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woodstove door handle rusted stationary, cant turn.

 
gardener
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I have an old woodstove (actually relatively new and not used much) that someone wants to buy from me, but I foolishly had it sitting on a pallet with plastic tarps on it, and it has had some corrosion, including the handle, which now will not turn due to rust.

I sprayed some non-flammable penetrating stuff called Liquid Wrench on it from both sides, and tapped it with a hammer, and left it for a couple days and then did it again, but still no luck.

Anybody got any ideas for me to try?
 
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My father would have heated it with a torch until it was too hot to touch, but not so hot as to damage the temper of the metal.  Then he would have hit it with a hammer some more.  His physics explanation was that when two seized-up metal pieces expand as they are heated, the voids between them also expand, reducing the overall friction between them.  

It worked ... more often than you would think, not nearly as often as I saw him try it.

The same principle does, however, work on stuck jar lids pretty often, if you just hold them under the hot water tap in your sink.

His penetrating oil of choice was WD-40, which is somewhat flammable; but I can't imagine it works a whole lot better than whatever is in Liquid Wrench.

 
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Depending on how flimsy the handle is, I'd just hit it harder with a soft mallet. Soft mallet so you don't put marks on the stove. If you don't have one of those, you could just put a piece of wood on the place you want to strike.
 
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If penetrating fluid didn't do the trick (along with the hammer), I'd try heat next.  I think the heat works because if you heat one part of the rusted stuff, it will expand more than the mating part which should break the rust joint between them.  So I'd heat either the handle or the door but not both.  I'm guessing that if you heat the part on the outside it will expand away from the part on the inside.  ie heating a nut would loosen its grip on a bolt but heating the bolt would do the opposite.

When hammering, I'd aim for sharp raps that will jar the rust loose.  To avoid marring the metal, a hard wood block would be a good intermediary.  I don't think a soft mallet will give you the rapid jostle needed...

Barring all this working, how about some photos?
 
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The best penetrating oil you can get is actually a self concocted one of 50% brake fluid and 50% acetone. Try it and you'll use nothing else after that.
 
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I was thinking marine jelly at the contact points, let it sit for a bit, and then whack it with a soft mallet, reapplying at need. Marine jelly literally eats away at rust. Used it on seized bike chains in restorations, turned piles of rusted old bike chain into coils of rustless new-looking bike chain.

Though some on this site might have ideas as to why there might be better approaches.

-CK
 
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Try heating it up and melting some wax into the joints and handle area.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Wow.  thanks for all the replies.  I honestly wasn't sure I'd get much with this thread!  Internet was down at the ranch I'm looking after, so I couldn't get back to this sooner.  I did another application of liquid wrench and hammer yesterday, with no luck.  

With a bicycle chain a person can apply anything to a lot of its surface, or, if it's off, soak the entire chain in the oil of your choosing.  With this project, the door handle goes through the door, and that part is seized to the slot it goes through. If the stove was on it's back then a penetrating oil of sorts might naturally flow by gravity into the very thin gap between it and whatever in the door it rotates in...  and I might have to lay the stove on it's back so that I get good penetration.  It's rather heavy so I haven't done that yet.  

Right now, I'm spraying the liquid wrench, with the little plastic tube, as accurately as possible around the contact point where the handle goes into the door on both sides, but the majority is just accumulating to the point that gravity drips it down the door... not very efficient, or effective at this point.  I wipe off the excess and let it sit.  

Most of my tools are in chaotic storage at this point (as I have raw land with no structures apart from a semi-truck trailer and an outhouse as of yet), but I think I'll borrow a small propane torch and start there.  There is likely even one here at the ranch.  If that doesn't do the trick, at least it will burn or boil/steam off the liquid wrench and I can try some other of the suggestions.

Thanks all.  I'll let you know how things go in the next while.  :)
 
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