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Thread: electrolysis

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Central NY State
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    3,374

    electrolysis

    Not removing unwanted hair in undesirable locations. Rust reversal.
    My set-up is as simple, cheap and ugly as you can get. If you want the scientific explanation as to how it works, google it.

    I just wanted to show how easy it is to set up and start using.

    What I use:
    some sacrificial iron [rebar will do, and I added some scrap metal
    a 5 gallon bucket
    a package of washing soda from the laundry section of the supermarket
    an auto battery charger. I found this one at the dump

    some wires and alligator clips.

    Here's what it looks like:


    All the scrap is in electrical contact. Positive goes to your scrap metal, get it wrong and you ruin your piece.
    I add a couple of cups of washing soda to tap water, and nearly fill the bucket.

    Here's a saw, the right half was in the bath, the left half will go in next.



    Once the piece sits in the bath for a couple of hours, take it out, scrub with a scotchbrite pad, clean, dry and oil it.
    And you're good to go.
    It ain't rocket surgery.
    Last edited by ken werner; 08-17-2012 at 08:46 PM.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,833
    Yep, it is a simple and effective thing to do.
    I use a large, probably 20 gallon, tub that used to hold cattle feed.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Melbourne, FL
    Posts
    473
    Can add some designs by masking off the metal (some paint works) then cut away the areas you want to etch down to bare metal (a laser works welll for this, a knife works also) then etch it again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Not sure what you mean Pete, this doesn't etch the metal as far as I know.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Melbourne, FL
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    473
    I guess I was thinking more of aluminum not sure how it would look on steel.

    I do anodized aluminum like this. Paint it to mask it. Laser the text or design I want in it. Then etch it much like you are doing.

    I only do aluminum like this when I need some depth to the engraving. The laser does anodized aluminum very nice without etching but there is no depth to it.

    Some items I do require 0.003 inch depth to the engraving. Using just the laser on the anodizing the depth is more like 0.000001.

    Sometimes when doing a small area I just wet a Q-tip in the liquid. Attach a lead to it and use it kinda like an etching brush.

    Steel I am sure would not come out so good but it should show some contrast when you etch only part of it again. Maybe not. Depending on how clean it is.

    "this doesn't etch the metal as far as I know" You are correct. I was thinking if you left it in for a long time you would have nothing left but it looks like you are adding material. I remove material. Leave my aluminum item in long enough and it will dissappear.

    My mistake - Lets just say I do something similar but different with aluminum.
    Last edited by Pete Simmons; 08-18-2012 at 12:56 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
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    Easy! I'll have to do that next time I have a rusted tool to treat. May be more inclined to buy rusty tools as well.
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,475
    ken i see one wire hooked to a rebar but the other wire hookup i dont see??? could you show us the hookup again for my blind side
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
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    12,264
    This thread may help some of you undestand the whole process a lot better.


    http://www.rickswoodshopcreations.com/miscellaneous/rust_removal.htm
    cheers

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Emporia, KS
    Posts
    112
    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    ken i see one wire hooked to a rebar but the other wire hookup i dont see??? could you show us the hookup again for my blind side
    Positive to the rebar or other anode material, negative to the piece being cleaned.

    Ike

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Central NY State
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    Larry, it's the green wire going down into the soup.
    I forgot to say my dump find charger only had one red sleeve, so I put a piece of black sleeve on, confusing. But it's positive.
    Rob & Ike, thanks.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

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