Using the Glowforge to Clean Off Rust

I couldn’t find any open threads on this, though it’s definitely been covered before.

I was given some halberds that belonged to a friend and had been living in a garage for…a couple of decades. They have a healthy all-over coating of rust and before I went after them with the standard steel wool, and wire scrapers I thought I’d give the laser a try.

It totally worked! This is using the MacBook setting. The top is as-is, and the bottom at half speed - and no real difference (the darker sections are still moist from being cleaned off) so speedier is the way to go.

I’m holding off on doing the rest until I get some rust inhibitor spray or wax so that they won’t just re-rust immediately, but I’m impressed so I thought I’d share.


Now that’s an outside the box use case!


Yup! Jewelers saws are notorious as the slightest speck of rust will make them break. I still have some for ~50 years with no spec of rust. If not used for a few months the pressure spray cans quit working but the trigger pump one has lasted 5 years and still pumping away.


I nominate this as a special case practical cut! Very cool idea. And man, are there a LOT of rusty tools in my dad’s old barn…


Gotta give this a try.


I didn’t know its name. Creative solution there, I like the way you think. I presume they are replicas?


Always good to keep your halberds, glaives and guisarmes in top condition! Great results. I will have to keep that technique in mind.



I was curious if the resulting particles would negatively affect your :glowforge:

But I googled it and found this. Apparently Rust is not contagious :mask: :joy:

How to Keep Metal Parts From Rusting - Latem Industries


That is just amazing! How long did it take to do that? Do you have to clean your GF because of all the rust dust in it, or does the inline fan get rid of it? If you do a trace, will it get the whole head instead of doing squares? Realizing, of course, that you did blocks so you could test it. :slight_smile:


Yes in that they’re not ~600 years old, but no in that they weren’t made to replicate anything. They were made to be useful weapons :slight_smile: My use is decorative, but they hold an edge!

No noticeable spread even if it were an issue :slight_smile:

Those blocks were like 10 and 15 minutes, and are vaguely 1.5x3".
I did clean the :glowforge: but found no residue at all.
A trace is in my future - as is removing the crumb tray and balancing the whole thing so it’s flat (the connectors you can see at the bottom are about 1.5" so for the test I put them in front of where the head would go, but I’d like to de-rust those too!)




Wow! I use Johnson’s paste wax to “seal” my low carbon steel tools after rust removal. This is wild use of a glowforge. Thanks for the writeup.


If they had lasers to clean their halberds in the 1100s they would have used them for that. So sad what the SCA has become. It is like they forgot it was supposed to be a Victorian Fantasy from Berkley and only went with the reality (in Trimaris anyway)


It’s not that fast, but it’s honestly like that…just .007" at a time :smiley:

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Wondering what looks like some sort of liquid being created as the laser moves? Where does the the iron in the rust go to? It doesn’t seem to be flying off or coating anything. Or would the laser work to make wootz steel from a pile of rust?

Get Boeshield T9 spray I think it is. learned about it from my Florida based Father who uses it on the beds/tables of his woodworking machinery. NO RUST!


Looked it up and is basically the same approach as LPS3. They guarantee 6 mo. working. I can verify over 50 years for LPS3 and in Miami and Orlando, but there is probably not much difference. There was a time when LPS3 was hard to find away from costal marine cities, but Amazon changed all that.


What a cool idea, although it looks like a lengthy process.


An hour and 40 minutes for the full side of the blade…which is a long time, but made less so that I get to spend that time watching TV, and gluing up other projects, etc. rather than elbow deep in wet rust!