Electrolysis Rust Removal Redux
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Central CA
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    244

    Electrolysis Rust Removal Redux

    There are already threads on the subject, but rather than revive one and be accused of necroposting, I decided to start another, mostly just because. Anyway, if you haven't heard of it, electrolysis is a viable way to remove rust from iron or steel parts. It works really well, especially on parts that have nooks and crannies, but you can't be in a hurry. There are lots of web sites that can tell you how to do it; here's one:

    https://antique-engines.com/electrol.asp

    I have a pump that was downright disgusting when I took it apart...

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    Tim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Montreal area Canada
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    1,029

    Re: Electrolysis Rust Removal Redux

    You did paint them, did you?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Central CA
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    244

    Re: Electrolysis Rust Removal Redux

    Quote Originally Posted by snowbird View Post
    You did paint them, did you?
    No, nothing is painted yet. I did spray the parts with WD40 to keep the rust from coming back. I need to talk to the factory guys to find out what kind of finish they are supposed to have on them.

    Tim

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Under a Rock
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    4,651

    Re: Electrolysis Rust Removal Redux

    I've used that method before....

    works great.
    Miller 211
    Hypertherm PM 45
    1961 Lincoln Idealarc 250
    HTP 221


    True Wisdom only comes from Pain.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    389

    Re: Electrolysis Rust Removal Redux

    I've used electrolysis many times also. I think I always used a battery charger as the electrical source. What is that you're using in photo 2?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Central CA
    Posts
    244

    Re: Electrolysis Rust Removal Redux

    Quote Originally Posted by hvw View Post
    I think I always used a battery charger as the electrical source. What is that you're using in photo 2?
    It's an old HP DC power supply I had laying around.

    Tim

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    1,686

    Re: Electrolysis Rust Removal Redux

    The power supply was a great idea, if you have one. If someone wants to use a battery charger for electrolysis, it has to be a MANUAL one. The newer automatic chargers have a sensing circuit that looks for a battery. If it has an option for manual charging use that. They don't work for electrolysis in automatic mode.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    389

    Re: Electrolysis Rust Removal Redux

    I agree that the computer power supply would be ideal. The battery charger was always sketchy, but did work.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    AJO, ARIZONA
    Posts
    2,317

    Re: Electrolysis Rust Removal Redux

    Quote Originally Posted by shortfuse View Post
    The power supply was a great idea, if you have one. If someone wants to use a battery charger for electrolysis, it has to be a MANUAL one. The newer automatic chargers have a sensing circuit that looks for a battery. If it has an option for manual charging use that. They don't work for electrolysis in automatic mode.
    So many of the modern battery chargers have gone the way of many welders...................inverter, I think the battery even has to have some residual voltage before the inverter chargers will work. I watched a video on fixing power tool batteries, and on both NI-CAD & LI-ION batteries the key to restoring their ability to charge was getting some voltage BACK into the battery by other means, the nicads can be "shocked with a welder to "jolt" it, after that a manual charge from an AC adapter of proper voltage. He used a small stick welder. The LI-ION were just manually charged the same way after bypassing the sensing circuit, after he got the voltage up to about 12 volts the charger would sense it and charge, amazing the $hit they're doing to us to make us buy overpriced tool batteries.
    NRA LIFE MEMBER
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    3,861

    Re: Electrolysis Rust Removal Redux

    ^^ Yep!!!! All for your safety

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    82

    Re: Electrolysis Rust Removal Redux

    I just finished restoring this 100 year old Sasgen Derrick winch. It sat in the electrolysis bath for about 8 days. That took a lot of the rust off, but not all. I still had to go at it with wire wheels and a needle scaler. If I had left it in longer it probably would have gotten more off, but I was getting impatient. It is a great way to remove rust. I used scrap steel for anodes, but I may buy some carbon rods before the next project. They don't require cleaning like steel does.
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    Home tinkerer and old tool junkie

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    American Samoa
    Posts
    304

    Re: Electrolysis Rust Removal Redux

    That is a cool old winch.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    3,861

    Re: Electrolysis Rust Removal Redux

    ^^ Only a spammer would say it works everytime...

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