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Author Topic: Cleaning Vibroplex of Coal/Fire soot?  (Read 7147 times)
N4NYY
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« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2012, 05:21:55 AM »

I don't honk you guys understand. Metal POLISH will not do anything yet. I am not down to the metal. This thing looks like the inside of a dirty over. I am even considering (A little) using EZRA-Off oven cleaner on it. This "layer" of "cake" can be chiped off with my (now filthy) fingernail.

Paul

Wow, talk about typos!

"I don't THINK you guys understand."
"Inside of a dirty OVEN."

And a toothpick is easier than my fingernails, I gotta figure out how to soften this stuff up.

Krud Kutter did nothing (the "regular" concentrated stuff, not the stuff sold "to remove rust"). I only soaked it in the Krud Kutter for 5 minutes, can I soak the parts in this overnight (or will it eat away the nickel?).

Paul


If Krud Kutter did nothing, I am assuming that soot is burned into the metal. That stuff take off all gunk. Was this thrown into a fireplace?
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AC5UP
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« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2012, 07:06:12 AM »

....sure would be ironic if Hoppe's #9 was the magic bullet.

BTW:  If the gunk really does look like the inside of a dirty oven, oven cleaner is worth considering. Maybe as a last resort, but it's still a resort. Plan B might be to chip off enough of the slag to be analyzed, reproduced and patented as a solvent resistant industrial finish.

Lest we forget, Bakelite was originally intended to be an adhesive..........   Tongue
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K3STX
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« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2012, 07:08:03 AM »

i don't know what the hell happened to this thing!! It sort of DOES look like someone threw it in a fire. I completely disassembled it last night. I THOUGH it was the black "crinkle" paint (based on what I saw), turns out it is the battleship grey paint!!! (under the arbor it still clean).

Just this morning, after yesterdays futzing around with all sorts of "solvents" before washing off with water and letting sit overnight, I was able to use a toothpick and "scrape" off some of the stuff!! I don't THINK a toothpick will scrape off plating, but if it does ... ... ... I seem to have little choice. Maybe enough to get me off my butt and learn to re-plate.

I am out $22 for the bug, no biggie. But I have seen some "damaged" bugs in my day, this takes the cake.

paul
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KE3WD
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« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2012, 08:30:32 AM »


Krud Kutter did nothing (the "regular" concentrated stuff, not the stuff sold "to remove rust"). I only soaked it in the Krud Kutter for 5 minutes, can I soak the parts in this overnight (or will it eat away the nickel?).

Paul

From 5 minutes to overnight is a rather large delta, my friend. 

If 5 minutes didn't work, why not try 10 minutes on a small area, see what that does, if no joy, why not then try 15 mins on a small area, etc. 

And don't overlook what I told you earlier in this thread.  We had to restore a rather large amount of vintage stereo hifi gear that suffered smoke damage. Fortunately, no water damage.  But the typical brushed aluminum and anodized gold aluminum front panels and knobs were darkened with the kind of smoke a burning house makes, burning woods, plastics and who knows what else.  The Krud Kutter proved not to work so well in that case, but ----

"Miracle Formula 409" -- sprayed on rather liberally and left to sit for not longer than it would take for the stuff to evaporate and dry out, followed by the toothbrush action, cleaned them up nicely. 

Worth a shot on your bug, I'd think.  I cannot guarantee results, but then again you cannot guarantee a lack of results without trying it, eh? 


73
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K3STX
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« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2012, 08:39:20 AM »

I'll do just what you said! I just thought someone might have already found out (the hard way) that overnight in Krud Kutter will eat away plating.

I think fingernail brush and 409 DID help a little yesterday, but I only let it "sit" for 10 seconds then scrubbed. I will try that today. Nothing to lose!

Actually, what I REALLY want from this bug is the mainspring. I was told Champions mainspring is thinner and can send code more slowly with the stock weight (maybe 16 wpm instead of 25 wpm with the thicker spring on the Lightning). But this one is sending FAST; maybe it is sending fast because of the caked on goop. Bu't I'll get er there. I gotta document this restoration!

paul
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KE3WD
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« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2012, 12:37:38 PM »

Been years since my days of using the bugs, moved to Iambic Keyer quite some time ago and won't look back, but one way of making longer or shorter, faster or slower dits I used to do was to experiment with either adding more weight, less weight, and even extensions to hold the existing weight out further, you might also experiment a little with that.  

