Electrolytic side effect

Greetings,     I recently got an old rusty #63 spokeshave on eBay. Used electrolysis to get off the thick rust. (I knew it was a beater when I bought it.)
    T'other day I was adjusting the depth of cut when the japanning stripped off the 'lever cap'. Scratched with a fingernail, and it all came off that piece. Red rust underneath. No prob, back in the pot and Bob's your uncle.
    Reason I posted is to gather opinions on this event. Do you suppose that wasn't Japanning, but enamel somebody sprayed on? Did my electrolysis lift the coat enough for water to creep in? The body's Japanning is beat up, but solidly attached where it remains.
--
"Keep your ass behind you"


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wrote:

My experience with electrolytic rust removal has been that it will lift the finish in any areas where oxidation has occurred below the finish. I see that as a positive aspect of the process since it seems to expose areas of hidden corrosion.
I'll had fairly large areas of finish loosen when there is no apparent corrosion on the newly exposed metal. I don't have a conclusive explanation of that effect. But, since I frequently leave the object in the bath for extended periods, it may be that corrosion did exist but the process removed it. Or, IMO, a lower probability explanation is that the mildly alkaline solution is loosening the finish. That is one reason I vigorously brush and scrub the object (plastic bristles and "scotch brite") in a fairly strong solution of dishwashing detergent and hot water after the rust removal process. If any of the finish is loosened, that generally removes it and prevents water entrapment under the loosened finish.
It is quite possible that the lever cap was repainted at some time in the past, but I don't think your experience is necessarily proof of that.
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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