This could be slightly off-topic, but the general knowledge might be handy for people looking to restore T parts too.
I have a Handy Chef Auto Camp Stove (pics coming soon) that I would like to restore. I was considering using the electrolysis method for taking the rust off, and have a concern about the brass name tag on the front, as well as other internal nonferrous parts. Will the electrolysis process damage these parts of the stove? I originally considered using the molasses method, but have heard it can be hard on nonferrous parts. Before ruining this neat accessory, I want to see if anybody has any experience with doing this type of rust removal. Thanks for the help!
It doesn't affect brass or aluminum. Here's some pictures of a radius tool I did a few years ago. It shows before and after. It has brass indexes and aluminum hand wheels. All of which was left attached during the process.
Please explain what a radius tool is. Thanks
Thanks for the first info, Ken. I'm also wondering what a radius tool is used for.
that is a radius/tangent angle dressing fixture used for dressing precision radii and angles on grinding wheels ...always an optimist ...gene french
Well, I gave it a shot. Got my plastic tub (saved from the trash, or course) filled with the water/washing soda solution, bent a couple pieces of old rebar into a shape that would fit along the sides, and wired them together. I wanted to do a practice piece, so I took an old and very rusted shovel and placed it between the rebar "electrodes". Got the battery charger hooked up with the shovel on the negative and the rebar pieces positive. After about twenty-one hours in the solution, most of the rust scraped off easily. The remaining black coating came off with a gray Scotchbrite pad, sort of. I didn't scrub it to bare metal, but I knocked off as much surface rust as I could. A quick spray with WD-40 and it's a hundred times better than how it started.
My question now concerns amperage on the battery charger. When I started the process, the ammeter on the charger read five amps, give or take half an amp. When I checked it this afternoon, it was just under two. I prepped another rusty test subject, and placed it in the used solution. Again, two amps. Is this normal? Everything I've read says you can use the solution indefinitely, because the washing soda doesn't evaporate out or anything like that. You just have to add a little more water. Is this kind of amperage drop normal, or did I do something wrong? I want to make sure I know what I'm doing before I try to clean up something of actual value. Thanks again for all the help!
I would not worry about the amperage, may be a function of your charger. In general the more surface area of your electrodes and larger the part and the higher concentration of soda, the higher the amperage. Lower amperage just takes longer but does not generate as much heat.
I use a DC welder and a SS container for crosscut saws. It is fast and also gets quite hot.
Just watch out for thunder storms. I was doing my stuff, I was out in the shop with it, a storm came suddenly, and a big BOOM from lighting, and my good charge is now a paper weight!
I now use molasses, I think it works better, less cleaning. But I have never used it with anything but steel, and cast.
The molasses is the kind you use for animal feed that you get at a feed store...right?
What's the proportion of molasses to water? The molasses is in granular form....right?
Mike, I have never heard of granular molasses. Usually it is a thick liquid.
When I first set up my bath, I did a trial to find out how much to mix with water to make the solution. My stuff, bought from a feed store worked well at 40%. Less molasses slowed the process, more made little difference. It did work better in our hot summers, so it may pay to heat the tank a little in cold climes.
Steel cleans up beautifully. Cast needs watching or it will be seriously pitted. Parts need to be free of grease and paint.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
That's why I went the electrolysis route. Molasses is supposed to be hard on cast iron. I just don't want to ruin my battery charger or my parts.
That's because molasses is acidic. Considered extremely acidic if sulphureted.
The electrolysis method is an ion conversion of the iron oxide (rust). It doesn't dissolve or attack anything--It just converts it. That's why the leftover black alpha iron (ferrite).
I can't speak for your battery charger but if it's a "good" one, no more than 10A works good with the electrolysis method and should not strain the charger. Also, the automatic chargers will not work since they need to sense battery voltage. There's no battery so they don't turn-on.
Ops. I missed the questions about the radius tool. Sorry. Gene French has it correct though. The bar extending from snout is a diamond bit holder. The diamond tipped bit is used to cut or dress the shape into the grinding wheel.
An update on the process:
Second test part, an old frozen chain hoist, came out pretty good. I was able to drive the axle shaft out of the pulley for the first time ever. Got her spinning pretty good now. So today I put the first part of the camp stove into the electrolysis tank. The burners are in there, and they're bubbling nicely.
I also did a small, vaguely scientific experiment. I pulled the electrodes out of the tank and used a grinder with a wire brush to scrape the waste gunk off. That got my starting amperage back up to 5 amps. It's since dropped a little bit, but now I know why my amperage dropped so much.