Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Rust you say? Evaporust to the rescue

I have been collecting and restoring umpteen tools thru the years.  Most, if not all, had some rust issues.  If left alone, your object will continue to deteriorate (rust) and become a useless rusty paper weight.  Rust must be dealt with.  Been using various ways to deal with it thru the years, including electro chemical process.
To me the best and safest way bar none remains Evaporust.  Safe, will not remove metal only the rust, which means, objects can be left soaking longer if you forget without hurting them.   Safe for the environment, septic tanks, your bare hands etc.  Re-usable, just filtered it and re-use.  That helps mitigate the cost of the product.  I buy it by the 4 gallons.

But more importantly, it works and does it safely.  The only other method which works as well, in my book, is electrolysis.  Works great but require a power source, I used a 12 V battery charger, must be used with plenty of ventilation since the by product is the release of hydrogen gas, which can get a tad dangerous....   The anode is consumed in the process, you can get by using Stainless steel for long lasting anode, but doing so release more toxic gas, so I would not advise that.  But my biggest concerns with it is what it does to the object. Possible Hydrogen embrittlement, which can be restored by tempering the object afterward.  And you are left with a toxic mess to dispose (not in your sewer or septic).

So Evaporust it is for me.  I go thru a few gallons a year :-)
As with any rust removal process, scrubbing the loose rust away and degreasing/degunking the object before, helps getting it to work faster and better.  It also keep your precious solution cleaner.
I usually use Krud Kutter for that and a stiff brush.

The beauty of using chemical chelation to de-rust an object is that you do not abrade metal away (like sanding etc). Hence you do not run the risk of erasing some markings. To me its like the results of a good electrolysis job but without all the hassles and dangers.  Museums have been reportly used electrolysis to derust their objects.

With Jean's stuff came a few tools, one was a roll of brace bits.  Unfortunately, inside one large pocket was a few bits which were soaking wet for a while, really did a number to those poor bits.

The bit roll

Some were plated and remained mostly intact, others not so much.

That center bit still has the perfect geometry

A fresh batch of Evaporust, clear yellow

During the process, I take them out of the bath and give them a scrubbing with a stiff stainless steel brush and a green scrubby, I help me gauge the progress and ensure better action by removing more cruds.  I need to do this in order to see the progress and soak longer as needed.

After 22 bits, 2 planes iron and a metal plane body and parts, its starting to get brown.
Perhaps the biggest negative about this method is finding suitable containers 
to handle the size of the object without wasting too much precious liquid.
This was left overnite, and was rotated once in a while 
since the flutes are slightly sticking out of the bath

In the end your object will take a dark blackish color cause by the top layer of loose gunk.
After I'm satisfied, it has worked enough, I'll scrubbed them with the green scrubby, rinse and left with a dull darker grey.

Off its bath in Evaporust, pretty blackish.
The dirtier your liquid, the blacker it will come out.
Yes, sharp eyes readers, I need a new scrubby :-)

Then off to the wire wheel we go.  I use a soft bristle steel wheel, being soft, I wear them out fast and go thru a few.   Mind you, if you only saw my pile of tools, you'll understand why :-)
If you ever wire wheel a rusty object without treating the rust first,  you probably ended up with a shiny dark brown surface.  In this case, after Evaporust,  we go from dull grey to a bare metal shine.  Sometimes the bits take an almost aluminum looks, which I don't care for, but leave it alone and it will darken back. I guess the various colours (shades of grey) depends on the metal composition.  The tell tale demarcation between the steel tip forged welded to a softer iron body becomes visible, due to the colour differences.

Earlier I did a quick test to see the various stages.

Only the nose section was dipped in Evaporust 
(for lack of suitable container :-)
 then wire brushed

The stem was simply wire brushed, no Evaporust first.
It removed surface rust but gave the object a shiny brown appearance

Between these two pics, you can see the transition from
 Evaporust untouched (dull grey) to the right and shinier after wire wheel.
You can also see how it has exposed all the pitting that took place under the rust. 

