First and formost I want to thank Al for his Electrolysis: on the cheap for vintage tool people and all the other LJ members who responded. This is a shortened version of the forum thread.
Go get a rubber tote, a battery charger, some Arm and Hammer Washing Soda and a long piece of metal (like a length of rebar, or steel rod or bar)
Add water and about a table spoon of Washing soda (baking soda doesn’t work nearly as well) to each gallon of water. I like to error on the “more”side, this stuff is $2.77 a box. Cost doesn’t seem to be much of an issue.
Stick the rod in the water so it doesn’t touch the metal your derusting. Connect your positive side of the battery charger to this rod, bar, or whatever you chose.
Clamp the negative side to the metal piece. You may need to clean a spot up enough to get contact. Let it “cook”for a few hours. Over night if its really bad. Cooking to long doesn’t hurt. If there is no rust to act on, its just idling.
This went in late morning
This came out early evening:
A couple of squirts of WD40, polish the brass and wire brush the outside for this:
It can’t get any simpler. If it sounds at all complicated, re-read. If you think its complicated stop thinking. It so easy its scary.
I thought I’d post an update. I struggled with this a little. It always took to long so I never really bothered with it. Somewhere threw another conversation I mentioned I had a new battery charger and it didn’t seem to work right for electrolysis. Another LJ suggested putting a battery inline between the charger and the vat. What a difference. I had a dead garden tractor battery so I stuck it inline. In just seconds an old rusty block plane created this reaction.
Those are bubbles you see.
In the morning it looked like this
I’ll be using this method much more now.
-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com