Category Archives: Cast Iron

Progress with the cast iron in the electrolysis tank

I’ve been running the electrolysis tank on the old cast iron Dutch oven for awhile every day and am seeing some great results.  It still needs some more rust removed but the water was so nasty and rust colored I decided to start over with some clean water.

At the end of each day the Dutch oven has come out of the tank and scrubbed with a brush made for washing drinking glasses.  The crud and rust that has come off after each scrubbing has been impressive.  

The cage had a lot of rust built up on it when I removed it and dumped the water.  Most of the buildup came off easily with a wire brush.  While it was out we went ahead and hit it with the power washer.  Hopefully tomorrow the cage will go back in the tank and we will fill it and see how it does with fresh water and sodium carbonate.

This picture of the cage was taken AFTER it was quickly attacked with the wire brush.  The bottom two steel bands looked just like the top one when this Dutch oven went into the tank. 


This was taken at the end of the first day of removing rust from the Dutch oven. You should have seen the water at the end of day 3.  That heavy number nine wire is suspending the oven in the tank and off the bottom.  The negative connector goes on that wire.  


While there is a lot of carbon on the bottom of oven in the next picture it is far better now than at the beginning.  When we started the entire bottom and most of the sides were covered with it.  


And finally here you can see the inside of the old cast iron.  You can see the bottom of this old cast iron again!  When you compare it the picture that was taken at the beginning you get an idea of how much rust was removed.  There is still more work to be done, but I am satisfied with my setup.   The battery charger has been running at 2 amps during the process so far.  We could kick it up to 10 amp but I’m satisfied with doing this slow and easy.   

  

The Dutch oven is out and I’ve dropped in a rough and rusted number 8 skillet.  After an hour in the tank I found this on the top of the water.

Electrolysis tank for removing rust from old cast iron

This project is one that I’ve been wanting to complete for some time now.  We have several pieces of old cast iron cook ware we’ve acquired that have a problem with rust and decided to try removal with electrolysis.   

An old plastic 33 gallon barrel that my brother gave me was perfect for the tank after cutting one end of of the barrel.  A local welder fabricated the cage for me using rebar and flat material.   I requested the flat steel to be used to increase surface area during the electrolysis process and to make it simple to clean up.

For our purpose we are adding one tablespoon of washing soda per gallon of water.  The electrical current is being provided with an old two amp charger.   Currently the old Dutch oven I’ve got in the tank has been there for less than two hours.  It has a long was to go but there is defiantly a noticeable difference in the amount of rust.  

My cage can easily be removed from the barrel to make cleanup and water changes as simple as possible.


Here you can see the flat steel bands that serve as my sacrificial metal.  It is easier to clean than a bunch of round rebar.  With a putty knife I’ll be able to quickly knock off the sludge that develops during the electrolysis process


Here ís the old Dutch oven that shows the level of rust before going in the tank.


The negative connector is attached to the wire suspending the item to be cleaned.  The positive cable is connected to my sacrificial metal, for my instance it is the cage I had made to fit inside my barrel. Do not use stainless or copper in any part of your build!

Dutch oven trivets made from horse shoes

Had a local guy make some trivets for me to be used with our Dutch ovens for cooking outdoors with coals.  They hold the Dutch ovens up off the coals and are suited for baking cakes, biscuits and such.  The shorter trivet also works well for setting a lid on when you remove it to stir or add ingredients.   By putting the lid on the trivet you don’t get dirt or grass in what you’re cooking when the lid goes back.

We used a bead blasting cabinet to remove all the rust and dirt before applying a black high temperature rust-oleum spray paint.  The ones that look silver in color are what they looked like after bead blasting.  They all received a few coats of black paint.

dutch oven trivets made from horse shoes
dutch oven trivets made from horse shoes
dutch oven trivets made from horse shoes
dutch oven trivets made from horse shoes