Heh, had an old Zephyr model vibroplex once that, with a AAA battery hung on the weight with rubberband, would fire dits that sounded like a machine gun at the other end...


73
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WB6DGN
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« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2012, 12:47:17 PM »

Have you tried Goo Gone?  I've had good success with it, especially for oil based gunk.
Tom
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N4NYY
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« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2012, 03:25:00 PM »

Have you tried Goo Gone?  I've had good success with it, especially for oil based gunk.
Tom

I do not think it's goo. I think it's burnt or charred.
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K3STX
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« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2012, 06:28:09 PM »

Was just looking at the pendulum arm: it has a set-screw for adjusting the height of the lever-arm!!!! This was the pendulum arm on the Deluxe's and Presentation's!!!! So the saving grace for this thing (in my mind) was the "thin" mainspring on the Champion, now it is not even a ram Champion!!

Now it kind of makes sense that it was sending 25 wpm with one weight.

Paul
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K3STX
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« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2012, 02:11:24 PM »

After overnight soaking inn Goof Off I think I figured ouit what all that black "soot" is all over the metal parts of the key.





It is all the nickel plate.


Boo Hoo.

paul
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AC5UP
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« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2012, 02:30:47 PM »

...which means it's time to research the phone number(s) for your local plating shops.

Any city of reasonable size has an industrial plating facility that works with auto body shops and fabricators to make metal things of any age look new & shiny. It's also possible to learn metal plating at home with some web research, and copper plating isn't difficult at all. A few feet of scrap Romex is a good start and a bag of copper sulfate at the local garden center should be easy to come by.

OTOH:  A good paint job can cover a multitude of sins, especially if it's black crinkle.

Now I'm wondering what would happen if you soaked N4NYY in Goof Off.................. ?
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K3STX
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« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2012, 06:54:28 PM »

Believe it or not, about a year ago I DID contact two local companies that do plating for another job. I told them the magnitude of the job (small parts) and EACH gave me a quote of OVER $100 !! How insane! So I will just learn to do it myself. I will not use the wand method, I have heard it is not that great. I have wall-warts, NiCl2, and I can jury-rig a couple of electrodes.

But this is part of the fun, right?

paul
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KE3WD
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« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2012, 05:24:46 AM »

Believe it or not, about a year ago I DID contact two local companies that do plating for another job. I told them the magnitude of the job (small parts) and EACH gave me a quote of OVER $100 !! How insane! So I will just learn to do it myself. I will not use the wand method, I have heard it is not that great. I have wall-warts, NiCl2, and I can jury-rig a couple of electrodes.

But this is part of the fun, right?

paul

Absolutely, Paul. 

Plating Gold, Silver or Nickel is not rocket science. 

The power source needed should be easily within the realm of any radio amateur worth the title, and the rest is darn simple in the way of electrolytes, tank and hookups. 

The Internet is also a good resource, websearch to check out the recipes, methodologies and DIY stuff that others are doing. 

My father was a Dental Surgeon.  His wayward EE son, yours truly, learned to take advantage of the electroplating art in Dad's dental lab, where he and his employee made false teeth, bridges and...  Gold tooth fillings.  Lotta pop's dental gold ended up on the outside of trinkets, connection points for the shack and rebuilding the old rotary TV tuners...  shh.

73
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G3RZP
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« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2012, 06:24:38 AM »

All the Vibroplexes I've seen were either a painted base or  a chrome plated base for the deluxe models, not nickel. I have not seen a 'Presentation' which was gold plated. That's certainly what they were advertsing in the 50s and 60s.
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K3STX
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« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2012, 08:39:04 AM »

All the Vibroplexes I've seen were either a painted base or  a chrome plated base for the deluxe models, not nickel. I have not seen a 'Presentation' which was gold plated. That's certainly what they were advertsing in the 50s and 60s.

I am not plating the base, I am plating all the parts. From what I understand the parts were nickel plated until about 1939/40, then then went to chrome plating. There are certainly nickel-plated bases even in the 1920s, but I want to plate all the small parts/lever arm. I will nickel plate, that is what I want practice with anyway. I have little interest in post-1940 bugs.

First order of business is to get ALL the old plating off and down to bare metal, any ideas on how best to do this to prepare the parts for plating?

paul
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