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Old 08-06-2022, 10:05 AM
JimGGC JimGGC is offline
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Question Help with electrolysis and relic preservation, please!

Hello everyone!

I have a couple of questions regarding electrolysis and the preservation of finds...

This is my second attempt at an electrolysis run. I've got a backlog of stuff that I've been putting off because my last attempts at cleaning went so badly, but I'm determined to do better this summer. I'm using a 24v 3amp laptop charger as my power supply.

1.
I'm having some trouble getting down to bare metal because of this hard black crust. It's like stone. It's very difficult to get off and electrolysis doesn't seem to get rid of it? Or does it? Is it just a case of leaving objects in for longer? I'm worried about overcooking and ruining things. I managed to get it off a Mills bomb spoon with a pick, copper scourer and lots of elbow grease but it's a difficult and time consuming process and easy to scratch things when going at it hard with the pick. Brass wire brushes do nothing to it. Is there an easier way to get rid of the crust?

Here you can see the crust between the segments of an F1 (totally empty and safe of course). It's had several days in the bath. I'd really like to get it finished and on my book shelf!


2.
My other question is about wax boiling.

It's my understanding that unless you remove all the rust from a find, it will always eventually come back. So if you have an object with an internal cavity like a cannon ball, barrel, etc and you run it through electrolysis and then wax boil it, won't it rust and slowly eat itself away on the inside where the electrolysis didn't get to it? And thus it's more a case of slowing the degredation of an object rather than stopping it completely?

It would be great if someone could give a rank amateur some advice.

Thanks,

Jim.
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  #2  
Old 08-06-2022, 10:45 AM
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EmuDetector EmuDetector is offline
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So multi point answer.

First are you sure the laptop charger is doing it's job? I say that because most power sources like that have trips to stop them from shorting.

Next, the color looks normal for electrolysis, are you sure that's crust or is it a rough casting edge from whem the grenade was made? I've had those before and usually the spaces between those squares are rough textured.

For the interior, the wax boil will keep the corrosion down. A paint product like gemplers will also kill it. An iron object that thick will never rust through in your lifetime sitting on a table. I prefer paint products over wax boil because the boil can cause the metal to pop if there's an air bubble in the casting.

If you scroll through my threads in my bio I have a walkthrough for electrolysis, I run it pretty often.

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Old 08-06-2022, 10:58 AM
JimGGC JimGGC is offline
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Originally Posted by EmuDetector View post
So multi point answer.

First are you sure the laptop charger is doing it's job? I say that because most power sources like that have trips to stop them from shorting.

Next, the color looks normal for electrolysis, are you sure that's crust or is it a rough casting edge from whem the grenade was made? I've had those before and usually the spaces between those squares are rough textured.

For the interior, the wax boil will keep the corrosion down. A paint product like gemplers will also kill it. An iron object that thick will never rust through in your lifetime sitting on a table. I prefer paint products over wax boil because the boil can cause the metal to pop if there's an air bubble in the casting.

If you scroll through my threads in my bio I have a walkthrough for electrolysis, I run it pretty often.
Yep, water is fizzing and crud is coming off so can confirm it's working.

Definitely crust. Chips off if I tap it with a hammer and screwdriver. Rough cast bits are smoother.

I'm currently playing with a tannic acid solution, so will try that too.

Many thanks, will do!
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Old 08-06-2022, 11:06 AM
Country Dirt Kid Country Dirt Kid is offline
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Check and make sure that the negative is hooked up to the relic, if you have the wires backwards it looks like itís working but make little progress.

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Old 08-06-2022, 03:50 PM
Tinhorn3 Tinhorn3 is offline
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Originally Posted by Country Dirt Kid View post
Check and make sure that the negative is hooked up to the relic, if you have the wires backwards it looks like itís working but make little progress.

I was thinking the same thing... you should also have like "smoke" off the relic in the water pretty fast, just a few minutes usually.
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Old 08-06-2022, 08:17 PM
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Old 08-07-2022, 10:44 AM
GTS225 GTS225 is offline
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Concerning the hollow pieces: Can you rig a single electrode that extends up inside the piece, in order to derust the inside at the same time as the outside?
As long as the piece isn't touching the electrode, you should be good.

Roger
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Old 08-07-2022, 11:43 AM
Tinhorn3 Tinhorn3 is offline
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I think the whole relic gets the rust off & don't matter where the metal gets the electric connection, as long it's clean at the connection
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Old 08-07-2022, 01:04 PM
JimGGC JimGGC is offline
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Originally Posted by Country Dirt Kid View post
Check and make sure that the negative is hooked up to the relic, if you have the wires backwards it looks like itís working but make little progress.
Originally Posted by Tinhorn3 View post
I was thinking the same thing... you should also have like "smoke" off the relic in the water pretty fast, just a few minutes usually.
No issues with connections. This was how it looked before!


Originally Posted by GTS225 View post
Concerning the hollow pieces: Can you rig a single electrode that extends up inside the piece, in order to derust the inside at the same time as the outside?
As long as the piece isn't touching the electrode, you should be good.

Roger
Yes! I've managed to do that with the F1 by putting a small, thin piece of rebar in there.


I'm thinking that the stubborn crust could be magnetite and/or concretion from sandy soil (it's very sandy in this part of Europe).

This track link pin is getting to the same point now - almost all the rust has been removed but hard, black crud remains in some places. Water is black but doesn't seem to be eating away the crust.
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Old 08-07-2022, 02:00 PM
Country Dirt Kid Country Dirt Kid is offline
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Ok I see what you are talking about, electrolysis removes most of the surface contamination but then you reach a point where there are some deposits that are stubborn. What I do then is to take the relic to the car wash and blast it with the power wand up close. I also wash my truck while Iím there. This gets rid of the crust and the magnetite iron that is being laid down by the electrolysis process. You dont want magnetite on it because it will flash rust on the relic minuets after you take it out. After I do this I put it back in the electrolysis tank and clean it some more. Itís just a matter of blasting this crust off with pressure

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Old 08-08-2022, 07:48 AM
JimGGC JimGGC is offline
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Originally Posted by Country Dirt Kid View post
Ok I see what you are talking about, electrolysis removes most of the surface contamination but then you reach a point where there are some deposits that are stubborn. What I do then is to take the relic to the car wash and blast it with the power wand up close. I also wash my truck while Iím there. This gets rid of the crust and the magnetite iron that is being laid down by the electrolysis process. You dont want magnetite on it because it will flash rust on the relic minuets after you take it out. After I do this I put it back in the electrolysis tank and clean it some more. Itís just a matter of blasting this crust off with pressure
Ah that's an interesting solution! Will definitely try it out.
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  #12  
Old 08-27-2022, 08:53 AM
Jose159 Jose159 is offline
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The best thing I have found for preserving metal items is a product called Penetrol which actually is a paint additive. I use it on steampunk lamps,antique items like old wagons and bicycles that are kept outside . We use it alot in the natural gas industry to keep above ground pipes and fittings from corroding. Works great on wood alsoName:  IMG_0625.jpg
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Old 09-09-2022, 03:52 PM
JimGGC JimGGC is offline
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Originally Posted by Jose159 View post
The best thing I have found for preserving metal items is a product called Penetrol which actually is a paint additive. I use it on steampunk lamps,antique items like old wagons and bicycles that are kept outside . We use it alot in the natural gas industry to keep above ground pipes and fittings from corroding. Works great on wood alsoAttachment 504609


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Will stick that one on the list! Thanks.


My work continues, but has slowed because I've moved things to my workplace. I may post up some pics of progress on current objects.
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