So after a quick spritz with some PB (one of my personal favorites), the plane came right apart. My wife’s only complaint with PB is the smell, so I do it outside rather than in the basement. On the downside, I don’t hallucinate anymore from the fumes. Here are some pictures of individual pieces:
You’ll note that the newspaper underneath is a high school newspaper. It’s because I am a high school teacher, and I don’t subscribe to any local papers. I am not in high school.
Anyway, you can see that there was a good amount of rust on most parts of the plane. In fact, there wasn’t a part without rust save the tote and knob.
What follows is my method of electrolysis. There are many articles written by people more well written than I, so if you’re looking for a good writeup, well… read mine then read someone else’s as well.
The first step for me is to run any part that I can through a wire wheel on my 8 inch bench grinder. I actually have two 8 inchers; one (fast) for this type of thing and general grinding, and one slow grinder for sharpening lathe chisels (equipped with a Wolverine). I didn’t get any pictures of this process, but for the tote and knob hardwear, this usually does it. Depending on the level of rusting present, the chip breaker and iron may need to be electrocuted. The frog almost always needs electricity due to its nooks and crannies on that part. The bed (body) always needs it as a matter of course.
This being the longest plane I’ve ever tried this on (about 22 inches long), I needed a receptacle bigger than my standard 5-gallon bucket. The blue bin in the following pictures is normally used for storage in our basement, but you could use whatever you have lying around. Just make sure it isn’t metal I guess.
I use copper wire to hang the part (the body) into the bucket, and a piece of scrap wood that spans the bin to hold it up (copper wire wrapped around the piece of scrap). I use rebar for my anodes (or maybe there the diodes, I am not a scientist), linked in the shape of a C with copper wire. DO NOT MAKE A FULL CIRCLE WITH THE COPPER WIRE. Electrolysis won’t work (or won’t work well) with a closed circle.
Add water to the bucket to above the part to be electrocuted. I give it about an inch above. Keep rough track of how many gallons of water you add. Then add a tablespoon of washing soda (mine is made by Arm and Hammer) for each gallon. Probably better to add too much than too little of this stuff. Too much will just make the process go quicker is my understanding. Too little will slow the process.
Hook the negative end of your battery charger to the copper wire holding the part, and the positive end to the rebar circuit. I use a 6 amp 6 volt charger I think. Maybe it’s 12 volt. Comment if you want me to double check this. Fire that baby up, and let it run. Here are pictures of the process for me. I forgot to take a picture of the rusty water in the blue bucket, but have included one of my five gallon doing its thing on the chip breaker, iron, and lever cap (all in at once) from a previous project. I let these go overnight usually.
I forgot again to take a picture of the body after it came out. It looks much better (rust all gone), but there is a layer of grime that is stubborn. Will deal with that as well in a future episode. If you have questions, comments, concerns, or observations please let me know. I hope this helps someone sometime! Until next time,
-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.