Thursday, September 19, 2013

The New Pickling Setup

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.

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.

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.

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