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Thread: Help! Post electrolysis

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  1. #1
    us
    BRINGING HISTORY BACK TO LIFE

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    Help! Post electrolysis

    I did my first ever electrolysis project and got good results. How do I preserve the iron so it doesn't corrode or rust without doing damage to the artifact? I believe what I have is a meat hook. I need a method to use for the future.
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  2. #2

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    I spray mine with WD-40 and when dry, coat with lacquer. I don't think that is a meat hook, it would have a sharper point if it was one.

  3. #3
    us
    BRINGING HISTORY BACK TO LIFE

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    Thanks for the evidence!

  4. #4
    us
    BRINGING HISTORY BACK TO LIFE

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    Quote Originally Posted by metaldetecta View Post
    Thanks for the evidence!
    Sorry I meant to say advice lol.

  5. #5
    us
    Mar 2012
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    Check out the product Gemplers Rust Converter on Utube. I plan on using this soon myself. It is supposed to be a great product giving relics a nice coating and stopping the rusting process. Good luck to you. I'm cleaning some of my smaller relics now and I plan on using the Gemplers in my next step of restoration.

  6. #6
    Charter Member
    SITE BRAVO DETAINEE

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    oil is always good for metal
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  7. #7
    us
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    It all depends on the end result you desire.
    Personally after I blacken a piece with electrolysis, I just hang it up and keep it dry.
    If you want you can buy various finishes of spray on clear coat from matte-high gloss.
    Rust converters and things like naval jelly are acids that will eat away the rust and treat the surface of the metal.
    Muratic Acid (hydrochloric acid) will eat away the rust and leave a chemically cleaned surface.
    And as previously mentioned oil is always a good method for preventing future oxidation.
    “During the gold rush its a good time to be in the pick and shovel business.” Mark Twain

  8. #8
    ca
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    I use w40 on small object ( but smell)and on the big one i use boil linseed oil after a while it dry and come black. I use it on anchor and chain.(could be done couple of time if needed On small piece i use bee wax too.

  9. #9
    us
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    I clean with scotchbrite, alcohol and coat with clear satin polyurethane minwax

  10. #10

    Jan 2015
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    The museum experts will tell you that nothing you put on an object will stop rust. For items of recent manufacture or items that aren't worth much then we-40, varnish, wax will all suffice. If it's a seriously old piece keeping it dry (humidity absorbers) and excluding oxygen (vacum chamber or various gasses that exclude oxygen).

  11. #11
    us
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    I use Rustoleum Rust Reformer on my pieces after electrolysis. I like the flat black coating on my relics.Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #12
    de
    Restorer

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    Donnie,

    are your oldest restored iron pieces still stable and for how long?

    @Metaldetecta:
    The best way is to cook iron in acid free (hard) wax after you dried it in an oven for some hours. When no bubbles comes out while cooking them, you can take it out. Donīt remove too much of the wax when you take it out. There has to be a closed thin wax layer on the surface when it has cooled down. This layer can be polished with a brush if you like it more or less shining. The wax protect the iron from oxygen and also humidity.
    Paraloid is easy removable with aceton but it becomes micro cracks, anyway which one you use and it donīt work at all.
    Paraffin or Renaissance restoration wax diffuses after a while!

    You can find examples of hot waxed iron objects and how it looks in my album!
    Last edited by Tom_Restorer; Jan 28, 2018 at 05:26 AM.
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  13. #13
    Charter Member

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    After electrolysis, make sure there are no salts in it by letting it sit in water about a month, changing the water our repeatedly and testing the old water with an aquarium hydrometer.

    After that let it set out and dry several weeks. Then I coat with satin polyurethane. I have relics I have done that with 30 years ago and they are fine to this day.
    3cylbill and metaldetecta like this.

  14. #14
    de
    Restorer

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    Quote Originally Posted by smokeythecat View Post
    After electrolysis, make sure there are no salts in it by letting it sit in water about a month, changing the water our repeatedly and testing the old water with an aquarium hydrometer.

    After that let it set out and dry several weeks. Then I coat with satin polyurethane. I have relics I have done that with 30 years ago and they are fine to this day.
    If you do the electrolysis properly, there is no remaining salt in the iron and you just have to wash out the additions you used for the electrolysis.
    You can try some baths of distilled water and use as examlpe an pump to move the water, which makes the process faster.
    To put it for a month in water will harm the object again. I guess you get also chlorine etc. as additions to your water. Also if the electrolysis wouldnīt be able to remove the salt, a bath in normal water will not fix the problem within 100 years.
    To put a piece in distilled water for such a long time will kill the rest of the remaining oxide and you will get an iron "skeleton".
    If you let it dry for WEEKS just on the air, the oxygen and humidity will do his work properly! + you get very ugly rusty looking surface.
    Iron gets dried in an oven for a few hours at 100 to 150 degrees Celsius and preserved after it as soon as possible and after you have removed the thin red layer with a brush (if it come sup), better is air abrasion with round glass beads only and no sharp edged abrasion materials which harm the surface.
    Do you think polyurethane is the best solution to preserve an object? And what is about the artificial looking much too shiny surface?
    You will not find one professional restorer in the world who use it for preservation.
    There are also some who donīt like wax but only because it is not "easy" to remove with acetone. Wax can simply cooked out in distilled water (on iron only!). But this is not necessary if you did a good job. A thin hard-wax layer protects iron real from humidity and oxygen. Any chemical preservation's can and do very often cause reactions.

 

 

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