Man Alive! I had a bucket of old rusty Ford tools and some that probably arenít really Ford tools. Last Sunday evening, I set up a 5 gallon bucket of water and arm and hammer detergent, hooked up the charger, strung up the tools and plopped them into the solution. I completely forgot about them until tonight. I pulled them out and they were in much better condition.
The first pic shows how they looked after 5 days in the electrolysis bath.
Then I spent a few minutes with a wire brush wheel and shined them all up. See the next two pics.
Before the electrolysis, the pliers were frozen shut and were completely unusable. Now they open and close with ease. Before the electrolysis, the Ford logos were imperceptible, but now theyíre easy to see.
Does anyone know anything about the markings on the open ended wrench in the bottom picture?
Also, is there a special purpose for the S-shaped open ended wrench?
I've used the electrolysis method for 25 years. I use table salt. Salt is cheap. I bought a bag not long ago for 3.99 plus tax. A 10 pound bag, I think. I've learned that about one cup of salt per gallon of water works great. More salt doesn't make it work better or quicker. About an hour does the job on even the rustiest parts. Longer also doesn't make it work better. I have a 5 gallon bucket for small stuff and a 55 gallon barrel for big jobs. I've done half a part, by only submerging it halfway, leaving half out of the water, and people are amazed at the results.
Please describe the process? How much voltage, source of voltage, how many gallons to use, recipes for different types of solutions, how long to leave in your items, etc. Thank you. Jim Patrick
Do not want to hi-jack Tommy's answer. However, google, a guy name Tubila Cane (sp). He has you tube videos mainly on machining metals. Nonetheless, he has a series on different materials he used in the water and time spent in the solution of his tank.
You can google electrolysis tanks and their are many and his videos are there some where.
Sorry, Tommy, could not help myself.
John was referencing "tubalcain" on youtube
Tubalcain was the first metalworker mentioned in the Bible I think. That's where he gets that name from as he is a Christian. Goes also under the name Mr Pete222. I recommend watching him on youtube.
Jim and others:
The process is super simple. I learned everything from the forum a few years ago when I was trying to deal with rusty sheet metal without the benefit of a sand blaster. I got a super large garbage can, filled it with water, added the arm and hammer laundry soap powder, and hooked it up to the old battery charger, and the rust just disappears. Itís amazing,, inexpensive, and involves minimal labor.
Below are some links with details about the process:
This one has good pictures:
Last night, I put this super rusty and frozen jack in the electrolysis bath. This is what it looked like last night.
This morning, I pulled it out, used the wire brush a bit, hit it with some PB Blaster, then wiped it down in WD-40. Looks much better and runs smoothly.
Your methods and results may vary but this is how it works for me.
I use a PLASTIC container, just big enough to submerge the part to be cleaned and a sacrifice part. The sacrifice part MUST BE iron or steel. NO aluminum or stainless.
I put both parts in the container, MAKING SURE that they are not touching. Using jumper wires I connect the negative to the part to be cleaned. The positive goes to the donor/sacrifice part.
Fill the container with enough water to cover the parts. Turn on the battery charger to a medium setting. Slowly add salt to the water while watching the meter on the charger. The needle will start to show a current flow as you add the salt. When the meter shows about 15 amps you might as well stop adding salt. More salt will not speed up the results or cause better results. I have found the the process will take about an hour or maybe an hour and a half. I have tried leaving parts "cooking" for longer, like overnight but found no better cleaning. IF you are cleaning a part with two sides turn the part after one hour and let then cook for another 15-30 minutes. After time is up remove the parts, wash them off, scrub lightly with a wire brush, let them dry and prime and paint.
Stainless is definitely a no-no. Don't need no hexavalent chromate/chromium. I'm glad you mentioned it Tommy.
How are these baths on softer materials such as brass or copper? Does the bath eat up softer materials or does it leave them alone?
The process is reversing the rusting. It will do nothing on non-ferrous metals. One thing that I forgot to mention earlier is... it works better if you clean a contact point on both the part to be cleaned and the sacrifice part where the wires are to attach. Also, unlike some or most chemicals used to remove rust the leftover "soup" can be dumped out on the ground with no harmful effects. You are only putting water, salt, and iron back into the earth. The salt might kill grass though.
Cool. Thank you. :-)
Great info. I have salt for tanning hides anyway. Will try this soon. Thanks guys.