Here is a Canadian Champion chisel that got dunk in between (seens in first pic of soaking, in my last blog)

The Before

The after
Note the severity of the pitting.
No pitting were it matters the most.  The back will get flattened first 
and I expect it will take out lots of the small pitting. 

The trademark became clearly visible

Back to our boring bits...

All the bits have been processed, only need some touch up sharpening 
before being put to good use.  Bottom one has been de-rusted as well now.
The two on the far right have been rejected as being too much pitted.

In this case, you can see the flutes sticking out.  If left alone you will be left with a tell tale demarcation line almost impossible to erase.  My solution?  Simply rotate the object once in a while.
Either that or find a more suitable container, or add more liquid.

Evaporust will not harm paint finish, or japanning, but if there was rust under, it will lift the paint in those areas.  Similarly how it will react with plating, if its solid, no harm, rust under, flake off.
I try to avoid wood contact, because wood and liquid don't play nice.
In this case, I kept rotating the chisel as well.

A small block plane.  Note the unharmed paint finish
I always thought these blue and red planes were German, 
but this one has a blade clearly stamped Japan.  The sole and sides are also plated.

Bit on left is OK, the remainder two, need more soaking.
Last on right was later rejected as too much pitting took place.

After its first wire wheel, put back into soaking, there was still rust visible.
BTW That bit has a patented strange nose.  
It looks like a Jennings for the first  few twist then change into a Irwin center bit???
The patent date 23 Oct 1900 (?) must fall on a Tues if US (since 1848 I believe?)
 if not its either a typo (it happened in the past more often than you may think) 
or I read it wrong or Its not a US Patent??  Work in progress

Any drilling bits can benefit greatly from being rust free and shiny, to help the shavings flow out.
In addition those that have a threaded nose to advance the bit, are often impaired by too much rust and cruds in the threads.  Using a file to recut threads is risky at best, you can create more problems than you solved.  Soaking in Evaporust then wire wheel the bit with a soft wire brush, get those pesky threads clean up effortlessly.  The bits could benefit further from a quick buffing on the flutes to help those shavings flow easier, but in my case I never got around to do that and they works just fine.

Lastly, after this chelation process we have exposed fresh metal which can quickly start to rust if left alone.
Drying the object after its water rinse, then wire wheel, and finally wiped with a coat of WD 40 and/or a wipe with Autosol will help keep it rust free.  Your results may very well vary with your geographic location, but flash rust can happen quickly if left alone.  Especially vulnerable are all those small craters left behind by the pitting that took place before hand.  You can sand them out, depending on location, but on drilling bits you have to be careful not to end up tapering toward the nose, making it sure to jam quickly while drilling.  The outside section (often the most pitted) only keep the bit centered, and has no effect on the cutting action.  It is the inside of the flutes, where the shavings glide thru that matters.  The smoother the better chips ejection, the deeper you can go before jamming by choking.    Easily buffed using a shoe shine buffing action by hands, using a long narrow piece of clothe (or whatever).  The idea is to polish, not sand

This mean, avoid the urge to sand the outside pits, and instead, wax your bits.  That will fill in the pores (pits) of the metal affording better protection against rust and it will turn easier, Bonus! :-)

Bits are only to be sharpened from the inside faces.  Please learn and understand the bit cutting geometry before attempting to file them sharp.   If you do not know what you are doing you can quickly ruin a bit, some times mortally :-(

Bob, with a never ending pile awaiting its dip in Evaporust

Full disclosure, not paid or rewarded or whatever by Evaporust to hawk their products, I am just a satisfied customer, that's all folks.

Monday, December 2, 2019

A tale of wood and metal planes

Apparently my last post on downsizing has struck a chord with many.  Who knew it was such a popular subject??

Strangely enough, since publishing it, friends have been bringing me some of their "stuff".
Go figure :-)

The first plane to land at my door was a wooden try plane, followed a few days later by another plane, this one a 1/72 scale, metal model of a CF-18 Hornet painted in my former squadron,
425 Sqn  60th anniversary colour scheme.  How cool is that ?? :-)

Thank you Keith for the Try plane and thanks to Ian, my last Sqn Chief and friend, for thinking about me with this CF18 model of one of my former Sqn.
Much appreciated guys.

