Electrolysis Tank

scudzuki

New Member
Jul 14, 2021
7
Pretty sure if going with carbon is to use a non metallic graphite carbon anode. McMaster-Carr has them.
Like I wrote above, the mcmaster item number is
two 5/8 of an inch x 8" rods will work. Yeah price is a consideration that is why most folks use a junk piece of steel.
https://www.mcmaster.com/7979A19/
$28 plus shipping for (5) 3/4" diameter a 17" long rods.
They do not need to be similar length to the part being de-rustified.
I ran one rod for weeks convering rust on around 100 30+ round machine gun magazines from my brother-in-laws house of hoarding (with a leaky roof). I replaced the electroylte solution a few times (5 gallon plastic bucket filled practically to the rim). Rust was converted on the insides, outsides, and both ends of the magazines. It is not line of sight dependent. It is true that the anode is sacrificial and so the greater area of rust to convert, the faster the anode wears. When I was done with the first rod it was tapered down to 1/4" at one end and 3/8" at the end the lead was attached to. $7 shipped for that electrode.

Where there was flaky or furry rust I knocked the bulk off first with a stainless steel brush then hung the mags (Thompson and Grease Gun mags mostly) 2 at a time for 12 hours at 12V 6A in 5 gallons of water with 5 heaping tablespoons of Washing Soda. The parts could then be rinsed in water with a small swipe on the de-rusted surfaces with another stainless brush then left to dry. The did not re-rust where the conversion had taken place like parts processed with a carbon steel electrode do. For my purposes I hit them with some WD40 once they were dry (brother in law had 100 cans of WD spread around his house, in the hoarde, as well) and sold them with the SMGs
 

8pack

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Aug 29, 2007
3,014
Western, MA
Like I wrote above, the mcmaster item number is

https://www.mcmaster.com/7979A19/
$28 plus shipping for (5) 3/4" diameter a 17" long rods.
They do not need to be similar length to the part being de-rustified.
I ran one rod for weeks convering rust on around 100 30+ round machine gun magazines from my brother-in-laws house of hoarding (with a leaky roof). I replaced the electroylte solution a few times (5 gallon plastic bucket filled practically to the rim). Rust was converted on the insides, outsides, and both ends of the magazines. It is not line of sight dependent. It is true that the anode is sacrificial and so the greater area of rust to convert, the faster the anode wears. When I was done with the first rod it was tapered down to 1/4" at one end and 3/8" at the end the lead was attached to. $7 shipped for that electrode.

Where there was flaky or furry rust I knocked the bulk off first with a stainless steel brush then hung the mags (Thompson and Grease Gun mags mostly) 2 at a time for 12 hours at 12V 6A in 5 gallons of water with 5 heaping tablespoons of Washing Soda. The parts could then be rinsed in water with a small swipe on the de-rusted surfaces with another stainless brush then left to dry. The did not re-rust where the conversion had taken place like parts processed with a carbon steel electrode do. For my purposes I hit them with some WD40 once they were dry (brother in law had 100 cans of WD spread around his house, in the hoarde, as well) and sold them with the SMGs

Ok. Bandit had me thinking very hard and another happy customer put me over the edge. I still have some large parts to do and I could probably put the ones I did already back in for a couple of hours to get the rust protection benefits.

One more question. How do you attach the power supply to the carbon rod? Can I just wrap some copper wire around it and attach the end to the charger or is there a special way to connect it?

Thanks guys!
 

scudzuki

New Member
Jul 14, 2021
7
Ok. Bandit had me thinking very hard and another happy customer put me over the edge. I still have some large parts to do and I could probably put the ones I did already back in for a couple of hours to get the rust protection benefits.

One more question. How do you attach the power supply to the carbon rod? Can I just wrap some copper wire around it and attach the end to the charger or is there a special way to connect it?

Thanks guys!
I drilled and tapped the end of the rod and crimped a ring connector on a copper wire. With my setup I was able to almost fully submerge the carbon without the ataching screw or wire going in the electrolyte solution. I did all my processing in a plastic bucket so insulating the anode from the vessel was easy but in a pinch zip ties could probably suspend and insulate to anode.
 

8pack

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Aug 29, 2007
3,014
Western, MA
I think you are saying the the anode can lay against the side of the plastic bucket since the bucket is not conductive.

thanks for all the info!
 

