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Tool Restoration #1: Electrolytic Rust Removal

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Blog entry by hambonez posted 02-25-2011 04:56 AM 3794 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I first read about hand plane restoration here and I’ve been waiting to try my hand at it myself for some time. The link is very informative and was my blueprint for trying rust removal with electrolysis.

What I did differently:

I used a “wall wart” as my power supply. My battery charger is too smart and wouldn’t power the tank. I had an old plug to an old scanner that was in the toss pile as part of stage I off “Tiny Basement Shop Construction”, so I thought why not?

Here’s the results:



11 comments so far

View withheld's profile

withheld

17 posts in 1433 days


#1 posted 02-25-2011 06:06 AM

Interesting. Would like to hear the details of how you did it.

-- rdh

View ksSlim's profile

ksSlim

1011 posts in 1637 days


#2 posted 02-25-2011 06:28 AM

Wall Wart had enough power but when it doesn’t, fool your charger by connecting battery between charger and tank. Battery will act as capacitor an fool charger. Monitor for heat on battery.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View hambonez's profile

hambonez

17 posts in 2038 days


#3 posted 02-25-2011 06:49 AM

ksSlim,

Thanks, I actually ran it that way for a bit. I was worried I was using too much amperage and was blasting the rust off. I had read less amperage was better, causing more rust to be reversed back to good iron.

I suppose a variable power source would be best. I had considered building a lab ps from an old computer psu, but that will have to be a few projects down the road.

View ratchet's profile

ratchet

1304 posts in 2534 days


#4 posted 02-25-2011 04:44 PM

That really did the trick! Good pics. The difference is amazing.

View swirt's profile

swirt

1952 posts in 1719 days


#5 posted 02-25-2011 05:27 PM

Clever. How long did it take in the tank?

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

View hambonez's profile

hambonez

17 posts in 2038 days


#6 posted 02-25-2011 06:05 PM

I left it in the tank about 8 hours, it may have not needed that long. One of the nice things about this process is that you can’t overdue it. It will only remove the rust. It’s counterintuitive, but it obviously won’t rust while in the bath.

Oh, and you are making a bit of hydrogen gas using this process so take care, be in a well ventilated space, yadda yadda, lawyer. Googling for electrolysis you will come across links from people who use it to launch their rockets!

For me it’s safer than using harsh chemicals like naval jelly.

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

624 posts in 1528 days


#7 posted 02-25-2011 06:47 PM

Hi hambonez,

Looks very interesting and effective – i shall have to give it a try.

BTW, I know you guys in the US sometimes spell words differently from us in the UK, but – never having heard the term before – for a moment there, I wondered about the effectiveness of navel jelly !! LOL

-- Don, Somerset UK, http://www.donjohnson24.co.uk

View hambonez's profile

hambonez

17 posts in 2038 days


#8 posted 02-25-2011 06:54 PM

LOL! Navel jelly is a homebrew solution, don’t try it at home! Now where’s the edit button…

View BigTiny's profile

BigTiny

1664 posts in 1636 days


#9 posted 02-26-2011 11:09 AM

There’s an excellent step by step on this over on the folding rule blog. You can find it at:

foldingrule.blogspot.com

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

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BigTiny

1664 posts in 1636 days


#10 posted 02-26-2011 01:10 PM

Here’s another good site to check for instructions on electrolitic rust removal.

http://www.rowand.net/Shop/Tools/Electrolysis.htm

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View hambonez's profile

hambonez

17 posts in 2038 days


#11 posted 02-26-2011 08:26 PM

Thanks Tiny, I linked to the LJ blog for David, of foldingrule fame. I gathered most of the info for this from him there, I just wanted to document the few things I did a bit differently. Wow, it works! More picks to come when I restore something worth it. These old electrician’s pliers were just a practice run.

Tiny haven’t I seen you over on the 207?

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