Found beside the road


Temecula California
Was taking a walk(on Dr orders) and found a beautiful 12 in crescent wrench.
Had been there a long time as it is rusted solid.
Want to clean it up.
Remember a post by someone ( Ian I think) about cleaning rusty tools
but could not find it.

As I remember you boiled the tool in plain water and then carded or wire
brushed it but not sure.
Old age does that to you!

Need help remembering.



Notorious member
If it's rusted solid you might do better to soak it in EvapoRust (get it at the home store) to remove all the rust so it will free up. Boiling is a good way to convert red rust on blued surfaces to a blued finish without destroying the existing blue finish while allowing the rust to be easily carded away, but if you have crusty rust it takes many cycles of boiling and carding to convert it all down to the surface.

Here's the thread on boiling:
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Well-Known Member
evapo-rust actually does work.
but you can soak it in diesel fuel for a little while to get the mineral oils in it up and into everything, then take it apart and work it over with a wire brush.

Petrol & Powder

Well-Known Member
If it's a real "Crescent" wrench and it's made of the "Crestoloy" steel alloy used by Crescent, you're probably already ahead of the game.
I have no idea what steel alloy makes up "Crestoloy", but it's some seriously strong stuff.

You can get pretty aggressive on the wire brushing and cleaning of the large parts of that wrench (the handle, the fixed jaw, etc.) because you can't do much harm to them. The good news about the movable parts is a lot of that simple mechanism will be protected just by the way the parts fit together. If you can get it apart, you can likely save it. If you get the axis pin out that the worm rides on, you are about 80% to getting the wrench restored to working order.


I inherited this 15" Crescent wrench over 35 years ago. It was in a metal can along with a bunch of other tools and covered in dirt. A little work with a bronze brush and some kerosene; and it was fine. The machined surfaces weren't even rusted, just dirty. They cleaned up beautifully. You can still see and feel the tool marks on the rails.
Took it apart, cleaned everything, applied some oil and grease. Good as new.

I don't know what 's in that steel but it's good stuff.


Official forum enigma
Actual made-by-Crescent Tool Company crescent wrenches are decent tools. I have a set my Dad bought when I was about age 10, part of it is still in my wrench drawer. The larger ones are on my reloading bench, and get a lot of use setting die lock rings. Yes, I think of my Dad every time I pick them up to use them.


Notorious member
My best score off the road was a 20' high-test transport chain with hooks on both ends. I often do stop to check shiny objects, usually they end up being Chinese sockets or lipstick tubes.


High Steppes of Eastern Washington
A friend of mine when his daughters were little received a package of bungie cords from them for Christmas. His girls thought they were his favorite thing as he was always stopping to pick up any he saw in the road.

Tomme boy

Well-Known Member
I like the electrolysis way bette r than evaprorust. Cheaper too. I have a bunch of power supplies and triple chargers that work perfect. Takes longer sometimes but it will leave the aged black steel surface on it. I have found all kinds of axe heads out in fields while metal detecting. They are solid rust sometimes but they usually clean upvery well

Jeff H

NW Ohio

And assorted tools, even a bungee cord if it doesn't loo too bad.

This is an agricultural area, so I ask around before getting too attached to a road-find. No one has ever owned up to having lost any of the tools I've found. I found a broken BIC lighter on the road once and used it for a couple years to light the stove.