The taped repair is my own BooBoo.
Rudy ever expanding toy box in background for size.
Rudy is off the frame just long enough to snap this pic.
Where are you going with my toys Dad??

Lets look at them in the order I received them.

The Try Plane

At 21 inches, in wooden plane parlance it's a Try plane or short jointer.
The discoloration on the side of the nose is just that. It's solid wood. 

That discolored side spot does not extant to the sole.
The sole has a big scratch

The strike button at the nose has been saw off flush a long time ago, but why???

The handle shape fit my hand very well.
Its style look early to my eye. Early 1800s.
Not sure about the strange whitish line.  An earlier messy re-glue operation? 
That handle is sitting correctly and secured.  Looks original.

The wedge is proper and came off easily, after shocking the plane body

The blade on the other hand is solidly frozen in place

You can see how much I moved it forward by tapping the nose.
Followed by tapping the heel to retract it.
These apparent large cracks do not go very far but I opened them
 up a bit while driving down the blade to unstuck it.
That blade is really tight.

It finally came out after much tapping on the heel and tapping 
on the captive brass nut with a wooden stick to push it out. 

OK so I may had been getting overly aggressive
 tapping it out with my wooden carpenter mallet.
Oups...  It's beech wood incidentally

Blade is 2-1/4 in wide

Robt Sorby tapered blade with a solid chip breaker

I did not saw any makers name on the toe, but there may be something, 
just cant see it much ...yet.  I'll play with my USB microscope and find out.

The construction details looks more shop made
 than commercial made.  To my eye.

The ends of the wooden wedge are rounded up (wear) and looks like 
will cause some shaving trapping.  May have to reshape the ends 
or make a new wedge.  Will see.

So off to the Evaporust bath with the metal bits while we look at the next plane to land my way.

Since I had some room I added  a chisel and a round plane blade.
They both look like they are due for a soak before it's too late to salvaged them.
Other recent attractions that followed me home (Tm). 
What can I say, I have a magnetic personality, hence I attract rusty objects :-)

The Demo bird, CF18 in its 60th anniversary 
of 425 Sqn, paint scheme in 2002

Each year they paint one demo jets with a theme paint job.
In 2002 there were two Demo jets painted, the usual one,
 plus one for celebrating 425 Sqn anniversary

I served in 3 Wing from 2006-2011.  After doing a turn at the maintenance Squadron 3 EMA (AMS in English) I moved to the Operational Sqn, 425 ETAC from 2009-2011

The Maint officers and Senior NCMs of 425 Sqn,
in front of the ill fated 2010 demo bird.  It crashed.

I was the Master Warrant Officer (Adjum in French) 
Senior Aircraft Maintenance Superintendent.(SAMS)
of the Squadron.  The world's best job!! :-)

The other side of the aircraft, sport l'ecusson de la troisieme Escadre.
3 Wing Bagotville, where the Sqn is co-located with 433 Sqn.

Underside shot, featuring the false canopy.

And amazingly, it evens has a feature that solved the Funky chicken dancing phenomenon of the vertical stabs (on the early birds we got off the assembly line).  The addition of a big bulky ugly bracket at the juncture to the fuselage and the Lex fence, to re-direct the airflow.   
Wonder if the model also has any trace of its then  recently performed center barrel section replacement project to build up more flying hours?? :-)
All that to say, its pretty well and accurately detailed. 

I did purchase a metal scale model of an airplane in Bagotville before leaving, but I did not remember which one.

So off we go fetcher the model in question.  Still in its box, has yet to be opened and assembled (small pieces).

My model in question was the Avro Arrow CF-105.
The old cardboard box is from the early plastic model that was released by Aurora.
It is incidentally the model in question which spurred my interest in aviation.

