Rusty Knife

Random Thoughts

Quick tip for cleaning up useful tools – from a newbie.

When did we move to Orange County… must have been about a year and a half ago. I’m still new to the climate; fleas and rust and temperate weather. Being from the desert these things are especially novel. So when my blade started rusting I had no idea how to handle the issue. The massive collection of all human knowledge online did little to help me with my situation. The manufacturer suggested that I scrub with WD-40 and a course sponge. That didn’t work.

When I stopped by a knife sharpener’s booth at a farmer’s market in Costa Mesa the wise grayed man behind the counter, like a contemplative wizard, began to examine various pros and cons out loud. Never minding that he was talking to himself, running through various scenarios: “Well… let me see… hmmm… I can put it through the wire brush on the bench grinder, but that would ruin the finish on the blade. You see there is a powder coating that I don’t want to ruin. Same for Brillo Pad, Scotch Pad, or other wire brush. Nope. If I were to do it I would probably ruin the finish. Silver polish. I’d say that is your best bet.”

I tried it today.

It worked beautifully.

I didn’t catch the name of this magnificent man and if I go back I half expect him to be gone with a pile of dust left where his booth was and other vendors left with only a memory of a shadowy figure standing at edge of the crowd. “Who was that man?” “I don’t rekin’ I know what y’re jabbering about mister.” “I remember a man at the end of the aisle, but he only shows up on a blue moon when the corn is about yeah high. You have to turn three times counterclockwise and spit into the air – and if it lands on a chicken, then he’ll come.”

That would be fitting, but really you can probably find him at the SOCO Farmer’s Market on Saturdays between 9 and 2.

In any case, if you are having a tough time with your metal oxidizing in a subtropical climate I highly recommend Tarn-X which I purchased just a few hours ago at Target for a little less than $6. The WD-40 lists water as a primary ingredient (you may have to Google that one) so I don’t know about that as an anti-humidity agent. However many cooking oils can be good for preserving your metals. All you need is something that will displace the water to prevent rust.

Thank you mysterious wizard. I share your wisdom with hopes of spreading joy and peace to the land.