Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Restoration: How To Properly Renovate A Frame Metal Screws

Okay, we're all friends here, right? I used to spray paint over rusty screws (they were never galvanized) with silver spray paint. Looking back I dont know why I didnt just buy a rust remover or do the below described routine. But now I know better, so I do better. FYI, because they are not galvanized, NEVER, ever hose down your A Frame with the screws still on. They will corrode, stain the plastic, and break off when you try to remove them.

 I cannot remember the size, but possibly ⅜" sheet metal screws, just bring what you have to the hardware store and they have charts to match up old screws, the big difference is that flat head screws are difficult to find nowadays, so you will likely be replacing them with phillips star heads.

This Dremmel tool is about 10 years old, but I am sure they still look about like this when you go to Home Depot or Lowes to pick yours up. They should run about $30-$40 depending on what brand and how many accessories come with it. I have used mine for countless projects, so its really paid for itself many times over. 

The small screws on the left were in pretty good shape but all the longer screw heads had moderate to severe corrosion. The polishing/grinding tool I used is in the photo, they come right up in a few moments of even buffing. you can polish it off with sand paper, spit and wipe with a rag. Don't try soaking them in CLR, I did and 20 minutes later was horrified to find they were once again corroded. You could try the $6 bottle of rust remover (looks like pink jelly) but I was too cheap to buy it. I did finish them off with a light spray of WD40 (then shake in the ziplock bag to evenly disperse oil) so when they are used to assemble the house again they will go in easier. 
The third screw from the left is all the way polished/de-rusted, the one to the right of it is half way done, and the rest to the right of it are yet to be done.

1978 Mattel A Frame Barbie Dream Doll House Red roof yellow floors mod groovy 1970s 1980s custom OOAK