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I've got a batch of hooks in vinegar right now awaiting final finishing. I'm using regular white vinegar (5%) from the grocery store, as my local hardware store was out of the stronger horticultural vinegar (strength varies by manufacturer, from about 10% up to 45%). Remember that anything over 15% acidity can be pretty nasty, and you do NOT want to get it on your skin or in your eyes.

The alas-now-taken-down YouTube video of the old German chainmaker showed him finishing up the chains by tumbling them in a large rotating drum. Good thing it was a silent film; I don't even want to think about the noise that would have made.

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I have a pair of rubber gloves just for acidic situations. I know first hand how crappy chemical burns are. Dad whos a semi driver used to work for a company that scrapped batteries. Like industrial size forklift batteries and such. They would let him take what copper was left from wiring and such. After my first brush with that on my skin, you can bet I wore the proper PPE after that. Many a pair of jeans met their end in those containers though.

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Pulled out the first batch last night. I am really surprised at how well it worked. The scale came off almost like a powder.

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On 4/29/2021 at 12:11 PM, SinDoc said:

Many a pair of jeans met their end in those containers though.

Taking "acid wash jeans" to an extreme, I see.

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It was kind of neat. I would notice that I brushed up against one of the batteries then within an hour or two my jeans would quite literally just start falling apart. That acid means business!

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Well, it has been soaking in 5% vinegar for nearly a week now. When I get home I want to check and see how they look. If the outcome isn't quite what I expected, I found 30% at the local hardware store I can try soaking them in.

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Usually it has a black and slimey coating and I have to scrub it off with a scrub brush under running water to show the raw metal underneath.  I've never had to go beyond regular household vinegar in my 40 years smithing so far.  If so I'd probably go for electrolysis next over stronger acids.

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That is what was on it when I looked the other night and thought it wasn't done and put it back. I will have to take it in and try scrubbing it then. The less grinding/dremel work I have to do to get that nice shiny silver finish the better lol. 

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I've also done the scrubbing with a wire brush in a large bucket of water with a touch of baking soda in it.  Running water is better for removing the crud as you go along and showing you where you need to scrub harder; however last time I used the kitchen sink my wife of 36+ years gave me the shovel talk...

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Luckily I have a nice big utility sink in the back so I don't have the misses threatening to bury me out behind the shed. I typically have a bucket of slightly soapy water in the shop for cleaning tools, cooling things while grinding and of course just in case something decides to burn that shouldn't be burning.

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