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Preserving an 18 Pdr Shell

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Hi everyone,


Hopefully you can help me. I am a teacher who loves the First World War, have lots of family history and have travelled to WF plenty of times, with family and with my students. We teach medicine on the WF at my school and I have bought some artefacts to help students understand things with better in a more hands on way.  

Anyway, one thing I have bought is an 18 pdr shell and would like to try and remove the rust carefully and preserve it properly. What would people recommend I do? In particular I would quite like to get the brass band round the bottom back to its best if possible. 

Thanks for any help you can give me!


Kind regards






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There are various threads on here regarding rust removal and I suggest you have a browse. Methods I have successfully used in the past are electrolysis, citric acid and diluted molasses. The former is the ‘museum standard’ method, but it requires setting up and monitoring. Chemical methods can be left to do their own thing. 

It wouldn’t be difficult to find an 18pr cartridge case and a No.80 or No.85 fuze if you wanted to turn into into an externally complete round. BTW. The drive band is made of copper, not brass.

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Posted (edited)

For a one-off it would be worth asking a nearby engine reconditioners if they could glass bead blast it, in exchange for beer tokens or just some beer.  I have a friendly one who let me use their cabinet.  Chemical or electrolysis rust removal techniques wont touch any accumulations of dirt on the drive band.  If you can get it bead (not shot - this is much too aggressive) blasted this will strip it to bare metal. This will rerust very quickly. Allow it to rerust for about a month, then wire brush it until it is a nice even texture. You can then either leave as is, coat with a wax, or treat with Kurust  (which leaves it black) and lacquer or paint as you desire.



Below is a German 77mm shell which was in similar condition. Bead blasted, left, brushed, waxed with long term rust preventing wax, lacqured.1593449098385301864823.jpg.7782ad4566db008caa3909f61a35509e.jpg

Edited by ServiceRumDiluted

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