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THE JOURNEY INTO RESTORING OLD TOOLS #3: Removing Rust with Citric Acid 1

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Blog entry by Dennisgrosen posted 02-11-2011 11:41 PM 7508 reads 3 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: some dirty DIY gutterwork Part 3 of THE JOURNEY INTO RESTORING OLD TOOLS series Part 4: Removing Rust with Citric Acid 2 »

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. Removing Rust with Citric Acid 1
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. Remember this is a travel into a new world for me and I will try different methods along the way .
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Feel free to smile , luagh ,come with comments and advice´s along the way ,since most of what I write , you proppebly already know .
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The only thing you have to do, to have the oppetunity for it , is to submit to my punishment of the english language and sick humor
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what I do hope is that you can pick up one or two things you can use yourself
and enjoy the journey with a me.
I will try to devide the blogs so people with slow conections (myself incl.) can have the joy too or at least have the oppetunity to make a rant over the things I try in the labritory (cave)...lol

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This is pretty much where we left in the last blog ,ready to rock´roll
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and a place to do it
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Table , gutter , container , wather and Citric Acid
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Why using Citric Acid :
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becourse its a very weak organic acid and is found in Lemons , Oranges ,Limes and other citrus fruits that contain high concentrations of citric acid
its environmentally friendly ,a quick simple and safe way of removing rust on iron and old tools to drop it in a bath made with a solution of wather and Citric Acid
the Citric Acid is used all over in the food-industry to add saur-taste to it
Many different acids can be used to remove rust from iron and steel. The advantage that citric acid has over some other acids, is that it is less caustic, , while remaining quite effective.
and can bee tossed in the sure/drain when finished with it
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when I say its a simple and safe ,then don´t forget that Mixing acid with water can be Dangerus So, when diluting acid, pour the acid in the water “slowly”. And follow your safety rules by wearing goggles and apron. (This is primarily a reminder to those who insist on using concentrated hydrochloric, sulphuric or nitric acid)
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How much do you have to use :
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in the article made by James D Thompson where I did read about using Citric he mention
he used a cup of it to 1 gallon of wather …..OH BOY did I get confused…...yes
becourse was a cup …. an expresso cup , coffee cup , teacup or on a size of a mug
so I desided to use my Deciliter scoop and used 1½ Deciliter per gallon and it went
very well …...since then I have discovered in another blog Don posted http://lumberjocks.com/topics/23512 from Roger Clark where he posted a card with all kinds of meassurements…..that one cup is 237 milliliters. 1/2 liquid pint (excactly) ... thank´s Roger :-)
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Mr. Thompson did mention in the article that others used alot less than he did ….so from my experiments and him its alright to experiment
and use what you feel for more or less…..considering the timefactor you want to use
If, after mixing several minutes, you see citric acid crystals forming on the bottom of the mixing vessel, don’t add any more crystals. The solution is at or beyond the saturation point. .
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Little for the nerds
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solubility in wather is 73g/100ml at 20 degree Celsius

Citric acid + rust yields iron oxide, carbon monoxide, water and hydrogen.

