Tuesday, 5 January 2010

How to de-rust a tank

If I had a brain I would have looked inside the tank first and dealt with the light dusting of rust before applying the expensive paint to the outside. But no matter.

I went for a combination of mechanical and electrochemical treatment:

1. Chuck in some dried alpine grit, bung all holes with Blu Tac and wrap the tank tenderly
2. Tumble for 25 mins or so in a cement mixer (packed tightly with cardboard and polystyrene blocks)
3. Hoover out the gravel
4. Fill the tank with baking soda solution and electrolyse it using an old iron chisel as the anode, dangled in the solution. Electrical oomph provided by old mobile phone charger (c.500mA)
5. Flush, dry, add more gravel (washed this time) and shake it about
6. More hoovering and flushing, et voila.

I could have coated the inside of the tank with a sealer but the inside looked pretty good so I didn't bother.


  1. nothing like blending modern 100% suction technology with ancient alchemy - my top tip would be to run a very fine in-line fuel filter for a while and change regularly !!!

  2. Hello Rupert Paul.
    What is the function off the chisel
    why not take sink ,what is so special about an old chisel,the kind of metal used?
    Please let me know.

  3. Hello Hans

    I used a chisel because it was lying around. You can use any old iron, but not stainless steel.

    I hope that answers your question


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