I suppose that many of you already knew this but this is new to me...
One of my hobbies other than old vehicles that I also don't have time for is
woodworking. In my latest issue of ShopNotes magazine, issue 72, they have an
on using electrolysis to get rid of rust from woodworking tools...so I thought
experiment on vintage vehicle parts...a pair of never installed Corvair quick
arms that had some pretty heavy surface rust. I would normally wire brush
these to get
them clean...almost bad enough to required sandblasting. I tried the first one
hours with about a 90% reduction in rust. I ran the second arm for 6 hours and
absolutely no rust left...just clean metal with a coat of black oxide-like
it that scrubs off. It really works.
Typical car battery charger
washing soda ( I had never heard of it before, but found it easily in the
a chunk of non rusty steel
basically fill the tub with enough water to cover the parts to be de-rusted and
tablespoon of washing soda for every gallon of water. hook the positive clip
battery charger to the donor chunk of steel and put it in the water. hook the
clip from the charger to the part to be cleaned and submerge it in the water.
charger on the lowest current setting; then and only then plug in the charger.
in a few
minutes, you start to see bubbles coming off the part to be cleaned...this
it is working. The donor steel part gets really nasty; the water gets pretty
a rust color, but the part to be cleaned loses all its rust and comes out
black gunk that scrubs off. You still need to do something with the bare
iron or it will soon rust again, but the rust is gone. I just sprayed these
Eastwood cast iron gray.
The bubbles that come off are hydrogen so this needs to be done in a ventilated
What I'd really like to try it on is rusty exhaust manifolds...I bet it would
sit for about a week, but it would be interesting to see what can be done
sandblasting. I can't see how it could eliminate all the pitting, but it might
leave more of the real metal than sandblasting would. I also have some tools I
try but will need a bigger tub.
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