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Old 19-11-2015, 10:00   #1
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Galvanizing done at home?

Greetings all~

I recently had a friend suggest that I re-galvanize my chain with a solution of , sugar, salt and old zincs with a 12v power source introduced? He said he has been galvanizing various metals with this solution and that the rust didn't have to be removed first. I have some rusty anchor chain that I was about to replace.
Anyone done this before?
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Old 19-11-2015, 10:10   #2
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Re: Galvanizing done at home?

How much chain we talking about?
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Old 19-11-2015, 10:36   #3
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Re: Galvanizing done at home?

About 150' 3/8"
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Old 19-11-2015, 12:44   #4
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Re: Galvanizing done at home?

I have seen some high load zinc epoxies. But I do not think they will stick to chain. Too much abrasion and movement perhaps.

b.
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Old 19-11-2015, 13:08   #5
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Re: Galvanizing done at home?

Your friends advice is not what you want. The process he is recommending is electroplating zinc. It results is a very thin zinc layer which will fail in salt water in short order. Anchor chain is hot dip galvanized which is done by cleaning the chain and then dipping it in a tank of molten zinc. The thickness of the zinc deposited is much greater than with the electroplate process. Hot dip will outlast electroplate zinc by a very large margin.
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Old 20-11-2015, 08:46   #6
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Re: Galvanizing done at home?

Hot dipped galvanizing is what you need to do and that is not really possible at home. Cold galvanizing will not last longer than a year at most. Rust must be removed since it has little contact with the chain's metal surface. Your friends are likely to sink your boat.
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Old 20-11-2015, 10:05   #7
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Re: Galvanizing done at home?

Forgetaboutit. I had 150 feet of 5/16 bbb hi test re galvinized for $1.00 per foot. Great investment. 2 seasons now, at about 100 anchorages per year, and still looks like new.
I do however, touch up the tips of the 45 lb Bruce with spray on galvanizing each year.
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Old 20-11-2015, 10:16   #8
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Re: Galvanizing done at home?

Thanks to all for the advice~

I checked with a San Diego company that will, pickle, hot dip and shake for about .50 a pound. Sounds more prudent than a temporary zinc coating. I will however take all of these old zincs and see what kind of solution the salt/sugar treatment will do on some fish hooks and other small metal items just for kicks.

Also I was wondering if anyone has taken their old zincs and made them into another anode by melting and molding them? Seems a shame to just throw them, or are they basically 'worn out" from the galvanic action they've endured?
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Old 20-11-2015, 10:24   #9
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Re: Galvanizing done at home?

I just had my chain re-galvanized. my business is in the same industrial park as the galvanizer and we do a lot of business with them so this was easy for me.

That said it is really easy for anyone. The chain is cleaned of all rust in an acid solution then dipped in a flux solution, then dipped in 800 deg F molten zinc.

If the galvanizer is setup for chain and small parts they will have a spinner or centrifuge that they quickly put the chain in and spin the excess zinc of the chain. However, many galvanizers (including mine) just wire the chain to a rack to dip it and then give it a serious shaking when it's lifted out of the zinc kettle.

The only problem with the shake method is it leaves a fair amount of thick places on the chain. Also some links will stick to each other. This requires some work on your part to work the chain and hit the links with a hammer, in some cases, to knock them loose.

The next problem comes with the windless gipsy, the thicker coating of zinc will cause it the hang some in the gipsy for the first few passes through. This gets better with use.

The spinner method is best but the shaking works and leaves more sacrificial zinc on the chain which can be frustrating for awhile.

my chain looks brand new!
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Old 20-11-2015, 10:27   #10
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Re: Galvanizing done at home?

Your friends suggestion is good for a kids science project using a penny. Not worth a damn for your chain.
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Old 20-11-2015, 11:04   #11
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Re: Galvanizing done at home?

If you get some used photographic hypo ( rare these days) and dip your 150' of chain in it it will come out silver plated. You will be the only boat in the anchorage with a silver plated chain.
Better to get it hot dipped or get new chain.



Also I understand that old anodes melted down will not make a good anode again. Not sure but that's what I've been told.
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Old 20-11-2015, 11:19   #12
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Re: Galvanizing done at home?

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Originally Posted by duefocena View Post
I checked with a San Diego company that will, pickle, hot dip and shake for about .50 a pound. Sounds more prudent than a temporary zinc coating.
I work in San Diego, and my boat is in the same marina as yours. If you need help in transporting chain, let me know. (i.e. I can throw in in my truck and drop it off for you in SD - since I go to and from daily)
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Old 20-11-2015, 11:47   #13
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Re: Galvanizing done at home?

Start with a spare cast iron bathtub and some industrial propane torches, then you can throw in lots of scrap zinc and melt it down, and do your own hot galvanizing at home. Apparently the zinc vapors are almost as toxic as lead, so you might want to beware of that, too.


The "cold galvanize" zinc paints are the most effective way to go if you're not going to have it hot dipped, but there's a reason folks pay to have that done.(G)
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Old 20-11-2015, 13:35   #14
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Re: Galvanizing done at home?

Zinc fumes are indeed bad for you. The toxin accumulates in your body and it can eventually get to the stage where even minor contact with zinc fumes will make you sick. Not only that, but stuff dipped into molten zinc can "erupt" when pockets of trapped air or water heat and expand and then escape to the surface. And not only that, molten zinc will erode holes in the steel tank holding it eventually unless it is made of special low silicon steel alloy.

So all in all, hot dip galvanising is not really the sort of thing that can be done at home.
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Old 20-11-2015, 17:40   #15
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Re: Galvanizing done at home?

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Zinc fumes are indeed bad for you. The toxin accumulates in your body and it can eventually get to the stage where even minor contact with zinc fumes will make you sick. Not only that, but stuff dipped into molten zinc can "erupt" when pockets of trapped air or water heat and expand and then escape to the surface. And not only that, molten zinc will erode holes in the steel tank holding it eventually unless it is made of special low silicon steel alloy.

So all in all, hot dip galvanising is not really the sort of thing that can be done at home.
Hardly seems worth the risk given the relatively inexpensive cost of better quality commercial hot dip galvanizing. Hey, Ive got metal toxicity issues and a crappy finish on my chain, but I saved 25c a foot!

Maybe an interesting little science project, but even then not without risks. I bet a little molten zinc would do ugly things to flesh and bone.
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