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  1. #1
    Registered User BackI00's Avatar
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    Reconditioning a Barbell

    Today i got my first non-hex-nut barbell. Looks like....
    http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/spo/2858857244.html
    So i got it and the pictures do it no justice... this barbell is exceptionally rusted. Just below the collars are the only non rusted part, which is sweet since it still spins beautifully. The knurling is pretty beat but I am still excited about this step in my home gym life.

    I tried scrubbing it today with some different chems, brushes, cloths and it did not do much at all. If i soak the bar in a CLR solution for a day or two (like such: http://www.trickstutorials.com/content/tetanus but with CLR). Do you think it will have a similar effect? I am willing to relubricate the collars and keep it rubbed down with 3in1 to keep it from rusting again since there is pretty much no finish on it. Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Registered User boxertim's Avatar
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    try it....keep us informed.


    make sure you take it apart before you start soaking it.
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  3. #3
    Registered User BackI00's Avatar
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    Yea.... im not quite sure how to take it apart
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  4. #4
    York Man AttyGuy's Avatar
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    Rub it down with CLR and then wash it off with water. You may need to hit it with a wire wheel brush too. Do you know who makes this bar?
    You need a rack, bench and 300-lb. Oly set. Now, what was your question?

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  5. #5
    Registered User BackI00's Avatar
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    not a clue. I looked all over for a sign or any kind of marking and couldnt find a thing. It is pretty rusted in spots. You think rubbing it down would be better then just soaking it?
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    Dont know if this would work better than the above mentioned products but when i was younger i use to get a lemon cut it in half and rub that on the surface rust on my bmx bike and that worked lol. I actually have a bar that also needs to be refurbished let us know how you go.
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  7. #7
    York Man AttyGuy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BackI00 View Post
    not a clue. I looked all over for a sign or any kind of marking and couldnt find a thing. It is pretty rusted in spots. You think rubbing it down would be better then just soaking it?
    Yes, I do. If you soak, you better be prepared to strip down that bar. Just because some guy posted pics of a bar and bottles of Coke on the internet, it doesn't mean he knows what he's doing. CLR and water, followed by WD-40. If you're going to soak, use vinegar, not coke, and break down the bar first.
    You need a rack, bench and 300-lb. Oly set. Now, what was your question?

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  8. #8
    Registered User BackI00's Avatar
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    Sounds good, also of note... I looked through the barbell thread and did not see many bars with the collar lock like the one i got. I am guessing it is some kind of snap ring? It looks solid and spins great, no knurling in the center which i have not had on a bar before.
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  9. #9
    Registered User cthulhupun's Avatar
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    I refurbished a br that had been left outside inFlorida for over a year. I soaked it in phosphoric acid and water for over a week. You can probably find it as "rust remover" at Home Depot or Lowes. It's the phosphoric acid (in a much more diluted solution) that makes Coca-Cola useful for removing rust. You might also try naval jelly from an auto parts store.
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  10. #10
    Workin' Stabilizers Skidmarx's Avatar
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    CLR usually works, but you could try concrete stain remover and a wire brush.

    I've de-rusted golf clubs by soaking in vinegar/salt/water solution overnight. Works way better than any cola solution.

    Most bars will have a retaining ring, e-clip, or straight pin, to remove the collars.
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  11. #11
    York Man AttyGuy's Avatar
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    I use a Scotch Brite pad with CLR. I don't use naval jelly because I find it too messy. I've also used a wire brush with CLR. Works well.
    You need a rack, bench and 300-lb. Oly set. Now, what was your question?

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  12. #12
    Dork of York Northernmoris's Avatar
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    I just did a bar last month. I used PB Blaster. Sprayed it up real good and roughed it u with a scotch brite pad. Did that 3 times. Then took a wire wheel on my drill and finished it off. When it was done I wiped it down with rubbing alcohol.
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  13. #13
    Registered User ffrink's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BackI00 View Post
    Sounds good, also of note... I looked through the barbell thread and did not see many bars with the collar lock like the one i got. I am guessing it is some kind of snap ring? It looks solid and spins great, no knurling in the center which i have not had on a bar before.

    If you can see all the way thru the end hole, then it is probably a pin that you will have to tap of to remove sleeves. If you cannot see all the way thru the sleeve, you probably have a couple of hex screws you will have to remove. I wouldn't bother if you can oil it and the sleeves spin easy.

