This week I made a sunflower product and the pieces had a lot of firescale on them. They are about 16” across and the shape is complicated so I decided that pickling them would be the easiest way to remove the scale. However, the would not fit into the 5 gallon bucket of hydrochloric acid (muriatic acid) which I have used for years. I wrote about it in April 2011. http://persimmonforge.blogspot.com/2011/04/pickling-bucket.html
Thinking it would take less time to make a new pickling setup than clean the pieces by another method I went to the farm and ranch store and bought two weather proof rubber feed tubs. http://www.miller-mfg.com/page/1/Product-Detail.jsp?groupId=721&prodId=90619
Each is 18 inches in diameter and 8 inch high and holds 6.5 gallons. I paired them up and drilled 1/4” holes through the three handle areas so that the top could be securely wired in place when I wasn’t using the acid.
I poured the acid from the 5 gallon bucket in and added two more quarts to bring the level up so that the liquid would cover four work pieces at one time - I had twelve to clean.
This setup was on the north porch but now is on my east sidewalk. I think it is important that this work is done outdoors as the fumes are toxic.
It took less than a hour to clean all the pieces. I rinsed them well with a garden hose but didn’t do any additional treatment with a neutralizing agent such as baking soda, sodium bicarbonate. They were very clean and the next day I did the finish work and heated each piece with the torch to dull red then applied the finish after cooling.