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#127342 - Thu Nov 18 2004 12:24 PM Paint Removal By Electrolysis
pollyman Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Mon Sep 15 2003
Loc: California
ROTM is starting a week early due to the Thanksgiving next week. This month we are going to discuss removing paint and rust from your old pump skins. This thread will discuss a few techniques commonly used to remove paint and will feature PAINT REMOVAL BY ELECTROLYSIS. Jerry Jeup from Oldgas was kind enough to share his technique of paint removal by Electrolysis. He kindly provided all the pictures and a description of his technique. Thanks Jerry.

Background:

There are 4 basic ways we remove paint from old pumps: Sandblasting, Hot tank, Paint remover with a lot of scraping, and Electrolysis.

Sandblasting is probably the most common technique for removing paint. It is very effective in quickly removing all rust and paint. Cost is the major drawback of sandblasting if you are doing it yourself. An air compressor and sandblaster to adequately blast a pump will run you at least $2000. Also, you must have adequate space to blast and there can be a large mess associated with the blasting medium. Another issue with sandblasting is warping the skins if too much pressure is used. Taking your skins to the local sandblaster is probably the easiest way to get your pump skins free of rust and paint with this method. It runs me about $50 - $70 to have the top, base, and 4 skins of an electric pump sandblasted. Jerry said it cost him $200 and 6 months to have a Tokheim 610 blasted. It can be frustrating working with these places

Using a hot tank is another great way to remove paint from your pump skins. The paint basically melts right off the pump. The biggest drawback with a hot tank is finding one to use.

Then there is the old sweat and blood method of paint remover and scraping. It will probably run you at least $30 in paint remover and a couple of years off your life just to remove the paint off one pump. I have removed paint by hand off 2 pumps and will probably never do it again. Too much time involved and 4 years off the end of my life. I guess I’ll only live to be 96 now.

Finally, we have paint removal by electrolysis. Some of you are probably thinking, what the heck is electrolysis and how does it work? Well, I’m going to do my best to explain it before we get to the actual technique provided by Jerry. Luckily, I have a pretty strong Chemistry background and remember some of the basic principles. Let’s see if I can actually explain it.

The principles of electrolysis are used in various ways; such as making hydrogen gas, permanent hair follicle removal, and chrome platting. The most basic example of electrolysis is splitting water molecules (H20) into hydrogen and oxygen gas. Two strips of metal can be placed in a glass of water. A negative charge is applied to one metal strip (cathode) and a positive charge to the other metal strip (anode). The electrons from the negative charge in the metal pull the hydrogen molecules from the water to create hydrogen gas. Oxygen gas is also created as a by product from the positive anode strip. See diagram below.





This is pretty much how Jerry removes paint by electrolysis. Now we will take a look at the real thing. ~Jason
_________________________
~Jason

6 ft signs & rare pump plates – Signal, Hancock, Mohawk, Polly, Flying A, Douglas, Richfield, PDQ, Stinker, Beeline, Neon , Dealership.


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#127343 - Thu Nov 18 2004 12:25 PM Re: Paint Removal By Electrolysis
pollyman Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Mon Sep 15 2003
Loc: California

This is the type of barrel Jerry uses. It is 55 gallons and very rigid. He cuts out the top with a sawzall and cleans it with Krud Kutter and long handled brush, making sure it doesn't leak. You don’t want this liquid leaking all over your work area since it will have dissolved paint in it in the end. This size barrel at 3 feet tall should accommodate most pump skins since you can dip the pump skin in half way to remove the paint and the flip it over and then dip in the other half.
_________________________
~Jason

6 ft signs & rare pump plates – Signal, Hancock, Mohawk, Polly, Flying A, Douglas, Richfield, PDQ, Stinker, Beeline, Neon , Dealership.


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#127344 - Thu Nov 18 2004 12:26 PM Re: Paint Removal By Electrolysis
pollyman Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Mon Sep 15 2003
Loc: California

This is a piece of Stainless Steel, but you can use most any piece of old metal or cast iron. The Stainless Steel lasts much longer and doesn't have to be cleaned as often, whereas other metals have to be removed and cleaned a lot and also deteriorates much faster. The size is cut to approx. 32X36. This piece should be close to the size of piece being cleaned. He also had it rolled at sheet metal shop for the bend.


