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Old 11-27-2010, 10:15 PM
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Default I use a cell phone charger

Looks like a good thread to get someone electrocuted...............
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Old 11-28-2010, 01:30 AM
fightingfenian fightingfenian is offline
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this is probably a dumb question, but just wondering, does the electrosis work on only iron and steel? or can it be used on all items and metals/alloys? im quite new to MDing, so i think electrosis may be my new experiment on the things ive found so far. btw, is there any way to find out the age of items ive found?
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by beerdoodle View post
Looks like a good thread to get someone electrocuted...............
yeah, i hear ya there!

when people are saying their adapters are getting too hot and burning out, that's kinda telling me that they're obviously being put to use in ways that they're not meant to be and applications that the transformers can't handle.
i went the extra steps with my set-up: a heavy duty transformer designed to run 24/7; dual fused (on both the AC side AND the DC side); variable power output and a cooling fan.... just to be on the safe side.
of course it goes without saying that NO set-up like this should be left unattended and they should be frequently checked for any signs of over heating. most transformers, regardless of they're being used for, will get slightly warm to the touch, but if they're getting HOT, then ya might want to reconsider the application that you're using it for and ask yourself if it's worth the risks.

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Old 12-13-2010, 10:05 AM
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Try sheet metal for the positive. Cheaper then spoons and it works great.
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:30 PM
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I have the homemade set up with a 12 v transformer and I dont buy stainless steel for it, I FIND it with my MD!! So far 1 large serving spoon and 1 fork have been used and it took many runs to eat up that serving spoon but I finally tossed it. Have not yet started back to it with the fork!

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Old 04-19-2011, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by fightingfenian View post
this is probably a dumb question, but just wondering, does the electrosis work on only iron and steel? or can it be used on all items and metals/alloys? im quite new to MDing, so i think electrosis may be my new experiment on the things ive found so far. btw, is there any way to find out the age of items ive found?
i've cleaned copper coins with no problem

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Old 05-10-2011, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Surf Master View post
I am building 1 now,2 stainless steel plates,10 to 12 volt marine battery charger,large aligator clips,plastic tub,i guess i will use heavy gage wire,is coated or bare wire used?
I've been using this method for years to clean rust from old tools and other heavy metal items. I use a standard 12V battery charger and simply attach the negative clip to the item to be cleaned and submerge it in water mixed with washing soda and the positive to the sacrificial metal which in my case I have a length of cheap stainless bar. You want your sacrificial metal in the water but also to extend out of it and that's where you attach the clip. Works like a charm however I've never tried it on light weight or precious metal. Oh yeah, make all of the connections then plug in the charger. When removing the cleaned item unplug the charger first.

This link explains the process in more detail:

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Old 05-18-2011, 02:16 AM
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I've used electrolysis for hydrogen generation for boosting hydrogen content of drinking water. Up to 6 volts is definitely safe, just get a decent amperage rating; a 4.5v or 5.0 cell phone charger is fine. Any charger/transformer will become warm; just use common sense--if the wall plug, wires, or charger become too warm to touch comfortably, disconnect immediately, then try something different.

Baking soda is best for safety. Start with this for safety; then if you really want to get into electrolyis google HHO for results.
I use an electosonic cleaning unit for my jewelry making. It safely cleans gold, silver, etc. Check to be sure if the cleaning fluid is recommended for your particular type of metal or find.
Diluted Dawn liquid, then rinse works for my purposes, including pearls.. I've gotten the rust off brass beads (5-10 yr.old).

Perhaps a DIY ultrasonic cleaner would be a good project!! start with an old phono motor......
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Old 05-29-2011, 12:40 PM
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I am playing around with a manual 12 volt 6 amp automotive battery charger (the automatic units wont work), so I have lots of power and a amp meter to monitor the progress. I have so far noted the following,
!. The amount of salt, backing soda and lemmon juice definatly affect current draw, so is probably why your power supplies go south.
2. The closer proximity to the stainless the higher the amp draw. This is very noticable. I am using a stainless bolt from the local hardware store.
3. Given a strong enough solution I can cook a zinc penny in 5 minuits bohond recognition. This makes me wonder about the validity of this method of cleaning coins. even when I adjust my electrolite to draw less than 1 amp, you can see where the aligator clip was.
4. baking soda is not as harsh on the metal as salt so I have quite using salt. It is also safer since salt will produce harfull and maybe even explosive gasses.
5. I get coins from the surf here and if they are crusted over at all I will destroy the coin trying to remove the calcium. I am working with amp draw and electrolite solutions trying to minnimize this, however as of now I do not think that electrolisis is a very good cleaning idea for coins.
It may be that lowering the voltage may prove safer and I am working with this now. I will let you know.

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Old 08-30-2011, 08:23 AM
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and to think at one point i owned a power supliy with adjustable voltage and capeable of 30 to 35

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Old 08-30-2011, 09:13 AM
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Jason in Enid Jason in Enid is offline
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Originally Posted by LookingHawk View post
and to think at one point i owned a power supliy with adjustable voltage and capeable of 30 to 35
Voltage isn't what you need, it's the amps. 30 amps is WAY too much.

Electrolisys is perfectly safe to use for cleaning coins as long as it's done correctly.

