Probably technically, this should be in "Tools and Techniques," but I wonder if we could leave it in "General" for a while for the extra exposure. I also posted it on APS, but I'm reallly interested in what folks might have to say about this:
I was doing a little reading on aluminum foil for another purpose and came across this little tidbit:
Anyone ever try using aluminum foil for removing rust from guns? It would appear that since blueing is just a form of rust, it would also remove blueing surrounding the rust spot, but I wonder if anyone has developed a practical technique for this, or actually used it for taking rust off things like tools?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminium_foil
(About 2/3 of the way down in the article.)
A simple and inexpensive way to remove rust from and polish steel surfaces by hand is to rub it with aluminium foil dipped in water. The aluminium foil is softer than steel, and will not scratch the surface. As heat is generated by rubbing friction, the aluminium will oxidize to produce aluminium oxide. Aluminium has a higher reduction potential than iron, and will therefore leach oxygen atoms away from any rust on the steel surface. Aluminium oxide is harder than steel, and the microscopic grains of aluminium oxide produced creates a fine metal polishing compound that smoothes the steel surface to a bright shine.
No thermite jokes (the chemical reaction is the same). Wait, I take that back. Thermite jokes allowed, but I'm more interested in any aluminum-foil techniques that might have been developed by our half-vast membership pool to remove rust. From any rusty things, not just guns.
For example, would aluminum powder work (if you can still get it from somewhere)?
PS: For those who don't happen to know, "aluminium" is the British spelling for "aluminum," and is probably more correct than the Uhmurricun spelling. Oh, and search engines and I don't get along too well.