Soak 'n Shake

Discussion in 'Fettling Forum' started by M.Meijer, Sep 20, 2019.

  1. M.Meijer

    M.Meijer Subscriber

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    I guess most of us have been cleaning out tanks from newly acquired but (very) old lamps, or those given for repair. I used to go the same route as so often is described: fill the tank with paraffin, petrol or whatever solvent, ad some nuts and bolts or other small hardware, and SWIRL!

    Not too long ago I got a fair bit of cutting to do through concrete and sortlike products. Somehow I got to read a report about the efficiency of dry cutting versus cutting with a liquid. Most often water is used to surpress the enormous cloud of dust that otherwise is the result of cutting through concrete. But research showed water also dampened the speed of cutting: dry cutting was markedly more efficient.

    Last week I went to clean a 47-ish Bialaddin that looked like in a very original condition. Thanks to that enormous filler opening I could see a tapestry of rubble sitting tight on the bottom that I could not scrape with a screwdriver with much effect.

    I soaked that bottom with acetone, bought relatively cheap in a 5 liter can, for 2 days. I then poured out the now not-so clear acetone in a plastic bottle to settle and reuse for similar chores.

    With the crud in the tank still moist, and possibly softened, I now put in as many bolts, no nuts, I could fit through that big opening.

    DSCN8375.JPG

    The reason for this selection of bolts and no nuts, is that a bolt practically always presents a sharper edge to the surface it lays on, whereas a nut can lay perfectly flat on a surface to be scraped, doing supposedly very little in being abbrasive.

    DSCN8376.JPG

    I also looked for the biggest load or weight to put inside, as supposedly there would be more pressure that way on whatever edges cutting into that crud. Plus, you can shake ad infinitum with just 4 bolts, but 40 of 'em likely make for quicker results.

    The rattle on the metal sounded more businesslike than the mooted swish I remember from the submersed hardware approach.
    The end result was a volume of gray/brown granules, shaken and then rinsed out of the tank, the dried sediment of which is shown here broken up.
    Inspection inside the tank showed a brassy bottom with some metallic effect due to the abrasive action from the bolts.

    DSCN8389.JPG

    I have not measured effectiveness of shaking dry against the old wet method , but I was pleased to see this metallic surface in less than 15 minutes altogether. This Bialaddin tank is clean!
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  2. george

    george United States Subscriber

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    Is there still a bottom left in the tank! What a mess!
    This is really a great idea. I've used a dry method, too, but then I poured B B shots in the tank and shook for the better part of 15 minutes. I can see where bolts would work better.
    Great idea!
    :D/:thumbup:
     
  3. M.Meijer

    M.Meijer Subscriber

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    Apart from the bolts I am sure the acetone was a big help too. Like I said, I could do some scraping with a screwdriver to not much effect before soaking.

    Mike
     
  4. Matti Kucer

    Matti Kucer Sweden Subscriber

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    No marks from the bolts to the tank? Or you don't shake it, only turn it around?
     
  5. M.Meijer

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    No marks on the outside. Bolts are not too heavy, and I was not trying either. I shook back and forth, up en down but mostly in a rotation, left and right. I also put on ear protection - not kidding! Mike
     
  6. ROBBO55

    ROBBO55 Subscriber

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    Looks like it was very effective method of cleaning. :thumbup::thumbup:
     
  7. tankie United Kingdom

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    A slightly more automated method is to wrap item in many towels, put in a laundry bag and put in a tumble drier, no heat of course, or even wedge into a cement mixer
     
  8. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    There is at least one person in my house who would probably be rather upset to find a fuel tank rumbling around in the clothes dryer (not that we use it that much).

    Tony
     
  9. george

    george United States Subscriber

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    I would be out on the street looking for a new place to live!:-&
    I already ask one favor from my much better half, the freezing of the font to remove dents!:-s I want to try it again but I have to get up the courage to ask again!
    (Little gun-shy right now) :-#
     
  10. paparazi

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    Great method although I would also have concerns about micro denting showing from the outside. Also..whether the nuts and bolts are small enough to get right in to the extremities of the tank, perhaps smaller BA size..lol..and material? Brass versas steel?
     
  11. M.Meijer

    M.Meijer Subscriber

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    Imo these W&B founts are the sturdiest tanks in the business, made of rather thick brass. Any damage - in theory - would be the result of kinetic energy, which is the product of mass (in this case size of the bolts) and their deaccelaration (their given speed when hitting the metal of the tank under variable angles).
    The reality is that there is no damage with small enough bolts that I have noticed, nor did I my upmost to create damage.
    To get into the tiniest crevices is impossible, but that is not a prerequisite for a dependably running lamp anyway. The soaking and the rinsing play their part too, and all you want is a stable (no free debris) fuel container.
     

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