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  #1  
Old 08-10-2004, 11:00 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Mid-Tenn, USA
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homemade electronic bore cleaner


Registered Users do not see the above ad.


Hi all -

I built an electronic bore cleaner last night.
<$20, including a $9 var. a/c adptr.
(http://www.surplusrifle.com/downloads.asp - rt.clk. "homemade electronic bore cleaner" to d/l).

Orig. article said 1part/vinegar, 1/ammonia, 2/water.
Vinegar is a mild acid, so could harm bluing.
I ran straight ammonia @ 3v. for 1/2 hr. & the barrel was completely clean.

Anyone know if ammonia SHOULD be diluted?
What effect would higher voltage have?

TIA,
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Last edited by Rigby275; 08-10-2004 at 11:21 AM.
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  #2  
Old 08-10-2004, 05:27 PM
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Location: Spokane, WA
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[QUOTE=Rigby275]Hi all -


1. Anyone know if ammonia SHOULD be diluted?
2. What effect would higher voltage have?




Hello Rigby275,

First, that is a neat website. Bookmarked for later.


Now to the questions at hand:

The ammonia and vinegar combine to make a buffer solution
which keeps the pH of the solution near 7 (neutral)
Vinegar by itself is about 3.5-4.5 depending on concentration
Ammonia by itself is around 8.4 to 10 again, depending.
Both of these are typically commerically sold at 5% conc.

I wouldn't worry too much about straight ammonia since many
of the high quality cleaners have large concentrations.
Personally I'd not leave things in the barrel longer
than necessary to clean it up. Other opinions will vary.

However, the Ammonia combined with 3V of oxidation potential
might not be a very good thing at all. I really can't answer that.
Buffered pH near neutral sounds good to me.



As to the question of higher voltage, this is a case where
more is not really better.

Particular amounts of voltage are required to oxidize the
Lead from Lead metal to Lead 2+ ion, about 0.13 V
Copper wants about 0.34V to do the same.
Both of these two reactions are dependent on conditions and
the other ions in solution.
These voltages are for the reaction to just begin to occur.
In order to get any appreciable speed of removal more
voltage needs to be applied.

More voltage will cause a greater current flow in the solution.
Good up to the point of when all the lead and copper have
been removed.

At that point, corrosion of the barrel steel COULD begin to occur.
In all likelyhood, the removal of iron is probably neglible.
What would be the greater problem is the decomposition
of water into hydrogen and oxygen.
One of the things about electricity is that the field strength
increases whenever there is a sharp corner or edge.
Hmmm, kind of like rifling??? More field strength = more H2 gas.


Hydrogen gas diffuses through everything!
It is well known to cause brittleness in numerous metals.
This would be A REALLY BAD THING for high pressure pulses.

The rate of hydrogen production is particularly dependent upon
the applied voltage. 3 volts is still plenty to generate hydrogen.

Upping the voltage to 6 or 12 like using a battery charger would
not be smart, as then the rate of evolution is greater
than the ability of the bubbles of H2 gas which are not terribly
soluble in water to bubble off. You also would have plenty
of voltage to decompose Iron, Chromium, Molybdenum, Manganese, etc.
--The components of ordance steel !
There are plenty of other considerations as well, but way beyond
the scope of this forum.

By keeping the voltage low, you safegaurd your investment.
Admittedly, most of the hydrogen embrittlement I am familar
with comes from high temperature and pressure,
but why make things potentially unsafe if you don't have to.
Might take a bit longer, but since you can do something else
while waiting, who cares!

Cheers!

Big Mike G
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  #3  
Old 08-10-2004, 06:23 PM
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Um... ah... Yeah! What BMG said!
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Old 08-10-2004, 07:16 PM
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Hi BMG et al. -

Thanks for the info!

Running the specified setup for ~45mins in a '96 Swede, it cleaned just fine.
Same in a MarlinCB & I had a brown deposit (no Pb or Cu) to clean afterwards - mebbe corrosion?

Suppose 1.5v'd be safer/sufficient?
I splurged and got a variable voltage a/c adapter.

I'll heed your advice to buffer w/vinegar.


regards,
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  #5  
Old 08-10-2004, 08:17 PM
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The electronic bore cleaners, like Outers Foul Out, can pit a bore if you run it and there was rust in it (unless you change out the solution within 20 minutes or so). Don't know if the homemade stuff has the same issue.
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  #6  
Old 08-11-2004, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeG
Don't know if the homemade stuff has the same issue.

Probably more so than the commercial stuff, which should contain
a bunch of conditioners, surfactants, and chelating agents.
Which should control or reduce much of the pitting possibility.
Also to consider is that the commercial solutions are specific for
each of the metals, and you are trying to do it with one.

I'm sure it will work, but don't forget it and leave it in there too long.

The commerical units have circuitry to limit both the voltage and
the current flow. When the Lead and Copper are used up, there
would be an increase in the voltage necessary to begin decomposing
another metal or the water. The current would dip during this time.
The commercial units sense this, and shut off accordingly.

You could probably hook up a milli-or micro-ammeter to watch the current flow,
and when you saw it dip, then pour out the solution and check your bore,
followed by a cleaning and oiling if its done to your satisfaction.

Cheers,

Big Mike G

Last edited by BigMikeG; 08-11-2004 at 10:44 AM.
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  #7  
Old 08-11-2004, 01:14 PM
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Location: Mid-Tenn, USA
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Thanks again guys -

The ammeter fix is good - does away with chance of harm to the barrel.

I'm thinkin' (mebbe not rightly) that @ 1.5v, current'd be higher, easier to meter - or would the process just take longer?

Regards,
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Terry

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---
NRA Life Member
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  #8  
Old 08-11-2004, 04:55 PM
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Location: Spokane, WA
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I'm not really certain of what voltage/current the commercial
units use. If you really wanted to find out, I suppose
you could look up the patent number(s) on the US patent
website and find out for sure.

The ammeter would be fine, but then you have to watch
the unit. Not much less work than patching it out with any of
the tried and true, good cleaners/conditioners available, most
of which can be left in the bore for extended times.


Hope it works for you,

Big Mike G
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  #9  
Old 08-11-2004, 07:42 PM
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The Outers Foul-out uses very low current. I forget the exact voltage, but my meter would barely read it, less than a volt as I recall.
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