Electrolytic De-Rusting Tank Project

Share pictures of your workspace/garage/shop, as well as any information about tools, tips and tricks that you have/use around your shop.
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Jeff Rice
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Electrolytic De-Rusting Tank Project

Post by Jeff Rice » 22 Apr 2006, 07:20

Spent a few hours yesterday building something I had scrounged parts for for over two years. I found a place shutting down that had about a dozen of these fiberglass tanks that were used for something... Beats me what for... But I thought they would make great trash cans. They do, but they hold water.
Sooo....
Last time I was at the scrap place I bought a end cut off of a roll of steel sheet.. Yesterday I trimmed and bent up the sheet metal to make a four sided liner for one of the tanks. Image
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The wife had bought me a box of washing soda from the store a few months ago... Put about two cups of soda in there and filled it up. Image
I hooked it up to a battery charger I had, but the charger I had is an automatic one and needs to see a charge before it will turn on, so I just hooked up a battery to it with the charger hooked up to the battery. Hung a rusty old Stude head in there and hooked it up.... Had to re-re-read the internet to make sure the polarity was correct (neg on the part, pos on the tank wall).. Started working right away. Took the head out and hosed it off after an hour or so and it was amazing to see how much rust had come off (and how nasty that head really is) But the battery charger isn't up to the job. Reading further on the internet, someone was using power supplies from computers, and one guy even hooked his welder up. Screw the power supplies from computers, I've had to replace them on computers, so this contraption would fry it quick :roll: . Soo,,,, I hooked up the welder on the lowest setting and tried that. That worked great. Won't actually contine to use the welder, but wanted to know if the concept was plausible.
Anybody have a suggestion for a cheap-ass power supply to use?
Jeff 8)
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Post by 55Pres » 22 Apr 2006, 17:17

How many amps is the tank pulling?
Randy Wakefield

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Kdancy
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Post by Kdancy » 23 Apr 2006, 15:43

Jeff, I tried that a few years ago and it worked fine as long as there was an open path for the electrical current to "see" the part. I never could get the hidden stuff clean using this method. I did work well for brackets and such.
I just finished up building a de-rusting tank using a spray system and de-rust solution that strips only the rust off. I wanted something that I could get inside door, trunk and hood panels. I'm also building the same type tank to "dip" strip paint off the same parts.

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Post by leroy » 24 Apr 2006, 00:02

I have pittled with this system a little. my first try was with battery charger which worked ok, good job removing rust and paint but slow. I next tried a 100amp 12 volt power supply for for military radios. I could pull 6o amp reading on power supply, but about a max o15 to 18 amps on meter wired in series to working cables? the larger amp input didn,t help the speed much.I thought it would, It cleans and will free up Un identifiable rusted parts down to reading the manufactures name.
I have used it to clean the inside of mototcycle gas tanks without damaging the paint by making a conductor to fit inside the tank with rubber insulaters attached for no continuity. this I did like, I don't know another way to do this without damaging the paint.
I like this spray and solution system , tell me more. what solutions do you use?
leroy

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Tom Osborne
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Post by Tom Osborne » 24 Apr 2006, 01:16

Hi Jeff, What really works great is this, yes its another way but very effective and end product is safe from rust. I use this method to prepare substrate prior to powdercoating . phosphoric acid dip your heads for about 1/2 hour on rusty heads. rinse off. bead blast. rinse off and quickly dip into picklex metal treatment per instructions. then machine heads. the treated surface will not rust. you can put outside for weeks in the rain. This would really work nice on prepping intake manifolds other than aluminum. Picklex is about $80./ gallon and this is the modern safe way to dip carbodies, costs lots to fill a large fiberglass tank for that, but for cylinder heads 4 gallons should do it. Ultra sound is the only other way to effectively shed rust from parts, and not an inexpensive ordeal. After machine work you wash with solvent or blast off with brake clean, then oil grease spray machined areas that arent treated. I love the end results looks super good. Tom O.
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Post by Kdancy » 24 Apr 2006, 06:24

Picklex is pretty good stuff. It is supposed to increase weld strength as well (that is what is was orginally formulated for).
I buy another product in 55 gal drums, it is bio-degradable and you can poor the used solution on the lawn with out polluting. This way it is around 15.00 a gal. The spray keeps everything coated with solution so it can do it's thing without having to be totally submerged, saving cost. I will try to post pictures when I do the next batch.

