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bracketeer 02-18-2005 07:01 PM

Rusty chain
I found a rusty chain suitable for towing. I want to clean it up. Since I do not have access to sand blast or glass bead. Anyone got any suggestions on how to get the rust off, without getting myself filthy?

SyncroMush 02-18-2005 07:16 PM

Find a gravel road, hook the chain to your car, and drag it a few miles. Should clean it right up. Might need to reverse the chain to get the other end.


bracketeer 02-18-2005 07:37 PM

Great idea
But since it is winter. Dragging it through the snow prob won't do the trick.

bracketeer 02-19-2005 12:13 PM

I took a cpl gallons of water and mixed in an alkali and a chemical oxygen scavanger. The heavy rust came off immediately and after 4 hours of soaking, half of the chain is silver already.

oldred 02-19-2005 12:30 PM

bracketeer-What exactly did you use? This is really interesting and should be in the body section too as I bet it would generate a lot of interest there!

bracketeer 02-19-2005 12:50 PM

I used appx a 1/4 cup of each to 2 gallons of water. I used Caustic Soda and Sodium Sulphite. Its gonna take about 8 hrs by the way its going. I didn't want to make it too strong. I didn't know how long it would take to react.

4 Jaw Chuck 02-19-2005 05:02 PM

Coca Cola works pretty good. I like the gravel road idea...never thought of that one! :thumbup:

akm 02-19-2005 07:56 PM

we use muriatic(?) acid to clean out the rust in old motorcycle gas tanks. it only takes about a minute and eats off all of the rust, then we just rinse it out with water.
you can buy it cheap at any swimming pool supply.
but you have to keep an eye on it.. can't leave it in there very long.. and if you get it on your skin, be sure and wash it off ASAP. :thumbup:

beyondhelp 03-04-2005 10:21 AM

You could also try electrolysis..

What you need:

* A non-conducting container - a large plastic bucket works really well.
* Battery charger - big is better, however even one able to produce 6 to 10 amps should do. A student recently used my site as the basis for a school project and used a computer power supply in place of battery charger.
* Sacrificial electrodes. Concrete reinforcing rod works well (rebar) cut into lengths about 4" taller than your bucket or container. Do not use stainless steel! The results are a health hazard and illegal (more on that later)
* Arm and Hammer LAUNDRY soda, also called washing soda.
* Wire and/or cables for connecting electrodes together.
* Water.
* Small lengths of small chain (used to suspend the rusty parts in solution) or some other means to suspend the part to clean into the solution.

....................... too much detail to paste the whole page.

daimon1054 03-04-2005 10:32 AM

phosphoric acid will eat the rust off, most aircraft shops cary it in some form or other. Soak the chain in it a while and it will eat the rust off then just rinse with water.

Silentlion_69 03-04-2005 12:28 PM

I didn't know muriatic acid eats away at rust. How well does it work?

I have alot of that stuff. My stepdad uses it for sometimes when he's redoing old brickwork. He uses it to clean up the facing of the bricks.

worstnightmare 03-06-2005 02:01 PM

There are a lot of great ideas here. I thought of some ideas that were exactly the same here! Good luck.

julmer 03-22-2005 02:51 AM

I like the electrolysis method. I bought a plastic storage tub at Walmart for a couple of bucks. I've been using lye which I found at the grocery store in the drain cleaner area. Look up the exact procedure and make sure you get the polarity right on your charger. One of the nice things is it essentially quits when the rust is gone. You don't have to worry about overdoing it. I salvaged a number of internal transmission parts in my tub as well as some nasty old brake drums.

tbirdscott 03-22-2005 05:13 AM

DIY electrolysis
Get a plastic bucket large enough to fit the rusty item into and cover it with water. Mix in one tablespoon of laundry soda per gallon of water (adding more wont speed up the process) Attach a piece of wire to the item so that it sticks up out of the water a few inches. Get another piece of metal like a length of pipe or angle iron (no stainless) which will act as your anode. Place the anode into the bucket but not touching the rusty part and connect the positive(+) lead of the battery charger to it and the negative(-) lead to the wire attatched to the rusty part. turn on the charger and let 'er rip, Also dont let the battery clips set in the solution as they will disolve

Every few hours or so turn off the charger, remove your anode, and wipe off the crud that will stick to it. Also make sure you do this in a well ventilated area as the process releases hydrogen gas which is explosive (explosions = fun, blowing up your garage and scaring your neighbours = well could be fun but probabally not the best idea)

jimfulco 03-22-2005 09:09 PM

We used to use Zud to clean rust rings (from tin cans) in porcelain apartment sinks. It contains oxalic acid, which dissolves rust. Bartender's Friend is a similar product. They're usually found near the other powdered cleansers (Comet, etc.) at the grocery store. I don't know how much you'd need, but a whole can in a bucket of water deep enough to submerge the chain for a couple of days might work.

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