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Electrolysis Tub: Mk III. Making more bubbles better!

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Forum topic by Holbs posted 12-10-2017 11:52 PM 1853 views 2 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Holbs

1878 posts in 2057 days


12-10-2017 11:52 PM

Topic tags/keywords: electrolysis

Knowing I have many rusty planes and other items to hit up with electrolysis, I really needed a stable easy wide (instead of deep) tub at the minimum to fit my Stanley #8. So I came up with this, my 3rd attempt at a decent tub.
1.) I previously used rebar for my anodes. This time, I went with solid steel bars. I found the rebar worked 100% the first time, but then you have to clean the rust off and the rebar ridges made that a pain. Hopefully, the smooth surface of these steel bars clean up better. Plus, easier to clamp my batter charger clips to these rods.
2.) I previously just simply wrapped copper wire around the anodes. This time, I used grounding clamps to connect in/out red wire feeds to the steel bar. Now I know there is 100% contact instead of guessing.
3.) I previously just had the wire snaking from anode to anode, sometimes with a plastic tie wrap. This time, I wanted the wire safely out of the way. I used little coaxial plastic clamps every 6” to tuck the red wire away.
4.) I previously used 4 anodes. This time, 6. Though am thinking of adding 2 more at the ends to lay across the bottom of the tub.
5.) Could only find stainless steel hooks at my local hardware store but that should be ok since not dunked into the water. Installed 6 for 24” long planes and shorter ones. Used black speaker wire with bare stranded copper stuck into the holes then screwed in the hooks (solid wire would not of worked too well I think) so now I can hang stuff from the hooks for the negative connections. All black wire connect single post for battery charger clamp.
6.) Put some screws here and there to help lift items. Also, white PLASTIC chain to hold items off the bottom for when I do put some anodes across the bottom.
7.) Still using general purpose metal wire (not stainless or galvanized) to connect hooks to items.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter


11 replies so far

View ColonelTravis's profile

ColonelTravis

1804 posts in 1922 days


#1 posted 12-10-2017 11:59 PM

Man my setup is like a Ford Fiesta. You’ve got a Rolls Royce there.

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Holbs

1878 posts in 2057 days


#2 posted 12-11-2017 12:04 AM

Here was my Mk II version. A deeper tub which I still have laying around for electrolysis purposes and larger items. But it was a safety hazard and really hurt my eyes :)

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

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Holbs

1878 posts in 2057 days


#3 posted 12-11-2017 12:09 AM

oh…guess I should mention. The rods are slid through 1/2” plastic cable holders which are bolted to the side walls. Can easily slide the rods out to clean or to relocate them to another tub.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6768 posts in 2227 days


#4 posted 12-11-2017 12:27 AM

I previously used rebar for my anodes. This time, I went with solid steel bars. I found the rebar worked 100% the first time, but then you have to clean the rust off and the rebar ridges made that a pain.

If you want to end the hassle of keeping them clean forever, seek out some graphite sheet or rods to use as the anodes. They are self cleaning and last a lot longer. Plus, you won’t get all that nasty orange sludge and the water will stay pretty clean. Curious, why did you think the second version was a safety hazard?

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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Holbs

1878 posts in 2057 days


#5 posted 12-11-2017 12:32 AM

I did try the graphite rods on the Mk II for a run. They disappeared aggravatingly fast. They were not cheap either. $15 for set of 4? If could find them more reasonably priced somewhere, I would give them a shot again for you are right…no sludge and clean water.
Mk II version had the copper wire simply wrapped around the anodes and hanging over to the next anode. Most of the time, I had connections. Sometimes not. Safety hazard as I had the negative battery charger lead above center of the tub ,which is now on the end in Mk III.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

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MrUnix

6768 posts in 2227 days


#6 posted 12-11-2017 12:41 AM

There are different grades of graphite… the loosely packed stuff will disappear a lot faster than the dense rods typically used as electrodes in things like arc furnaces and welding applications. You can usually find spent rods pretty cheap, and sometimes for free as they typically just throw out the old ones when replacing them.

As for the negative connection being over the tank… I wouldn’t consider that a safety hazard at all, nor can I think of why it would be. But I guess it is a moot point now :)

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Roy Turbett's profile

Roy Turbett

168 posts in 3608 days


#7 posted 12-11-2017 12:44 AM

You can clean your anodes by hanging a piece of scrap metal in the soup and reversing the poles.

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Holbs

1878 posts in 2057 days


#8 posted 12-11-2017 12:44 AM

I’ll keep an eye out for old disposable graphite rods from companies I work around in the construction field.
That negative clamp over the water actually fell off and into the water! Luckily, I did not have the battery charger turned on at the time.
Oh wait…hmm…nothing would happen if it fell into the water with charger turned on. DUH. Tis why I am no electrician :)

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

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MrUnix

6768 posts in 2227 days


#9 posted 12-11-2017 12:46 AM

That negative clamp over the water actually fell off and into the water! Luckily, I did not have the battery charger turned on at the time.
- Holbs

Wouldn’t have done anything… what did you think would happen if the charger was turned on?
(I routinely have the negative clamp on a part under the water… won’t hurt it a bit)

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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Holbs

1878 posts in 2057 days


#10 posted 12-11-2017 12:47 AM

Roy…that works? Placing expendable metal in tank and reversing polarity? Hmm..will have to give that a shot when these rods cake up.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

View fuigb's profile

fuigb

491 posts in 2985 days


#11 posted 12-11-2017 01:35 AM

Graphite rods are better than scrap metal? If so then maybe I’ve been doing this the hard way: my go-to for the sacrificial bit are hinges from a scraped refrigerator. Works better than the rebar from my initial attempts because they clean up in no time when I hit them with a wire wheel.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

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