Electrolysis Before and After?

Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:04 pm

I'd like to see mostly some aftershots of parts put in a electrolysis tank. How well does it clean them? I'd like to build one to clean some cultivator feet and other parts. I can wire brush the toolbars but the springs and such are hard to get clean. Also, how many cultivator feet could I put in there? Just one at a time, or if I used a 45 gallon barrel could I string 4 or 5 together? How long does it take to clean them, several days? Thanks Brandon.

Re: Electrolysis Before and After?

Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:17 am

silverta16 wrote:I'd like to see mostly some aftershots of parts put in a electrolysis tank. How well does it clean them? I'd like to build one to clean some cultivator feet and other parts. I can wire brush the toolbars but the springs and such are hard to get clean. Also, how many cultivator feet could I put in there? Just one at a time, or if I used a 45 gallon barrel could I string 4 or 5 together? How long does it take to clean them, several days? Thanks Brandon.

Brandon:

Wire brushing any part is hard work and takes time. Cecil and I being two old navy guys agree that if you can get the job done without having to bust yer butt, then that is the way to go. Electrolysis with TSP is the ONLY way to go! Hardest part of the whole process is putting the part in the tank and then taking it out :!: :wink: :D

I don't have any pics of the finished part, cause now it is painted, but let me put it this way.. see Rudi's Electrolysis Tank and view the PPT show. It will tell you how to build it (my variant that is), and it will tell you what to use (TSP). It will also show you the part bubbling away. Suffice to say that the part in the tank bubbling away, sat on a series of pallets over the years outside for about 4 decades until I got it. At which point it went into the tank. I forgot to take pics of it coming out of the tank, but I did manage to get it primed, along with the rest of my blade that went into that tank.
Image

After I put the front wheel rims in the tank, and after they were done, I just wire wheeled them lightly (now I just power wash) and let them dry. I promptly forgot about both pairs of front rims. Then we had CubFest Northeast 2004, and I forgot to prime them front rims. Then shortly after CubFest I had my heart attack and a sextuple by-pass along with a few other things.. Needless to say the rims still did not get primed :!: :shock: They are still stiiting in the shop not primed. And there is NO FLASH RUST or RUST of any kind on those front rims.

I just found a post by BuzzardWing showing his before and after pics of his front rims.. Thanks Larry :!: :!: :D

Image Image Image

At CubFest Northeast 2006, as Cecil and I built the tanks for one of the workshops.. see pics on the CubFest Photo Host, we were asked the same question over and over again. Why do you use TSP and not Washing Soda. I just used to say that it worked better, and never made much comment on the Flash Rust. I just assumed that everybody knew this. Also, I think Cecil did the same.

Larry aka BuzzardWing uses the tank as well. He uses Arm & Hammer Washing Soda.. and right after he takes the parts out of the tank, he has to clean em, prep em and prime em, otherwise he GETS FLASH RUST.. :!: :roll: :shock: :?

Cecil and I came to the same conclusion based on a few years experience. Using TSP you just have to clean the parts and let them dry after a trip in the tank. You can then hang em up and forget about them until it is time to prime ALL of the parts for that particular project. They will NOT RUST. I cannot explain it.. it just IS..

Here are a few products that work in the Electrolysis Tank:

Image Image Image

Option 1: Okay----------------------------------Option 2: Better-----------------Option 3: Best

Here are some associated threads on the subject:
New tank working. Front rims
electrolosis at cubfest???
Sodium-Carbonate
Electrolysis help Please???
Electrolysis
Last edited by Rudi on Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:20 am

I found the TSP (in the red box) in a ACE Hardware store here in Ga. FYI

Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:17 am

How long roughly did it take these rims to clean? A week? Thanks Brandon.

Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:59 am

It took 1 day in the tank to clean My rims and that was turning them once during the process. Mine came out much nicer than those pictured and I used A&H washing soda.

Thu Oct 26, 2006 9:11 am

JB:

Those rims pictured are Larry's (aka BuzzardWing) and he also used Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda. And they flash rusted... With the TSP you don't get that. Also with the TSP, I found that the metal actually is much shinier.

We sort of proved the flash rust problem at CubFest Northeast. Next time we do a demonstration, I am kind of hoping to have 2 tanks ready to go by early Saturday and then 1 will have the TSP, and the 2nd will have the Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda. A fair comparison will then be achievable. Just a thought.

Brandon: Now to answer your question.
How long roughly did it take these rims to clean? A week?

It all depends on a few factors.
1. If you clean your rods so that you have max amperage for the full 24 hour period, or don't this will affect the time required.
2. How bad is the shape of the rims.. are they severely rusted and pitted or are they like Larry's :?:
3. How much paint is on the rims :?:

For my 4 front rims.. the first 2 took overnight -- say about 12 - 16 hours... I kind of forget. The next two, well I got busy and forgot about em.. so maybe 4 or 5 or so days they were in the tank until I remembered to go fish em out.... All depends on how much of a rush you are in. For me, it is a hobby, so I don't sweat the time factor at all :!:

JB has achieved some remarkable results with his Washing Soda, but then he is in California and the air is drier there... :roll: :wink: :D :lol:

Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:01 am

Rudi,
I'll have my tank up and running this weekend. I got TSP (with phosphate) at Lowe's.
The 1st part going in will be the Fast-Hitch prong I got from Ralph.
I'll provide a complete report including B4 & after pictures.
Peter

Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:27 am

Peter Person wrote:Rudi,
I'll have my tank up and running this weekend. I got TSP (with phosphate) at Lowe's. The 1st part going in will be the Fast-Hitch prong I got from Ralph. I'll provide a complete report including B4 & after pictures.
Peter

Peter:

I am looking forward to seeing what you Aaron and Emily came up with as well as your oldest boy :!: I am hoping to see lots of pics.. :D :D :D

Looking forward to the b4 and after pics as well on the prong... also, just do what Cecil and I mentioned. Clean it well with the power washer or a wire brush if need be then hang it up to dry and leave it. Take a pic the next day and the next day to check for flash rust..

Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:48 am

What method of cleanup do you all like best after electrolysis? wire brush it a little, just let it dry off, or what?

Al

electrolysis

Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:53 am

Hi silver,

I have some B4 and after pictures I could e-mail you of some plow feet
that I used in a demonstration at Cubarama. I use arm & hammer
washing soda. I have never tried TSP so I can't address that issue. I
think one of your questions was, what do we use to clean with after the
electrolysis vat. I have a small 30 lb capacity siphon type sand blaster
that I use and use RMS aggragate. It cleans great and gets down into the
deep recesses of parts. Yes you can clean as many items/parts as you
can fit into your vat. Just remember that you must connect all parts or
all loose parts electrically. ALL parts must be at the SAME electrical
potential. Even on large solid parts I have found that if you make two or
three connections throughout the part it cleans much more uniformially.

You will find that parts cleaned this way will flash rust. I have no problem
with that as I immediately dry off and prime.

Hope this helps you some.

Re: electrolysis

Thu Oct 26, 2006 5:02 pm

Russ Leggitt wrote:Hi silver,

I have some B4 and after pictures I could e-mail you of some plow feet
that I used in a demonstration at Cubarama. I use arm & hammer
washing soda. I have never tried TSP so I can't address that issue. I
think one of your questions was, what do we use to clean with after the
electrolysis vat. I have a small 30 lb capacity siphon type sand blaster
that I use and use RMS aggregate. It cleans great and gets down into the
deep recesses of parts. Yes you can clean as many items/parts as you
can fit into your vat. Just remember that you must connect all parts or
all loose parts electrically. ALL parts must be at the SAME electrical
potential. Even on large solid parts I have found that if you make two or
three connections throughout the part it cleans much more uniformly.

You will find that parts cleaned this way will flash rust. I have no problem
with that as I immediately dry off and prime.

Hope this helps you some.


Russ:

It is precisely the flash rust problem that I use TSP. I have yet to see any parts flash rust after coming out of the tank.

Al:

I use my 4" angle grinder fitted with a twisted wire brush for the most stubborn stuff. Yes, there will be some areas that are stubborn, especially on the rims and such where you have crevasses etc., but for the most part it will just wash off with a water hose. For better results than what a 1/2" or 5/8" hose can give you, try using your power washer if you have access to one. It really spiffies it up fast.

THEN: Just let it dry.. and forget it until you are ready to prime... more than just one part. That is what I do.. and since summer/fall of 2004, I have parts sitting in my shop that have yet to be primed, but have ZERO flash rust or rust of any type :!: :!: :!:

So for the extra 2 or 3 dollars a box of TSP costs compared to the Washing Soda ifn I could get it regularly, I figure I am saving a bundle on rattle cans of primer and I don't have to panic right after the part dries :wink: 8) :D 8) 8) :!: This was a point that Cecil and I reiterated many times during CubFest Northeast 2006... and it is worth mentioning over and over again.

Brandon:

Yup, forgot to answer that... As many parts as you can fit into the tank, that as Russ indicated have a good connection and DO NOT touch the electrodes, you will be fine. For cultivator parts, you probably could put a bunch in quite nicely.

Thu Oct 26, 2006 5:47 pm

I haven't had time to rig up the new tank just yet..... Buz Busy!

Got some real TSP at the local ACE for it. That washing soda is a great cleaner and awesome in the laundry, so what I have left won't go to waste.

I saw somewhere that the part should be flushed with water, so I always have done that. As for the part clean up I use a scotchbrite pad (actually the roof vent stuff) and or or a stiff plastic brush. A wire brush will sometimes scratch the material. I think the process may 'soften' the steel???

The keys are ...

good connections, if I can clamp the charger right to the part I will, but not if the clamp is copper (my small tank's charger has copper leads). and only the part is right near the surface.

clean anondes. I usually only run them for a few days before running em through the wire wheel on the grinder (outside with the rebar dry). I take a wire brush to em every day. Sorry Rudi, but this makes it harder than you make it sound.... YUK. If the steel/iron is not clean it just won't work too well.

I have been reusing the same rebar for a real long time and I believe that over time it 'looses' something, despite cleaning it just doesn't work as well.

Still couldn't get the axle apart, but it cleaned up nicely:
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y40/Bu ... 5bb1b6.jpg

As did the hood support:
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y40/Bu ... 3a76e1.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y40/Bu ... f9c221.jpg

I thought the rims were bad... can't imagine how they could come out better than they did:
Image
Image

Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:35 pm

You guys have sold me, I'm building one ASAP!

Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:50 pm

I don't have any pics but just finished a very rusty exhaust manifold for the 130.

This thing works so well, I was even able to get the threads back enough to chase them with a 1 7/8" plumbing tap!

3 days in the tank, hosed off most of the stuff, clean up abit and now ready for paint.

Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:54 pm

How well do cast parts clean? Such as the front radiator casting? So you can do everything except aluminum, brass, and pot metal? Thanks Brandon.