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Electrolytic Rust Removal

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Deadlock

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Post Wed Dec 24, 2014 8:34 pm

Re: Electrolytic Rust Removal

I first read about this process years ago. I wish I could remember where, but I did read that somebody had found out through experiment, that amps, not volts, was the secret. He got the best results with a 5 volt 8 amp power supply.
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oldbiscuit

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Post Wed Dec 24, 2014 8:58 pm

Re: Electrolytic Rust Removal

I've used electrolysis on a lot of occasions, mainly in my other hobby of restoring antique hit and miss engines. The one draw back to its use is that it works on line of sight only. In other words. to do a part and get 360 deg. around it, you need an anode that surrounds the object. To remove rust from the interior of a part, you need an anode that will fit inside without touching the part and shorting out. If you were to submerge a safe door, it would work, however, I question whether or not it would free up the bolts as the rust that is encapsulated would not release. But what the heck, give it a try, one only really learns from trial and error. Mark
"It never fails - as soon as I find the key to success, somebody changes the lock!"
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Lauren

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Post Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:34 am

Re: Electrolytic Rust Removal

I have to caution anyone attempting to use electrolysis on antique padlocks. You are dealing with chemistry here. You have to be extremely careful on what electrolyte is being used to remove ferric oxide. Yes, you may be removing rust, but you may also be damaging the springs--possibly making them weak and brittle. I would never buy an antique padlock that has been put through the process.
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
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Post Fri Dec 26, 2014 1:09 pm

Re: Electrolytic Rust Removal

Lauren: I tend to agree with you there. It worked fantastic on some tools & even a couple padlocks, but...
I'd be awfully uneasy about putting anything of great value and age in it. Maybe if you really knew what
you were doing (which I don't) lol, Even then, it seems there are probably better options.

Gordon: wasn't sure if you were joking at first, lol. But you're really looking for a way to free up that safe.
If you decide this is your best option - it'd be quite an undertaking & a very interesting project to say the
least. Also interesting would be your wife's face when she sees you hoist a safe into the air. haha!!

Anyway, I know how you operate and I have no doubt you'll gather all the info you need before starting.
But you can never stress safety enough (we need you around here buddy, lol) As you probably already
seen - the byproducts produced from this process can be dangerous in a confined area - so be sure to
set it up outside or in a very well ventilated area. Especially an electro-monster of that size.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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jeffmoss26

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Post Fri Dec 26, 2014 1:58 pm

Re: Electrolytic Rust Removal

I am currently working on an Eagle pin tumbler padlock with what appears to be a frozen plug. The pins move but the plug does not, even with a screwdriver or other object to turn it.
Would electrolysis be a viable way to try and get this thing moving?
Innerpicked: The more keys you carry, the more important you look
GWiens2001: Great video! Learned a lot about what fun can be had with a forklift and a chainsaw.
pmaxey83: but i first have to submit the proper forms for a new hobby to my wife
xeo: i root for the kernel
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GWiens2001

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Post Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:37 pm

Re: Electrolytic Rust Removal

Oldfast wrote:Lauren: I tend to agree with you there. It worked fantastic on some tools & even a couple padlocks, but...
I'd be awfully uneasy about putting anything of great value and age in it. Maybe if you really knew what
you were doing (which I don't) lol, Even then, it seems there are probably better options.

Gordon: wasn't sure if you were joking at first, lol. But you're really looking for a way to free up that safe.
If you decide this is your best option - it'd be quite an undertaking & a very interesting project to say the
least. Also interesting would be your wife's face when she sees you hoist a safe into the air. haha!!

Anyway, I know how you operate and I have no doubt you'll gather all the info you need before starting.
But you can never stress safety enough (we need you around here buddy, lol) As you probably already
seen - the byproducts produced from this process can be dangerous in a confined area - so be sure to
set it up outside or in a very well ventilated area. Especially an electro-monster of that size.


Was responding to you in jest with dunking the entire safe, or even 'just' the door. But do want to be aware of all options when I start working on getting the safe boltwork freed up. Seriously doubt I would resort to such extreme measures, but it can't hurt to look at all possible rust removal options for freeing up the boltwork.

Will most likely be using a large brass punch and brass hammer to free up the botlwork with some rust penetrant.

Gordon
Just when you think you've learned it all, that is when you find you haven't learned anything yet.
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Oldfast

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Post Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:58 pm

Re: Electrolytic Rust Removal

jeffmoss26 wrote:I am currently working on an Eagle pin tumbler padlock with what appears to be a frozen plug. The pins move but the plug does not, even with a screwdriver or other object to turn it.
Would electrolysis be a viable way to try and get this thing moving?
As Mark has mentioned, it works through 'line of sight'. So I really dunno if it would help. It's hard to say.
Baths/soaking with various chemicals along with some 'persuasive' taps might be a more promising option.