I thought I knew my military aircraft models, but I never heard of the Arrow before purchasing the model in 1964.  That, and it was a Canadian plane??   This infamous fighter aircraft that could had been, was, as most Canadian projects are, well ahead of its time and bloody expensive.  They were also planing a Mach 3 version. It got cancelled in 1959, and everything ordered destroyed.  The resulting brain drain of some of our best Aerospace engineers went on to work on the Franco/Anglo supersonic Concorde and helped put man on the moon.   

I'm guessing both my newly acquired Hornet, 
and this Arrow, are the same scale, 1/72 

Try plane has its new booboo fixed, blade assembly
 is de-rusted but not sharpen.
Bird has been A Checked, ready for the barn.

Bob, who has a mess of stuff soaking in Evaporust,,, a suivre :-)

Friday, November 22, 2019

A trip back in time

Recently, I have been going thru lots of moving boxes, sorting, discarding and yes, shredding.
Anything with name or addresses on it, financial records etc, it all goes thru my multi cut shredder.
Yap, that is a few bags of shreddies :-)

We are still trying to merge two households, Jean and mine, together.  Could use more room, so time to start another round of down sizing.

Among my finds, I came across some of my earlier wood working projects.  Some survived all these years because they were in use at my parents place and stayed there until I cleaned the house to sell, umpteen years ago.   Others I keep with me because they were working prototypes that I build for my edufication in anything electrical, electronic related.

All these pieces were build between 1968 and 1972.  Let's have a closer look at how they survived.

The projects in question.
3 legged table, 4 legs Octagonal stool, microphone and headset holder (Wireless set No 19)
6 poles electrical motor/generator and a crystal radio featuring a homemade variable capacitor

The furniture

The stool

The stool was my first shop class project of 1969.  I remember the days when high schools (or in my case the then brand new Polyvalente Beloeil)  had real shops.  We had woodworking, mechanical, electrical, welding and automotive shops.  Care to guess which ones I prefer? Yap, woodworking and electrical :-)
The shop was filled with brand new green Poitras and General machines (both made in Quebec Canada).

The idea was to use the skills we just learned in industrial drafting classes, to draw plans for our projects, full size templates etc. from a list of dimensions given to us  Good thing because they were a lot of angles, and the instructor keep saying, don't try to uses wood putty to hide your mistakes, I will know and you will automatically loses points :-)  Emphasis on clean joinery.

Simple joinery, nothing too complicated, both dados, rabbets.  And lots and lots of damn small angle pieces :-)

The screws are not original, were added later by probably my brothers or dad at mom request, similarly for the two tones paint scheme. Not mine, yuck :-)
Originally left bare wood, Lepage white wood glue and finish nails was what held the joinery together.  Guessing it rack thru the years, glue failed, nail not enough to keep it together, screws were added at a later date.

The under shot, showing all those darn little angle blocks all around.
It beefed up the join.

Yes, it is a signed original.  Robert Demers Group 4
Well although numerous were made by the kids thru the years, 
mine is no doubt unique by its own quirks :-) 

 The wood was dimensioned by machines: RAS, Jointer, planer, tablesaw etc.
all the joinery was made by hand.  Coping saw for all the decorative cuts, followed by a good deal of rasping and sanding :-)
All the angle were also cut by handsaws, back saws.  Dadoes, rabbets hand cut backsaw and chisel.

That piece will be stripped of its paint, joinery cleaned and re-glued, nailed, no screws!!
Added to Bob's To Do List, Vol 2, page 56

The Table

Another project of the same era (Group 4) was that small 3 legs table.  I like its design.

That one somehow survived without any added screws

Top is held captive by a dado.  Again glued and nailed (2)

There is a decorative stopped chamfer around the front of the top.
Hand cut, block plane, chisels and no doubt lots of sanding.

The under carriage is all held together by mortise and tenon joinery.
My very first circa 1969/70. 

It has stayed pretty tight.

