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Author Topic: Removing rust from a tower  (Read 4871 times)
AK4GA
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« on: April 14, 2011, 03:21:01 AM »

So, I recently scored a free Rohn HDBX tower. It has light surface rust in a few spots and I am looking for advice on what to do to keep it from rusting. I will most likely use a wire brush on my 4 inch handheld grinder. What paint or treatment should I use?

I would like it to be painted OD green as the final result.
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2011, 04:45:58 AM »

Try "Cold Galvanizing": http://www.zrcworldwide.com/index.asp
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K2DC
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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2011, 04:54:04 AM »

The wire brush is fine.  The grinder may be overkill, you may be able to just use a disc sander.  And you can get Rustoleum rust inhibiting paint in almost any color you want.

73,

Don, K2Dc

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W8JX
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2011, 08:23:44 AM »

I have found that aluminum rust paint that you apply by brush is about as good as it gets and lasts a long time too. Works well at stopping and preventing future rusting.
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K9KJM
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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2011, 10:34:11 PM »

Just a hand wire brush is usually all you need.   I would not go overboard with a power unit..........

The correct product to use, As mentioned by RUL is "Instant cold galvanize" Made by rustoleum and others.
It is actually a zinc powder in a paint type carrier.  Works as good as hot dip galvanize for rust proofing, (When sprayed on in multiple coats as directed) But is not as durable as hot dip. If you want OD green, Paint that on after the cold galvanize job.   (WalMart sells a gallon of latex flat green exterior paint for about 15 bucks......   #96264 Marsh Shadow blends in with evergreen woods pretty nice.)
(The instant cold galvanize is a nice dull grey color. I would do just the lower sections of tower in OD green, Anything sticking above the trees should be left dull grey.)
« Last Edit: April 14, 2011, 10:39:14 PM by K9KJM » Logged
AJ3O
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2011, 04:22:05 AM »

I agree with the galvanizing and paint. Just remember to clean everything well with a lint free cloth and some type of thinner (that won't take off the galvanizing) and then PRIME the tower before the paint. Yes, it is an added cost, but the finish will last much longer and give you a better coating. Without the primer, the paint will flake off much soon than you want for what you are paying for the paint.

If you go to a reputable paint shop and talk with the reps, you should get the info you need for the proper application of all three.
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K3GM
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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2011, 05:07:41 AM »

Wire brush, followed by an application of "Cold Galvanizing" spray paint.  My repairs have lasted for years with no rust bleed-thru.
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K9KJM
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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2011, 12:05:37 AM »

Yes, Since "Instant Cold Galvanize" Is not an actual paint, NO primer of any type is needed.........  The instant cold galvanize IS the primer for your O.D. green.........

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K1CJS
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« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2011, 07:34:25 AM »

'Cold' galvanizing spray is the best idea.  It will last much longer than paint, and it will have the advantage of looking as close as you can get to the original finish without having the entire tower professionally re-galvanized.
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K5JZ
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2011, 07:47:34 PM »

Wash it down with CLR... use with a Scotch Brite pad where needed. Let is soak a bit and wash it off. Prime with Cold Galv primer and Rustoleum zinc based paint. This will give you a clean protective finish that will last years. I have done it on towers near the Gulf and the finish lasts quite a long time before a touch up is required.

73,
George K5JZ
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K4KYV
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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2011, 08:11:01 PM »

I have found that aluminum rust paint that you apply by brush is about as good as it gets and lasts a long time too. Works well at stopping and preventing future rusting.

I have found the same thing.  Much better than "cold galvanising".  I tried cold  galvanising, and within a few months spots of rust were coming through. Plus, it is an ugly flat grey, that doesn't match the galvanised surface at all. That stuff is a waste of money and effort.

OTOH, aluminium paint blends in with the original galvanising very well. After it weathers for a few months, it is hard to tell the difference. My tower is mounted on an old base insulator originally used with an AM broadcast tower.  The steel end bell castings were not galvanised at all.  When I installed it 30 years ago, I painted all the bare steel with aluminium paint, and some of the galvanising on the tower began to show signs of rust before the painted castings did. I think I may have re-painted the castings once since I put up the tower.  I also used it to touch up some ding marks where the galvanising was chipped off, as well as some outdoor steel hardware I cut with a hacksaw, exposing the ungalvanised interior. Now, you can hardly tell where the touch-ups are.

I would say that aluminium paint is about the closest thing you can come to galvanising steel without actually having it hot-dipped. Best of all, if there is light surface rust, the paint soaks down into the pores of the rust before it hardens, and once the paint is thoroughly dry, the rust acts like a primer, making for very good adhesion, almost impossible to scrape off.
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