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dealing with and cleaning absolutely filthy, oiled hot roll tube.

vanguard machine

Stainless
Joined
Dec 20, 2011
Location
Charleston and NYC
disclaimer: This may be more of a rant than anything but i can't be the only slightly OCD person on here that has to deal with this so soliciting for any ideas/advice.

Got a big stack of .75" 16 gauge hot roll square tubing from the local (Dillon Supply) because my regular supplier, Ryerson, was 'doing inventory' last week and couldn't take/ship any orders...don't even get me started on that one :angry:

Anyway, get a hundred or so sticks of tube in and the stuff is beyond filthy. looks fine, not covered in dirt necessarily and not rusted or banged up, just filthy.
covered in oil like nothing i've ever seen before and just really really dirty.
i mean just barely touch it and your hands are black. i've never seen anything like this and it's destroying everything in my nice clean shop, i mean every single thing it touches.:ack2:
this shit is getting every freaking where!

Anyone seen this and does anyone have an easy solution for cleaning the raw stock before handling?
i've been avoiding de-greasing and causing flash rust as the final product is some 'industrial themed display shelves' and the customer is clear coating, not painting.

i have been kinda wiping it off as i go with shop towels but it really isn't helping that much.
and to add to my misery, since i'm a apparently a glutton for punishment, we're tig welding it all.
 

Scottl

Diamond
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
Eastern Massachusetts, USA
I've had that problem with some hot rolled flat stock that I suspect is from "over there". I had best results with paint thinner and those blue paper towels from Scotts. I put a trash bag in an empty basket before starting and heaved the dirty wipers into it and changed gloves before taking the bag out to the trash.

I know exactly what you mean and it just plain SUCKS!
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Location
marysville ohio
I clean that crap with lacquer thinner and a paper towel, just clean it all before doing anything else with it. You will have a whole trash bag full of used paper towels when you are done, get them out of the shop as it is a serious fire hazard.
 

MrWhoopee

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 8, 2017
We always put one of the "kids" on the job. Outside, with paint thinner and rags. Don't be too OCD about it, the paint thinner will leave a little of the oil behind to prevent rust. I always preferred to TIG this kind of tube, much better control of the filler (if used) and,if you don't like the looks, you can make another pass.
 

Mud

Diamond
Joined
May 20, 2002
Location
South Central PA
I've had that on 1018 CRS bar stock, and long before Chinese steel was a thing here. I swear it must be drain oil from diesels, probably 2 cycle Detroits. I hose it down w/WD40 and wipe like ScottL describes.
 

BobRenz

Stainless
Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Location
Minnesota, USA
Years ago, we had a pile of tubing that had been thoroughly rustproofed - very thoroughly! We wound up splitting a chunk of 6" pipe in half and welding the pieces back together to make a 22 ft shallow cleaning tank. We'd dump some mineral spirits in it, and assign one of the youngsters to wash tubing. Cleaned tubing was propped up with one end still in the "tank" to drain.

The dirty solvent went into a dirty solvent barrel and then out for recycle.

It was a PITA, but it was a lot better than getting the grunge all over the shop.
 

B-Mathews

Hot Rolled
Joined
Sep 20, 2013
Location
Beaverton Oregon
I had one local supplier that all there 1018 Cold Rolled came like that. What was worse was when it had sat on the shelf for some time and dried out and got hard. Pain in the ass. They had much better prices but was not worth the head ach in the end.
 

E.F. Thumann

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
Location
Princeton, NJ
One of the major steel suppliers in NJ has a history of buying rusty stock from other suppliers/houses/mills, and drenching them in heavy gear oil to mask the rust and sell "fresh". Amongst other completely illegal/amoral buying-selling practices. I bought a bundle of 1-1/4 tube from them ten years ago, and spent two days with a helper and about fifteen gallons of acetone.......last time I bought steel from them.
 

Spud

Diamond
Joined
Jan 12, 2006
Location
Brookfield, Wisconsin
disclaimer: This may be more of a rant than anything but i can't be the only slightly OCD person on here that has to deal with this so soliciting for any ideas/advice.

Got a big stack of .75" 16 gauge hot roll square tubing from the local (Dillon Supply) because my regular supplier, Ryerson, was 'doing inventory' last week and couldn't take/ship any orders...don't even get me started on that one :angry:

Anyway, get a hundred or so sticks of tube in and the stuff is beyond filthy. looks fine, not covered in dirt necessarily and not rusted or banged up, just filthy.
covered in oil like nothing i've ever seen before and just really really dirty.
i mean just barely touch it and your hands are black. i've never seen anything like this and it's destroying everything in my nice clean shop, i mean every single thing it touches.:ack2:
this shit is getting every freaking where!

Anyone seen this and does anyone have an easy solution for cleaning the raw stock before handling?
i've been avoiding de-greasing and causing flash rust as the final product is some 'industrial themed display shelves' and the customer is clear coating, not painting.

i have been kinda wiping it off as i go with shop towels but it really isn't helping that much.
and to add to my misery, since i'm a apparently a glutton for punishment, we're tig welding it all.


