For those that know me, I have had a long standing love of antique and old tools. Many have been passed down from Grandfathers and Uncles. Others I have pickup at sales or online auctions. Most of them have one thing in common…RUST!
Countless hours have been spent in front of the wire-wheel or grinder trying to remove the age and make them usable. I have heard about using electrolysis to remove rust and paint but have been skeptical.
I found an early Philadelphia spanner wrench at a job in Philadelphia in 1991 (used to open fire hydrants) that was still pretty crusted with limestone mud and rust. I also had a couple old hand planes that I was unsure if I was going to restore or use.
After 3 hours in the electrolyte, here is what they looked like: