Why... Cleaning Aluminum???

Roger L. Elowitz K2JAS@worldnet.att.net
Mon, 17 Feb 1997 12:26:54 -0500

Hi Tony,

Glad to save you the needless work....but, just remember... "if it don't
shine...it'll still work fine...only it won't look pretty. =20

Also, when you clean the joints... seriously...., don't forget to clean the
inside of the outer tubing... although, I rather suspect that most of the
electrical connection is being made with the stainless sheet metal screw
only- but I could be wrong on that one.  I'll have to check my antenna
modeling programs ;-)

Keep smilin'.

Roger, K2JAS

P.S.  Other unattributable quote of the day....." South America has cold
summers and hot winters, but somehow they still manage."
At 11:55 AM 2/17/97 +0000, you wrote:
>HI Roger,
>In message <>,=20
>Thanks for saving me lots of time, I have an old ta33 which I need to=20
>clean, and was contemplating shining up all the elements, I'll probably=20
>just do the joints now........
>73 de  T O N Y ..
>"Roger L. Elowitz" <K2JAS@worldnet.att.net> writes
>>Hi Guys and Rod,
>>I'd like to put my two cents (2=A2) into this one.  This past fall I=
>>an old Mosely TA-33.  I steel wooled it (very fine grade... I think triple
>>zero or some such grade) and I used the ScotchBrite=99 pads on a hand held
>>electric sander. I cleaned up with denatured alcohol.  My nasal passages
>>were getting coated with aluminum dust and I resorted to a simple=
>>paper filter mask for cleaner breathing- even though I was working=
>>The aluminum dust in my lungs couldn't possibly be doing my health any=
>>I soon needed to work with gloves as my hands and clothing rapidly became
>>When I was finished, I had an antenna that was perhaps twenty years old
>>looking brand new. A coating of Penetrox at the joints and several coats=
>>Krylon=99 Crystal Clear Acrylic spray paint... and was virtually new=
>>Now I know there are some very keen intellects posting to this reflector=
>>would ask...
>>"If you'd have to pay someone a reasonable amount of money to do all that
>>work (and it was an awful lot of work) wouldn't it be far, far cheaper to
>>just go out and buy a new one?"  To which I'd have to honestly say...
>>"You're right.... but I'd wish you hadn't asked." You see I certainly=
>>afford to buy a new one. The old one was cheap and what I saved in money I
>>spent forever in labor.... AND LOVED EVERY DAMNED MINUTE OF IT!
>>Then comes the harder question.... "So.... what difference would it have
>>made if you only cleaned up the tubing joints (adding the Penetrox or the
>>like), replaced the corroded hardware, and just put the beastie back in=
>>air?" =20
>>Well... here's where I'd have to answer again... "I sure wish you hadn't
>>asked."  This is where all reason and logic goes out the window.  The
>>aluminum naturally develops an oxide coating <aluminum oxide>  or=
>>rust if you will>  that protects it from further destruction... vastly
>>unlike the oxidation that takes place on ferrous metals which, because of
>>its layered atomic crystaline structure (I think), flakes off exposing new
>>metal to the same destructive process.
>>The dull, "blah-looking" weathered aluminum tubing most likely radiates
>>electromagnetic waves just as efficiently as highly polished and lacquered
>>tubing and with a fantastic saving in time and energy! Anyone care to
>>dispute that...???
>>So, why did I bother with all the "restoration" work?  Please... DON'T=
>>My sanity is in question here and it's damn hard defending something that
>>may not exist!
>>Roger, K2JAS
>>P.S. But you gotta admit... It sure looks pretty... glinting in the
>>sunlight!! Could that be the reason I haven't seen birds sitting on it?
>>Could they find the "glare" disturbing and choose to alight elsewhere? Am=
>>really "losing it?" Please...spare me your opinions but you do have my
>>permission to laugh!
>>At 12:39 AM 2/13/97 +0000, you wrote:
>>>> I have steel wool, but remember someone told about using some type of
>>>> (not contact paste..I have that) to assist in the cleaning?
>>>Don't use steel wool. Use Scotchbrite instead. Pads of it can be
>>>obtained at your local hardware store. Steel wool can leave very
>>>small traces of the steel in the aluminum which will eventually
>>>score the surfaces. Probably not significantly enough to cause
>>>mechanical failure, but possibly to cause problems with joints.
>>>Be sure and use Penetrox A or some other conductive grease between=20
>>>telescoping parts of aluminum.
>>>73, Rod N4SI
>>>    The DXer formerly known as N9AKE
>>>         (c) 5 November, 1996
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>Tony Wyn Jones

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