Cleaning up an old plugboard

hal hfeinstein at
Mon Nov 17 19:32:11 CST 2003

A few web references:

1. Brush Plating can be used when its not possible to submerge the parts in 
a plating tank.
What the heck is brush plating?

2. A product called Wahmoo cleans up oxidation on silverware but is it 
appropriate for this kind
of electrical work?  Is this what happens when you apply power?

3. A chemical called  cranolin (sp?) was mentioned as sold by MCM.  I was 
told that Ten-Tec
repair shop uses two cranolin products to cleanup corrosion on the wafer 
switches.  The first
is called "K5" that dissolves the corrosion while "V5" coats the part to 
protect it against future
oxidation. MCM doesn't list it, nor does (almost) anyone on the web sell 
it.   I've seen another reference to "Ten-Tec's repair shop" and in that 
post they are said
to recommend an entirely different set of products (Collins Collector's 
mailing list), also hard to find.  There aren't many
references on the web to cranolin, but I did find an on-line health 
supplement store selling it for
about $50.  No, it can't be the same thing.  Maybe an urban legend?


At 08:28 PM 11/16/2003 -0500, hal wrote:
>Here's the problem:
>  I am cleaning up a number of old plugs/sockets constructed as follows:
>two rows of 10 pins are mounted side by side on a bakelite rectangle form 
>of about 10 inches.  The
>pins are not commercial type but "specials" made from small brass hollow 
>cylinder stock about 1/8 inch diameter and about an inch long. I'm sure 
>this was done to save money over a more expensive
>industrial type plug.  The equipment it comes from was put together back 
>in the late 1950's and has
>accumulated a good deal of corrosion. Clean the pins is the problem.
>The pins appear to be plated brass corroded gray-white. This is some
>type of oxide introducing high resistance. The corrosion can be removed 
>with a few light passes of 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper. The problem is that
>sanding takes the corrosion off and the plating with it.
>There are other sandpapers available, for example, 600 extra fine, 1000 
>and up. I'm told there are
>also chemicals available that will safely dissolve the corrosion. 
>Dissolving the corrosion will leave the plating intact and avoid the 
>scratching that is unavoidable with sanding.
>(1) Has anyone worked with this kind of chemical and remembers what it is 
>called?  (2) Where can I get some from?
>Thanks  in advance.    Hal.
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