Cleaning Brass Variable Capacitors

Eddy Swynar gswynar at DURHAM.NET
Wed Sep 13 05:31:38 EDT 2000

I once BOILED a quantity of variable caps in a water solution mixed with
lemon juice (concentrated, cooking variety)...

It worked very well, except 1) you have to re-lube the moving parts when
done, and, 2) the solution picks up loose particles of brass/copper & can
actually RE-PLATE anything else you might put in there afterward that's
shiney to begin with.

It DOES work, though!

~73~ Eddy VE3CUI - VE3XZ

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ron Evans" <cosmos41 at IX.NETCOM.COM>
Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2000 11:48 PM
Subject: Cleaning Brass Variable Capacitors

> Hi,
> I have three very old brass variable capacitors, one of which has a fair
> amount of corrosion showing on the outside of the outermost rotor
> plates.
> I am building a super-duper crystal radio and want to make these babies
> shine as bright as possible...just can't stand the yukky black
> corrosion.
> Does anyone have a favorite method and chemical(s) you use in cleaning
> items such as this?  Some authorities (?) suggest GUNK and/or carboretor
> cleaner. Are these harmful to the fiber spacer used to separate the
> plates of both the rotor and stator?
> How about such commercial products as Brasso?
> Are there any special "lookouts" that I should observe in cleaning these
> old gals?  How about pipe cleaners to clean between the plates?
> All ideas deeply appreciated!
> Ron - K5MVR

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