I raided my dad’s garage when I bought my own place and grabbed anything he didn’t want, ‘just in case’ I needed it later on. Most of it was covered in years of that lovely grease you get when enough dust settles on something, the rest in rust.
I’ve tried just about everything but the electrolysis method, with mixed results. Rust remover works, but is pricey and smells strongly. White Vinegar was effective, cheap but the smell again was the problem. Same with Turps and metho.
I’ve started trying a new method in the last few days with better results than any of the previous ones, using hot water and citric acid. It’s the stuff they make sherbet with and you can get it in the baking section of the supermarket and also brewery shops apparently.
Two tablespoons into some hot or boiling water, leave it overnight, wipe all the gunk that appears on the tools off and spray with an oil right away to stop them re-rusting, and a big part of the jobs done. Next step is the fine steel wool to bring back a shine, then a coat of machine oil. Will post some pics once this latest lot comes out.