On many renovation projects, I have been faced with repainting old cast-iron radiators. Some of these old warhorses are laden with lumpy paint and scaly buildup that is almost impossible to remove. The simple, inexpensive rig shown here makes the job quick and easy.
It’s made of two parts: a 9-in. length of 1/4-in. braided-steel cable and a 6-in. length of 3/8-in.-dia. CPVC tubing. My hardware clerk cuts the cable and tubing to length. The cable slides inside the tube. The fit should be snug, but not tight.
I use locking pliers to fray and bend one cable end into a rotary wire brush. I wrap the other end with a bit of duct tape to make it compatible with the drill chuck.
The tool is easy to control with a variable-speed drill as it grinds away the grunge. When the wires begin to bend from use, I reverse the drill to maintain an aggressive angle for the wire bristles. I always wear work gloves and eye and lung protection when using this tool.
Grayson Murphy, Cumberland, RI