Electrolysis For Jappaning Removal?

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Blog entry by BradJacob posted 10-22-2010 04:29 PM 1313 reads 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve seen a lot of electrolysis to remove rust from iron. In the examples, I’ve seen the paint come off. I’m restoring hand-planes and wondering why the Jappaning will not come off, while some other paints (in you tube videos) seem to fall right off – with electrolysis?

Will electrolysis remove the jappaning, or just “regular” paints?

-- - Brad

9 comments so far

View chrisstef's profile


15456 posts in 2424 days

#1 posted 10-22-2010 04:46 PM

Not sure about the electrolysis but my vote is for evaporust, probably safer and i vouch for its effectiveness.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Eric_S's profile


1551 posts in 2613 days

#2 posted 10-22-2010 04:46 PM

From what I understand the difference is in the method it was applied and cured . Japanning was applied and then baked on. Paint didn’t require baking and would therefore contain higher fraction of metallic dryers which is my guess why that would come off with electrolysis and jappanning doesn’t. I’m just going off some quick google research though, Im no expert.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View BradJacob's profile


36 posts in 2417 days

#3 posted 10-22-2010 04:54 PM

Eric – thanks. that’s beginning to make sense.

Chris – I’ve used Evaporust and LOVE it. I’m not so concerned about the danger of electrolysis – since I do it outside, etc… But the reason I’m resorting to electrolysis (over Evap) is that Evaporust makes is 100% safe on all finishes and paints – LOL!

-- - Brad

View Joe Watson's profile

Joe Watson

316 posts in 2964 days

#4 posted 10-22-2010 06:50 PM

probably alot of the reason japaning comes off is because rust is underneath some of it. ive used evaporust and lost some jappaning for that reason.

-- Got Wood?

View ajosephg's profile


1878 posts in 2979 days

#5 posted 10-22-2010 06:58 PM

electrolysis only works on surfaces that are electrically conductive. If the paint, jappanning is well adhered and without pinholes electrolysis won’t work.

-- Joe

View ic3ss's profile


386 posts in 2194 days

#6 posted 10-23-2010 12:03 AM

When I did my No. 8 plane, I screwed the bolt for the tote in one of the handle holes and connected my negative lead to that as it stuck out of the water. This will give you the electrical continuity that you need. The japanning will come off, it just needs a good electrical connection, proper solution mixture, enough electric power, and enough time. If you have a good connection all the way around, check your solution mixture. I don’t know what the best ratio would be, but for mine I added two cups of baking soda to about 3 gallons of water. It also has to be fully dissolved into a solution. Check your power supply. My recomendation is to use a car battery charger at about 5 amps or so. Many chargers have a 2 amp trickle setting, I would avoid that. Go to the next higher setting whether its 5 or 10 amps. Next, make sure it’s being given enough time to cook. Mine took every bit of two days before it all came off. Japanning is tough stuff, but electrolosis will take it off.

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

View BradJacob's profile


36 posts in 2417 days

#7 posted 10-23-2010 12:46 AM

Thanks ic3ss – I think that’s what I needed to hear ;-)

-- - Brad

View ic3ss's profile


386 posts in 2194 days

#8 posted 10-23-2010 02:09 AM

Glad to help. Let me know If you run into any problems with it. I’ll be expecting pictures of your finished product, I know it’ll be great. x-)

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

View Broglea's profile


677 posts in 2508 days

#9 posted 10-23-2010 02:09 AM

I first use paint stripper on the jappaning to soften it up followed by a day of electrolysis. It will come off with very little scrubbing.

I haven’t used evaporust, so I can’t comment on it.

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