    Also, older bars often just discolor so do not expect to get any shine back. Just clean off all the rust and kep it clean. How straight is it? I thought about looking at that bar when it was posted. Do you live up near beaver Falls area?
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  14. #14
    Registered User BackI00's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ffrink View Post
    If you can see all the way thru the end hole, then it is probably a pin that you will have to tap of to remove sleeves. If you cannot see all the way thru the sleeve, you probably have a couple of hex screws you will have to remove. I wouldn't bother if you can oil it and the sleeves spin easy.

    Also, older bars often just discolor so do not expect to get any shine back. Just clean off all the rust and kep it clean. How straight is it? I thought about looking at that bar when it was posted. Do you live up near beaver Falls area?
    I do not, i live in south hills actually. It was about 2 hours round trip finding the place and fighting traffic. Not sure it was completely worth it, i guess i will know when i clean it up. You can probably attest to SW PA not having the best deals, this was the first non china bar i found.

    I have exactly 45 minutes of free time today which i need to get in a stronglifts session, eat, and shower. Sooo i am planning on cleaning it in the morning. Will definitely report back!


    Do you think soaking rags in CLR mixture and wrapping the bar overnight will start to loosen stuff up before I go at it with a clr/wire brush/scotch brite pad tomorrow? Or is that just over doing it.

    Thanks again everyone and i will try to get some pics up
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  15. #15
    Registered User ffrink's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BackI00 View Post
    I do not, i live in south hills actually. It was about 2 hours round trip finding the place and fighting traffic. Not sure it was completely worth it, i guess i will know when i clean it up. You can probably attest to SW PA not having the best deals, this was the first non china bar i found.

    I have exactly 45 minutes of free time today which i need to get in a stronglifts session, eat, and shower. Sooo i am planning on cleaning it in the morning. Will definitely report back!


    Do you think soaking rags in CLR mixture and wrapping the bar overnight will start to loosen stuff up before I go at it with a clr/wire brush/scotch brite pad tomorrow? Or is that just over doing it.

    Thanks again everyone and i will try to get some pics up

    PM me. I have several non-China bars for sale.
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  16. #16
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    I would be concerned about leaving CLR on the bar longer than necessary. IIRC, the container for CLR advises against leaving the product oobjects for too long. Accept the fact that there is no short-term fix. You will have to spend time on the bar to get it clean.
    You need a rack, bench and 300-lb. Oly set. Now, what was your question?

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  17. #17
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    FWIW, if ya want an excellent rust remover for a cheep price....toilet bowl cleaner.


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  18. #18
    Home gym 'til I die. ProtienandIron's Avatar
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    WD 40 with wire wool is all I have ever used.

    Take the bar apart.

    Scrub the hell out of it with the wire wool and wd40.

    Wip the bulk of it off with an old rag.

    Spray it and scrub it again if it needs it

    Wipe again with the old rag

    Take a load of soapy water and an olt sponge and wash it all off and you should now have a clean rust free bar. Make sure you oil the inside of the sleaves and bar well before you put it back together.
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  19. #19
    Registered User BackI00's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone, I went at it yesterday with CLR and rags, green scrubber things, and finally wire brush.

    It looks no better, so i think i am going to either enjoy the bar as is or figure out how to take the sleeves off and have a go with wool or a wire drill attachment.
    I can tell it is possible to get it (somewhat) metallic looking again as there are spots where it is not dark brown, so i will update again.
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  20. #20
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    Originally Posted by BackI00 View Post
    Thanks everyone, I went at it yesterday with CLR and rags, green scrubber things, and finally wire brush.

    It looks no better, so i think i am going to either enjoy the bar as is or figure out how to take the sleeves off and have a go with wool or a wire drill attachment.
    I can tell it is possible to get it (somewhat) metallic looking again as there are spots where it is not dark brown, so i will update again.
    If you have gotten all the rust/corrosion removed, I wouldn't worry about the overall color. I have a couple bars and one is dark-reddish brown, like mahogany. I guess it is the natural color of the bar. Knurling is good so I use it all the time.
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    Update:
    First workout with new bar. Weighs exactly 44.5lbs, knurling was enough to please me for bent over rows, little to know lateral sleeve movement unlike the CAP bar.
    Sliding the weights on, one sleeve is clean (can see lines all the way along sleeve), while one still has rust causing a gritty slide that scratched some rust off.

    So i need to go at one of the sleeves, and try to get a little rust off the knurling, but other then that i am happy enough! Thanks and i will post some pictures when i get a free moment. Tomorrow is build a platform day
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