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Soup De Jour – Rust Soup

February 21st, 2008


Mmmmm…. Nothing better than some rust soup when you’re trying to restore old tools. If you collect old woodworking tools, one thing you will not be able to avoid is dealing with rust at some point or another. I got my hands on a sweet Siegley 8 jointer plane. These pre-Stanley planes are not very easy to come by so I was pretty happy to get one even though the one I got was pretty much concealed in a nice layer of rust. Despite its outward appearance, I could still see the beauty that lay beneath (yeah, I may have had a couple drinks first… you know how it goes… you have a couple beverages and that rusty jointer starts looking pretty good from way across the web). So the simple answer was a little electrolysis. No, no… Not the kind that resulted in me sporting some sort of spectacular brazilian. The sort of electrolysis needed here would hopefully prove less painful than that.

I of course performed my due diligence here (i.e. i did a Google on it and skimmed through the first search result for the main points) and learned that all I needed was a bucket, battery charger, soda powder, and a piece of metal. Yes, there was scientificky talk of anodes, electrons, and cathodes. Whatever… I’ve got the web so I don’t need to understand that stuff. I just hook everything up and flip the switch and start cooking! Bubbles start coming up and the rust follows. Pretty cool stuff, huh?!? It worked and I didn’t die so mission accomplished.

Disclaimer: If you attempt to perform electrolysis yourself referencing my blog as some sort of instructions you are a complete idiot and need to be put down for the sake of the gene pool. Improperly performed electrolysis can result in explosion, electrocution, and many other things that would otherwise ruin your day. I mean what kind of idiot reads this stuff off the internet and gives it a try based on good faith??? In terms of full disclosure I should note that ever since I did this I have had a slight ringing in my ears and a persistent shooting pain through my genitalia. If that blade didn’t end up so shiny I’d have to really weigh whether it was worth it.

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As you can see in the after pic the blade came out pretty clean. After I restore the plane body it will make a nice collector. As would be expected the blade sustained enough pitting to render it useless as a user plane since it will never hold a keen edge. Still you have to admit that is one dead-sexy blade. You know you want to touch it.

Blade BeforeBlade After

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  1. February 22nd, 2008 at 14:14 | #1

    Those are some pretty awesome results! Nice job!

    Might work for those pesky attic pests too, instead of the wheelbarrow.

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