Last summer I acquired a Sears Craftsman dust collector (113.299780) at auction for $50. It had been stored in a barn for quite some time (and it showed). Lots of rust, dust and other debris and possibly some animals living inside. But it did work, so the purchase was made.
It sat in the garage for a year, until a couple weekends ago the work to clean it up began. The simplest way to attack the rust was to sand all the surfaces with 150 grit sandpaper. To get started, the thing was completely disassembled.
With all the surfaces sanded smooth, or as smooth as possible, several coats of Rust-Oleum spray paint were applied. In keeping with the color scheme in my garage, gray and black were used (and a little blue).
When all the painting was completed, the parts were left to dry for a week. Then the re-assembly could begin. Using stainless steel hardware, the motor pieces were the starting point. Since I could not purchase the bolts in the correct length, each was shortened using a Dremel.
The upper and lower parts of the air chamber were sealed with a vinyl gasket that did not survive the dis-assembly process. In it’s place some closed-cell weather stripping was used (which works great).
The only putting the thing back together was a thread that broke off where the tube mounts to the air chamber. Theses are not nuts welded on, but rather extruded holes that are tapped. Cheap, and the rust must have weakened it. To get around the issues, a bolt was run through in the opposite direction and held in place with lock washer/nut combination.