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My Journey into a Hand Tool Wonderland. #4: Electrolysis Rust Removal Science Project

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Blog entry by Luke posted 02-17-2015 01:17 AM 1459 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I have about 10 saws that I’ve collected over about 5 months. As well as a few planes, and other tools. I was getting tired of sanding the rust off, and wanted to find a way to do a few things at once.

I had a 12v battery charger in my garage, a few tubs to put water in, and some spare steel for the sacrificial anode.

Where I am, the local stores don’t seem to carry “Washing Soda” so I had to find an alternative to Sodium Bicarbonate. I found a product that was Sodium Bicarbonate and something else, it was basically washing soda but a different product.

I filled my tub with water, pugged in my battery charger, and wha-la! It didn’t work.

Turns out my battery charger has a trip feature, that if there is a loop or a short in the circuit it will cut power.

Well, that doesn’t work! Turns out I had an old battery in my garage from a car I no longer own, so I thought, why not charge the battery while taking the charge out of the battery? So I plugged the battery charger in, connected it to the battery, then using jumper cables connected the battery to the anodes in the tub…

BUBBLES!

After a few hours the water turns a NASTY black, with some foam on the surface.

I left a #78 rebate plane and a saw blade in there for about 10 hours.

Before:

After:

And a Jackson Warranted Superior Saw

Before:

After:

After it comes out of the Electrolysis bath, a little bit of steel wool to take off the black residue, and some light sanding brings this to a great finish. At the present, I like to keep my saws with a little bit of the patina on them so as to enjoy the fact they are old, rather than make them look like new.



4 comments so far

View arvanlaar's profile

arvanlaar

40 posts in 663 days


#1 posted 02-17-2015 03:46 AM

Thats great! It would save so much time doing things that way instead of sanding :)

-- New to working and learning as much as I can :D

View Grumpymike's profile

Grumpymike

1917 posts in 1780 days


#2 posted 02-17-2015 10:06 PM

Hi Luke,
Sodium Bicarbonate is easily found in the baking dept. of your local grocery store. look for ‘Baking Soda’.

How much soda to water did you use, and I think that the anode (positive) goes to the steel, and the cathode (negative) goes to the tool, ... right??

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

4535 posts in 1977 days


#3 posted 02-22-2015 05:08 PM

I had been using apple cider vinegar in a tub for rust removal but had just recently was introduced to rust removal using Electrolysis, I’ve yet to try it but from my research it appears to do a much better job than my old method,

As for as washing soda and baking soda, they aren’t the same, the baking soda will work but only after it’s been processed by way of baking in the oven at a 300 or hotter degree temp.

“Here’s a nice video I cam across that explains pretty well how the process works.

http://youtu.be/NKZv14-K71g

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View Grumpymike's profile

Grumpymike

1917 posts in 1780 days


#4 posted 02-22-2015 06:17 PM

“Washing Soda” so I had to find an alternative to Sodium Bicarbonate. I found a product that was Sodium Bicarbonate and something else, it was basically washing soda but a different product.”

There is where I went wrong, Baking Soda is indeed Sodium Bicarbonate.
What you were looking for is Sodium Carbonate ... Just amazing what a difference one little Bi makes …

Thanks for that video link very informative for sure.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

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