all. Wallpaper tray worked great. Between the tube, the tray and a plastic bin for odds and ends - everything gets it's turn in the evaporust bath.

    #42 18 days ago

    Well, I got the other two levelers out.
    One had to be drilled and retapped, and I managed to get one out by cutting off the foot close to the base of the leg, and unscrewing it toward the inside of the leg using Vise Grips.
    Got two more of the legs derusted and sprayed with Rustoleum Hammered Finish, but was stopped short derusting the last leg on the wire wheel, when my right middle digit took a dive into the rotating wire wheel. Ouch! Just a nasty abrasion, but I figured I'd call it quits for today. I'm probably going to need another can of Rustoleum to finish the last leg anyway.

    20210601_165302 (resized).jpg
    #43 18 days ago

    You get an A+ for effort Jr! I bet you were the kinda kid who would do anything on a double dog dare!

    Glad to see those legs will get a second life.

    #44 18 days ago
    Quoted from jrpinball:

    Started on the second one. No luck getting the rusted leveler out, and naturally it broke off very short.
    Whipped out the center punch and drill.
    Was able to clear the hole and re-cut
    the threads with perfect results.
    Don't hold your collective breaths waiting for the whole set to be finished. This may take a while as I have bigger fish to fry. I may give EvapoRust a try if I come across it.
    Manual methods of removing this level of rust are pretty taxing!
    [quoted image][quoted image]

    Next time try Spraying a little Kroil on the threads.

    #45 18 days ago

    I tried everything with similarly rusted out legs and levelers. jrpinball did exactly what I ended up having to do without wasting tons of time and money on Kroil, WD40, etc.

    #46 18 days ago

    Heat from a propane torch on the leg around a rusted leveler after it has some PB Blaster applied for a while usually loosens them up enough you can back them out. The heat will expand the leg out from around the leveler thread.

    #47 17 days ago

    I tried PB and a torch on rusted levelers, got nowhere.

    Soaked them in vinegar a few days and they spun right out.

    Added bonus, no digit abrasion.

    Yes, it took several days (of non-work), but the actual time spent was about 2 minutes.

    JR, you're working too hard!

    #48 17 days ago
    Quoted from RonSS:

    I tried PB and a torch on rusted levelers, got nowhere.
    Soaked them in vinegar a few days and they spun right out.
    Added bonus, no digit abrasion.
    Yes, it took several days (of non-work), but the actual time spent was about 2 minutes.
    JR, you're working too hard!

    What kind of vinegar do you use?
    I bought a jug of cleaning vinegar at the grocery store, but it doesn't seem to be significantly stronger than salad vinegar.

    Quoted from MikeO:

    Heat from a propane torch on the leg around a rusted leveler after it has some PB Blaster applied for a while usually loosens them up enough you can back them out. The heat will expand the leg out from around the leveler thread.

    Tried heating too. It helped on the first one, but not on the other two that I had to eventually drill. When the rust has eaten away at the thread profile, it isn't going to come out.
    One thing I learned on the last one though (which I thought would be the worst one); if the leveler is screwed in where you have an inch or so protruding inside the base, cut off the rest of the foot as close to the bottom of the base as possible, file it smooth, and then use vise grips and unscrew it from the the inside. That way you won't be dealing with any length of buggered up or rusty threads, and the piece should come out fairly easily in a few turns. Once it's started, squirt some oil or whatever on the thread, and work it back and forth a few times and then it'll come out easily.

    #49 17 days ago

    JR - just white distilled.

    #50 17 days ago

    I'm used to drilling out rusty bolts at work, so drilling and tapping a 3/8 bolt is no big deal for me. I don't think I saw anyone using Naval Jelly for the rust? I've done 2 sets of legs with it and for something I expected to be painting came out close enough that with a coat of wax, they look pretty good. I brush it on with a parts cleaning brush, let it sit for a while and rinse it off. One set I did 2x to remove some heavy rust on the inside of the legs.

    There are 60 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.

    Hey there! Got a moment?

    Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside