Remove advertisements
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    LA, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,053
    Thanks
    58
    Thanked 1,779 Times in 674 Posts

    Home shop chemistry

    This is a collection of home shop chemistry wisdom I've collected from personal sources and the internet over the years.


    REMOVING BROKEN STEEL TAPS FROM ALUMINUM

    To remove steel taps from aluminum , use nitric acid


    HOW TO DISTINGUISH POT METAL (ZINC) FROM ALUMINUM

    Zinc or aluminum? : After 4 hours in NaOH, zinc was untouched. Aluminum was etched in 30 minutes.

    A drop of copper suffate solution will turn black on potmetal but won't change color on aluminum. Some pharmacies will have coppersulfate, and it can be found at garden stores.


    HOW TO DISTINGUISH MAGNESIUM FROM ALUMINUM

    Apply a drop of 1 percent silver nitrate solution to the freshly filed surface of the metal. If the metal is magnesium, a black stain will appear immediately. Aluminum and its alloys will remain unchanged.


    ANOTHER USE FOR COPPER SULFATE

    When grinding cutting tools to an accurate profile it is difficult to prevent the layout from getting destroyed by the heat of grinding. Neither Dykem blue or magic marker stand up very well. Mix a dilute solution of Copper Sulfate (Blue Stone) and water. A couple of small lumps dissolved into water is fine.

    Add a drop or two of Sulfuric Acid (Battery Acid). The acid is not necessary, it just makes it work better. Degrease the toolbit, then paint a drop or two of the solution on the bit. It will immediately leave a thin coating of copper plate on the bit. Wash off in water, then scribe the profile in the copper plate. The copper will not burn off during heating, and since it is very thin, it is possible to engrave extremely fine lines.


    ELECTROLYTIC RUST REMOVAL

    A plastic tub, a stainless steel or iron electrode, water and washing soda (NOT baking soda!!) and a battery charger. About a tablespoon of soda to a gallon of water.

    [ Washing soda is sodium carbonate. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. The two are *not* interchangeable. Look for washing soda in the detergent aisle in the supermarket. Washing soda is very basic with a pH of around 11. I'd be very careful to keep it (or lye) from coming in contact with any aluminum parts, which are attacked by strong bases. - MWK]

    The iron electrode works best if it surrounds the object to be cleaned, since the cleaning is "line of sight" to a certain extent. The iron electrode will be eaten away with time. Stainless steel has the advantage (some alloys, but not all) that it is not eaten away. The electrode is connected to the positive (red) terminal and the object being cleaned, to the negative. Submerge the object, making sure you have good contact, which can be difficult with heavily rusted objects.

    Turn on the power. If your charger has a meter, be sure some current is flowing. Again, good electrical contact may be hard to make-it is essential. Fine bubbles will rise from the object. Go away and come back in a few hours. Rub the object under running water with a plastic pot scrubber. Depending on the amount of original rust, you may have to re-treat. The clean object will acquire surface rust very quickly, so wipe it dry and dry further in a warm oven or with a hair dryer.

    The polarity is important!! The surface rust is being converted to metallic iron, so the process is totally self limiting. I have left things (by mistake) for several days: the water was largly gone, by electrolysis, but the object was fine. Reverse the polarity and your object is being eaten away!!! The rust will go along with it, but that's not what you had in mind, is it??

    There are lots of variants: suspending an electrode inside to clean a cavity in an object; using a sponge soaked in the electrolyte with a backing electrode to clean spots on large objects or things that shouldn't be submerged (like with lots of wood).

    The surface is left black. Rusted pits are still pits. Shiny unrusted metal is untouched. The method will cope with any degree of rust, from surface to heavily scaled.

    Use junk iron for electrodes. For electrodes, you can buy cheap stainless spoons at the flea market. The bath will last until it gets so disgusting that you decide it is time for a fresh one. There is nothing especially nasty about it - it's mildly basic-so disposal is not a concern.

    One caution: painted surfaces *may* be damaged.


    And always remember...

    Do what you oughter and add acid to water.
    Last edited by mklotz; 07-13-2017 at 11:53 AM.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


    Home Shop Freeware
    http://www.myvirtualnetwork.com/mklotz

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to mklotz For This Useful Post:

    Paul Jones (07-13-2017), Seedtick (07-13-2017)

  3. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    3
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Hi Marv,
    I dug into this a while back at my son's urging, since I worked at an aquarium and all our tools rust, no matter what we do. From what I read, stainless should be avoided because the chromium or vanadium in it will turn the solution into a toxic, none-environmentally friendly soup. Not sure about vanadium, but I suspect the chromium products are quite toxic. Whatcha think?

    bob

  4. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    3
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Oh, and, thanks for the post - I really like the home and shop chemistry stuff!

    bob

  5. #4
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    LA, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,053
    Thanks
    58
    Thanked 1,779 Times in 674 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by bobthebug View Post
    Hi Marv,
    I dug into this a while back at my son's urging, since I worked at an aquarium and all our tools rust, no matter what we do. From what I read, stainless should be avoided because the chromium or vanadium in it will turn the solution into a toxic, none-environmentally friendly soup. Not sure about vanadium, but I suspect the chromium products are quite toxic. Whatcha think?
    Sounds to me like you need to contact an aquarist, not a homemadetools guy. Sorry, but I can't be of any help on what fish can tolerate.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


    Home Shop Freeware
    http://www.myvirtualnetwork.com/mklotz

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to mklotz For This Useful Post:

    Paul Jones (07-13-2017)

  7. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    24
    Thanks
    6
    Thanked 5 Times in 4 Posts

    household and shop chemistry.

    "And always remember...

    Do what you oughter... add acid to water".

    (in 1957, my grade 12 chemistry teacher would say... "adding acid to water is AWright... but water to acid is WAr"...)


    On rust removal: Acquired (garage sale, $5) a bunch of fairly rusty stainless steel dental instruments - forceps, scalers, tweezers, hemostats, scissors, scalpels etc. Great find, now used daily. A two-day soak in dilute acetic acid (household vinegar) allowed rust to be wiped away with one of those green plastic scouring pads.

    Peter

  8. #6
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    LA, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,053
    Thanks
    58
    Thanked 1,779 Times in 674 Posts
    Yes, it seems everyone has his favorite variant of that mnemonic.

    I've long contended that one can find absolutely anything on the web. In partial proof of that, would you believe there's an entire site devoted to mnemonic devices...

    https://www.mnemonic-device.com/

    One of the more entertaining, although less practical, is a song used for remembering 118 elements of the periodic table...

    https://www.mnemonic-device.com/chem...e-of-elements/

    Clever, but it's probably easier to just memorize the elements.

    The best mnemonics are those one dreams up oneself and the more absurd the better; absurdity aids memory.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


    Home Shop Freeware
    http://www.myvirtualnetwork.com/mklotz

  9. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    24
    Thanks
    6
    Thanked 5 Times in 4 Posts
    "https://www.mnemonic-device.com/chem...e-of-elements/

    Clever, but it's probably easier to just memorize the elements."

    Agree totally. I don't think I'll ever forget "Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium, Beryllium, Boron, Carbon, Nitrogen ", plus the next few lines of this free-form poem.

    Have found it of more use than quoting Joyce's Ulysses to myself.

    Peter

  10. #8
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    LA, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,053
    Thanks
    58
    Thanked 1,779 Times in 674 Posts
    Well, if you don't care about the order, you can always learn the lyrics to Tom Lehrer's song...



    Post your reply!
    Join 20,941 of us and get our 50 Must Read Homemade Tools eBook free.



    50 Must Read Homemade Tools
    ---
    Regards, Marv


    Home Shop Freeware
    http://www.myvirtualnetwork.com/mklotz

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •