In Reply to: Pant & Rust Remover posted by Mike on May 15, 2018 at 06:11:57:
My preference is to use the most basic manual paint/grime removal methods on large parts. Start with a power wash, then scrape, sand, wire brush, or whatever works best. The chemical products don’t seem to make this process enough easier to be worth dealing with the toxic waste issues. I don’t want to have to wear a rubber suit. If I ever did a full “restoration”, my choice would be to have large parts media-blasted.
My working tractor projects are not being “restored”, so I see absolutely no need to remove “all” paint. Any paint stuck good enough to survive the methods I use, will be roughed-up, feathered and can serve as a base for the new primer coat. I have yet to see any paint compatibility problems from doing that. These are tractors, I'm not looking for a show-car finish. I envy the people who have the time/patience/equipment to turn out a show-car finish, but I’d be afraid to actually use a machine that looked too nice.
For small parts, electrolysis is the lazy (non-toxic) solution that works best for me. If your electrolysis tank created a coating or plating, you may have used something other than steel as sacrificial metal, or something else contaminated the tank. My electrolysis tank has been in operation for something like 12 years without being dumped. It is normally kept covered, so I only have to add water to replace what evaporates while the tank is in use. The washing soda that was put in the tank 12 years ago must still be in there, I've never added any. I’ve occasionally seen some “plating” from copper or other metals or alloys that became sacrificial. Other than that, the only coating I've seen is a black iron oxide on areas that were rusty. The loose oxide easily comes off when I wash the parts.
This was after an overnight stay in "the tank". In this case, all the paint bubbled off. That is not normal, usually some paint will survive electrolysis. This photo was taken after about 2 minutes with a bristle brush and clean water rinse. Areas that were rusty now have a dark oxide finish. For my purposes, there is no need to do anything more with this part than a little body work, rough-up the surface, degrease, and shoot the primer coat.