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  #1  
Old 07-09-2020, 03:08 PM
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maxxkatt maxxkatt is offline
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Default electrolysis question

I have used electrolysis to clean a couple of old axe heads. I used a single scrap piece of steel as my positive and clipped the negative on my relic. all worked well.

I am trying to decrease the electrolysis time by putting four pieces of aluminum at North, south, east and west on my bucket for my positive.

will aluminum work or does it have to be iron or steel for your positive?
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2020, 07:56 PM
GTS225 GTS225 is offline
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Aluminum will conduct electricity, but using iron or steel will be quite a bit more efficient.

Roger
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Old 07-09-2020, 11:37 PM
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Stick with iron for better results. I use a metal bucket 99% of the time when I run my tank. If you suspend your item in the bucket, you get the electricity moving all around. I just get the $5 painters metal buckets at home depot.
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  #4  
Old 07-10-2020, 04:41 PM
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Stainless steel and powdered dishwasher soap added to the water will help speed up the process. Once I ran out of scrap stainless, I just bought a couple stainless steel bolts at the hardware store. Works great !!
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  #5  
Old 07-14-2020, 03:35 PM
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I use these carbon anodes, and they work great.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FGDR8X8

I have tried scrap metal, steel, nails. I have found these anodes to be the best solution for my electrolysis cleaning.

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  #6  
Old 07-25-2020, 03:46 AM
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hot/warm salt water. The higher the salt content the more conductive the water is. You basically dump a bag of salt onto your item while its sitting in the water... not sure what you are cleaning though so might want to think about what salt will do to it (works great for silver)

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  #7  
Old 07-25-2020, 10:24 AM
GTS225 GTS225 is offline
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Steve; While you're correct that salt will increase the conductivity of the water, it will also act corrosively on the metal object you're trying to save, and will have bad effects on the power supply. If one is using just a charger, (especially a small one), it'll burn out in short order due to higher-than-designed current demands by the salted fluid.
From what info I've dug up, one should use an automotive battery charger, in the 6-10 amp range. Get everything set up, check the current output on the charger's gauge, then start adding washing soda to the water until you get to about 80 or 90% of charger's rated current output.
Check your "save" often until it's as clean as you think it'll get.
(Safety note: do this in a well ventilated environment. The electrolysis action can give off toxic gasses that you really don't want in your lungs.)

Roger
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Old 07-25-2020, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by GTS225 View post
Steve; While you're correct that salt will increase the conductivity of the water, it will also act corrosively on the metal object you're trying to save, and will have bad effects on the power supply. If one is using just a charger, (especially a small one), it'll burn out in short order due to higher-than-designed current demands by the salted fluid.
From what info I've dug up, one should use an automotive battery charger, in the 6-10 amp range. Get everything set up, check the current output on the charger's gauge, then start adding washing soda to the water until you get to about 80 or 90% of charger's rated current output.
Check your "save" often until it's as clean as you think it'll get.
(Safety note: do this in a well ventilated environment. The electrolysis action can give off toxic gasses that you really don't want in your lungs.)

Roger
i just use it for some small silver on occasion using old cell chargers. Afterwards I wash it and buff it up with silver polish. Good as new or at least good enough that my scrap guy will take it.

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Last edited by Steve; 07-27-2020 at 11:38 AM.
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  #9  
Old 07-30-2020, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by GTS225 View post
Steve; While you're correct that salt will increase the conductivity of the water, it will also act corrosively on the metal object you're trying to save, and will have bad effects on the power supply. If one is using just a charger, (especially a small one), it'll burn out in short order due to higher-than-designed current demands by the salted fluid.
From what info I've dug up, one should use an automotive battery charger, in the 6-10 amp range. Get everything set up, check the current output on the charger's gauge, then start adding washing soda to the water until you get to about 80 or 90% of charger's rated current output.
Check your "save" often until it's as clean as you think it'll get.
(Safety note: do this in a well ventilated environment. The electrolysis action can give off toxic gasses that you really don't want in your lungs.)

Roger
He is correct. ARM AND HAMMER WASHING SODA is what I use. Stainless steel is supposedly releasing a poisonous gas so use iron.

I take a storage bin and secure my sacrificial anodes in each corner then connect them with copper wire. I use 2 car chargers and occasionally 4. I use railroad plates and when they slow down or stop because of their accumulated rust, I take a belt sander and remove the rust and continue to use them

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  #10  
Old 10-06-2020, 07:53 PM
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double post.
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  #11  
Old 10-06-2020, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Chipk View post
He is correct. ARM AND HAMMER WASHING SODA is what I use. Stainless steel is supposedly releasing a poisonous gas so use iron.

I take a storage bin and secure my sacrificial anodes in each corner then connect them with copper wire. I use 2 car chargers and occasionally 4. I use railroad plates and when they slow down or stop because of their accumulated rust, I take a belt sander and remove the rust and continue to use them
Is washing soda the same as baking soda?
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  #12  
Old 10-06-2020, 11:46 PM
Country Dirt Kid Country Dirt Kid is offline
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Not the same but I have never seen a difference in the final results.

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  #13  
Old 10-09-2020, 02:33 PM
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A reminder (just to state the obvious).
If you find something of value, monetary or historically which you may wish to
sell, do nothing to it. By cleaning (other than washing in water) you could
seriously affect it's value.

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  #14  
Old 10-24-2020, 03:32 AM
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Taken from antique-engines.com
Why you should not use stainless steel electrodes for electrolysis!

Many people using the electrolysis method for rust reduction swear by stainless steel, stating (incorrectly) that it's not consumed, stays clean and seems safe.
Stainless steel is indeed consumed when used in the electrolysis process, although slowly. The main problem with using it is the hazardous waste it produces. Stainless steel contains chromium. The electrodes, and thus the chromium is consumed, and you end up with poisonous chromates in your electrolyte. Dumping these on the ground or down the drain is illegal. The compounds can cause severe skin problems and ultimately, cancer. Hexavalent chromate is poisonous. These compounds are not excused from hazardous waste regulations where household wastes are.
These compounds are bad enough that government regulations mandate "elimination of hexavalent chromate by 2007 for corrosion protection."

Does your electrolyte turn yellow? That's a sign of chromates.
If you have been using stainless steel for the anodes (positive electrodes), wear rubber gloves when working with or near the liquids. If you need to dispose of it, allow it to evaporate into powders and dispose of the powders in sealed containers during your local "hazardous waste clean-up days".

Best bet - don't use stainless steel no matter how tempting it is.

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