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I Forge Iron

What works best to free rusted parts

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Freeing up rusty parts is a normal part of blacksmithing, how about sharing yours with us? 

I didn't welcome you aboard when you first started posting, I'm going to have to read more of your shotgun restoration, building, etc. threads and do some more reading before I'll have anything to say. I don't even have a handle on the jargon yet though I'm hoping to pick up some from context. 

However, I do have one thing to suggest. Is there a name, nickname, internet handle, etc. we may address you with? Your login is too cumbersome to use and remembering it is out of my ballpark. I wasn't good at names before the TBI.

Frosty The Lucky. 

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Hey All

It has been two years since I submitted this electrolysis post to the shotgun forum, but I still had the pictures on the PC, so I will duplicate it here

Picture #1--This is Oscar.  AKA known as "Shopcat" or "Donor of the Bucket"

Picture #2--The Tidy Cats 27 lb  cat litter bucket.  Just about made to order for de-rusting a shotgun receiver.

Picture #3--!2 inch pieces of 3/8 inch rebar from Home Depot are cut off a few inches and wired into the "racks" in the side of the bucket.  Two small holes drilled through each side of the wire at the top of the bucket allow soft iron ties to hold them in place. 

Picture #4--Another tie at the very top is put on by the same method using solid copper wire to attach the DC electric source.

Picture #5--The receiver is hung off a dowel with soft iron wire, with a receiver flat pointed toward each corner of the bucket containing a rebar because the process works pretty much line of sight.

Picture #6--In this operation, the receiver is hung by slipping the wire through the trigger plate hole in the bottom of the water table and bending out a T shape to keep it from slipping off.  Conforming grooves are rasped into the bucket top to hold the round dowel in place on the bucket.

Picture #7--The whole set up.  The Super Soda, the modified  bucket, and the battery charger.  A quarter cup of the Super Soda with enough water to fill the bucket up to the first set of wire holes is about the right mix.  I would guess this bucket holds about 2 1/2 gallons. 

Picture #8--The leads are hooked up.  Black (negative) goes to the soft iron holding the receiver, and red (positive) goes to the wires connecting all of the rebars around the bucket, completing the circuit.

Picture #9--The receiver after the treatment with the rusted components removed.  I gave the thing about 8 hours, then another 8 before I was satisfied with the results.  A LOT of junk comes off in the solution in the form of millions of small bubbles forming a cloud around the metal.  You will swear it is dissolving; I did, but nothing of the sort happens.  Only the rust seems to be going away.  Notice the coiled trip spring came out as a solid cylinder!





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Mr. 4575,

Nice set up. Nice job. Thank you for sharing.

I am a little way to constructing one. We have a resident cat, and I will be buying a large container of Tidy Cats litter on Monday.


and welcome to I.F.I. and have a wonderful 2022.


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Glad to help.  I used the manual setting on the battery charger 2 amps. Even if you don't have a cat, that Tidy Cats litter kicks butt on oil spills in the shop.   I did not try this on anything that was still blued.   Since bluing is an oxide it might very well go away.  :) 

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Note to those starting out using electrolysis for derusting.  As 4575wcf mentioned, he was using his charger on "manual".  Very important.  The automatic chargers most prevalent these days have a sensing circuit that "looks" for a low voltage or dead battery.  That circuitry won't work with electrolysis...one has to use a manual charger.

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Back on Evaporust, two places I have found it are Harbor freight and tractor supply company. I'd bet others carry it but I haven't seen it yet.  

It is pretty interesting stuff and does work. 

Nothing wrong with electrolysis. I usually reserve that for the extra rusty stuff. 

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Evaporust will thin out parkerizing and remove bluing from firearms unfortunately but, it works great for shop tool maintenance.

I just put a bunch of rusty 3/4” ball bearings in a plastic tub of Evaporust last night as I going though cleaning tools over the winter.

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  • 3 months later...

I saw a You Tube video where they threaded large bolts into plexiglass (so the threads could be seen) and then applied various penetrating solvents to see how far they penetrated down the threads.  The AFT/acetone mixture did about the best but there was a commercial one which did about as well, IIRC.  The homemade stuff is a lot cheaper.  Again, IIRC, WD40 did not do very well.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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A thing to know about electrolysis goes like this. It's not dissolving or removing rust, it converts it back to the original metal, be it: iron, steel, brass, silver, etc. It removes the oxygen from the molecules. Anyway, as noted regarding the spring above electrolysis tends to weld connected things into one piece. 

It's an excellent process but like anything, things can go wrong. It's worth it to try it out first on something not too valuable.

Frosty The Lucky.



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I was able to acquire a 88 bronco a few years back, that had been sitting for about 16 years, the engine was froze up, I couldn’t turn it over with a 3 ft cheater on the crank. I was familiar with the 50/50 ATF acetone mix, but used Marvel mastery oil instead because I could get a gallon for less than 2qts of atf. I filled the cylinders with the mix, let it sit for a week then turned the engine over with a 12 inch ratchet. 30,000 miles later and no problems yet, worked great and saved money 

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  • 1 year later...

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