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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:33 am 
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I know in chemistry they said it would work but I can't get it! I hooked up the battery charger to the piece to get cleaned, the other side to a piece of metal and put it in a bucket of water (making sure they didn't touch) and plugged it in. They charger kept saying to check the connection. Could it be the scrap metal I was using was the factor?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:49 am 
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A battery charger is not a power supply.

It will work with a power supply, it might work if you have a battery in line with the charger.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:21 am 
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Did you add a salt, such as washing soda? Water does not conduct electricity well, but it dissolves salts to make solutions of ions that do conduct well. If you did add a salt of some sort and it doesn't work, it could be that your battery charger is too smart. Some will not go on if the battery is too far discharged, as your bucket would seem to be.

You also need to make sure it's connected the right way. The piece attached to the wrong electrode will rust much faster than usual, so it's probably a good idea to use scrap on both sides for the first try, just to be sure.

Edit: I must type more slowly than Dennis, but we agree.


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 Post subject: Electrolysis
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:03 am 
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http://americanwoodworker.com/blogs/too ... ls&id=v2_3

I found the link on the American Wood woorker site.
Is that what you were looking for?
/Anders


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 Post subject: Electrolysis
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:31 am 
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Good Morning, all
Just getting ready for the day's activities at the Baltimore WoodWorking show and saw this question. Electrolysis works but there is another way and it is using citric acid (Vitamin C). Put about a half pound in 2 qts of water and submerge the rusty tools. It will clean them. You can get the Vit. C at wine making stores, and I believe pharmacies. Give it a try.

Larry


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:37 am 
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One of my clubs members gave a talk on removing rust. You can read it in the arcives march 09 at the web site www.cjwa.org
Matt


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:54 am 
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I will try the vit c method...and I did use washing powder in the water and it didn't work. I am trying to clean parts to an old hand plane I got from a flea market last year.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:57 pm 
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If you don't get the electrolysis to work, you might try Evapo-Rust. It is a chemical rust remover and costs around $20 a gallon. My son is restoring a '69 Pontiac GTO and he swears by this stuff. You can get it at Tractor Supply. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:10 pm 
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Bfarrell,

Don't use washing powder, use washing soda, two different things.

It does work, Ive been using it to clean 'treasure" that my son finds with his metal detector. Takes off rust and leaves a nice black patina where the rust was. Does not seem to harm non rusty bits but you have to clean and dry them rapidly when you take them out.

I use a battery charger also.

Good luck with it, let us know how the Vitamin C works, sounds interesting.

eric


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:43 pm 
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Another vote for Evaporust.

Check out my $2 rust bucket. :-D

http://www.woodworking.org/InfoExchange ... =evaporust

http://www.woodworking.org/InfoExchange ... ust+bucket

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:08 pm 
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A third vote for Evapo-Rust. Auto Zone has it around here.

Verna

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:09 pm 
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BFARRELL:
I've found this site to be useful in the use of electrolysis for rust cleanup.


http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/andyspatch/rust.htm

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:46 pm 
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eric wrote:
Bfarrell,

Don't use washing powder, use washing soda, two different things.

It does work, Ive been using it to clean 'treasure" that my son finds with his metal detector. Takes off rust and leaves a nice black patina where the rust was. Does not seem to harm non rusty bits but you have to clean and dry them rapidly when you take them out.

I use a battery charger also.

Good luck with it, let us know how the Vitamin C works, sounds interesting.

eric


What is washing soda?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:47 pm 
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newtooth wrote:
BFARRELL:
I've found this site to be useful in the use of electrolysis for rust cleanup.


http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/andyspatch/rust.htm


Good site, thanks for the research.

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Now don't tell me I've nothin' to do.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:13 pm 
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Washing soda is sodium carbonate. It is similar to, but different from, sodium bicarbonate, which is baking soda. Baking soda might work, or you could convert baking soda into washing soda by heating it very hot while dry to drive off CO2.

Incidentally, citric acid will work to remove rust, but it is not vitamin C, which is ascorbic acid.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:45 pm 
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Here's another vote for Evapo-Rust.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:44 pm 
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Actually, a battery charger IS a power supply. I've used electrolysis to clean the rust off a bunch of tools in a solution of water and baking soda. Washing soda is what's usually recommended, but baking soda works just fine.

Make sure you have the electrodes attached correctly. I forget whether the positive or negative goes on the tool and which goes on the sacrificial piece, but you can look it up on the internet.

I have also found that if you just attach the tool and sacrificial piece directly to the spring clips of the charger cables, they will eventually get eaten up and disappear. Therefore, I tie wires to the clips, attach them to the pieces that are going to be in the solution, and keep the alligator clips out of the solution. After losing my first set of spring clips and having to buy and hook on new ones, I figured out the wire extension trick.


Also, once when I was removing rust from some stainless steel (it's not stainless if you keep it wet) bathtub soap racks, I used what I though was a steel plate. It turned out to be a dirty piece of brass. The soap racks ended up with a light copper plating on them.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:52 pm 
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I have used ordinary baking soda, (Arm and Hammer at the grocery store, very cheap), and a battery charger for doing this, but you may have to put a battery in line as many modern battery chargers are too smart to try to cook baking soda.

Electrolysis works, but becomes messy after a while, and the cleaned tools will rust almost immediately unless protected with something.

Another vote for EvapoRust

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