I'm fairly new to woodworking having recently built a pretty simple
"built-in" CD/DVD shelf unit which turned out a lot better than I
expected and got me interested in trying some more ambitious work.
Right now I'm trying to figure out what to do with the metal-filled
water from sharpening with waterstones. I have a couple of pretty
cheap chisels and planes that I tried to turn into something useful by
lapping the backs until they approximated a mirror and then sharpening
the bevel. I got a decent edge, although I definitely still need to
work on my technique as they seemed to dull very quickly.
Anyway, when I was done (believe me, it took a long time), I was left
with a container full of water and metal filings, which I can't decide
what to do with. It doesn't seem like it would be good for the
flowerbeds or the sewer system. I'm really curious what others do.
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
You could allow the water to evaporate, then take the filings to a recycler...
or if some of your trees need a shot of iron, water them with it. I just toss
it to the mesquite by my shop. It's not chelated, but it can't hurt. It'll just
rust away Tom
Actually, your flower beds might be very interested in having them.
Even plants need those trace elements and a fair amount of iron in
One of the prettiest yards I've ever seen, the guy applied the dust
from a brake lathe every so often.
Come on folks, these are iron filings, not iron ions. Unless my
chemistry is getting rusty (pun intended!) I think this is a big
Trace elements, such as in fertilizer, break into ions (Nitrogen,
etc). That's what the plants can absorb.
On 21 Dec 2003 07:45:33 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org (Larry Bud)
brought forth from the murky depths:
A lady friend tossed an old sack of nails under my favorite rose
bush in Vista about 15 years ago and it started producing larger,
prettier roses about a year later, and it stayed in bloom longer
in those years. I disbelieved the tales until then.
Manmade iron parts DO break down into usable elements for plants.
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Starting to get way off topic, but here's the formula for when iron
rusts: (source: http://www.haverford.edu/educ/knight-booklet/mustitrust.htm )
4Fe + 3O2 = 2Fe2O3
You'll note that there are NO free iron ions. The iron combines with
the oxygen. Nothing beside rust (2Fe2O3) is given off.
I looked at the site and it doesn't provide much info and
anyway it is for kids so they keep it real simple. However,
the statement that vinegar is a strong acid is not correct
and definitely should not be in the discussion. Vinegar
(acetic acid) is a weak acid and should never have been
picked as the acid to use in the experiment because it
introduces complication that aren't stated. It was probably
picked because it is familiar and safe. For one thing, you
would have acetates of iron formed. And suggesting this is
equivalent to acid rain, is hardly true. The composition of
acid rain can be complex involving sulfur and nitrogen and
All of this has nothing to do with what iron does in soil.
Soil is a very complicated system and the disintegration of
iron is likely to involve various biotics. Some ferric and
ferrous ions are likely to be free, but they will exist in a
system where exhange among various molecules may be rapid or
slow. But there will certainly be acetates,
nitrates/nitrites, phosphates, sulfates/sulfites and a whole
host of organics.
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