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  • Wet micrometer

    My very nice micrometer has gotten water inside it. This is causing rust, and I need to dry it out. Any ideas on how to do this?

  • #2
    Place it in an oven at 120F for a few hours, let cool.
    "The Administration does not support blowing up planets." --- Finally some SENSIBLE policy from the Gov!

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    • #3
      I'd take it apart AT ONCE,wipe it out as well as possible,and spray in a BUNCH of water displacing oil. Not sure about putting it in an oven.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by gwilson
        I'd take it apart AT ONCE,wipe it out as well as possible,and spray in a BUNCH of water displacing oil. Not sure about putting it in an oven.
        I say WD-40, immersed if possible. Lotsa spray if not.
        I don't know about the oven idea either.
        Mike

        My Dad always said, "If you want people to do things for you on the farm, you have to buy a machine they can sit on that does most of the work."

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        • #5
          The oven idea sounds a bit risky to me.

          Take it apart, dry it carefully, possibly place it in a warm airstream blowing on it? Then oil it carefully.

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          • #6
            120 degrees is Phoenix, AZ on a summer say. My uninsulated shop in OR hits 110 in the summer. Just make sure your oven control is fairly accurate.

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            • #7
              Let me reiterate: 120F not C.
              "The Administration does not support blowing up planets." --- Finally some SENSIBLE policy from the Gov!

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              • #8
                I have an old hand-held hairdryer, left over from a long-gone girlfriend...... Comes in very handy for drying off stuff....

                If you leave something to dry, sure and it will get orange rust on it. But heat it up with the hairdryer, and it is dry too fast to rust visibly.

                best to take the mic apart, dry it as fast as you can with a hairdryer etc, and then see what needs cleaned off before re-assembly.
                CNC machines only go through the motions.

                Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
                Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
                Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
                I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
                Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Grind Bastard
                  Let me reiterate: 120F not C.
                  That gave me a chuckle.

                  Several years ago a co-worker baked a few potatoes in our 10kw convection oven that we had for die work.

                  He set the thermometer for 400 degrees, centigrade. Not much left of those potatoes.

                  Edit: regarding the micrometers, I would unscrew the barrel and blow everything out with compressed air. Then WD-40 and more air. Then air dry for a little while. My 2 cents worth.

                  Brian
                  Last edited by bborr01; 10-03-2011, 11:47 PM.
                  OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                  THINK HARDER

                  BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

                  MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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                  • #10
                    Kitchen ovens are just not very accurate,and can be off by 75؛. Not sure how far off at that low temperature. Wouldn't a hair drier be something you could control and check better? All this while,the rust is happening.

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                    • #11
                      While wd-40 will displace water i don't know if i would use it on a mic or any thing sensitive. From past experiance with motor cycle cables wd-40 will get quite gummy after awhile.

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                      • #12
                        Wrecks,

                        You haven't said whether it is an electronic mic or a mechanical (vernier) mic. If it is a mechanical mic, a little heat as from an oven on low shouldn't hurt it. However if it is a digital mic, you might try immersing it in some dry rice (or other desiccant) for a few days. This should draw the moisture out.

                        Best of luck,

                        Tim

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                        • #13
                          Ditto on the WD40, good for tractors, not so much for precision stuff you value. Starrett M1 or other instrument oil would be best.

                          If it's mechanical, take it apart, dry it, and oil it.

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                          • #14
                            I am not a big fan of either the oven or WD. If you bake the water out, yes it will be dry, but the heat may accelerate rusting. It certainly will not prevent it, either now or in the future. WD may displace water, but will it move it completely outside of the mike? I suspect not. And WD is NOT an oil: IT IS PRIMARILY A SOLVENT. It contains very little or no oil. So it will not prevent rust. And it will evaporate, leaving, guess what? The leftover water that was not moved outside the mike.

                            Mechanical or electronic, I would first disassemble it as far as possible and dry it with rags or paper towel as much as possible. All steel parts should immediately be wiped thoroughly with a clean, oily rag. Be sure to get the oil into all crevices, like the bottom of screw threads. Use a brush if the oily rag doesn't get it. If there are any mechanical areas (no electronics) that you can't disassemble for cleaning, try to flood them with a light oil, like penetrating oil and then flush the excess oil out with a solvent like WD. It will leave a protective oil film if it is not scrubbed out.

                            If it is electronic, blow out all areas with electronics with dry air. Alcohol (99% variety) is good for cleaning circuit boards and most other electronic elements if the water was dirty. If the water was pure, the electronic components can just air dry. The oily rag will not hurt circuitry, but there is no real reason to use it there either. Don't get any regular oil inside any electronic components with mechanical parts like pots (variable resistors) or switches.

                            One small drop of oil is probably enough to lubricate the threads.

                            If you just must use WD, add about 10% of real oil to it so it will leave an oil film when it evaporates.
                            Paul A.
                            SE Texas

                            And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                            You will find that it has discrete steps.

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                            • #15
                              Yup. Here is the single beneficial application for WD. Lube it is not; but water displacement agent it is.

                              Dismantle the micrometer to the extent possible and sluice it with WD-40. This will lift out and displace water, beads of moisture, and loose contaminants to an amazing degree.

                              Then do the oven thing at 125 degrees F overnight. The warmth will not harm the tool. SWMBO may object because it will smell a little. This might be a good time to get a cheap toaster oven from from Vinnie's. Mild heat is handy in a machine shop. Be aware that WD40 will dry and leaves a soft film. This should be removed particularly in crevised areas because experience has led me to conclude me that it might be hygroscopic.

                              Do this immediately for any precision tool that gets wet except for indicators with plastic lenses or tools with level vials. Then when you get a little spare time dismantle and clean the tool with toothbrush, pipe cleaners, toothpicks etc to bright unabraded metal. Oil liberally with Starrett instrument oil or similar. Blot off excess. Assemble using clean technique.

                              Geared instrument movements are a whole other category. Unless you are experienced with clockwork and small mechanisms I strongly suggest you send the dewatered tool intact to a qualified repair station. Long Island Instrument is popular but there are many others, maybe in your town. It's perfect for cottege industry.
                              Last edited by Forrest Addy; 10-04-2011, 06:19 AM.

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