How to do Electrolysis of a saw blade

The phosphoric acid is a secondary rust remover. Used after electrolysis to clean the steel. By clean, I mean surgically clean. No acid residues that will bring back the rust. Remember, that one of the worst aftereffects of the original rust is the microscopic pitting of the steel. A perfect hideout of acids and crud that will later cause more rust.

So you need a super-cleaning step. To clean out the etching rust causes. Then you might need to sand or polish the steel to eliminate any vestige of pitting. On a saw this can't be done on the teeth.

Phophoric acid is used as a prep for gun bluing because of the pristine state it leaves on the metal surface. The bluing treatment must start with clean, shiny metal.

Bob Smalser explained all this in detail on the WKtools website. The photos he took were very instructive of the whole process.


Kerry Burton

Orem, Utah
I found Mr. Smalser's [Rustproofing Tools] article and read it. Thanks for the pointer!

The slick in that article reminded me of a "mini slick" (not sure what it's really called?) that came into my possession nearly 10 years ago. As you can see, it was fine handle-wise, not too bad rust-wise, but not so good otherwise.

Top view:

Bottom View (after I had worked on the front half for a couple hours with sandpaper). The blade appears to be slightly curved ... is this by design or could it be the result of damage?

The (former!) cutting edge:

My guess is that the curve in the blade and the sad state of the business end were both the result of poor usage and handling. Anyway, a couple months ago I finally got "brave" and ground the leading edge straight across on my grinder. I had forgotten all about my plans to restore its cutting edge until just now. Maybe I'll dig it out and think about following Mr. Smalser's lead on the pitting as well.

Thanks Gary!