C6H8O7 + Fe2O3—————-‡ 2 FeO + 6 CO + 2 H2O + 2 H2

The balanced equation shows that 1 mole of citric acid will react with 1 mole of iron(III) oxide to produce 2 moles of Iron(II) oxide, 6 moles of carbon monoxide, 2 moles of water and 2 moles of hydrogen.
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This is what happens…..in theory.
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You can alter the reaction rate in 3 ways.
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1. Concentration: Adding acid (before saturation) increases the number of hydrogen citrate ions that collide with rust particles.
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2. Stirring: Mixes the solution, diffusing away reacted particles and exposing the rust surface to additional ions.
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3. Increase solution temperature: Increases velocity of the ions, resulting in a more violent collision with the rust particles.
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As the reaction time increases, concentration decreases as ions are used up and products formed.
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This is simply a basic explanation for those wishing to know what happens.
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How much do you need ?
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I started with a ½kg container becourse I cuoldn´t get other size at the store but resently I bought
three 1kg bags of it and I know five puonds ,5kg and 10kg shuold bee possiple to buy
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Where you can buy it ?
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search online or find a store that sells cemicals or sell / deliver to brewery´s and people who makes there own beer/wine
here in Denmark 1kg cost 85 kr. = 12 euro at the moment and it shuold bee possiple to found 5pounds for about 20$ in USA
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is re-using the soluted Acid possiple ?
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yes it is when you are finish for the day set it a side in a container with a lid and safe it to the next job
and if you want you can refresh it with adding new Citric powder to the solution , to ceep up the trength
when the solution is tooo nasty to look at then just toss it in the drain, remember its freindly to the invirement
and will be cleaned from the water …...at least here in Denmark :-)
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Is it safe to use ?
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yes it is I don´t use rubber gloves , but since my skin is thin and don´t like alot of things I do have
a bucket with fresh wather besides me both to dip my hands in after some working with the acid
and to dip the iron in to get the acid off it before continueing the work with it
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Does it smell ?
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yes it does smell a little in a fresh cut , but not strong like other acid´s or amonia can do
it smell a little like sour feets the first copple of hours and the first two handwash wont take it
but remember its only in a fresh cut
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Do you need to agitate the solution ?
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well I´m not sure about it , but since I want to get over with the job as fast as possiple
I do stear the water from time to time when I take parts half up and scrup them over
with a very soft brass wire-brush
the wire-brush ain´t used to take of the rust but more to clean the rust from the dung
coming from the collssion of the particles against the rust
so the acid gets free axcess to the rust and my parts is clean when they get up
( look at nr.2 in the nerd – section)
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Do you need to heat the solution of acid ?
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No you don´t , but ceep it to normal room temp. as min. or above
Why?
I remeber from earlyer jobs when I was young and beautyfull….now I´m only AND
that increasing temp. on many things simply gets faster when it comes to many jobs
you want cemicals to do
and same is possiple here , do to the nr.3 in the nerd section :-)
and thats why I raised the temp. to be between 55-65 degrees celsius ….still need to
be able to get my hands in it ….with out being cooked :-O
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how long does it take ?
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its all depending of how much you have to de-rust at the same time
and how rusty the things are
how much Citric powder you have used to 1liter/1gallon of wather
and how warm your solution is
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so every ting from between ½ hour to over 24 hours , but long time work gives another
thing to deal with you will see it furhter down on a picture , not difficult to deal with but nasty
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here is the sawblades ready to dive in the gutter
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now you can start to loosen the laughter muscles , becourse I thought I was realy clever when I said to myself
why shuold I work on my knees with the sawblades , so I placed the gutter beside the container I mixed the
Citric acid in and started to pure the half of the two gallon over in the gutter ….............DOOH !........
NOT SO CLEVER AGAIN
since there was only room for one cradle on the table and there is a little differents in the level of the floor
we have the disastre of the day
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here you see the disastre :—((
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Citric all over the floor and right in to my open toolbox witch is a bucket with a toolbelt in and out
so that did take me a copple of hours to clean the tools and re-oil them and some of them had to
be on the radiator over night to dry up
so a lot later than expected I made a new mix ….and remebered to place the gutter on the floor
with two cradles
why didn´t I just do that first time and why didn´t I shorten the gutter down to 1 meter just becourse
they are expencive and wanted to spare some money on the long run …..maybee
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to get people with slow conections a chance I say…......
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Th-th-th-that´s all foks … thank´s for looking
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hope you will return in the next episode where you can hope I
return with some more interressting serius boreing stuff

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take care
Dennis



14 comments so far

View ShopTinker's profile

ShopTinker

880 posts in 1463 days


#1 posted 02-12-2011 12:45 AM

I can’t wait to see how those saw blades turn out. This citric acid method is very intriguing. It’s environmentally friendly. At wok we use big citric acid tablets to de-chlorinate water from lines that have been super chlorinated to clean them.

