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tech tip - rust removal

 
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sirstude
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PostPosted: Mon, May 14 2007, 11:02 pm    Post subject: tech tip - rust removal Reply with quote

I have read about using electrolysis to remove rust so finally gave it a try. The results are great. This seems to be pretty easy on the parts and the environment. I have seen this in Rod and Custom and on the H.A.M.B. to give some credit.

Parts list
A couple of plastic 6 gallon buckets.
Battery
Charger
1/2 inch or so Re-Bar a bit longer than the bucket.
Wire
Washing Soda

I cut the bottom out of one of the buckets except for 4 equally spaced tabs about 1.5 inches in diameter. I then drilled inch holes in the tabs. I then put that bucket into the other bucket. I slid the re-bar into the holes in the tabs until it bottomed out. I then drilled a hole on each side of the rebar near the top of the bucket and wired them in place. Then using some copper wire I had around, (red) I tied the tops of the 4 pieces of rebar together. The idea is to surround the piece to be derusted with the electrodes.

I then cut 2 notches in the top of the bucket and ran another piece of rebar across the top of the bucket. I connected another piece of copper wire to it (black).

I then connected the red wires to the positive side of the battery and then hooked that side up to the battery charger.

I filled the bucket up with water and then added a handful of washing soda to the water. This makes it conductive and more is not any better. I think the original article I read said to use about a tablespoon or 2 per gallon of water.

I then suspended the hinges from the rebar across the top using tie wire. Make sure that it does not touch the rebar on the sides. Connect the black wire to the minus side of the battery and hook up the charger.

Let this run for a few days, you will see bubbles in the water as it works, those bubbles are the hydrogen gas given off by the process. When the bubbles seems to have quit, all the iron oxide will have been converted back to steel. You then can remove the pieces and wire brush off the residue. You will find nice metal under that black layer. The hinges I started out with were completely frozen into a block of rust. They now work just like new. I took me about 10 minutes with the wire brush on the bench grinder to clean the residue off of them. I later finished them up a bit with the bead blaster where the brush could not get to. The stuff left in the bucket is just rusty water and can be disposed of like any other dirty water.


Picture of the hinges, top is the cleaned up hinge, bottom is the block of rust, and the hinge I started with was much worse than the bottom one.



Picture of the electrolysis setup.

Here is a working shot, not the prettiest stuff in the world.

Another shot of the hinges

Sorry about the thumbnails, but I cannot seem to get the entire picture to post. You can look at them on webshots under sirstude.

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river1
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PostPosted: Tue, May 15 2007, 1:34 am    Post subject: Re: tech tip - rust removal Reply with quote

good tech

sirstude wrote:
Sorry about the thumbnails, but I cannot seem to get the entire picture to post. You can look at them on webshots under sirstude.


i just ckicked on the thumbnail, it opened bigger.

later jim
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58 Yeoman
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PostPosted: Tue, May 15 2007, 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neat tip, Doug. Washing soda? Same as baking soda?
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parklane
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PostPosted: Tue, May 15 2007, 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

58 Yeoman wrote:
Neat tip, Doug. Washing soda? Same as baking soda?


No, it's different. Try borax - like the old 20 mule team kind.

John

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sirstude
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PostPosted: Thu, May 17 2007, 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is the washing soda I used

Doug



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