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3CommentsHolopaw, FLJoined December 3rd, 2016

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  • Rusty Junk to Useful Stuff EASY With Chemistry!

    I have used this technique for years, but in a slightly different fashion...I use lye in the water to form the electrolyte, and a large (approximately 40 gallon) plastic barrel, and a 36 volt golf cart battery charger. Same process, just on a larger scale. Any water soluble substance that allows the electricity to flow can be used to form the electrolyte, but some can be quite toxic. The washing soda idea is something I am going to try. Lye can be hard to find these days.Care needs to be taken with the lye, but the solution is not strong and I have had no problems with chemical burns. Of course, whenever I come in contact with the electrolyte I wash my hands immediately. And don't wear any clothes doing this that you are fond of. And take off any metal you wear, rings, watches, e...see more »I have used this technique for years, but in a slightly different fashion...I use lye in the water to form the electrolyte, and a large (approximately 40 gallon) plastic barrel, and a 36 volt golf cart battery charger. Same process, just on a larger scale. Any water soluble substance that allows the electricity to flow can be used to form the electrolyte, but some can be quite toxic. The washing soda idea is something I am going to try. Lye can be hard to find these days.Care needs to be taken with the lye, but the solution is not strong and I have had no problems with chemical burns. Of course, whenever I come in contact with the electrolyte I wash my hands immediately. And don't wear any clothes doing this that you are fond of. And take off any metal you wear, rings, watches, etc.Rebar works great as an anode, but the rust flakes soon coat the bar and reduce the effectiveness of the process. Depending on the size of the project - say, like the cargo rack from a 4-wheeler - you may need to replace the anode more than once. I keep a few pieces of rebar handy, so I can replace one and clean up the other. I hose the crusty used anode off thoroughly - rubber gloves help, remember the lye - and let it dry. Once dry, a wire wheel on a bench grinder (or drill) makes short work of producing a clean "new" anode. You will be generating a significant cloud of red dust, I wear a simple face mask. My shed isn't exactly "tight" - more like a small pole barn - so I do this indoors, but it's best done outside.You will be surprised at how fast the rebar will erode. Apparently, the iron rust being dissolved by the electrolysis process takes iron from the anode to form the rusty fuzz on the rebar. I'm sure a chemist out there will have something to say about that. Of course, I'm using about 40 volts and several amps... The reason for hooking the red positive clamp from the battery charger to the anode stems from the fact that electricity actually flows from the negative terminal to the positive. Hook this up backwards and you will end up with a shiny piece of rebar and granny's dutch oven will be coated with rusty flakes!By the way, protect the cleaned metal surface asap. This electrolysis process leaves elemental iron exposed to the air and it will start to rust faster than you might believe. Also, this process does NOT remove paint. Anywhere that the paint has separated from the metal surface will bubble up and is easily removed, but you need to plan on removing paint if you are going after that "new" look. Speaking of looking "new"... this process does not remove or fill in rust pits in the metal. It only removes the actual rust. A final note: I drain the old electrolyte solution on the ground. It's a weak base, further weakened by the water used to rinse the tub. The weeds behind my shed seem to thrive on the stuff. And I only do this a few times a year - once you get past the experimental stage where you want to "derust" everything in sight, you find that you get interested in other stuff!

    Frankly, I never bothered to measure it. A small container of lye - 6 or 8 fluid ounce size in the 40 gallon tank works for me. Remember, the purpose of the lye is not to do any actual cleaning, it is there to create the electrolyte solution that allows the current to flow in the water. The lye functions as a catalyst and is not "used up:" by the process, so a weak mix works fine and is safer, too. Think of the lye, or washing soda - you could probably use table salt! - think of whatever you use as a virtual "wire" carrying the current from cathode (piece being cleaned) to the anode (that piece of rebar), carrying those pesky little rust flakes with it. A stronger solution works faster but the weak solution is a LOT safer. And that golf cart charger puts out 36...see more »Frankly, I never bothered to measure it. A small container of lye - 6 or 8 fluid ounce size in the 40 gallon tank works for me. Remember, the purpose of the lye is not to do any actual cleaning, it is there to create the electrolyte solution that allows the current to flow in the water. The lye functions as a catalyst and is not "used up:" by the process, so a weak mix works fine and is safer, too. Think of the lye, or washing soda - you could probably use table salt! - think of whatever you use as a virtual "wire" carrying the current from cathode (piece being cleaned) to the anode (that piece of rebar), carrying those pesky little rust flakes with it. A stronger solution works faster but the weak solution is a LOT safer. And that golf cart charger puts out 36-40 volts and enough amperage to charge 6 deep cycle golf cart batteries, so there is no need to use a stronger mix.Come to think of it, I wouldn't try table salt. Sounds innocuous, but table salt is made of sodium and chlorine and those are not exactly "user friendly" in any form. Well, except table salt!The source I got this from suggested lye and it works. I suspect that the same mix used with the washing soda would work.

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  • Chief741A commented on tgdula's instructable A knife from a shot out M1 rifle4 months ago
    A knife from a shot out M1 rifle

    Can't tell without seeing the receiver - I'm not exactly a gunsmith - but that sure looks like an M1 Carbine stock, not an M1 Rifle. I am a retired soldier, and I am old enough to have handled a couple dozen M1 Rifles, and I have never seen one with with a sling relief cut into the stock like this one did. I suspect that you sacrificed a Carbine, not a Rifle, to make this knife.I know, picky picky, they are both rifles - but there is a difference. If you had cut up an M1 Rifle barrel I might have had to say prayers for you at my shrine to the prophet Garrand... and it was painful enough to see that beautiful walnut stock sacrificed, but I guess that sin was committed by the owner of the carbine...Please tell me that was an M1 Carbine and not an M1 Garrand Rifle.

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