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Author Topic: Antenna rebuild  (Read 1198 times)
N7KTX
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Posts: 31




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« on: April 21, 2011, 11:06:47 AM »

Does anybody know of a good aluminum parts cleaner for the many brackets and clamps on the old 6 beam Hygain I'm rebuilding?  The steel parts have rusted and stained the surrounding aluminum, and time has added a corrosion layer I'd like to see go.  I bought the manufacturer's rebuild kit with all the plastic replacement caps, etc., but the metal's ugly and there are too many parts to make steel wool practical!  All I can find are acid products that etch the aluminum for paint.  Thanks! KF7OAE
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20612




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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2011, 05:48:59 PM »

I use "naval jelly" for this.  It is somewhat corrosive, use rubber gloves and after 24 hours, use a hose to wash everything off thoroughly, including the driveway or grass or whatever was under the parts.

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K2OWK
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Posts: 1066




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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2011, 09:39:45 PM »

WB2WIK, Hello I was just wondering where you can purchase Naval Jelly? I have not seen this item in the stores for quite a while. I remember you could buy Naval Jelly and Alumajell (for aluminium) at any mass merchandise store.

73s
Barry K2OWK
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K7KBN
Member

Posts: 2814




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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2011, 10:21:23 PM »

http://www.loctiteproducts.com/p/s_trmt_naval/overview/Loctite-Naval-Jelly-Rust-Dissolver.htm
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
WB2WIK
Member

Posts: 20612




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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2011, 09:06:55 AM »


I looked at that, and the warnings and instructions make me think either this is a different formulation than I'm used to, or they just got really conservative over time.

I've used "Naval Jelly" on aluminum hundreds of times.  Also I've left it on overnight and hosed it off in the morning -- 10 or 20 minutes wasn't long enough (might depend on the nature of the rust or stains).  Maybe this stuff is really aggressive, or OSHA came down on them or something.
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K2OWK
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Posts: 1066




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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2011, 01:20:34 PM »

Thanks K7KBN, I think I will order some. I do not know why it is not as redally available as it used to be. EPA I guess. I have always used Naval Jelly on iron and steel never on aluminum. I used Aluminum Jelly on aluminium with excellent results. I to remember having to leave it on longer then 20 minutes to get good results. Thanks again for the link as to where to by it.

73s
K2OWK
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N7KTX
Member

Posts: 31




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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2011, 08:05:01 PM »

I posted this question and want to thank those who responded.  As a result of the comments I tried some naval jelly. Here's what I've come up with so far.

Naval jelly is phosphoric acid based, as are a wide spectrum of other rust killing products commonly available at local hardware stores.  These products all have warnings on the label that say they aren't to be used on aluminum.  Nevertheless, I did it and the results were visually positive.  The rust stains disappeared, but left a mottled patina.

Aluminum is a very porous metal, and leaving an acid based product embedded in the surface will almost certainly have destructive long term results.  So, after washing the treated part thoroughly with water and allowing it to dry, I went over it with Brasso and some 000 steel wool.  Brasso is ammonia based, which is alkaline and should at least help to neutralize the acid residue left by the rust killing acids.  In a very short time the Brasso produced a shine that would make you wonder if it wasn't plated.  Only time will tell, but I wouldn't mind if someone could recommend a protective coating of some kind.

KF7OAE
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K2OWK
Member

Posts: 1066




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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2011, 08:26:07 PM »

KF7OEA, I have used clear lacquer spray with good results on aluminum, copper and brass. Any good antirust coating on steel or iron parts should protect them. There are quite a few brands available.

Good luck with your antenna rebuild.

73s
Barry K2OWK
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