Failures, Part 2

6) Lubricants, such as WD-40, were a complete failure. Not
only will they leave the coin an ugly blackish color, and
with an oily feel, they will also have near no effect on crud, even
after soaking for a week. When a slightly dirty coin was used,
it ate the patina right off. I will never try any lubricant
again, though some people swear by them.

7) Electrolysis with salt. DON"T use salt. Most instructions
you find concerning electroylsis will recommend salt. It
will eat your clips as well as pit your coins. I use
sodium carbonate (washing soda).

8) Electrolysis. I sit on the fence on this one. It's great for crusties, that
no matter how long you soak with conventional means, will never yield
a coin. I have had great successes with electrolysis, but some disheartening
failures too. If a coin is left in too long, patina will be removed, though
using sodium carbonate, usually a black false patina will be added. 
One can also reverse the polarity to add a patina to a coin with a
short zap of a couple minutes. I have had mixed results with
this procedure. Sometimes they come out a beautiful brown,
black or even green, but sometimes they come out a weird blue.
It is also quite useful to remove wax. Forget nail polish remover.
My big concern is that often, if the patina is removed, that the
porosity of the coin is revealed... which does not make
a pretty coin. Also, weak coins can be easily broken after
being zapped, and there is no way to tell if a coin is stressed or
not before zapping. I use electrolysis, don't get me wrong,
but I'm becoming more picky with the coins that I zap.

I have saved up my dirty water from the last two times I have zapped a bunch of crusties, and will be trying the reverse repatination again. This is on the slate for 11/14/05. The method has changed from the one above as well.

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