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Hand Plane Restoration: How long in the bath?

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Forum topic by Milo posted 502 days ago 1002 views 0 times favorited 45 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Milo

849 posts in 1902 days


502 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hey folks,

I have some hand plane parts in an eletrolytic bath, and I was wondering how long you generally left the parts in the tank. One article I read said until it stopped bubbling. I am working on the smoothing plane from my previous post.

Is this true? That could be a very long process.

I appreciate your feedback.

Milo

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...


45 replies so far

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

936 posts in 1976 days


#1 posted 502 days ago

48 hours

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View DouginVa's profile

DouginVa

486 posts in 856 days


#2 posted 502 days ago

I do the bath on plane parts all the time….got one going right now as a matter of fact. On small parts with little rust, like on the threads of a screw or bolt, I usually go a few hours. Especially if the threads won’t be seen. On the body, iron, chip breaker, etc., I go 24 hours. Or you can wait till it stops bubbling if you want. It won’t hurt the metal. You will run the risk of the paint coming off the plane body however. If you want that to happen just let it sit longer and watch the progress. Plane bodies are easy to paint with epoxy appliance paint. Just mask off the areas that don’t get paint.

Great thing about electrolysis is it requires no work, just time. Sit back and watch the disgusting stuff develop on top of the water.

-- Just a man with his chisel.........

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7595 posts in 2635 days


#3 posted 502 days ago

Until it stops bubbling sounds good to me… you DO NOT want to let it go too long, for sure.

Play with some other old stuff… to get the ‘feel’ for it… even rusty nails, etc.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View Tim's profile

Tim

1122 posts in 544 days


#4 posted 501 days ago

My understanding of the process is incomplete, but it seems that as long as your electrical current doesn’t go too high, letting it go longer won’t harm anything. As long as it’s not out of hand or anything. If there is still bubbling on the tool that means there is rust that is still reacting. When the reaction stops so will the bubbles. If you stop it too early you risk having unseen rust that didn’t get taken care of, possibly under the japanning.

In short, what Doug said. But be careful to note what parts need to be masked off. Take a picture in advance or something.

View needshave's profile

needshave

150 posts in 542 days


#5 posted 501 days ago

Where are you getting or how are you making your eletrolytic bath solution?

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7595 posts in 2635 days


#6 posted 500 days ago

I have had parts get pitted more than usual after being left in the solution too long…

IMHO, it’s better to get it looking good BUT not pushing it to try and get it better…
... take a Good finish… by going for more, you may get LESS.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View Richard's profile

Richard

400 posts in 1274 days


#7 posted 500 days ago

In my experience 24 hours or so is usually sufficient for larger pieces. Because electrolysis is a line of sight process I have been known to do 24 hours per side to make sure I got it all. There is no harm if you want to stop it after a few hours to check your process. You can always re-submerge the piece and keep going.

-- "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

View Milo's profile

Milo

849 posts in 1902 days


#8 posted 500 days ago

Anybody else notice there always seems to be a sheen of rust on the item, even after going throught the process? I hate that. :(

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View Tim's profile

Tim

1122 posts in 544 days


#9 posted 500 days ago

Joe, I’m pretty sure that means it had more than just surface rust. Chemically the reaction will stop when there is no more rust. I think you would get the same pitting from evapo-rust or any other treatment that went long enough to get all the rust. If you put a non rusted part into the electrolysis tank it won’t get pitted.

Milo are you talking right away or after a few minutes? The conditions of the electrolysis bath set the tool up for flash rust when it comes out, and it can happen very quickly. Drying quickly and oiling can help.

I gave up on electrolysis though when I realized that it doesn’t convert the rust back to usable shiny tool metal. It converts it to porous metal at best and black iron oxides than just need to be cleaned off anyway. That tipped the scales towards evapo-rust for me. Also the setup for electrolysis was more cost and hassle than the evapo-rust.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7595 posts in 2635 days


#10 posted 500 days ago

Tim, Does Evapo-Rust turn rust back into metal? I thought it just softened the rust so it could removed accomplishing the same thing as Electrolysis. (???)

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View Tim's profile

Tim

1122 posts in 544 days


#11 posted 500 days ago

That’s right it doesn’t turn it back to metal either, it just dissolves it. I just figured if they did the same thing I’d use the easier one.

View Don W's profile

Don W

14468 posts in 1150 days


#12 posted 500 days ago

I typically leave larger pieces over night. I don’t think you can leave them to long. I agree if you have pitting, it was pitted when you put it on.

Evapo rust will pit if the metal is not completely covered. You’ll get an etch line at the water level.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6905 posts in 1497 days


#13 posted 500 days ago

I have gone as long as 3-4 days @10amp in an 18gal tub.

Open question here,... Does the SIZE of the electrolytic bath make a difference on the required current?

My experience seems to indicate that it does. Anyone else?

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

1745 posts in 834 days


#14 posted 500 days ago

I am trying electrolysis for the first time, but my battery charger is a smart charger—too smart for me. It detects that there is no battery and gives a fault code. I did a little research and it looks like I can hook a battery up to the electrodes and use it as a capacitor, then jump to the electrolysis bath. Anybody had to do that before, and if so, do you have any suggestions to me on that process?

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Richard's profile

Richard

400 posts in 1274 days


#15 posted 500 days ago

Don, I’ve read that it can be a problem with some fault detecting chargers. I think you are on the right track, using a battery inline will help.

I’ve got an older Sears Diehard charger that is “dumb” and just keeps on trucking.

-- "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

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