I import steel gears for the mini-mill and the mini-lathe. I have sold over 200 sets of gears to people all over the world. Most buyers are machinist, used to working with wire brushes and getting dirty hands cleaning gears covered with grease or a little surface rust. Most carbon steel will rust. However, I show nice shiny gears in the photo’s. My Bad. The real gears have to be cleaned because there is some “gook” used to preserve them from rust while shipping across the salty brine. (Ocean to you land lubbers.)
Most gears are well “gooked” but a few, especially the change gears are only “oiled” a bit light. There is a coating but looks like almost none and as shown here, have definitely gathered some surface rust. The first picture is a worst case gear I could find (65 tooth change gear ). It is the largest in the group and the only one showing rust. It really does look nasty but looks are deceiving.
I think some salty air got into the last shipment. Only one side had this rust and all the other gears clustered in one group on a long bolt with this one had no rust. It is cosmetic and does not make the gear defective.
A spray with WD40, about a 5 minute soak and two to three minutes with the brush shown and the gear is photo perfect. Perhaps too much work for some people with arthritic hands. It is hard for me. A rotary wire brush would do it faster and easier.
I could clean and inspect all the gears, shine them up like shown in the store photos, re-coat with that heavy LPS3 grease for maintaining protection in storage and sell them for about 50% more in price. The buyer will still have to clean off the preservative.
So for honesty in advertising I have to say that some gears may have some surface rust on them. If cleaning of gears doesn’t meet your expectations I understand. For the sake of keeping the cost low and the fact they need to be cleaned anyway, I am not planning to add cleaning labor cost to the product.
Perhaps there IS a market for bright shiny gears at a premium price?