Cleaning out broken up graphite packings

Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by Gunner, Dec 2, 2020.

  1. Gunner

    Gunner Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2018
    Messages:
    244
    Well, started on the Optimus 80 with the scruffy box first, and noticed fragments of graphite packing around the edge of the gland nu - and, on closer inspection that the valve spindle looked as though somebody had been a bit brutal with it at some point.
    Dismantled the gland nut and spindle - oh, dear . . .
    The attached picture is a bit fuzzy (best I could do), but you can see the damage; threads chewed off at the inboard end, and the the squared off section where the key fits has been twisted into a gentle spiral. Oddly enough, though, the cone at the end appears undamaged. (??)

    But here's a tip which might be of use to others. I tried various implements to winkle all the fragments of carbon out of the vaporiser body (with very limited success), then had a brainwave, and dug into the toolbox I have from when I used to do target shooting. The bronze wire brush for a .22 barrel isn't bad, but the one for a .270 rifle is just the job. Stiff enough to shift fragments jammed into the threads, but because the bristles are bronze rather than steel, it won't damage the brass casting. I know it worked well, because when I started, the gland nut was very stiff to turn once it had gone in a couple of threads - but by the time I finished with the brush, I had a sizeable pile of carbon fragments on the kitchen towel, and the gland nut screwed in easily.

    I had these two brushes as part of a kit, but if you go to a shooting accessories supplier, you'll find they sell the bronze brushes seperately (they screw onto the end of a multi-purpose cleaning rod), so you only need to buy the one brush that you need. The other point is that these brushes come in a well graduated range of calibres (.177, .22, .243, .270, .30, .36, etc), so you should have no problem finding one to suit your stove whatever the size of the spindle housing.

    Hoppe's Phosphor Bronze Brush .270cal/7mm Rifle - 1304P 26285513868 | eBay

    Rusty Box Spindle.jpg

    With best regards,

    Gunner
     
  2. Paul Aslanides Australia

    Offline
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2020
    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia.
    @Gunner
    Love your picture - reminds me of high school days when I was reading Ronald Searle's 'The Revolt of the Prunes' and 'The Girls of
    St. Trinians'. Much of which he wrote and drew whilst in Changi.
     
  3. Gunner

    Gunner Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2018
    Messages:
    244
    @Paul Aslanides
    Re. Ronald Searle; yes, I've seen some drawings he did before and after Changi. They're a grim testament to what he and other PoWs suffered whilst they were there.
    As for Nigel Molesworth; I didn't come across the books about him until I'd left school, but those stories really reminded me of the grammar school in which I was incarcerated for four miserable years, and helped me to laugh at the pretensions of the sadistic, bullying teachers who were too stupid to see that they were merely middling-sized frogs in a very small pond.

    With best regards,
    Gunner