Monday, February 9, 2009
Rust Never Sleeps
Time to change gears.
Here is a proven method for rust removal. Even though I am a Boy Genius™, I did not come up with this one. The key ingredient is Sodium Carbonate. It can be purchased as Arm & Hammer Wash Soda, or as I did, as pool and spa PH booster. I got a big ol' container of it at Wally World for about 5 bucks. Procure a plastic container large enough to immerse the rusty object. Tie a piece of wire to the rusty victim. You will need a piece of iron rod. A hunk of rebar works just fine. Place the rusty part in the bucket and put in enough water to completely cover it. Add a tablespoon or so of the Na2CO3. Stick the rebar in the solution, making sure it does't touch the part being derusted. Attach the negative lead of a battery charger to the wire connected to the part. Attach the positive side to the rebar. remember, in spite of what young Tom Edison said, DC current flows from negative to positive. You will see bubbles begining to form. This is hydrogen, so do this in a well ventilated area. Remember the Hindenburg? Oh, the humanity.
I used a crescent wrench that I found buried while clearing weeds. It is way beyond salvation, but was a good piece to experiment on. I left it in the solution for three days, only because I forgot to check on it. I removed it from the bucket and hit it lightly with the wire wheel. Nearly every bit of the rust was gone. It still is no good and will go back on the hook as a garage ornament' Next time I am going to try using my DC welder as a power source to see if it goes faster or better