Cleaning dies ???

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Bought some 257 Bob RCBS dies on Ebay.
The crosshatched part on the outside has some rust.
Can I tumble them one at a time in SS pins/Lemishine/Dawn to clean ?
 

J-B welder

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Bought some 257 Bob RCBS dies on Ebay.
The crosshatched part on the outside has some rust.
Can I tumble them one at a time in SS pins/Lemishine/Dawn to clean ?
Personally, I'd try a bit of PB Blaster (good ol' panther pee) or some other penetrating oil first. You don't need a lot. Let it it soak into the rust for 15 to 30 minutes and then hit it with a worn out bronze bore brush or a mild wire brush. Why risk the pins marking up the inside of the die for what is really just a cosmetic defect (assuming the rust is only on the outside knurling).
 

19 Badger

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I cleaned up several sets last winter after soaking them overnight in Kroil and very fine steel wool. "Panther Pee?" Lol. I haven't heard that in a long time. That's what my grandpa used to call it. Certainly wouldn't tumble them...,
 

FEENIX

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Don’t SS pin tumble the dies. There are a variety of rust removers available. For the inside carefully polish with a cloth wrapped around an old nylon bore brush with some polishing cream. good luck
I vaguely remember an old post that ruined the dies.

CORRECTION: Now that I see @Varmint Hunter's post, it was muzzle brakes, not dies.

ADDED:

 
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jdyoung

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Coat it with a rust remover such as Birchwood Casey's Blue & Rust Remover. There are others , but that's the one I use . Follow the instructions . Then use a Dremel or such fitted with a wire wheel/brush on the outside knurling. Vary the directions to get into all angles. If you don't have a Dremel , just use a steel brush . The brushes come in varying sizes from a hardware store ( ie toothbrush size) which you can pick upon to fill your need.
If you want to clean up any distorted knurling/checkering, Brownells sells a 60 degree bent needle file that's just right for repointing .
 

MagnumManiac

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Vinegar is a good rust remover. This is what I have done in the past.
For really horrible rust, I have bead blasted the OUTSIDE of a die set I was given, luckily there was no rust inside the dies. They’re still going strong for my 30-30.

Cheers.
 

Varmint Hunter

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I tumbled 2 SS brakes and it damaged the threads on both of them so that's not a good option. Light surface rust in the crosshatching could probably be removed with WD-40 and a brass brush that looks like a tooth brush. They are also available in SS but that might scratch the die.
 

Toecutter

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Ive got a fine wire wheel for the buffer. It has cleaned up many a die over the years. Fast and easy.
By fine, i mean you can put your finger up against it for a sec without issue.

Good luck.
 

ntsqd

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Vinegar is a little known secret weapon against rust. I use white vinegar to remove the plating on hardware that I need to weld on. There are some things to know though;
It will remove most plating (zinc, cad, nickel, etc.) given enough time.
Parts removed from vinegar need to be rinsed in clear water, pronto!
These parts will flash rust before your eyes if you do not immediately dry them and then treat them with some sort of oil etc.
You will smell vinegar for a while afterwards. The better job that you do rinsing, the less this will linger.
If you forget about some parts soaking in vinegar and come back in a month do not expect them to be usable. I think you might guess how I know this......

Was it me, I'd soak in PB Blaster or similar penetrating oil, and then use a toothbrush size Stainless bristle brush. Align your strokes with the grooves of the knurling on the dies.
 

skipglo

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Personally, I'd try a bit of PB Blaster (good ol' panther pee) or some other penetrating oil first. You don't need a lot. Let it it soak into the rust for 15 to 30 minutes and then hit it with a worn out bronze bore brush or a mild wire brush. Why risk the pins marking up the inside of the die for what is really just a cosmetic defect (assuming the rust is only on the outside knurling).
X-2, pins I'm sure would score the inside!
 

Tim Sharp

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Bought some 257 Bob RCBS dies on Ebay.
The crosshatched part on the outside has some rust.
Can I tumble them one at a time in SS pins/Lemishine/Dawn to clean ?
I would not use any harsh chemicals with acid such as vinegar for it may etch the the interior of your die. I would suggest 0000 steel wool wrapped around a ¼" wooden dowel chucked in a drill with a good mix of WD-40 for lubrication and little dab of Turtle Wax Chrome polish. Go back and forth to establish new cross-hatch. If the die is really rusted, go with a strip of 320 grit Wet or Dry attached to the wooden dowel and lubed with WD-40. Good luck!
 

Dean2

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Everyone I know uses Hoppes 9 and 4 aught steel wool or a brass brush to remove rust from guns, dies or pretty much anything else. Have never tried anything else because Hoppes always did the job perfectly. You can even use 4 aught with Hoppes on it on high gloss bluing and not affect the bluing at all. Hoppes is also a great sticker remover, takes indelible marker ink off pretty much anything, cleans writing off of plastic. I use the stuff for everything.

If I had a die that was rusted on the inside I would send it back to RCBS. They will tune them up perfect and usually at no charge.
 
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