Electrolysis is also "line of site" only. That means the side that faces away from your sacrificial target, doesn't get the benefit.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:50 AM
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Baking soda, distilled H20, gelatin to insert the object, stainless mess on bottom and a variable power supply works.

The gelatin holds the object suspended to get all sides.

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Old 08-30-2011, 11:26 AM
Jerry-Wi Jerry-Wi is offline
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Reading through this whole thread I see a few posts where some heavy duty supply's like a battery charger was used. Ideal.

Bear in mind that the little chargers for modern electronic gear for the most part do not have much capacity. The voltage and current ratings are usually silk screened or molded into the cover.

You can use these smaller wall wart chargers for electrolysis but you really need to watch the current draw. An amp or more appropriate milli-amp meter is needed to know for sure what is going on. If you try pulling 2 amps out of a little supply that is rated for 500 ma, the result is 100% predictable. It will burn up!

There are plenty of schemes in which to limit the current to a safe level for you particular charger. The simplest I can think of is a resistor in series with the output so that even if the electrolysis unit is shorted, the current is limited.

For example if your charger puts out 15 volts and 500 ma (half and amp), you will need 30 ohms of resistance in series to limit the current draw at 500ma. However a more practical and safer limit would be 250 ma in which case the resistor would be 60 ohms.

Here is a nice on line calculator that might come in handy. Just watch the units of measurement.

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Old 01-21-2013, 12:15 PM
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I made a setup with an old rubbermaid smaller tub, a length of rebar, for the positive connection, and found an old 12 volt, 1 amp charger. Didn't seem to work great, but did get some rust off what I was trying to clean. For coins, I find it works to lay them down on a sheet of metal and then turn them after a bit (power down first of course). Seems to do OK, but its easier to just tumble the coins really.

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Old 04-02-2013, 12:08 AM
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I didn't want to try the cell charger thing and youtubed some video's and one person was using a 9V battery and I thought huh that would be portable and could do it outside for the ventilation but figured a 9V would die pretty fast so I tried a 6v lattern battery and it works great ... they are cheap and one would last a good while

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Old 10-11-2013, 11:29 PM
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Good thread, guys.. I've had a few burn out on me too but I just chalked it up to it happening because "that's not what they were intended to be used for I guess".. I get them for free or super cheap so I guess it hasn't been a big issue..

Anyway.. I read a bit about electrolysis a few months ago because I was starting to doubt my methods and wanted better results.. I'm no expert but I can share 2 things with you that were very helpful.

1) As someone mentioned earlier, use Washing Soda for the electrolyte.. It works much better than Baking Soda.. I'm not sure I've ever seen it at the dollar store but I do know that hardware stores often carry Arm & Hammer brand.

2) Evidently you should not be using table salt for your electrolysis projects.. When the water starts bubbling it turns the table salt into a gas (which you can definitely smell) and it's bad to be around, bad to inhale.. I'm not a scientist and I'm also in position to question the warning so I took the warning as good advice and won't use it anymore.. Evidently the best salt to use is Epsom Salt.. This is very cheap and can be found in the pharmacy section of your local supermarket or drug store.. (works great for a foot soak after a full day of hunting as well! )

Just thought I'd share
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:21 AM
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I am probably going to do some experimenting with this and have done a little of this for gun parts years ago. I will take pictures and post them.

A little word of advise is not to use a AC/DC transformer like a cell phone charger. Its a fire hazard. Those rely on the phone to control the amperage, so if used in an electrolysis situation the theoretical amperage draw is limitless and it will create heat until something gives. A good automotive battery charger is a better solution as they have thermal overloads build in and many have amperage adjustments where you can set the max amp draw.

An even better solution is a power supply for a model train set. They have a set voltage and you vary the amperage with the speed control. Meaning if you put the speed control in the middle and short the 2 wires together the amp draw will not go beyond a certain set point. They also have thermal overloads as well..... in case things get a little crazy.

I would also like to add... that the gas you are smelling when using table salt is Chlorine Gas. Very dangerous and very deadly. Probably not deadly in the amounts you will be generating..... but keep in mind...... Chlorine gas was used in WW1 as a chemical weapon. It reacts with the moisture in your lungs causing burns.... which causes a ton of mucus to build up.... and basically you drown.

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Old 09-09-2017, 11:34 AM
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When I use one of the little chargers such as the ones that come with phones or other electronics I monitor the current draw with a meter and add washing soda or water as needed to adjust the current draw to a point slightly below the rating of the charger. This method adjusts everything to the actual setup, including the item being cleaned, no theory or calculations necessary. No chargers have been scraped since I started this method and my results are more consistent as current flow is dependent on the electrolyte used as well as the spacing and conductivity of the items in the tank.

Edit: I actually do use washing soda. The baking soda shown in the attached picture is not what I use for my electrolyte mix. The baking soda is only on the bench because I used it earlier to clean my lawn tractor battery.
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by beerdoodle View post
Looks like a good thread to get someone electrocuted...............
Miss that dude ^

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Old 02-04-2018, 08:30 PM
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I have been using a cell phone charger. Have not had a problem Yet. I use tap water with a bit of salt. The bubbles must be coming from the object to be cleaned.

I have cleaned gold and silver both with no problems.
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