T Nation

Old Weights?

Not sure where this goes. I just bought weights from a family friend (405 lbs) and a bench (sucks, need to find a new one) for $250. This equipment is fairly old. The guy is 76 years old, and he used to be a bodybuilder, which is why he has a ton of weightlifting equipment. Thing is, the bar has a lot of brown on it(hands turn brown when you grip it), and the weights have rust on them. I don’t think this is a problem, but I don’t have any experience in longtivity of weight equipment, so I want to ask you guys, is the brown bar and rusty weights a problem?

rusty weights should be a problem, but I’d be careful with the bar if it’s started to rust. It might be weaker then normal, and more likely to break.

I wish my parents would’ve just let me get a brand new 300 pound set for $200, but they wanted to get enough weights for my brother for the cheapest price, and this was the cheapest. i don’t know how weak the bar is right now, but that is something im worrying about.

If the bar isn’t flaking rust off all over the floor then I doubt the metallurgy is compromised. It’s an oly bar right? If it is, do the ends still spin freely independent of the center of the bar? This is important. It keeps the momentum of the weights from spinning the bar and messing up your grip. If that’s all OK then you’re good to go.

When you can actually squat all that weight then you can worry about the superficial condition of the bar.

Friend of mine keeps his weights, bar, bench and power rack outside most of the year. He likes to lift in his backyard. It’s all rusty except for the ends of the barbell. Works fine for him. He’s been using it just about every day for the past 20 years. Although, it’s time for him to buy a new bench.

Try and wipe some of the surface rust off and see what you have left of the bar. I assume that most bars are stainless or galvanised steel which only rust a tiny bit compared to say mild steel and iron.

Rusty bars build character :stuck_out_tongue:

[quote]MC sp3 wrote:
If the bar isn’t flaking rust off all over the floor then I doubt the metallurgy is compromised. It’s an oly bar right? If it is, do the ends still spin freely independent of the center of the bar? This is important. It keeps the momentum of the weights from spinning the bar and messing up your grip. If that’s all OK then you’re good to go.

When you can actually squat all that weight then you can worry about the superficial condition of the bar.[/quote]

Actually, my brother does squat more than 400lbs, so if the bar is weaker, that might be a problem.

I little rust dust never hurt anyone - IF it is only rust dust (whatever that even means). Weights are weights, new or old. Make do with what you have. You might be able to clean the rust up with some steel wool, but it really isn’t necessary.

How does the bench ‘suck’? Unstable or just uncomfortable?

Unless it was a piece of crap to begin with (which it doesn’t sound like), you have no worry of breaking the bar. Oxidation is on the surface and the rust itself protects the underlying metal from further corrosion. Like the Dude said: get some steel wool and clean up your equipment. Then, rub a light coat of machine oil on to keep it rust free.

If you don’t want to clean it that’s fine too. You have free chalk that stains your hand red.

Unless you see pitting (holes) or the rust is coming off in big flakes it is doubtful you have anything to worry about. Steel wool, sand paper, a nice buffing wheel and you can remove it if it bothers you. If you do sand / steel wool it, and its not a stainless steel bar, just make sure to spray it down with some primer paint for cars, that will protect it.

Wow, almost a year on this site and I finally get to answer a question I have knowledge about that doesn’t involving me saying eat more… Go go PhD in metallurgy.

[quote]TheDudeAbides wrote:
I little rust dust never hurt anyone - IF it is only rust dust (whatever that even means). Weights are weights, new or old. Make do with what you have. You might be able to clean the rust up with some steel wool, but it really isn’t necessary.

How does the bench ‘suck’? Unstable or just uncomfortable?[/quote]

Well, the bench sucks because it sits up really high (toes touch the floor barely, blocks of wood can be used to fix it if I wanted), has a lot of padding (feels weird, very soft), not very long, has posts but they are really narrow, has incline but doesn’t have the pin or anything to hold the incline up, and the bottom of it is rusted.

If I really wanted to, its useable, but I would prefer finding a bench that im more comfortable with.

As long as the integrity of the bar isn’t comprised I wouldn’t worry about it.

Also, there is a chemical that should remove a lot of the residue from the rusting…The name escapes me right now though. -Didnt read all posts if someone already said this-

[quote]fisch wrote:
Well, the bench sucks because it sits up really high (toes touch the floor barely, blocks of wood can be used to fix it if I wanted), has a lot of padding (feels weird, very soft), not very long, has posts but they are really narrow, has incline but doesn’t have the pin or anything to hold the incline up, and the bottom of it is rusted.

If I really wanted to, its useable, but I would prefer finding a bench that im more comfortable with.[/quote]

It sounds like the bench is made for a standard weight set, not Olympic. An Olympic bench has wide posts because you are dealing with heavy weights. The wider the posts, the more support for heavier weights. You will have to do quite the balancing act when loading the bar.

I have seen Gold’s Gym brand benches at, of all places, Walmart. Looks decent and you can squat in it from the back. Cost around $100. If that’s not an option, go to craigslist.com and search for weight benches in your area.

[quote]RebornTN wrote:
As long as the integrity of the bar isn’t comprised I wouldn’t worry about it.

Also, there is a chemical that should remove a lot of the residue from the rusting…The name escapes me right now though. -Didnt read all posts if someone already said this-[/quote]

Forgot about this stuff, good point. They sell it at Auto Zone and car part stores, used it extensively along with Bondo to fix my first car, an 87 ford thunderbird with years of chicago road salt damage.

[quote]Ratchet wrote:
RebornTN wrote:
As long as the integrity of the bar isn’t comprised I wouldn’t worry about it.

Also, there is a chemical that should remove a lot of the residue from the rusting…The name escapes me right now though. -Didnt read all posts if someone already said this-

Forgot about this stuff, good point. They sell it at Auto Zone and car part stores, used it extensively along with Bondo to fix my first car, an 87 ford thunderbird with years of chicago road salt damage.[/quote]

That sounds like an idea. Right now I plan on using a Rust Stripper (put it on a drill) then spray painting the weights. Then doing it to the bar also (black bar & weights, should look nice). Though I might use this chemical if its cheap enough, it sounds like a lot less work.

Chemical doesn’t seem like it would work, I think I have to soak the weights and bar in it for a couple hours (at least from what i’ve read online about it). I don’t think I have containers big enough to soak 45lb weights or the bar, so im not sure what to do.

Does anyone know a chemical that you don’t have to soak the weights in (thats relativly cheap)? I don’t know if it would hurt the grip of the bar if I used the Rust Stripper on it. Plus, I think the chemical would be a lot more effective.

Anyone have an idea as to how I can do this?