Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Electrolytic Rust Removal Works

 Once I've done this for a while I'll try write up what I've learned in a set of procedures, etc.  For now there are plenty of other web articles you can read.  The 3 things I'd stress about this from those articles are:
Do this outside, it makes explosive Hydrogen Gas, don't blow up your house.
You're plugged into 110 Volts AC, be careful it can kill.
Don't use Stainless Steel for anodes. Keep the bath safe.

For small parts I've started with a 5 gallon mud bucket.  For anodes (these get slowly consumed in the process) I used some of the 20 gauge mild steel I bought for the control horns on the WACO NINE.  I had cut up the remaining 4'x8' sheet into blanks 18" x 8" so I just split some of them 4" wide. That allowed me to bend a leg on the end to form an anode covering the bottom of the bucket as well as the sides.  Don't use a steel bucket because it will slowly dissolve in the process, not good.
 To hold the "L" shaped pieces in place I punched 5 holes in the bucket and a hole in each anode so they can be bolted to the bucket to hold them in place.  The bolts also provide a way to wire them together.  The bolts are not in the water but they are in a wet environment so I used galvanized bolts (1/4") with a star washer under the head for better electrical contact.  I put a stack of washers and a nut behind the anode to space it out from the bucket.  The nut is to assure the star washer gets compressed.  On the outside of the bucket there is a washer then the wire terminal, star washer, second terminal, and then a nut to hold the connections tight.  I used wing nuts because I had them.
For a place to connect the positive lead, from the charger, I made a pig  tail which connects to both ends of the wiring. The lead didn't clip to it as good as I wanted so I'll figure out a better pig tail.
With the bucket made I then calibrated it to hold 4 gallons of water then added 1 Tablespoon of washing soda per gallon.  I don't think the water could hold that much.  I suspect half of that would have done the job.  I need to do some experimenting with a jug of water to see at what concentration the pH stops changing.  I'm also curious how much temperature affects the process.  With winter coming I may be in trouble doing this out of doors.
Here's my first rusty part (rudder hinge strap from the WACO NINE).  The wire loop made a convenient way to hang the part but I should have used stranded wire.  Solid wire is stiffer than the spring in the clip.
We have bubbles! It's working!  Very Cool.
On thing I like about using this part is that the surface area is easy to calculate.  It's a strip of .050" steel  1" wide, 6" long, with 2 holes 1/4" diameter with a total surface of 12.2 sq. in.  With a current flow at 6 volts of .58 amps that's .0477 amps per sq. in.

After 24 hours there is still some rust in the pitted areas, especially on the inner side.  A quick hand scrubbing with a fine wire brush cleaned off the Black Oxide, but this part needs more rust removed.

I re-positioned the part so it's tipped at an angle to give all surfaces a better line of site to the anodes.  I also increased the voltage to 12 volts. The bubbles are going strong.

After another 24 hours and a light scrubbing with the wire brush under running water the part has no more visible red rust.  This part is to pitted to use but it cleaned up nice.

Time to get some engine parts in this bucket.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Removing Rust Electrolysis

Looking at these parts the one thing which is obvious is that I have a lot of rusty parts.  Yesterday our mailman Dale stopped by and we got talking about the engine.  Dale suggested looking into electrolysis for removing the rust.  I understand the science but had never tried it.  This has to be a great way to deal with all these parts.

Just Google:     rust removal electrolysis

This looks too simple for words  I've always wanted a battery charger so this has to be the best excuse for buying one.  Once I get everything ready I'll let you know how this works.

For now here are a couple links:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

First Parts Loose

 Here we are 24 hours after oiling the first parts with Corrosion X and the joints are loose already without heat or anything.  I'm sure this stuff would work faster if I could set the parts out in the summer sun.  As you can see from the pictures all the joints move now, very cool.  OK, I'm hooked.  I can't wait to start on the engines.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Penetrating Oil on Rusty Joints

We have lots of rusty parts to disassemble.  Before touching any of them with a wrench the joints need to be soaked with penetrating oil to try loosening them.  It also provides a lubricant as the mating surfaces move to prevent scratching and galling parts or breaking fasteners.  If you've been following my WACO NINE project I'm now hooked on Corrosion X for all these tasks.  It is nothing short of amazing and I've tried everything the old car guys have recommended.

The stuff does stink somewhat and I work in my attic so I bought some totes with latching lids to reasonably contain the mess and smell while parts soak.  All my past uses have freed up parts in 1 hour but I'm not in a hurry to get the engine done, lord knows I have enough work to do on the rest of the plane, so I'm letting parts soak for a few days before trying to loosen parts.

The first parts are the rockers for M2573.  They are standard Curtiss rockers.  I've squirted oil in all the oil holes and brushed it on all the fasteners and joints.  I bought squirt bottles instead of the aerosol cans so I get every drop.  Also the aerosol easily sprays more than needed. A flux brush works fine for oiling most joints without much waste.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I Now Have An OX-5 Motor

While at the Antique fly-in at Blakesburg John Swander stopped by my booth to check on the progress of my WACO NINE project.  He had acquired 2 OX-5 motors some parts and a radiator.  After a little discussion I purchased them for $2800.  The motor you can see in the door is the most complete and hopefully restoreable. The other motor is on the other side of the van.  The motor mount is believed to be for a Travel-Air as well as the radiator.
 The valves on the best motor are Miller valves which use a grease fitting instead of oil holes in the castings.  The cylinders are also from a dual ignition OXX-6 motor.  The second plug hole is plugged with what appear to be factory made slotted brass plugs.

Both motors were made by Willis-Morrow Company of Elmira, New York.  The better motor has Manufacturer's Number M3607 but is missing the Army acceptance tag.  The other motor is number M2753 and was accepted 15 May 1918.  The motor John Gaertner is working on is number M6195 and was accepted 11 Dec 18. Assuming steady production, M3607 was probably made about 6 Jul 18.

The extra parts include a header tank for the radiator and various water and intake pipes.
The prop hub on the left is not for an OX-5 but looks like it may be for a Hisso.

Some Berling Magneto cores and parts.

3 Zenith Carburetors.

Water pumps.
Standard OX-5 valve mechanisms from the second engine.
Intake manifolds.

Overall this is very cool.  The next step will be to start soaking all bolts, pistons, etc. with Corrosion X.  The plan is to clean up, repair and organize each item as it's removed.  The bigger problem is how to get the motors to the attic.  I probably will have to break it down to cylinders and case in order to store it while I'm working on each piece.