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Post by Tom Osborne » 25 Apr 2006, 01:23

Picklex is incredible. It converts rust then seals up iron and aluminum. I tried a sample shot of picklex in welding and its wild. submerged parts and mill scale is gone. steel with mill scale is not going to powdercoat well, itll sheet the coating off if part bends. have to remove it by sandblasting or chemically. Picklex makes cast iron look fresh cast. The overall cost verses electric tanking bill is well worth the investment. You can make this product last by filtering it and making sure that parts are reasonably clean before dipping , when it starts getting weak, just add more and it comes back to full strenght easy. You can buid a spray booth instead of submerging parts, nozzels from commercial supplier and a pump that can handle it. Picklex can get anything you need to get up and going. picklex solution when warm works really good. This product only destroys oxidation and rust, wont destroy parts. I always pressure wash parts first then bead blast as clean as possible, picklex gets all the hidden areas like inside intake runners. Fantastic stuff to clean up nasty water pumps and other hard to clean parts. Check out website, a must do. Tom O.
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Post by Kdancy » 25 Apr 2006, 06:19

Oldvinyl wrote:Picklex is incredible. It converts rust then seals up iron and aluminum. I tried a sample shot of picklex in welding and its wild. submerged parts and mill scale is gone. steel with mill scale is not going to powdercoat well, itll sheet the coating off if part bends. have to remove it by sandblasting or chemically. Picklex makes cast iron look fresh cast. The overall cost verses electric tanking bill is well worth the investment. You can make this product last by filtering it and making sure that parts are reasonably clean before dipping , when it starts getting weak, just add more and it comes back to full strenght easy. You can buid a spray booth instead of submerging parts, nozzels from commercial supplier and a pump that can handle it. Picklex can get anything you need to get up and going. picklex solution when warm works really good. This product only destroys oxidation and rust, wont destroy parts. I always pressure wash parts first then bead blast as clean as possible, picklex gets all the hidden areas like inside intake runners. Fantastic stuff to clean up nasty water pumps and other hard to clean parts. Check out website, a must do. Tom O.

Like I said, picklex is good stuff. I already built the tank and spray system with filter and heater. There seems to be several products on the market that look, smell and work the same way. Cost is still a big factor if all produce the same effects.

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Jeff Rice
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Post by Jeff Rice » 25 Apr 2006, 07:44

Interesting reading.
http://www.picklex.com/
Jeff 8)

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Tom Osborne
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Post by Tom Osborne » 25 Apr 2006, 10:34

The reason that our powdercoat job shop got involved with picklex is a local car club owner was restoring a nice 1931 model A coupe. He had me powdercoat all his driveline parts, he brought over some picklex and we tried it out. the nice thing about this product is its the only currently safe product to cross our border without special permit. Jeff you should really try some on one of your manifolds., or find a powdercoat shop close by to see if they can spray or dip for you. Tom O.
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Post by Jeff Rice » 25 Apr 2006, 12:25

Only if the customer will pay extra for it...
Jeff 8)



Oldvinyl wrote:<snip>
Jeff you should really try some on one of your manifolds., or find a shop close by to see if they can spray or dip for you.
Tom O.

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Post by Kdancy » 26 Apr 2006, 19:16

I just picked up a 63 Cruiser frame that I sandblasted, picklex'd and had powdercoated.
Even with picklex, you can't leave anything setting very long in the Florida humidity, it will flash rust in a very short time.

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Post by Tom Osborne » 02 May 2006, 21:04

If picklex is put on long enough it creates a barrier thats good for about a month outside. Done this with test substrates. picklex has a galvanic type conversion, And importantly the only real safe chemical proccess in north america. I bet the Cruiser frame turned out really nice, Did you have the inside coated aswell??? Tom O
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Post by Kdancy » 03 May 2006, 11:02

I have tried Picklex in a lot of different ways. No product that I have tried will allow a piece of raw metal to be rust free for a month in this climate.
The frame turned out pretty nice. I would like to try the E-coating method as that is an immersion process but have been unable to find anyone that does it.

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Post by Sudsy » 16 Mar 2007, 04:23

Just found this post and thought i'de ad my 10c's worth. Another method for rust removal is mollasses. Just mix with water into a tank of the right proportions for the job, throw the parts in but keep them off the bottom then when done hose off. It's slower than other methods and stinks a bit but is enviromentally friendly, cheap (this on it's own should attract the Studey crowd :D :D :D :D ) and it does work very well.

By the way Jeff, i have read on another forum that using stainless as the other metal on the electrical setup you have apparently causes toxic gasses. I don't know if this is correct but worth checking out. Probably o'k in well ventilated area.
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