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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    9
    Country: United States

    Red face Cleaning Antique Railroad Locks

    Would like to know what is the best way to clean a rusty lock? Should a lock ever be repainted? Robert

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Odell Ne
    Posts
    580
    Country: United States

    Default

    Can you post a picture? Generally speaking,most lock collectors will clean the padlock with a good penetrant (PB Blaster,WD40 etc).Most of the time if you take a wire wheel to one it will take off any of the origional patena. I have used a brass hand brush,it's not so agressive to cleanup a lock. As to repainting,that's your call. It will lower the resale value to another collector,but if it makes the lock more pleasing to you for your own personalviewing, go for it (paint can always be removed later).I have used electrolisis to clean padlocks in the past, but they were rusted beyond any real value anyway. The rarer the padlock the less you should do to it (besides general cleaning)
    Mark A. Billesbach

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    9
    Country: United States

    Red face Cleaning a rusty railroad lock

    Here is a pic of the lock that may need a clean. Best Way to clean.Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Odell Ne
    Posts
    580
    Country: United States

    Default

    Robert, The one on the left is a common Adlake RR lock and no matter the RR initials stamped on it, it's valued around $20. You could paint it without lowering it's value. The lock on the right could be cleaned with a penetrant and a stiff brass brush then wiped down with a gun oil or wax to keep it from rusting more. Are there any RR names or initials on the second lock or makers name? Do you have keys for either lock?
    Mark A. Billesbach

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    9
    Country: United States

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by oldbiscuit View Post
    Robert, The one on the left is a common Adlake RR lock and no matter the RR initials stamped on it, it's valued around $20. You could paint it without lowering it's value. The lock on the right could be cleaned with a penetrant and a stiff brass brush then wiped down with a gun oil or wax to keep it from rusting more. Are there any RR names or initials on the second lock or makers name? Do you have keys for either lock?
    The one on the right is marked NW for norfolk and Western and I have keys for them. The rusty one is a Yale lock.
    Last edited by Donboss; 07-10-10 at 02:38 AM.

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