We'll always prefer steel and wool tools to plastic and fiberglass ones. They simply have a heritage quality and classic look that inspires us to want to make stuff, and keep them on display.
But steel contains iron, and if you're a fan of older tools made from higher quality steels, can contain a lot of iron. Which, we all remember from science class and every visit to the antique store, causes rust.
But these old tools are worth pursuing, cleaning up, and sharpening to return them to their former glory. And the most efficient way: electrolysis, or using a direct current to cause a chemical reaction.
There's a variety of methods but the simplest one avoids any harsh or caustic chemicals, and relies on stuff you probably already have: a plastic bucket, a car battery charger, and baking soda.
George Vondriska from the Woodworkers Guild of America has all the details. Check out his series here:
Removing Rust with Electrolysis [WWGOA.com]