Stainless Steel Cleaning

Emilio J. Robau, P.E.

Hello everyone.  A while back ago I posted a question regarding how to clean the stainless steel weights and shaft on the AP mounts.   I received a few replies.   Roland said to use Barkeeper's Friend.  I think Chris in Hawaii and others said Fits, George said use a Brillo Pad.  Well, I am getting everything ready for the imaging season and I just performed the maintenance and wanted to report back in case this may help someone.   I have quite a few weights that needed restoration so I tried all suggestions.  My weights were not really deeply pitted but a couple did have some pits.

All methods of cleaing the weights worked well.   I ended up using a scour pad for the Barkeeper's Friend and Fits.

I found that the best way was to use Barkeeper's Friend.  Roland wins although I admit I tried to use Flits first.  Imagine that the guy who runs the place actually had the best suggestion.   The more pitted weights definetly cleaned off faster with Barkeeper's Friend than with Flits and even a Brillo Pad.

The Brillo Pad was second in cleaing up the more deep pits.  However it seemed to leave some surface abrasoins.  More than the others.

Flits worked fine also, but it took more elbow grease.

I think the combo of Barkeeper's Friend followed by Flits may win the contest since I believe Flits leaves a protective cover on the weights.

Honestly my weights look as good as new.  I am very pleased and back in the observatory they go so I can have a clean observatory by November 1st, when the good Lord turns on the air conditioning and turns off the rain.

Hope this helps.  A trivial matter for those who engage in more esoteric optical testing, design and manufacturing, but this is something I can handle so I wanted to send a note to the gang to hopefully contribute more than my typical comment from the peanut gallery.

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