That joint is pulling a part slightly, I can see the shape of the tenon under strong back light

Another signed original, albeit the signature in pencil is getting pretty faded

If you think this three legs design is unstable or unusual, by happenstances I do have a few antique three legged tables (3 or 4) around the house. So not that uncommon.

The RADIO gears

From L-R
6 poles electrical motor, rotor shown removed for cleaning
to its right is my home brew variable capacitor tuned radio and above it is a older (not built by me, roughly 1930s) Galena radio inductive tuned

The motor

It started with a school assignment in my Electrical/Electronic classes.  Between these two and physic classes simultaneously, it drove me nuts for years.  In the morning it was the Right hand rule, in the afternoon the Left hand rule, to explain the same electro magnetic phenomena, huhhh? Make up your mind!! That's because in Physic they still use conventional current flow, from Positive to Negative and in electronic, electrons flows from Negative to Positive.  Took me years to come to grip that is the same thing, backward. No one was lying.  Had many a philosophical discussions on this subject over a few beers.

Anyhoo, the assignment was to build a simple two poles motor, which quickly turned into an in house competition among ourselves as to which one would be better, faster etc.
So of course, I had to build a 4 poles.  Problem was, someone else came up with a 4 poles, so off I went back to the drawing board and built a 6 poles!  Dad, who helped me with some construction details, such as brazed welding my rotors, said that it would be pointless to try a 8 poles, its is getting too heavy, so don't even think of it.  All the enameled copper wires came from old car distributors coil.

A tad messy to open and get the wiring unwound, it is bathing in oil for cooling.  Probably were filled with PCBs or some other toxic chemicals?  But wow, lots of wire for nothing.  Made good use of that kind of wires :-)

As you can imagine, it is heavy and has a lot of mechanical friction, thus it is a monster.  Not the fastest spinning in my class, but by far the stronger one, torque arg, arg!!
My biggest challenge was to come up with a brush system.  I used the same system I used in my 4 poles.  A small pill bottle, put in 6 small area but long pieces of copper pipes and filled the whole thing with some sort of car body filler (??) and make sure nothing is shorting together before the putty hardened.

Once dry, cut off the bottle, and you are left, after a few trials and errors, with round cylinders with somewhat equally spaced copper strips sticking out all around.  It work but is finicky to adjust for the best combination of sparks and rotational torque :-)

You can make out, the copper strips exposed from the putty

It was also the most current hungry motor tested that day.  We used a car 12 volts battery to test all our motors with an ammeter.  The fastest were oh surprise, also the lightest :-)

My 4 poles was donated to the school at my professor request, but I kept this monstrosity as a reminder of my foolishness.  What can I say, I always felt like the need to be different :-)

That attitude would come back to hunt me a couple times in my military career :-)

The Capacitively tuned radio.

Not really my design, found that in an old electronic magazine.  Did I ever mentioned that for a while I was collecting electronic magazines? I have Radio-Craft from 1937 all the way to its last days as Radio Electronic. A Hugo Gernsback publications   My favorite column was TV Troubleshooting with Jack Darr.  Learned many things from him, which served me well thru the years.

Most design of crystal radio used an adjustable coil to effect some selectivity (tuning). The variable capacitor, working with the adjustable broadcast radio (AM) coil affect a much better tuning range and is more selective.  So of course, had to built one.  It's like the 4 poles, 6 poles thinghy :-)

The variable capacitor mechanism.

The variable capacitor is made by two plates of plywood, the inside face are lined with aluminum foil, taking care not to have the plates shorted out throughout its adjustable range.  Normally there is a sheet of wax paper in between the plates for added protection.  Long lost. A spring want to keep the plate opened, while the end of the screw is pushing the hinged one in and out.  Note the use of a metal plate for re-enforcement were the screw end is bearing against it.
The tunable coil is from a standard AM radio  (Oscillator coil) which gives me the right frequency tuning range (AM band) in conjunction with the design size of my variable capacitor.  Somewhere in the 100s of Picofarads range.

I built a few designs of crystal radio thru the years.  Experimented with older designs I came across which used a chunk of galena crystal as the detector.  Hence the name crystal radio. 

