2009 - Volume #33, Issue #1, Page #39[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
"Tumbler" Restores Rusted Gas Tanks
"It rotates like a rock tumbler to scour the tank's interior. When I'm done the tank is in better than new condition," says Farley.
Farley owns Farley's Radiator Shop, which offers cleaning and repair of up to 35-gal. fuel tanks. His machine is powered by an industrial electric motor, which belt and chain-drives a 1 1/4-in. dia. shaft that extends about 4 ft. beyond the machine's frame. A wheel bearing is welded to the end of the shaft and a wood frame attaches to the bearing. The tank being repaired is held to the wood frame by bungee cords.
To use the machine, Farley drops a 24-in. length of heavy chain, along with fine white sandblast sand, into the tank and then rotates the tank at low speed for an hour. Then he turns the tank 45 degrees after emptying it out and refilling it with clean sand. After another hour the entire tank will be scoured clean.
"When finished, the inside of the tank resembles that of a sandblasted surface, which the rust-proof coating bonds to easily. The exterior is then sandblasted and coated with polyurethane, which preserves the outside as well," says Farley.
"This machine is quite labor intensive so it's not the answer if you can buy a replacement tank cheap. I came up with the idea because customers would come to me with tanks so full of rust they were almost unrepairable, yet they couldn't find a replacement tank. As far as I know there's nothing on the market like it.
"In the past we would drain the tank and purge the fumes, then acid dip and steam clean the tanks the best we could. That process removed loose rust and debris, but it would leave behind light rust and pitting. We then applied a coating inside the tank, which unfortunately trapped the rust. In 5 to 10 years, the tank would rust again.
"Every tank is different so I have to make a new wood frame for each tank, which can be time consuming. If the tank has baffles, I have to cut a hole through the side of the tank to access the area behind the baffle, then weld the baffles back shut again.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Scott Farley, Farley's Radiator Shop, 263 Ridge Road, Oswego, N.Y. 13126 (ph 315 343-7741; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.farleysradiator. com).
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