All you have to do for the solution in the barrel is add water to Arm & Hammer Washing Soda in the laundry detergent aisle at most any grocery store. Jerry mixed about 1/2 - 3/4 box into approx. 40 gallons of water. Jerry did add water and washing soda to the barrel before putting the metals in and mixed it up so he knew the washing soda was completely dissolved. Don't add washing soda to COLD Water. Mix it in small batches with WARM water to dissolve soda, then add to cold water. The laundry detergent serves 2 purposes. It increases conductivity and it helps the paint slide off the pump skins.
_________________________
~Jason

6 ft signs & rare pump plates – Signal, Hancock, Mohawk, Polly, Flying A, Douglas, Richfield, PDQ, Stinker, Beeline, Neon , Dealership.


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#127345 - Thu Nov 18 2004 12:27 PM Re: Paint Removal By Electrolysis
pollyman Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Mon Sep 15 2003
Loc: California

This is a front panel off of his Wayne 60 that went into the barrel. It has 6 coats of paint alternating from the reds to whites, and has rust on back side.


This test picture shows the Wayne panel and the stainless steel sheet metal positioned in barrel before water was added. Jerry used a spring clamp to hold the stainless steel and slightly leaned the Wayne panel back so it would not fall onto the stainless steel sheet. This was just to see how they would fit in, so the 2 metals will not touch each other. You will generally add the soapy water mixture first before adding the metals.
_________________________
~Jason

6 ft signs & rare pump plates – Signal, Hancock, Mohawk, Polly, Flying A, Douglas, Richfield, PDQ, Stinker, Beeline, Neon , Dealership.


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#127346 - Thu Nov 18 2004 12:28 PM Re: Paint Removal By Electrolysis
pollyman Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Mon Sep 15 2003
Loc: California

This picture shows what activates the soapy water to start LIFTING OFF PAINT and rust: a 12 volt battery charger. RED (positive) to the Stainless and BLACK (negative) to the PART TO BE CLEANED. The force off the liberated hydrogen gas removes the paint and rust from the metal. Now remember, we are dealing with electricity, water, and hydrogen gas. This can be a dangerous combination if you are not careful. Hydrogen gas is extremely flammable (Remember the Hindenburg). There is probably no real danger since there is little hydrogen gas produced, but I recommend using a well ventilated area just to be safe. Jerry said he has never had a problem with the hydrogen gas in all the times he has done this and he doesn’t have too much ventilation in his work area. So don’t panic, but be cautious.



This picture was taken about 20 minutes after starting. As you can see, it is already starting to REMOVE PAINT. The charger will run at between 8 - 15 amps. The closer you put the part to the stainless steel, the higher the amps will go. Keep it in the lower ranges and it should work fine. Higher amps will make the charger and the gator clips get quite warm.



[This message has been edited by pollyman (edited 11-18-2004).]
_________________________
~Jason

6 ft signs & rare pump plates – Signal, Hancock, Mohawk, Polly, Flying A, Douglas, Richfield, PDQ, Stinker, Beeline, Neon , Dealership.


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#127347 - Thu Nov 18 2004 12:29 PM Re: Paint Removal By Electrolysis
pollyman Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Mon Sep 15 2003
Loc: California

This picture shows large GOBS OF PAINT being removed. There were only 2 very small traces of paint left on the panel that were bubbling when Jerry took it out.


This is a picture after Jerry took the panel out and wiped the 2 small paint spots lightly with steel wool. After the panel was completely finished, he wiped it with diluted phosphoric acid to stop any rust prior to priming.


[This message has been edited by pollyman (edited 11-18-2004).]
_________________________
~Jason

6 ft signs & rare pump plates – Signal, Hancock, Mohawk, Polly, Flying A, Douglas, Richfield, PDQ, Stinker, Beeline, Neon , Dealership.


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#127348 - Thu Nov 18 2004 12:30 PM Re: Paint Removal By Electrolysis
pollyman Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Mon Sep 15 2003
Loc: California

A before shot of the side of Jerry’s Wayne 60.


A shot after 10 minutes of being in the electrolysis tub.


A shot when the paint is basically falling off the skins of the pump. Now remember, there were six layers of paint on these skins and it’s just falling off.


A shot of the skins completely free of paint and rust. All done by Jerry. Very impressive technique. Jerry said this technique is pretty inexpensive. The plastic barrel was $2, the stainless steel metal was $25, the washing soda was $4, and he already had the 12 volt battery charger, but those are pretty cheap as well. If anybody has any questions for Jerry or myself, go ahead and ask away. If you have any tips to add about electrolysis or paint removal in general, feel free. This is where all the learning takes place. Well, I hope that Jerry and I helped somebody out there. It sure helped me.
If anyone has a technique they can share and would like to volunteer for a ROTM, shoot me an email. Have a good one. ~Jason


[This message has been edited by pollyman (edited 11-18-2004).]

