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Old 09-13-2009, 02:14 AM
clutchdust clutchdust is offline
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Default electrolysis rust removal

I ran across this with a rifle I picked up a couple weeks ago but thought I would share as the technique could easily be used on some of those valuable parts you need to restore for your project car.
So without further ado, here you go.
Step 1) Here's one of many parts that I have have to derust. This is the bolt carrier off the 1951 Tula SKS I just bought a couple weeks ago. I got it super cheap because of the condition. The original thought was the rifle was not salvageable.

Step 2) Get a non-conductive container, such as a plastic tub. The one I got for my purposes is one of those tubs that slides under your bed.
Step 3) Connect a copper wire to the part. As you can see, this part had no hole in which to tie the wire so I just used a hose clamp to secure it.

Step 4) You need a iron or steel conductor. I had a chunk of rebar and just welded a bolt to it so I could get a good, secure connection. Then connect a copper wire to that.
***Notice that the positive from my battery charger is connected to my rebar and the negative is connected to the part I want to de-rust.

Step 5) cover the entire part with a water/baking soda solution. Mix one tablespoon to each gallon of water. Stir solution together.
Here's the battery charger I'm using. But the original instructions say you can use a simple phone charger or other plug in DC transformer.

Step 6) Plug the charger in and watch it work! One slight precaution is this process gives off hydrogen gas. It's not a lot but just make sure you ventilate your work area.

Now when I first plugged it in, I was scared shitless the thing was going to go blow up. But it didn't.
Step 7) Just keep your eye on the part for an hour or two and it will look like this:

O.k. Not exactly. This was after about 4 hours with other parts going through the process.
Step 8) When the part is done, remove it and clean it off with clean water, wipe down and oil to protect the finish.
Here's the finished bolt carrier after being cleaned with a brass bristle brush and Nevr-Dull.

Here's the original link that covers a couple things I didn't. [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click Here To Register...]
I tried it on the bolt carrier first just to make sure that if I got it wrong it wasn't on a finished product. I also have the bolt cover which was de-rusted. While there is still some obvious pitting, it's in far better shape than it started out.
I will update my photobucket page with the after pictures of the barrel in a day or two so you can compare the final finish. Just follow the links to my photobucket page.
Good luck with your stuff!

Last edited by clutchdust; 09-13-2009 at 07:21 PM..
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Old 09-13-2009, 02:26 AM
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big2bird big2bird is offline
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Nice post Gary. Well done.
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Old 09-13-2009, 03:33 AM
clutchdust clutchdust is offline
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Just hope it helps some guys. Like I said, I'm a rookie at this so anybody else that wants to attempt, please do some more research. Like the one thing I forgot to say, make sure your two wires or the bare metal touch or you'll blow up your charger.
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Old 09-13-2009, 06:43 PM
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What is baking soda ?
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Old 09-13-2009, 06:55 PM
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natrium bicarbonaat. Ook wel zuiveringszout en ik geloof in bakpoeder voor het rijzen, vandaar dat het bij onze vrolijke vrienden baking soda heet.
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Old 09-13-2009, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twin_Turbo View Post
natrium bicarbonaat. Ook wel zuiveringszout en ik geloof in bakpoeder voor het rijzen, vandaar dat het bij onze vrolijke vrienden baking soda heet.
Sure, that's easy for you to say
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Last edited by saudivette; 09-13-2009 at 07:08 PM..
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Old 09-13-2009, 07:17 PM
clutchdust clutchdust is offline
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Hey, I'm so happy with the way that turned out I just have to show off some more results.
Now keep in mind, this is a very good process for removing rust without having to remove good metal. In fact, you can remove a lot of rust without removing all the original finish. This rifle I picked up, I thought was totally trashed, as did the PO, so I got it cheap. Here's a before and after:

And this is after. Keep in mind the only thing I've done since I pulled it out was wipe off the black goo that the rust turns into, hit it with a brass bristle brush and wiped it with oil.

Of course, I need to do some more final finish to get it back into showable condition, but as it is, it's usable.
I don't know if this will work for aluminum but if you're trying to bring back some rare, hard to find iron or steel parts, whether gun parts car parts or any other home or hobby parts, this is a very easy and effective way to get it done!
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:24 PM
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If I would have something like that lying around I would already be in jail by now.

Thanks TT !

This might be interesting to derust my bolts, screws,...
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:49 AM
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Here's some reading on the subject:
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And here:
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:29 AM
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Thanks Imo, that is an interesting approach to derusting metal. Thanks for sharing it, but I have a hard time warming up to removing rust; whatever the method! The SKS sure looks alot better, though.
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