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How to Remove Rust with Electricity.

Instructables user ToolNut explains how you can remove heavy rust from any ferrous object with electricity!

This is a relatively simple, safe and cheap way to remove light or heavy rust from any ferrous object. I used this process to restore an old wood plane that I bought for $1 (it looked totally un-usable because of the rust). As opposed to grinding, heavy wire brushing and acid bath processes, this method removes none of the original steel and is not noisy or caustic.

How this works:

Several other sites do a better job of explaining the chemistry of this - but basically you set up a conductive solution and insert some sacrificial anodes. You hang your rusted tool in the solution and attach it to the negative end of the power supply. You attach the positive end to the anode and turn on the power. The current travels through the solution and in the process flakes off the rust - the flaking/softening occurs because of the reaction at the surface of the good steel that pushes the rust off.

Link | The chemistry behind electrolytic rust removal - via proprioception


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Not sure how to do the outside, but the inside of the tub could be done easily by filling it with the electrolyte (usually alkaline) and suspending the anode in the middle connect the negative to the tub itself.
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