Vapor steam clean? or Dry ice blasting?
 

dave powelson

Cast Iron
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Location
Yuba City, CA
For one stick or 100--I just won't deal with that black oil stuff, especially if it's over HR not CR tube.
[One can wet wipe it down with thinner, etc, multiple times--it still keeps bleeding oil and stuff out of
the HR pores and WILL screw up paint job, unless even more intensive paint prep is done.]
The inordinate time/cost of initial cleaning, plus further cleaning prior to paint makes it the most expensive tubing one can buy.
I'm in the 'fab biz'...not the 'black smut oil cleaning biz'--you are as well.
After several episodes of this (including having to muriatic acid etch one finished, large 4'x7'x10' weldment of 3x3 square
tube and smaller, then have it s-blasted prior to paint), pursued a different route:
-began stocking and ordering-either 'light oil CRS' or KleenKote/Redkote pre-primed tube stock. At that time, the price differential/ft for 1 x 1 16 ga. was $0.10/ft. and more for larger sizes. Quickly realized that this was much less than I could have grunt help clean tube and insured that I'd have decently clean weldments prior to paint--not oily/rusty--even if the
weldment was still going to be blasted/primed and/or powder coated. That's been highly cost/time effective for me.

I do not buy/accept/use that black oiled crap, period--and generally insist on domestic tube; as well, not just for cleanliness,
but being within tolerance for squareness, camber, bow, caster. A helluva on lot of import stuff--is the absolute pits to try
and accomplish any decent fit-up with--due to tube defects outside the rather liberal US steel tube standards. It costs more,
but dramatically reduces fitup and frustration time.
 

Greg White

Titanium
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Location
Pinckney Mi.
one could go on aboot the shit condition of some of the out of square hrs that comes thru nowadays as well,3/4 -1" stk with edges that look like a radius cut with a broken tap, I get a lot of crs. with this ugly oil on it.
Gw
 

vanguard machine

Stainless
Joined
Dec 20, 2011
Location
Charleston and NYC
glad to see the commiserating comments this morning, was a little worried i was going to open PM to a barrage of flaming in the vein of 'get over it, it's a metal shop'
i particularly enjoyed the sentiment from Dave P; I'm in the 'fab biz'...not the 'black smut oil cleaning biz'
as help and i spent the entire day yesterday doing nothing more than cleaning, which far beyond mitigates any slight savings Dillon may have been able to offer with this inferior feculent tube.
our method was: tsp and concentrated de-greaser in hot water in a 3 gal bucket, changed solution probably 10 times. and a final wipe down with alcohol/blue towel. we went through an entire 50 ct bag of of red shop towels, 2 rolls of blue towels, 2 pairs of tillman 1414 gloves, 2 pairs of maxi-flex gloves and spent 7 hours doing nothing more than cleaning. the shop wash sink looks like i poured a 5 gallon bucket of black paint into it and our clothing is probably ruined. and the even sadder thing is the stuff is only marginally better and still wreaks havoc if handled.
and on this fine sunday i get to go to work as every surface in the shop that was contaminated by this shit now needs to be thoroughly cleaned.
i learned a very hard lesson on this one in regards to inspecting stock before it leaves the truck and not feeling guilty about rejecting a truck shipment. interestingly enough i have only had to do that twice before, and both times the material was from Dillon.
 

edwin dirnbeck

Hot Rolled
Joined
Oct 24, 2013
Location
st,louis mo
With cold rolled steel this has allways been a problem.My THEORY is ,the steel mills mix all their oily waste and floor sweepings and get rid of this stuf ,by smearing it on the steel.Edwin Dirnbeck
 

metalmagpie

Titanium
Joined
May 22, 2006
Location
Seattle
AFAIK all square tube comes in oil from the rolling mill. From US, Canada, Mexico, China doesn't matter. I set new tube up on sawhorses outside and get after them with kerosene in a spray bottle and rags. PITA, but must be done.

metalmagpie
 

vanguard machine

Stainless
Joined
Dec 20, 2011
Location
Charleston and NYC
yup,
oiled, sure...
filthy however is another thing entirely

iv'e been through thousands of sticks of hot roll tube and never seen anything like this.

but ultimately i agree, setting up some steel sawhorses outside with a little pressure washer for future tube. something i have always wanted to set up anyway so no time like the present.
 

Sea Farmer

Diamond
Joined
Mar 25, 2006
Location
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Ugh, feel your pain. I get this nasty stuff on CR profiles, tubing, and some pipe. I only work with small quantities and its gloves, blue shop rags, and mineral spirits or any degreaser that's handy. Depending on the size and profile, may either wire brush it with an angle grinder next, or even toss it into the vibratory tumbler, which works very well on lengths up to a foot that will fit.

It acts like it has some graphite in it. I think that's why degreasers alone aren't very effective.

If I had to clean large quantities of CR I'd kill myself. But first I'd try to pressure wash it outdoors on some patch of dirt or gravel where the munge would soak in and not run off and contaminate something it shouldn't. Then I'd try to kill myself.
 








 
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