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Author Topic: Cleaning Rusty Triangles Using Electrolysis  (Read 3136 times)

Hogsy

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Cleaning Rusty Triangles Using Electrolysis
« on: June 08, 2014, 05:32:00 PM »
It has to be one of the most painful parts of restoring a kettle especially if your sanding them back by hand. I also like to use original parts rather than buying new( that's code for 'I'm a Tightass')
So I thought I'd try a different technique, a mate from work suggested it and a quick search on the net revealed plenty of 'How To' videos.
Here's what I used-

And some washing soda-

After trying 3 different battery chargers I found this older style with the dial works the best. The newer chargers have a switch that trips out where as this one worked great-

The setup-
Fill with water till triangle is fully submerged and add 1-2 teaspoons of Washing soda per 1 gallon of water
 Anode- attach a sacrificial piece of steel (not gal or SS)to the positive
Canode- attach some wire to the triangle and then to the negative. Don't let the negative alligator clips touch the water as it will dissolve
Make sure triangle and anode don't touch
Turn the charger on and you should start seeing bubbles on the anode and triangle within 30secs

First triangle, this one was pretty bad , pretty much all the chrome was gone and the wheels were seized onto the axle-


After 4hrs all the rust was gone, I gave it a quick hose down and wiped it with a cloth,this is how it looked-



Now that your left with rust free bare metal it's time to give it a finish
I gave it a coat of Cold-Gal, then a coat of etching primer-

And then a coat of silver enamel paint-

And here it is next to a new triangle-

Not a perfect match and there is still some pitting but it's rust free and should stay that way for a long time
This was a fun little experiment and takes the hard work out of cleaning up a triangle. It's hard work getting all the rust of a triangle especially where the bars meet.
The two main tips for this technique( I found this out after two earlier failed attempts) is a charger that won't trip and make sure you use washing soda and not baking soda. I think Arm & Hammer make it in the states
Because I had most bits on hand it only cost me $4 for the washing soda.
Pretty happy with the result and will be using this technique again

« Last Edit: June 08, 2014, 05:46:35 PM by Hogsy »
I'm only 2 or 3 kettles away from being that creepy guy down the street with all the Webers
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Golly

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Re: Cleaning Rusty Triangles Using Electrolysis
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2014, 06:30:45 PM »
grate work hogsy

i will drop off 1/2 a dozen triangles of mine just so you can test your method thoroughly
GET ON THAT SHIT
WONT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER

Craig

  • Statesman
  • Posts: 10324
Re: Cleaning Rusty Triangles Using Electrolysis
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2014, 06:34:12 PM »
Nice work! I gave up scrubbing triangles until my fingers were raw in favor of a quick wash and some Rustoleum.  Agreed that this is the hardest part to clean, with the ash catcher being #2 on the PIA to clean list... Feels great to see them come back to life.
Every kettle has a story.

Grails: 1960s Glen Blue "Baby Blue",Brown GO ANYWHERE grill, 1981 C Code Green 22

Jocool

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Re: Cleaning Rusty Triangles Using Electrolysis
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2014, 06:44:35 PM »
Thanks for the tip. This will make life easier for sure.

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SixZeroFour

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Re: Cleaning Rusty Triangles Using Electrolysis
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2014, 07:12:03 PM »
Fantastic idea! Very nice work Hogsy
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Idahawk

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Re: Cleaning Rusty Triangles Using Electrolysis
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2014, 07:51:52 PM »
I restore cast iron and use this process ..I use 20 Mule team powdered soap it's fairly available at most stores and I have an old sears charger , the new ones suck for this. I use  inexpensive metal strapping and make a ring to surround an item , works killer . Do your homework there's some danger and it can ruin some types of metal, like SS and chrome , it's not for everything .


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5280Jeff

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Re: Cleaning Rusty Triangles Using Electrolysis
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2014, 08:25:24 AM »
Great tip! Thanks for the write up and pics. Well done.

Brickout

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  • Posts: 145
Re: Cleaning Rusty Triangles Using Electrolysis
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2014, 05:45:22 PM »
Good idea, I've seen that dome before to restore old power tools.

This method seems interesting too http://www.instructables.com/id/Removing-Rust-with-Citric-Acid/

AZ Monsoon

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 647
Re: Cleaning Rusty Triangles Using Electrolysis
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2014, 09:38:57 PM »
That looks awesome!

I've used Evaporust on a lot of motorcycle parts and it also works well in my experience. You can get it in quarts or gallon bottles. Just put it in a plastic tub or whatever, throw your parts in, let them sit for a few days and you're done.
http://www.harborfreight.com/1-quart-evapo-rust-rust-remover-96433.html