[This message has been edited by pollyman (edited 11-18-2004).]
_________________________
~Jason

6 ft signs & rare pump plates – Signal, Hancock, Mohawk, Polly, Flying A, Douglas, Richfield, PDQ, Stinker, Beeline, Neon , Dealership.


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#127349 - Thu Nov 18 2004 01:13 PM Re: Paint Removal By Electrolysis
Don Beaver Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Thu Dec 20 2001
Loc: Sedro Woolley Washington
WOW Jason you are doing GREAT on these gas pump restoration reports. I really enjoy them keep up the good work.
Don
_________________________
www.vics66.com Gas Pump Restoration Supplies & Game Room Decor

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#127350 - Thu Nov 18 2004 01:20 PM Re: Paint Removal By Electrolysis
gatorgaspumps Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Mon Jun 07 2004
Loc: Walla Walla, WA USA
This is great Don and Jerry. how long did it take to clean the panel? and how about cleaning the stainless steel, when and how. thanks Richard

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#127351 - Thu Nov 18 2004 01:36 PM Re: Paint Removal By Electrolysis
JERRY J Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Wed Jan 07 2004
Loc: Eastpointe Mi.
Hi Richard; One dip of a panel starts paint removal in abt. 20 min.s.. I come in in A.M. and hook up charger. I let it run most of day...I'm using 4 barrels, 1 with charger on. The others with just the washing soda -no charge-.. It also lifts the paint but takes somewhat longer, but helps when I transfer to the charged barrel.. I can do a panel -painted side- in 1-2 days..
Stainless I have cleaned twice in last month. Just makes the charge better... have not added any washing soda, seems to last a LONG time....

------------------
Regards ....
Jerry J .....
_________________________
Regards ....
Jerry J .....

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#127352 - Thu Nov 18 2004 03:41 PM Re: Paint Removal By Electrolysis
Dwaine Buck Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Jun 01 2004
Loc: Big Valley, CA
Thanks Jerry for your knowledge and the pictures. good show.

------------------
Dwaine.
www.vintage-logos.com
http://www.caltel.com/~jlgas/
http://www.caltel.com/~jlgas/Items_for_Sale.html
http://www.caltel.com/~jlgas/misc_.html
_________________________
Dwaine. Logos-Signs
Globe-Logos
Decals By Koz
Tee Shirts

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#127353 - Thu Nov 18 2004 05:05 PM Re: Paint Removal By Electrolysis
st.rod Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Fri Feb 15 2002
Loc: Edgewater, Colorful Colorado
D


[This message has been edited by st.rod (edited 11-18-2004).]

[This message has been edited by st.rod (edited 12-12-2004).]
_________________________
In memory of DB 9/12/49 - 8/28/14

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#127354 - Thu Nov 18 2004 08:14 PM Re: Paint Removal By Electrolysis
JERRY J Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Wed Jan 07 2004
Loc: Eastpointe Mi.
Re straining the water, You really don't have to that often. I use a good screen mesh kitchen strainer and skim the stuff off the top every so often... The water gets red, as is the panel, but thats OK...
I've had this batch of water in for more than a month, and every day or 2 I skim..

Phosphoric Acid. I have a 32 oz. spray bottle of "THE MUST FOR RUST" BY Krud Kutter, $ 6.95 at local mACO store.. Also use Dupont # 5717 S Metal Conditioner. More expensive, initially but is mixed 2 parts water to 1 part conditioner. Abt $ 16.00 for quart of the concentrate, put the mix in spray bottle and spray panels to stop rust

------------------
Regards ....
Jerry J .....
_________________________
Regards ....
Jerry J .....

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#127355 - Thu Nov 18 2004 09:15 PM Re: Paint Removal By Electrolysis
FrankSargent Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Sat Oct 19 2002
Loc: Seattle,WA,USA
Thanks Pollyman.. I am printing out this entire post as a reference for my library.
This is what OldGas is all about... GasGeeks helping GasGeeks.
The annual fund raiser is coming up soon... January is the time to pledge. Lets all start thinking about helping Jim keep the lights on... and pledge our support in January.
Thanks Jim... for a great site!!


------------------
Frank
_________________________
Frank

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#127356 - Thu Nov 18 2004 09:24 PM Re: Paint Removal By Electrolysis
silver63 Offline
Member

Registered: Thu Nov 18 2004
Loc: wyomissing,Pa. usa
How do you handle small items that would never touch the bottom? Can they be hung on a rope?

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