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Post new topic Cleaning changer with compressed air
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Author Topic:  Cleaning changer with compressed air
Tom Campbell


From:
Houston, Texas, USA
Post Posted 9 Jan 2018 11:24 am     Reply with quote

If you were to blow the dust/debris out of your changer with compressed air would you:

1. Leave the steel upright and direct the compressed air to first blow down towards the axel/shaft and then the fingers?

Or

2. Turn the steel up-side-down so the compressed air is first directed toward the fingers and then the axel/shaft?
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Mike Wheeler


From:
Delaware, Ohio, USA
Post Posted 9 Jan 2018 12:22 pm     Reply with quote

I would be concerned that dust and such would be pushed down into the axle area and between the fingers. Either case is not good. If you have a dust problem, get a good natural fiber paint brush, and cotton rag, and dust away.
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Mike
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Dan Kelly


From:
Boston, USA
Post Posted 9 Jan 2018 1:55 pm     Reply with quote

Hi Tom - I have a 100 psi air compressor and have used it for intermittent changer maintenance on a number of PSGs for a while. I apply compressed air when the changer is upside down on the bench and put a paper towel under the changer to see the dirt and dust that is expelled. I am amazed at the amount of grime that results. I also apply air from the top and from either end. This certainly seems to keep things working smoothly.
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Tom Campbell


From:
Houston, Texas, USA
Post Posted 10 Jan 2018 10:07 am     Reply with quote

Hi Dan

I'll give your suggestions a try. I don't "lather" my changer or linkage in grease or oil, so what needs to be removed is mostly dust and whatever is floating around on the floor.
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post Posted 16 Jan 2018 6:40 am     Reply with quote

Mike's words are sound logic. The best thing I've found for getting surface dust out the changer is the long medical (wooden stick) Q-Tips.
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Dan Beller-McKenna


From:
Durham, New Hampshire, USA
Post Posted 16 Jan 2018 6:55 am     Reply with quote

Donny, do you apply anything to the Q-tip to hep it pick up the dust, gunk, etc.?
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post Posted 16 Jan 2018 6:47 pm     Reply with quote

Many times a q-tip of solvent will just move gunk around, sometimes making things worse. Same with simply blowing air, no matter what pressure.

Flushing the changer with naphtha (which doesn't harm plastics of finishes) is often the best bet for removing soluble contaminants.

If it has collected quite a bit of oily or greasy junk over the years it might be best to avoid oils altogether. They break down and form thick non-lubricants; also act as dirt magnets. Oil can be OK, but it's best to flush it completely out periodically.

Many players now use dry Teflon lubricants, which have none of the preceding problems.
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Bobby D. Jones


From:
West Virginia, USA
Post Posted 16 Jan 2018 9:09 pm     Cleaning Changer with Compressed Air Reply with quote

The first rule of cleaning anything from a firearm to a Cat D-8 Dozer with compressed air.
1. Clean all Sand, Dirt, Crud and dust off the outside of the area to be cleaned.
This way when you start using a liquid solivent and compressed air you cannot blow anything into the works. Every thing that comes out is from inside the mechanism.

Long wooden Q-Tips are great to remove outside oil, dust and grit from a steel guitar. Check Midway Shooting supply in Missouri. They sell 300 for about 8.00 and postage, In 2 different diameters. They are cheaper because they are for firearms and not have to be sterile handled. When I was a police armor I used a many of them. When I ran out, Bamboo skewers split at the end with a knife and some cotton ball twisted on, Worked good till another order arrived. BE SURE TO LUBRICATE ONCE MECHAINESM IS CLEAN AND DRIED OUT WITH COMPRESSED AIR. [/b]
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post Posted 17 Jan 2018 7:19 am     Reply with quote

Dan Beller-McKenna wrote:
Donny, do you apply anything to the Q-tip to hep it pick up the dust, gunk, etc.?


No. In general, a lot of players simply make things worse in the long run by attempts to "clean" things. Unless you disassemble the changer, anything you do with liquids to clean it while it's all together will also carry dirt and contaminants into the changer through capillary action.
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Dan Beller-McKenna


From:
Durham, New Hampshire, USA
Post Posted 17 Jan 2018 7:54 am     Reply with quote

About what I thought. I like taking changers apart anyway; makes me feel like I know what's going on inside the guitar. I imagine some guitars would not be worth it, though (like the current thread on Sierras. How many parts to each changer finger???)
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post Posted 17 Jan 2018 9:44 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
Unless you disassemble the changer, anything you do with liquids to clean it while it's all together will also carry dirt and contaminants into the changer through capillary action.


Sorry - but not true. And Q-tips will very rarely remove grease - and will not remove old oils that have broken down into varnish compounds.

A squeeze bottle filled with naphtha is very effective at flushing out most mechanisms. It often takes more than one pass depending on the amount of crud collected over the years. And yes, severe situations call for dismantling the changer.

There are virtually no functional "capillaries" on smooth metal that promote capillary action, by the way.

Once a changer has been cleaned and dry lubed, it's easy to keep it clean by periodically flushing it and re-lubing.
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 18 Jan 2018 1:47 am     Reply with quote

whether we take a changer apart is irrelevant. Soaking the changer from the outside or blowing it with AIR cannot clean the changer axle or the spacers . My own experiences , as limited as they may be, (8 or 10 changers) is that each changer I took apart, sure the fingers were dirty/ functional, but the axles and spacers needed a good scrubbing and the axles had mild grooves where the spacers sit.

pick your poison
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Emmons Steels, Fender Telecasters
Pro Tools 8 and Pro Tools 12
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post Posted 18 Jan 2018 8:26 am     Reply with quote

Jim Sliff wrote:


There are virtually no functional "capillaries" on smooth metal that promote capillary action, by the way.



Jim, with all due respect, you should at least read a definition before you go making silly statements like that.

Definition:
Quote:
Capillary action (sometimes capillarity, capillary motion, capillary effect, or wicking) is the ability of a liquid to flow in narrow spaces without the assistance of, or even in opposition to, external forces like gravity.


Also, please go back and read my (unedited) post. I suggested Q-Tips for removing surface dust. I never recommended them to remove grease or oil.
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