Here is my new personal development: a small stainless steel
weld cleaning setup. First of all, I was not happy with
pickling and passivating pastes - they are poisonous and
highly toxic. Require a high level of safety and very
dangerous to handle and use, messy and very difficult to
wash and the main thing I did not want this sh... stuff
anywhere on my alcohol stills and stills of my customers,
anywhere near my workshop and myself personally.
In fact, there are some different nontoxic methods exist:
sandblasting, mechanical polishing, and electropolishing. So
the sandblasting is ok but can ruin the mirror finish.
Sandblasting requires the special enclosed chamber,
compressor and heaps of other stuff. I use it, but for some
little spots, the next one is a mechanical polishing, again
- not good for difficult to reach places, can be messy and
limited by the shape of the detail - I use it too, for easy
to reach things, but what about electropolishing? First of
all, it is gives a lot of advantages over chemical
passivation - not messy, nontoxic, easy to wash off.
The setup utilizes a method of electro-galvanic metal
cleaning where electricity, electrolyte, and electrical
conductors are involved. The readily available
installations for electro polishing are selling commercially,
though quite expensive. So I done my research and
experimenting, and found that many things are readily
available and cost next to nothing in comparison with a
commercial setups, plus I am in the stainless fabrication
industry, and I found that the most of the things that I
need already available in my workshop, also I am making my
carbon brushes myself.
The insulated brush holder cost a few dollars to build, and
non-toxic chemicals are available in local automotive parts
shop, thus if you about to create your stainless steel based
distillation equipment, you may consider using this simple
DIY electro-polishing method to make your equipment bright
and shiny and free of poisonous traces.