Fig. G: Put the mesh ring into the bucket and thread the
conductor wires through the hole in the lip of the bucket.
Fig. H: Put the rusty object on the hook and submerge
in sodium carbonate solution. Fig. I: Connect the red
cable to the anode wires and the black cable to the
rod in the lid. Fig. J: The scale and surface rust will be
converted to a black powder that can be removed with
a wire brush, wire wheel, or light abrasive blasting.
lines the inside of the bucket, with the factory-cut
ends against the bottom. If your bucket is tapered,
overlap the pieces to follow the taper. Trim the top
portion of the mesh if needed to let the lid fit snugly
2. Connect the rods.
Wind and zip-tie a length of steel wire around the
top of the mesh ring, connecting it to 4 anodes
hanging down outside the mesh, one at each compass point (Figure C). I used 4 because the process
works in a “line of sight” manner between the
anodes and the object’s surface.
With steel anodes, you can just tightly wrap the
wire around the rod ends directly. I used carbon
rods, which can shatter, so I attached them to the
wire with small coils of softer tin solder. Zip-tie the
anodes to the mesh (Figure D).
Finally, drill a hole in the lip of the bucket for the
2 ends of the steel conductor wire to pass through.
3. Modify the lid.
Drill a hole through the center of the lid and insert
the threaded rod. Secure it with the washer and nut
above the lid, and screw on the butt connector and
ceiling hook at the bottom of the rod (Figure E).
Drill lots more holes in the lid for ventilation
(Figure F) — the flammable oxygen and hydrogen
byproducts need to escape during cooking!
4. Put it together.
Insert the mesh ring in the bucket. The addition of
the anode rods should make it a snug fit. Pull the
conductor wires through the hole in the lip of the
bucket (Figure G). Construction is complete.
5. Time to zap some rust!
5a. Set up an area with good ventilation. Fill the
bucket with hot water to a level about 2" below the
conductor wire. Add sodium carbonate, 1Tbsp per
gallon of water. Stir.
5b. Put your rusty object on the hook, and adjust
the nut so that the object and hook are completely
submerged when you put on the lid (Figure H).
5c. Connect the red (+) battery charger connection
to the anode wires sticking out of the side of the
bucket, and connect the black (–) cable to the
threaded rod in the lid (Figure I). After about 20
seconds, lift the lid a bit and sneak a peek at the
object. You should see some very small bubbles