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View steliart's profile

steliart

1808 posts in 1383 days


#2 posted 02-12-2011 01:24 AM

Great, thanks Dennis

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - http://www.steliart.com --

View tdv's profile

tdv

1119 posts in 1765 days


#3 posted 02-12-2011 01:32 AM

Wow Dennis I bet you have the cleanest tool bag in Aero

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View Dave's profile

Dave

11186 posts in 1535 days


#4 posted 02-12-2011 04:05 AM

Dude I thought I was doing my homework with my plane refurbishing. I DON’T COMPARE. I bow to the science lesson. And am torn with the removal of the rust on my plane irons. It will also remove the 150 year old patina that has formed on my parts. This is Great reading Dennis , I am patiently waiting for the next episode.
oh and I did laugh many times. Funny stuff

ShopTinker good one you funie too
;)
If they can’t find you hansom at least they can find you handy

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View lilredweldingrod's profile

lilredweldingrod

2495 posts in 1802 days


#5 posted 02-12-2011 05:26 AM

Dang, Dennis, when you split that acid, you got it all over my popcorn.

View Don's profile

Don

514 posts in 1768 days


#6 posted 02-12-2011 06:21 AM

Fascinating stuff Dennis. And your “punishing” of the English language is part of your charm, keep it up. :-)

-- Don - I wood work if I could. Redmond WA.

View S4S's profile

S4S

2123 posts in 1376 days


#7 posted 02-12-2011 07:13 AM

You lost me at ” sour feets ” ..............still laughing…....

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1810 days


#8 posted 02-12-2011 01:48 PM

thank´s for the comment´s , they brought smile to me … :—))

Shop Tinker :
even though I thought you was pushing the tablets thrugh the pipes and used them the same way as
brushes in the first seconds and laughed , I believe you from what I have hear and read about Citric acid

Steliart: thank´s for looking

Trevor :
Yep… its very clean now so is the tools , a toolbox filled with 3 inch´s of acid realy can force you
to work quickly…..LOL

SuperDav :
I know what you meen but there will still bee the pits and holes from the bad virus rustygithis
just don´t polishe the blades after the bath
and the patina on the wood won´t disapear and my IMHO its better to have clean iron´s and
to know what you have to deal with :-)

Rand :
I´m truly sorry for your snack´s , I know how it is when someone snap it away right before
it tuch the tung and nearly can taste it
but realy bringing food to the labritory …....not so smart ….you know I´m a walking accident maker
the bigger the better is the lough …...LOL

Don :
thank´s for looking … I will try my best to whip it a little more …LOL

Moment :
I did smiled when I write it too :-) and thought here I will lost some ,since not many will
stay in a room where sour feet´s is waving in the air….LOL

take care
Dennis

View Schwieb's profile

Schwieb

1543 posts in 2156 days


#9 posted 02-12-2011 02:42 PM

Thanks Dennis,

This is very helpfull. I appreciated the chemistry lesson too. I haven’t thought about moles since you daughter was in college. Today I try to find some Citric aid powder and get going on this. I’ve done similar “dumb things” ——happens when we get in a hurry most of the time.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1810 days


#10 posted 02-12-2011 03:02 PM

Ken:
glad I could help a little
yaah I know what you meen when you are in a hurry but this time it simply was
one of those stupid not thinking things thrugh I´m famuos for ….LOL
the gutter tipped all over in a pretty fast slowmotion way and me looking at it
with a dropped jaw couldn´t believe what I saw when all the acid splashed out

take care
Dennis

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7772 posts in 1615 days


#11 posted 02-12-2011 09:24 PM

Just catching up on this now. . . Great blog, Dennis! I am learning a lot and also it is very entertaining. I am looking forward to the next lesson, professor. :)

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1810 days


#12 posted 02-12-2011 09:39 PM

Sheila :
thank´s for looking and the kind words :-)
but something we have to clear , the proffessor lives in England and his name is Martyn ….lol

take care
Dennis

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7772 posts in 1615 days


#13 posted 02-12-2011 09:45 PM

I meant no disrespect to Martyn – rest assured! He is absolutely THE Professor of his wonderful boxes! I just meant that I feel like I am in chemistry class again. You have really researched your subject so well and have done a great job of teaching us. You are a fine instructor.

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View swirt's profile

swirt

1948 posts in 1667 days


#14 posted 02-13-2011 06:41 AM

Sorry to read about the spill Dennis. Thanks for sharing the mishap as well as the success ;)

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

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