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Electrolysis: on the cheap for vintage tool people

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Blog entry by Bertha posted 1142 days ago 5795 reads 24 times favorited 120 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve got some things with brown stuff on them. Lesser men call it rust; true LJ’s don’t recognize this “rust” as a worthy foe. To follow is a real-time electrolysis setup.

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I’m no expert on electrolysis, but being stupid has never stopped me from doing stupid things. I’m going to blog an electrolysisi system for rusty tools in real time. You accept all risk, as I’ll be deemed incompetent pre-trial, so good luck in the civil.
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First, you’ll need a 7000+ gas generartor(I prefer Generac) and a quality meter (I prefer Fluke). You’ll also need some way to ground yourself to the Cosmos.

I’M KIDDING, you silly willies! You don’t need much other than a bucket, a battery charger, and some othercheap stuff. Take the journey with me; it may work; may not.

There’s a lot of argument about what to dissolve in your tank. This is what I’ve used with success:

I’m told that modern phones can do fifth dimensional stuff with barcodes, so, here’s a barcode:

So far, I’ve invested in:
1) a tub $5
2) 12 gauge wire $5
3) Catalyst $3
4) Battery charger, $30 or so

If you’re after science, ask someone who doesn’t do it for a living (e.g. me); there are fantastic treatises on electrolysis, boring as they can be; this simple blog is for those that choose Milwaukee’s Best Ice instead of Coors.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog



120 comments so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12246 posts in 2692 days


#1 posted 1142 days ago

Looking forward to seeing the #8 when your done….

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6747 posts in 1746 days


#2 posted 1142 days ago

ha ha ha ha ha. You crack me up. I’m actually very interested. I usually use naval jelly to de-rust my stuff.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View ajosephg's profile

ajosephg

1839 posts in 2156 days


#3 posted 1142 days ago

Let me know how many amps it takes. I don’t feel like buying a battery charger, but can get a 12 volt DC power supply that puts out 2 amp on the cheap.

PS – don’t forget to buy a couple of chunks of rebar or equiv.

-- Joe

View Drew's profile

Drew

46 posts in 1283 days


#4 posted 1142 days ago

Coors… Milwaukee Best ice,....... SAM ADAMS BOSTON ALE!!!!!

-- If A equals success, then the formula is, A = X + Y + Z, Where X is work, Y is play, And Z is keep your mouth shut." -Albert Einstein.

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4738 posts in 2477 days


#5 posted 1141 days ago

Now you are talking on my level.
I will be waiting for the next installment.

I also am partial to Fluke,
Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2030 days


#6 posted 1141 days ago

Way to post Al. Great subject, handy to know about and some fun thrown in for entertainment. The sign of a happy woodworker sharing something of value in a very friendly humorous way.
Looking forward to the next installment. Well done.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View mafe's profile

mafe

9429 posts in 1684 days


#7 posted 1141 days ago

Great just great.
I have not done this yet, acually I havent since I cant find the soda here in DK…
I have used vinegar and it works, also some wonderful gel, but my charger is waiting to be powered up.
Thank you.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1288 days


#8 posted 1141 days ago

Mads, I’m told that if desperate, one can cook down baking soda or powder on a metal tray for an hour at 300F. I can’t vouch for this but maybe google can. This is the stuff I’ve always used with success. I’m going to try to stop and buy some rebar on the way home. Else, that wrench is going to be sacrificed as an anode. I got distracted last night, fixing a lowly trinket for a friend.

I asked Steak for some help setting it up and this was his response:

What could I be doing here?

What on Earth could it be?

A little roof for a broken trinket!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View saddletramp's profile

saddletramp

994 posts in 1233 days


#9 posted 1141 days ago

Been meaning to try this but didn’t know how to go about it and was too lazy to try to wade through the longwinded explaination that I found on line. I am waiting with baited breath (couldn’t find any crawlers so I baited it with sardines) for your continued tutorial. BTW, do you know if a trickle charger will work or will I have to use this as an excuse to buy the real thing?

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1288 days


#10 posted 1141 days ago

I think a trickle will work just fine, Tramp. I’m no expert, though. I’ll look closely when I get home what settings I’ve been using. I think I paid $30 for mine at WalMart about 5 years ago or more. I don’t even know if it still works, to be honest with you. I might be headed to the store too!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3042 posts in 1270 days


#11 posted 1141 days ago

I have not actually done this either but I think the cheap charger work the best. Not sure of that but you guys have just become the experts. BTW you do know the definition of an expert…...
an ex is a has been…..
a spurt is a drip under pressure…...just had to throw that in.

View ajosephg's profile

ajosephg

1839 posts in 2156 days


#12 posted 1141 days ago

I’ve heard that some newer chargers won’t work if they aren’t connected to a battery. So – don’t spend your $ until you know.

-- Joe

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1288 days


#13 posted 1141 days ago

OK, naysayers, I have put in a solid 30 minutes into this project tonight. I have family in town and every minute in the shop is a month I’ll be in the doghouse.
I bought supplies:

there is some steel bar stock, some brass bar stock (unrelated to this project; just proud that I found it AFTER my shoulder plane project), and some clever bronze grounding apparati that some may find intriguing; others boring.

I’ll cut my anode steel stock using a pneumatic wheel (metal haters, shield your eyes)

OMG, I hate this interface. I’m going to rough the steel ends to get a nice bite on my terminal. I cleaned them up pretty-like because that’s what we do.

Added unnecessary locknuts and trimmed the excess, because that’s what we do.

This interface is about to make me pack it up. Here’s the general idea: I’ll parallel these two steel anodes, and all this bronze trickery and metalwork is totally without merit. It just looks cool, nothing more.

Here’s the general idea, complete with my cute little rubber diamond plate mat (style points only; $5 wasted).

I’m getting too aggravated with this blog interface to continue without profanity tonight; I’ll have to continue tomorrow. FYI, Lowes had a sale on Irwin squeeze clamps; $20 for 4 mediums and a couple throw-aways. Just a heads up.

I bought six packs because I’m friggin awesome.

I also have become awkwardly obsessed with brass ruler stops. I’m not sure what they’re supposed to be used for but for transfering, forget Starrett and writing instruments. Like two bucks.

We’ll be turning this thing on soon; I promise. Good night, my friends.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12246 posts in 2692 days


#14 posted 1141 days ago

Well, you have to get what ever progress you can. Looking for tomorrows update.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View saddletramp's profile

saddletramp

994 posts in 1233 days


#15 posted 1140 days ago

Al, still have a good supply of sardines. ;^)) BTW, those are stair gauges, you clamp them on at the proper spots on your framing square to do the layout for the cuts on stair stringers.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

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