8pack

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Aug 29, 2007
3,014
Western, MA
I ordered the rods and they came overnight! 5 for $37 shipped.
Some questions for @scudzuki and @Bandit723 …..

I first put one rod in the tank. It is 35 gallons. Only the part of the spring closest to the rod was fizzing. The rod was fizzing pretty well. So I decided to put another rod in at the other end of the tank and that side of the spring started fizzing nicely. There is one big section where not much is happening…

So do I need to put 2 more rods on closer to the areas not fizzing right now or does it all work and the fizzing isn’t really relevant??? Pics below.

Here you can see the section of the spring bubbling away.
1FF95528-B5E0-4141-9A5E-A3FD71E53330.jpeg


This one you can see the dead spot.

009B0CAF-4C2B-4661-8243-176CCD19A362.jpeg
 

scudzuki

New Member
Jul 14, 2021
7
I ordered the rods and they came overnight! 5 for $37 shipped.
Some questions for @scudzuki and @Bandit723 …..

I first put one rod in the tank. It is 35 gallons. Only the part of the spring closest to the rod was fizzing. The rod was fizzing pretty well. So I decided to put another rod in at the other end of the tank and that side of the spring started fizzing nicely. There is one big section where not much is happening…

So do I need to put 2 more rods on closer to the areas not fizzing right now or does it all work and the fizzing isn’t really relevant??? Pics below.

Here you can see the section of the spring bubbling away.
View attachment 124500

This one you can see the dead spot.

View attachment 124501

I will state this basic property of electricity and that is, it will follow the path of least resistance, so the electrolytic reaction will start closest to the anode. All of my experience with this type of setup involves parts that were about the same length as the anode. However, rust inside the magazines as well as rust on the magazine followers (the part inside the magazine on top of the spring that pushes the cartridges towards the feed lips, for you non-gun guys) was eventually converted as well. The rust nearest the anode was converted first and the rust farthest last. I believe your setup will eventually convert all the rust but more anodes and current will speed things up. That's a big part with lots of rusted surface. Don't electrocute yourself (possible with a big enough battery charger). Don't smoke around that setup either, the faster the conversion takes place, the more hydrogen gas is created. I did mine under a canopy outside on my deck. I'm really interested in how this works out for you, keep us posted please.
 

8pack

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Aug 29, 2007
3,014
Western, MA
Thanks. I was running the set up with the rebar at 12v 20amps. I am running it with graphite at 12v 10amps to start. I can go as high as 40amps with the charger I have. Actually, 200amps but I think that is pushing it a bit too far!

So tomorrow I will go back to 20 amps and I am going to add 2 more anodes. Are there risks to trying 40? Will it go faster?

The spring in there now should be done by now so I will start again fresh with the 2 front leaf springs tomorrow and that will give me 2 results to compare against. One with the rebar and one with the graphite.
 

Bandit723

Veteran Member
Oct 1, 2016
4,043
Waupaca WI
Thanks. I was running the set up with the rebar at 12v 20amps. I am running it with graphite at 12v 10amps to start. I can go as high as 40amps with the charger I have. Actually, 200amps but I think that is pushing it a bit too far!

So tomorrow I will go back to 20 amps and I am going to add 2 more anodes. Are there risks to trying 40? Will it go faster?

The spring in there now should be done by now so I will start again fresh with the 2 front leaf springs tomorrow and that will give me 2 results to compare against. One with the rebar and one with the graphite.
5 to 20 amps should be sufficient from what i have read any more amperage won't gain you anything. as to the anodes be sure to put one on each side of the part. I have found that i would get better results doing so.
 

8pack

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Aug 29, 2007
3,014
Western, MA
Or...you can simply just flip the part over, and leave well enough alone.:)

I could…..but one of the big appeals of the graphite rods over the steel anodes was not having to worry about the anode being line of sight to be effective.

At least for this part, I am trying to avoid moving it. It is a nine leaf 3/4ton spring pack and is ridiculously heavy. My tank is just simply 2 layers of 20mil plastic and every time I move that spring I run the risk of ripping the plastic. I have already managed to put some pinholes in it just getting the first spring in and out. I lose about 3 gallons/day of solution which I can manage. Anymore and I have to do a small rebuild which I want to avoid.

The next round are the smaller front leaf springs and a series of other much smaller parts so I think it will be less of an issue.

Just trying to learn more about this mysterious thing called electricity and basic chemistry. My garage definitely looks like a high school science project right now!
 
Last edited:




Top