Saturday, July 16, 2011
Get That Silver Shiny!
Today we'll cover cleaning up the shiny, silver parts of your machine. I've had very good results using Maas Metal Polish, which kind of smells like lavender. It's the first metal polish I tried, so I can't say if it's better than any others; if there's an alternate product you recommend, please let us know in the comments.
Here's a 201-2 with a not-so-nice stop motion wheel. That's the knurled silver dial unsexily referred to in the Adjuster's Manual as the "clamp screw."
Now let's get down to work.
Before we remove it we'll take out the "stop screw," which you'll also hear referred to as a set screw, though the first description is more accurate. You can see why I like using the Brownells bits, here I'm using one as a mini-screwdriver.
When removing the stop motion wheel you normally just loosen the stop screw as opposed to removing it all the way, but I take it out completely here because it will get in the way of our polishing. Put it someplace safe, you don't want to lose this one.
I loosen the stop motion wheel with just two fingers, but I'll quickly change my grip. See all of the paint chips denoted by the red arrows?
Those paint chips happen when people remove the stop motion wheel and it suddenly falls out, and the knurled edges chip the paint. I know this because it happened to me on my second 15-91 (though I'm not responsible for doing the damage you see on this 201, I learned my lesson).
That's why as soon as the wheel is unscrewed a bit, I grab it with all four fingers and unscrew it the rest of the way, carefully letting it fall into my fingers. It's awkward and slower using all four fingers but safer for the machine.
I also remove the stop motion clamp washer. We don't need to do anything to it, but it's gonna fall out anyway, so might as well. I remove it by grabbing one of the little protrusions. You'll find this tricky to do if you've just cut your nails.
Here's a close-up of the stop motion wheel so you can see the lousy shape it's in. I've seen far worse, but this one is beginning to rust and there's copious scratches.
I've not found a product that will remove the scratches and gouges, but the Maas will get the rust and dirt off and make everything nice and shiny.
All you have to do is apply it with a Q-Tip and rub it into the surface.
After just a minute or so of wiping it off, either with a clean Q-Tip or a cotton ball, it looks like this. Scratches are still there, but all the brownish splotches are totally gone.
Here I'll do a needleplate from a different 201. Doesn't look so hot.
Get some polish on the Q-Tip...
...start rubbing it in...
...and buff it off with a cotton ball.
Whatever you use to buff it off will start turning brown or black.
The cotton ball's sacrifice is not in vain. Now we've got a nice, shiny mirror polish. Tricky to photograph but hopefully you can tell.
I should reiterate that it will *not* get the scratches out, but very effectively removes the splotches and light rust. Here's a shot from a different angle so you can see the light catching the scratches. I haven't figured out a way to remove those yet, but if I do, you'll see it here.
Here's a link where you can order the polish:
That's the smallest I could find, the 4 oz. size. You barely need any of it at all, so one tube will probably last you forever. Note that the photo of the tube might look different here than in the photo up top, but that's the exact same link I used to order it.
I've also tried using this stuff on faceplates and inspection plates, the striated kind on 201s and 15-91s, but I haven't found a good tool for wiping out the very thin striations between the larger stripes. A Q-Tip just can't get in there, and if you can't get in there to buff, the polish can't do its job. I'll keep working on that problem and let you know what I come up with.