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OT - Restoring Cast Iron Cookware With Electrolysis - OT

I decided to play the mad scientist, so my cast iron restoration journey begins.

This is a Griswold 8 with heavy carbon.




Here is the setup. I would have preferred smaller steel sheets but this is all Home Depot had. They are 12" X 24".



The charger:



Here is the progress after just 50 minutes!



I'll give an update in 5 hours. In the meantime I would be happy to answer any questions.
Somewhere in Colorado
LBGE, PGS A40 Gasser
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Comments

  • FockerFocker Posts: 8,287
    Looks great.
    An awful lot going on there.  

    How much $$$ are you in to it at this point?

    Brandon
    Quad Cities
    "If yer gonna denigrate, familiarity with the subject is helpful."

  • WeberWhoWeberWho Posts: 6,345
    Great post. Looking forward to the results!
  • What is the liquid - water?
    Memphis, TN 
  • Jupiter JimJupiter Jim Posts: 3,035
    Oven cleaner in a plastic bag will remove all the baked on grease, but do nothing to the rust.

    I'm only hungry when I'm awake!

    Okeechobee FL. Winter

    West Jefferson NC Summer

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,701
    Assuming red is positive and black negative, why do you have shorts?
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,701
    Oh, nevermind.  You just have the plates hooked up in series. 
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • WoodchunkWoodchunk Posts: 638
    Our Miele has a pots and pans cycle and no exposed wires B)
  • 1voyager1voyager Posts: 306
    Focker said:
    Looks great.
    An awful lot going on there.  

    How much $$$ are you in to it at this point?

    Thanks.

    Around $70.
    Somewhere in Colorado
    LBGE, PGS A40 Gasser
  • 1voyager1voyager Posts: 306
    What is the liquid - water?
    Yes. Water and Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda. One tablespoon per gallon of water. 
    Somewhere in Colorado
    LBGE, PGS A40 Gasser
  • 1voyager1voyager Posts: 306

    Oh, nevermind.  You just have the plates hooked up in series. 
    Yep.
    Somewhere in Colorado
    LBGE, PGS A40 Gasser
  • kl8tonkl8ton Posts: 2,296
    Watching.  I may give this a go.  I have several pieces that came with the house or from grandma.
    LBGE - 36Blackstone
    Grand Rapids MI
  • 1voyager1voyager Posts: 306
    This is after four hours.



    Here's the entire setup. The wires connected to the steel sheets are two sets of cheap jumper cables. The tub has a 17 gallon capacity.


    Somewhere in Colorado
    LBGE, PGS A40 Gasser
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,701
    FYI - some of the new digital battery chargers won't apply a current unless there's an existing voltage.  I noticed you used an old-school analog charger, which gets around this caveat. 

    A trick to getting the newer digital chargers to work it to attache a battery to them.  At least, in theory, I think this would work.

    Very similar to the voltage sense line in new alternators - they don't work unless there's an external voltage.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • 1voyager1voyager Posts: 306
    FYI - some of the new digital battery chargers won't apply a current unless there's an existing voltage.  I noticed you used an old-school analog charger, which gets around this caveat. 

    A trick to getting the newer digital chargers to work it to attache a battery to them.  At least, in theory, I think this would work.

    Very similar to the voltage sense line in new alternators - they don't work unless there's an external voltage.
    You don't miss thing!  :)

    Yes, it's a Schumacher SE-82-6 Dual Rate 2/6 Amp manual charger. $23.95 on Amazon Prime.
    Somewhere in Colorado
    LBGE, PGS A40 Gasser
  • blastingblasting Posts: 5,509

    @1voyager ;  Way to cut my grass!  jk.  Your set up looks good, I'm sure it will be successful for you.  I'll post a pic of my set up shortly so it can add to your thread.  

    FYI - some of the new digital battery chargers won't apply a current unless there's an existing voltage.  I noticed you used an old-school analog charger, which gets around this caveat. 

    A trick to getting the newer digital chargers to work it to attache a battery to them.  At least, in theory, I think this would work.

    Very similar to the voltage sense line in new alternators - they don't work unless there's an external voltage.

    Your theory tests out - I tried it last time I ran my tank.  A digital charger hooked to a battery works fine.  I have a manual, so I normally just use that
    Phoenix 
  • 1voyager1voyager Posts: 306
    edited October 2017
    @blasting - Cut your grass? I don't get it but I'm slow today. 

    Thank-you for your compliment. The excess jumper cables look goofy. I planned to cut them down to six inches but was unable to open the connection between the clamp and the wire. Tried to pry one open with a screwdriver and of course it slipped and left a monster gash on the palm of my hand. NBD.

    I look forward to seeing your setup. 
    Somewhere in Colorado
    LBGE, PGS A40 Gasser
  • blastingblasting Posts: 5,509
    1voyager said:
    @blasting - Cut your grass? I don't get it but I'm slow today. 

