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.
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.
Wichita, KS USA
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