An Exercise in Rust Removal

This album deals with an attempt to restore the head of a club which was extremely badly rusted. Spoiler alert - the results weren't as successful as might have been hoped... the rust was ultimately removed, but the head was, perhaps naturally, badly pitted, and nothing could really be done about that, short of completely re-grinding the surfaces (which I have seen done, but did not want to do here). As always, see the individual pictures and their captions if you want all the details, or skip if you don't want details. Comments and questions are welcome.

Click the right and left buttons to scroll through the gallery.

Here is the head of the club, as I obtained it.

And this is the back of the head. The club head was made by Auchterlonie, St. Andrews. It appears to be a ladies' light iron or mashie type club.

Here is a closer view of the head. As you can see, it is extremely badly rusted.

This is the face. I believe the club may have been buried in the ground, to become so rusted. It came with no grip on the shaft, but the original, stamped Auchterlonie shaft was otherwise in ok condition.

Because of the degree of rust on this club, I decided to try a new rust-removal product. This is 'Evapo-Rust' a bath type rust remover, which is non-toxic and not corrosive.

I immersed the head in a bath of Evapo-Rust in an old yoghurt container.

This is the face after 6 hours in the Evapo-Rust.

And here is the back after the 6 hours. Some of the rust has been dissolved, but much remains.

This is the next morning, after 16 hours in the Evapo-Rust.

I took the head out and scrubbed it with a bronze brush. Here is the back...

...and here the face. Although some areas are clear, quite a bit of rust still remains.

This 5 and half hours later, after 21 and a half hours in Evapo-Rust.

And the back after the 21 and half hours.

I used a wire wheel on a Dremmel tool to take off some of the remaining rust.

And here is the face after going over with the wire wheel.

This is after 24 hours soaking.

The face scrubbed with the bronze brush after 24 hours in Evapo-Rust.

And the back scrubbed with the bronze brush after 24 hours in Evapo-Rust.

And the face after going over with the wire wheel.

And the back, after the wire wheel.

Now I put a sanding cylinder on the Dremmel tool...

...and went over the back...

...the hosel,...

...and the face.

Then I finished up with progressively finer emery paper, and steel wool.

This is the final state of the back...

...and the final state of the face. Unfortunately, but understandably, badly pitted. I believe only grinding the metal would take the club much further than this, and I'd rather not do that. The club doesn't look too bad like this, and should be quite playable. See Gripping with Listing for details of putting a grip on this club.

Ken Leedham, GHSC. If you have questions or comments, please email