    Thank-you for your compliment. The excess jumper cables looks goofy. I planned to cut them down to six inches but was unable to open the connection between the clamp and the wire. Tried to pry one open with a screwdriver and of course it slipped and left a monster gash on the palm of my hand. NBD.

    I committed last week to doing a thread on this subject, I thought you were in on that.  I was joking.  


    Phoenix 
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 13,007
    Why so many sacrificial anodes? Pretty sure one is plenty, no? 

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!

                                                                …Unknown

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • 1voyager1voyager Posts: 306
    edited October 2017
    blasting said:

    I committed last week to doing a thread on this subject, I thought you were in on that.  I was joking.  


    I was in on that thread. I figured that you were joking but I never heard the "cut the grass" term before. (Other than actually cutting the grass.) Please post your thread. This is my first time with electrolysis so I'm sure there are many things you can teach us.
    Somewhere in Colorado
    LBGE, PGS A40 Gasser
  • FockerFocker Posts: 8,287
    1voyager said:
    This is after four hours.



    Here's the entire setup. The wires connected to the steel sheets are two sets of cheap jumper cables. The tub has a 17 gallon capacity.


    Nice setup.
    Now you're committed to finding more Fe.  B)
    Brandon
    Quad Cities
    "If yer gonna denigrate, familiarity with the subject is helpful."

  • 1voyager1voyager Posts: 306
    edited October 2017
    Why so many sacrificial anodes? Pretty sure one is plenty, no? 
    Probably, but I didn't want to have to reposition the pan to get full coverage. My understanding is that electrolysis is "line of sight". There are lots of videos out there showing people using one rebar in a five gallon bucket and it works fine but they reposition the object from time-to-time. Boss Lady says the setup looks like something Rube Goldberg would have designed. Dunno if it was intended to be a compliment.  :s
    Somewhere in Colorado
    LBGE, PGS A40 Gasser
  • 1voyager1voyager Posts: 306
    Results after six hours. Some of the carbon slid off of the pan as I lifted it out of the tub. Other areas are still as hard as a rock.




    Somewhere in Colorado
    LBGE, PGS A40 Gasser
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 13,007
    Never would have thought that line of sight would matter for something in an "electrically charged bath". I haven't done this in a good 15 years, but I know I only used one piece of iron. But whatever works.

    As for Rube Goldberg? That would be me. :rofl:

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!

                                                                …Unknown

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • DieselkWDieselkW Posts: 869
    Does the cleaner exterior of the Griswold line up to the anode facing spots? I wonder if the four (bare) corners of the plastic water/washing soda tub effected the overall cleaning?? 

    I've only done this a couple times, using caustic soda (lye). What comes out after 8 hours or so is a very clean grey iron that begins to rust almost immediately, but blackens nicely with a layer of warm lard coating it, and a 400º Egg. 

    That's a nice old Griswold you got there - start slicing some taters!!

    Indianapolis, IN

    BBQ is a celebration of culture in America. It is the closest thing we have to the wines and cheeses of Europe. 

    Drive a few hundred miles in any direction, and the experience changes dramatically. 



  • KchevesKcheves Posts: 72
    edited October 2017

    Nice effort.  I have restored a few vintage vises using electrolysis, and have learned a few things:

    - Don't use stainless as the anode, unless you want your home to be a Superfund site

    - Steel or iron as the anode works well, but creates lots of sludge.  Graphite is much less messy.  Machine shops often have scrap graphite plates from making EDM tools, I buy rods from McMaster.

    - If you don't have an old-school battery charger, lots of people use old PC power supplies as the current source.

    - I make the electrolyte from pH Up,  a pool care product you can get anywhere.

    - Don't run your tank in a closed area or near pilot flames.  Hydrogen is created in the process and will go Kablooee.


    "Semper ubi sub ubi"

    San Diego, CA

  • 1voyager1voyager Posts: 306
    @DieselkW - Yes, the cleaner areas are directly facing the anodes. Plus the areas closer to the anodes seem to be cleaning faster than the more distant ones. It may just be my imagination.

    @Carolina Q 's comment makes sense that "line of sight" doesn't matter in an electrically charged bath. I'm just going to call it magic!
    Somewhere in Colorado
    LBGE, PGS A40 Gasser
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,701
    Line of sight is somewhat true.  It's the path of least resistance.

    Same reason we put lightening rods in high places to protect the structures below.  The electricity wants to go to ground, and the grounded rod is the nearest way to get there.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • I have a related question.  I purchased this griswold #9 recently.  The bottom cooking surface is very clean and well seasoned.  But the seasoning on the sides is chipping off.  Should I strip it down and start from scratch, or try to just reseason the sides?
    Memphis, TN 
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,701
    @mEGG_My_Day

    Strip it off.   You can put it in the oven with some oven cleaner, or in the oven on the clean cycle.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • @mEGG_My_Day

    Strip it off.   You can put it in the oven with some oven cleaner, or in the oven on the clean cycle.
    Thanks - that's the way I was leaning.
    Memphis, TN 
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