Check out the tips under Frank's main page - might be on the machine shop page - about using a low voltage DC source, a piece of iron/steel as a sacrificial anode, and baking soda as an electrolyte for rust removal. I used his tip about a year ago to remove rust on a number items and it worked well. For such a small item as you've got a 6V lantern battery would probably suffice.
The link is here - http://www.frets.com/HomeShopTech/QuickTricks/RustRemoval/rustremov...
Now, this is all well and good, but that rust is coming back, especially if the player, like me, seems to sweat rust food. What is the preventative cure that keeps the rust from coming back? It is possible to get something replated?
I'm very specifically thinking of the bridge plate on my mid 80's Japanese Telecaster. The serial number is there, and I would kinda feel grumpy about replating the thing if the number gets filled in. (I certainly don't know much about this...)
Get the product called CLR, available in hardware stores, Walmart, ect.
Soak the items for a while in this stuff then rinse with clear water and wipe dry. I've used it on rusty tuners and it does a great job. Doesn't hurt the metal, just removes the rust.
I've used the low-voltage thing a few times, and -dang- it works! It's kind of an ordeal to set-up so my best results have come from gathering a number of small parts at once and then make a party of it.
The power source I've used is a cheap 120v-to-12v transformer from a garage sale (originally intended for bench repair of car radios) and it seems to do the trick.
Hello again. Yup, having fun. You're right, it's like a "Mr. Science" project (we're taking rust off a late 1800's calvary spur). I got my son (he's 11 years old) to help me get things set up, did safety procedures with him and we're having a great time asking and answering questions and watching the slime form on top of the water. Thanks for the replys!
Hi Lee, the spurs look great! Did the "Mr. Science" project not take the rust off like we thought it may?
Wonder if has anything to do with how 'deep' the rust has colored the metal over x-number of years?
I've got some old deeply-rusted scissors I found in a barn, probably 40 or so years old... maybe I should try the electro-chemical solution with them AND something recently-rusted to see if there's a difference? Anyway, nice work!