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Jeffrey R. 04-04-2015 11:16 AM

Re: Using NaOH for electrolyte

I doubt that your cell (e-tank) actually has 12V across it, which is why you blew a fuse at the 30A setting.
I agree. That was the setting that I was on when it kicked the fuse. My charger is a 6 volt and also a 12 volt charger.

I am on the hunt for 2 more long anodes. I think that will help a lot.:icon_thumbsup:

Jeffrey R. 04-10-2015 03:38 PM

Re: Using NaOH for electrolyte
ShawnE, I will say this, I am most impressed how my E-tank is cleaning my cast iron. My NaOH water is still clean. Only thing I will do to it is add 2 more long anodes.:icon_thumbsup:

How are you doing with yours?

ShawnE 04-10-2015 07:50 PM

Re: Using NaOH for electrolyte
My little test cell works great. I built it in a 9 gal wastebasket that I had laying around. I'm using 4 22 Ga mild steel sheets as anodes. It is reconfigurable for any combination from 1 side to all 4. I use it as a combination lye and e-tank at the same time. I can drop an as found pan in and within 2 - 3 Hrs it is stripped to bare metal. I'll never go back to washing soda. The anodes stay clean. I'll post pictures in the not too distant future. I've got a bunch of Honey-Do projects this weekend.

ShawnE 04-15-2015 04:59 PM

Re: Using NaOH for electrolyte
Ok, finally got around to firing up the new test cell. 1 pan done, 2nd is in the tank. They go from as found to stripped in the tank. Here are some pictures, I'll add to them as I run all 6 test pieces through them. 2 lbs NaOH in ~8.5 gal H20 as electrolyte / lye bath.

John E 04-15-2015 05:17 PM

Re: Using NaOH for electrolyte
I get "Sorry, that page was not found." from your link.

You really have my interest with this. I'm about due to refresh my e-tank, and I'm probably going to go with NaOH next time.

ShawnE 04-15-2015 05:29 PM

Re: Using NaOH for electrolyte
Oooops.... I forgot to make it public. Try the link now. From my limited testing, this is the way to go. I don't use a separate lye tank, I just go from as found to stripped in one go. The down side is there is a fair amount of soap scum on the top. I just skim it off. Lye & fat do make soap.

John E 04-15-2015 05:46 PM

Re: Using NaOH for electrolyte
Yep, working now. Looks like a good result in a short time. I'd be curious how it does with a piece that is heavily caked in crud, where electro seems to struggle a bit with, and the lye bath takes many days even at warmer ambient temps.

I'm glad you featured the iron mountain, because at picture #3 all I could think of was "oooh iron mountain!". I have a soft spot for those :)

ShawnE 04-15-2015 05:57 PM

Re: Using NaOH for electrolyte
An extremely crudded up piece might take a couple more hours. One thing that you can do to speed up the process is to remove the piece from the tank after an hour or 2 and give it quick scrub with a stiff plastic brush to loosen up the crud. Then put it back into the tank for further processing. This also lets you gauge the progress.

The beauty of this process is that you get mechanical cleaning due to the H2 bubbling off of the work piece. By using a strong lye solution as your electrolyte you get double duty. Electrolysis by itself will help loosen the bond that the crud has to the metal, as will lye by itself. The 2 in combination seems to work much faster. Synergy in action.

John E 04-15-2015 05:58 PM

Re: Using NaOH for electrolyte
Also nice is that I can get rid of one of the two tubs that presently live on my patio :)

DougH 04-16-2015 09:11 AM

Re: Using NaOH for electrolyte
You're doing this indoors? I thought electro indoors was a no-no...

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