View Full Version : Cleaning up an old micrometer
05-25-2005, 08:56 PM
I've recently gotten one of my dad's old micrometers. It's a Brown & Sharpe model 63 2-3", probably made in the 30's or 40's. It's got a ratchet thimble but the action of the screw is a little sticky and the ratchet just clicks.
It's been sitting in a toolbox for at least 34 years, so it probably just needs to be cleaned up and re-oiled. I'm familiar with doing that on more modern micrometers, but this one doesn't seem to have provision for the spanner wrench I'm familiar with (nor a wrench).
Is anyone familiar with this model, or with fixing up older micrometers in general?
05-25-2005, 10:24 PM
IF I'm remembering correctly, some of the old B&S mikes used a setscrew to hold the thimble to a cylindrical portion of the not-measuring end of the spindle; I recall the setscrew being under a cap that screwed onto the end of the thimble.
I'll suggest that before you start taking your micrometer apart you let it soak for a week or so in a mild petroleum solvent -- paint thinner or kerosine is about right -- to soften what is probably gummed oil and maybe some dirt plugging up the works. More agressive solvents will cut the crud faster, but may carry some risk to the frame's finish.
05-25-2005, 10:35 PM
clean with rubbing alcohol,q-tips and tissue.
use no oil on it. it just traps dirt.
05-27-2005, 05:48 PM
Thanks, guys. I'll start soaking it this weekend. Then I can say I did something and head for the hammock!
There is an excellent small company somewhere in the outskirts of Toronto that fixes these types of things. I had them o'haul a 1/2" Starrett Mic for me awhile back...amazingly reasonable prices and get this...asked him on the phone if he wanted a credit card number...he says "no, just send me the mic, i'll fix it and send it back with a bill, then you send me a cheque"...he did an excellent job. Handles all the canadian warranty work for starrett...if you're interested, email me and i'll dig up the number/contact details...
05-27-2005, 08:44 PM
It isn't hard to disassemble one, or get it back together, but there are a few tricks that make it easier. In one of my previous jobs, I rebuilt the C-clamps and hammers that people had that resembled micrometers. We used .5 at first and then went to 1" for the last 12 years I was there. You would be surprised at what people can do to a mic when they know somebody else is responsible for maintaining it.
I have offered my services from time to time when someone had one stuck, but have never had any takers. Guess shipping is too expensive. Sure isn't the rate I quoted them, since it was always a freebie.
David from jax
Have gun, will travel.