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Cast Iron Cleaning and Seasoning Help With and Tips & Techniques For Cast Iron Cookware Restoration

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  #1  
Old 08-21-2017, 04:02 PM
WallyF WallyF is offline
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Default Electrolysis Questions

First, I will need to suspend electrolysis in a couple of hours. We're going out and I don't want to leave it unattended. Should I leave the piece in the electrolysis tank, move it back to the lye tank or do something else with it until tomorrow afternoon?

Next, my new battery charger has a switch for 50, 10 and 2 amps. I assume 50 is too much and I should not use it. Anyone have experience here?
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2017, 04:11 PM
Doug D. Doug D. is offline
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Default Re: Electrolysis Questions

The pH in the electro tank should be high enough to keep rust from re-forming. But storage in the lye bath is what I typically do.

Anything over about 20 amps has been found unnecessary.
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Old 08-28-2017, 01:59 PM
WallyF WallyF is offline
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Default Re: Electrolysis Questions

Is it necessary to change the dirty "water" in the electrolysis tank and if so, how often
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Old 08-28-2017, 06:01 PM
Ty L. Ty L. is offline
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Default Re: Electrolysis Questions

The best way to find out is to keep using it until it doesn't work any more. I can't keep mine out all the time (too ugly and it sits out on the deck when in use), but if I could I'd try to get at least a whole season out of one batch. I've done several pans, one after the other withoug any degradation in performance. Still gotta clean the anodes and top off the water every so often though.
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Old 08-28-2017, 06:31 PM
WallyF WallyF is offline
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Default Re: Electrolysis Questions

my battery charger has a switch for 2, 10 and 50 amps. The meter only hits 2 - 4 amps, if I am reading it correctly, regardless of the output selection. Is this normal?

I alternate between 2 used lawn mower blades for my anode. I clean them using a wire wheel between uses.

Below is a link to pictures of the skillet I am trying to clean. It was in the lye bath for about 8 days before the battery charger finally arrived. I put it in electrolysis for 2 - 4 hours at a time and then store it in the lye bath. I estimate it has spent about 12-14 hours in electrolysis so far.

Although it is vastly better looking now, there are still red areas. Any idea how long it might take to get all the rust off? Sorry, it is in the tank now and I don't want to interrupt to snap a photo.

http://imgur.com/a/pt3QE
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Old 08-28-2017, 07:33 PM
Doug D. Doug D. is offline
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Default Re: Electrolysis Questions

Electro should take care of rust in fairly short order, like an hour or so. And 10 amps should be more than sufficient. If 12-14 hours and still rusty, something is not working, or at least not with any efficiency.
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Old 08-28-2017, 07:36 PM
Ty L. Ty L. is offline
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Default Re: Electrolysis Questions

Any way you could stick both blades in there at the same time? I run 2 blades in an almost full 5 gallon bucket for small stuff (#7 and smaller skillets) , 6 blades in a rubbermaid container with ~15 gallons of electrolyte for the big stuff. I'll pull about 6 Amps in the smaller one, but I'll trip out the 10A power supply with the larger tank if I use too much electrolyte.

Distance is also important. The further away the pan is from the anode, the less current it's going to pull. Since I typically run 6 lawnmower blades as anodes I'll take one of them and use it to clean the other 5 right there in the e-tank.
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  #8  
Old 08-29-2017, 06:00 AM
Eldon B Eldon B is offline
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Default Re: Electrolysis Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyF View Post

I alternate between 2 used lawn mower blades for my anode. I clean them using a wire wheel between uses.
I believe you should have a clean bare spot on the piece of cast iron where the negative lead of the battery charger attaches to get the best current flow. I always clean a spot with a stainless steel brush or steel wool. Hope this helps!
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:28 AM
SpurgeonH SpurgeonH is offline
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Default Re: Electrolysis Questions

Wally, I agree with the above tips. If you are only hitting 2 amps, you. Ees to check the efficiency of your current. Either you don't have enough washing powder in the solution (you don't want to overdo it either), or something in the way you are carrying the current (your wire to the sacrificial metal or the connection to the skillet) has a poor connection. Also, one lawnmower blade is not enough. As Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest said at Parker's Crossroads, when he was told he now had Federal troops to his rear as well as his front, "Charge 'me both ways!" You need to attack the skillet from both sides, and having it surrounded is even better.
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Old 08-29-2017, 12:51 PM
D_Madden D_Madden is offline
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Default Re: Electrolysis Questions

I'll just add a little more to this discussion...

1. that is a VERY rusted skillet you are starting with.
2. I'd hit it with #2 or #1 steel wool before I did anything else... getting rid of the loose stuff on top can only speed up the process of getting rid of the rest.
3. connections are critical. if it isn't foaming up rather quickly after starting the process then you don't have good connections somewhere. Check the clips and wires to see if anything is getting hot... if clips or wires are hot then you don't have good connections or good flow. Also make sure that your charger isn't tripping off... even if it isn't one of the 'automatic' models if your current is too high or low it can still be shutting down.
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