So Gordon: If you do it, just tell your wife you need to, ya know "varify" the process
by doing a "larger item" first before you attempt to restore her ear rings with it. LOL
Also, tryn' capture her initial expression on camera. I'd pay money for that photo :D
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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Lauren

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Post Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:51 pm

Re: Electrolytic Rust Removal

jeffmoss26 wrote:I am currently working on an Eagle pin tumbler padlock with what appears to be a frozen plug. The pins move but the plug does not, even with a screwdriver or other object to turn it.
Would electrolysis be a viable way to try and get this thing moving?


Jeff, why don't you ask your friend (pick'n n grin'n)? He's a master at destroying padlocks through electrolysis. He certainly likes to use your name a lot.
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jeffmoss26

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Post Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:34 pm

Re: Electrolytic Rust Removal

Lauren wrote:
jeffmoss26 wrote:I am currently working on an Eagle pin tumbler padlock with what appears to be a frozen plug. The pins move but the plug does not, even with a screwdriver or other object to turn it.
Would electrolysis be a viable way to try and get this thing moving?


Jeff, why don't you ask your friend (pick'n n grin'n)? He's a master at destroying padlocks through electrolysis. He certainly likes to use your name a lot.


How do you really feel? I was not aware that electrolysis would ruin any locks until I saw the posts above.
I am just happy with locks that have working keys, and Rick is able to do that for me.
Innerpicked: The more keys you carry, the more important you look
GWiens2001: Great video! Learned a lot about what fun can be had with a forklift and a chainsaw.
pmaxey83: but i first have to submit the proper forms for a new hobby to my wife
xeo: i root for the kernel
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Lauren

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Post Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:16 pm

Re: Electrolytic Rust Removal

Jeff, the electrolyte being used during the redox reaction and the voltage is what causes removal of the ferric oxide. The process can also target materials such as springs that are not intended to be cleaned. Springs can loose their spring capability or even become brittle or break. You have to know what the alloys of the springs are made of so that they to do not become reduced.

I can rant all day long about what Rick does. I don't agree with his ideas of restoration. Polishing a lock to no end is not restoration. That's called taking all historical evidence off the table. I don't read anyone commenting on his videos other than you. And, his videos appear to be nothing more than advertising tools for his Ebay sales. If nothing else, why doesn't he show people his pancake lock jig, rather than demonstrating it deliberately out of frame of the camera (highly suspicious). I have no problem showing people mine, or maybe it is mine that he is using (LOL). I learn nothing and the audience learns nothing (except one video picking a railroad lock). He discusses using impression, but fails to show or teach anyone in the process. There's some locks described that any antique, specialty locksmith would know--- you don't use impression, you use single bit, double sided test keys. Eight Lever "SAMSON" is one example. I know--I know, it doesn't matter how he got there. Jeff, if you are willing to buy into what he does, more power to you. I see no skills and a lot of impression bragging.

This is how I really feel.....
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VancouverSpecial

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Post Sat Dec 27, 2014 12:55 am

Re: Electrolytic Rust Removal

jeffmoss26 wrote:I am currently working on an Eagle pin tumbler padlock with what appears to be a frozen plug. The pins move but the plug does not, even with a screwdriver or other object to turn it.
Would electrolysis be a viable way to try and get this thing moving?



Hi Jeff,

That sounds like a good candidate for an ultrasonic cleaner. UCs will remove all surface-adhering contaminants like rust, dirt and grime - their cleaning capacity functions across all surfaces of the submerged object, including blind cavities.

Also, I've heard of people having good luck with soaking rusted-shut locks in their cleaning/degreasing solution of choice for up to a week. Good luck with your lock and be sure to post pics if you get it working again.

Cheers,
Sean
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huxleypig

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Post Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:57 am

Re: Electrolytic Rust Removal

I've been playing with this recently! Cool way to get rid of a lot of old crap of off stuff. I got the best results with Calcium Carbonate (not Bicarbonate), 24V, 14 amps.

Unless you have some carbon rods (which I am afraid I do not) then be prepared to get a bunch of metal sacrificed from your anodes though...which is fine if you can find some scrap steel.

I find having the anodes clean and ground down to bare metal to work best too.
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Deadlock

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Post Sat Dec 27, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: Electrolytic Rust Removal

Calcium Carbonate? That's chalk isn't it? Is that really what you meant?

Classic electrolyte was caustic soda (lye) which is Sodium Hydroxide. Washing soda, which is Sodium Carbonate works well too.
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huxleypig

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Post Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:43 pm

Re: Electrolytic Rust Removal

Lol, yes, sodium, not calcium. Not chalk.
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GWiens2001

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Post Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:48 pm

Re: Electrolytic Rust Removal

And don't use calcium carbide, either. One spark and you are welding! :-)

Gordon
Just when you think you've learned it all, that is when you find you haven't learned anything yet.
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