My very first radio, a Christmas gift of long ago (mid 60s) that sparked my future career.
It used a "modern" 1N60A semiconductor point contact diode instead of a Galena crystal, as do most design since these diodes came around

An antique crystal radio, using a galena crystal, long Missing In Action.
And if you are wondering, the coil is missing a screw at one end...

My second Crystal radio, early 70s

The coiling of the connecting wires is purely for look, no intended inductance action required.

The beauty of the design is the very minimalist number of pieces required to make it work.
No power is required, all the "power" is derived from the RF signal, hence a good antenna and a good ground are required for operation.
Add a RF rectifier (Galena crystal, Semi conductor diode or even a rusty razor blade).  Ever heard of Fox holes radio in WWII ?  Yap, build those also :-)

The rectified audio signal is of course very weak, only as strong as the received signal, hence you cannot drive a speaker without some sort of amplification, or you can used high Impedance (Hi Z) headphones using electromagnetic driver.  A thin metal plate, set to vibrate by the changing magnetic field in a electro magnet pulling or pushing the thin metal plate.  That would be old school headsets, which were made by the bazillions in the 30s and up.

I still remember the first time I heard loud and clear Italian speaking on one of my first radios. I was all excited, I am pulling in distant stations!  That lasted briefly until my sister pointed out to me that there are Italian speaking radio stations in Montreal ... Darn !! OK well, 20 miles  away is not bad :-)

Adding to Bob's To Do List: Install a long wire antenna and find a suitable ground (copper pipes or electrical ground) to get them working.

Microphone and headset holder.

That was made for holding up these WWII era headset and microphone set.  

From a WWII era, Wireless set No 19 Radio Transmitter, as used in tanks

Nothing fancy. 
A piece of wood, used whatever piece of scrap metal I had.  
Hacksaw and filing, bending pieces in the vice, drilling holes.
Ain't pretty but is sturdy :-)

My radio room, circa Dec 12, 1973.
Wireless Set No 19 showing, along with a speaker housing I made.

I had pretty well the complete set up, including the gas generator set, which I was not allowed to run inside my room for some reasons that escape me after all these years....

And finally, my very first bench setup, in a spare room in the basement.  Made all kinds of wood and electronic projects on it.  Fixed stuff to make money etc.  Nice built I was pretty proud of it, except for one small design feature...

Built the whole thing in place.
Bench, drawers on metal slides (biggest expense of the project), bookcase, perf board

My last project built on that bench, 1975.
A 12/24 hr programmable CMOS alarm clock with calendar and etc.
Lets admire the beautiful butt joint joinery, glued and nails again :-)

You see, I built it entirely inside the room, never dawn on me, that one day I may have to move it out of the room.  Sure enough, no way out.  I cut it in three pieces to fit the doorway, but never moved it out.  My younger brother screw it back together and used it for many more years.  It finally met its demise when I had the house empty to sell

Joined the Airforce and left my beloved bench behind at my parent's place

For years, anytime I came home to visit, mom would tell her friends, Bob would be home on such and such days, bring your broken TV to be fixed.
That's me working on the floor, something I have lots of experience with :-)
Kept telling Mom, you know they pay me good money in the Airforce now a days, 
I don't need the extra income.

My apartment living room in 1981.  No, its not me on the pic.
Oh, I was collecting cameras at the time :-)
The only things left from this stereo system are the Moving Coil cartridge 
Turn table and its Pre-Pre-amp.

As you can see, I was always surrounded by electronics and woodworking projects of necessity.
So today as I am unpacking long forgotten boxes, I decided to set them up in a man cave corner to enjoy them again.

The corner I started with, which quickly became too small.

So I move it on the other side of the 50 in plasma TV .
Came across some of my video equipment, gotta play with that too :-)

Bob, looking back at time gone by... Still a collector, woodworker, Radio electronic geek after all these years

Reporting for duty at Boot camp, Feb 19, 1976
ERFC St-Jean Qc.