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Re: [TowerTalk] Rusty tower

To: Jim Lux <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Rusty tower
From: Tom Anderson <>
Date: Sun, 19 Dec 2004 12:20:15 -0600
List-post: <>
Jim, et. al:

One of the companies in our family owned corporation used to be Riverside Industries of Tulsa OK, Provo UT, and Fort Worth TX. They made huge high voltage electrical transmission towers. The Fort Worth plant also had a large 300+ ft. tall "test bed" (yes it was lighted per the FAA) where towers would be assembled and cables attached and then the tower stressed to whatever design limits the customer wanted. The tests would usually stress a design to the point where it ripped apart just to see what it would take, usually far in excess of design specs.

Several times while I was in college and later I was asked to take photos of the plants for in house use and annual reports.

All three plants had several large open tanks where large pieces of steel that were to be assembled into towers were dipped during galvanizing. The galvanizing process is a several step operation. There were a couple near boiling point "pickling baths" of various acids, etc. that dissolved, neutralized, etc. any rust, corrosion, dirt, etc. on the steel. You had to leave these steel sections in the picking and neutralization baths long enough to heat them up. To drop a piece of cold (temperature) steel into the galvanizing zinc solution meant risking the zinc "explode" showering the area with bits of what had been molten zinc. I was never there when this happened, but I saw the results of someone not heating the steel enough by all of the galvanizing splatters on the inside of the building. It could be a real mess. State and local EPA officials were real particular how we disposed of the pickling materials when the plant(s) drained and refilled them with new chemicals. Also the pickling materials could really open up your sinuses if you got too close.

I know actually very little technically about the galvanizing process since I was a newspaper reporter/photographer. I just related what the employees and foremen in the plant told me when I'd visit there, since I also had to occasionally write stories for the company employee newspaper and annual report.

Tom, WW5L

Jim Lux wrote:
Unless you have much, much more time than money, start calling "galvanizing"
in the yellow pages.  Some galvanizing places only take nice clean stuff,
but others will take beat on, rusty stuff and sandblast/wirebrush/hot tank
it before galvanizing.  It's surprisingly reasonable (unless your time is
truly free... the folks they hire to do this unpleasant tedious work are at
minimum wage or thereabouts).  Most places will also pick up and deliver for
a nominal (few tens of $) fee (unless you're hundreds of miles away).
Galvanizers charge by the weight of what they are galvanizing (not the price
of the zinc, or anything that would make sense...nope.. they just hang the
widget from a scale and drop it into the tank...)

Expect to spend some time calling around.. there IS a difference between
places, and they all have their specialties..  Some have a limited length
tank, and can't dip something like a 40 foot I-beam, and others can.

By the way, the whole process is one of those "furnaces of hell" sort of
things.  Quite impressive if you've never seen a huge pit full of molten

Jim, W6RMK.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Van Fair" <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, December 18, 2004 7:48 PM
Subject: [TowerTalk] Rusty tower

I am ready to start the project of restoring an old Hy Gain HyTower. It has a number of surface rust spots on about 30% of the galvanized surface. Anyone have experience in removing the rust and know a better way than the Steel brush. Any suggestions on what to paint it with all over once the rust is gone. Thanks for your help. Van W4GIW


See: for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless Weather Stations", and lot's more. Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.

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See: for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless Weather Stations", and lot's more. Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.

TowerTalk mailing list

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