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My cosmoline removal device - version 1.0

Discussion in 'Mil Surp Collectors' started by Bruce for NH State Rep, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. Bruce for NH State Rep

    Bruce for NH State Rep

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    (cross-posted at mAss Backwards)

    After trying the old fashioned method of removing the cosmoline from the SKS by repeatedly spraying each piece with degreaser and/or WD-40 and wiping dry with a shop rag, I decided I'm going to give the "low-heat method" a try, and build my own version of the "Easy Bake Garbage Can", as illustrated there at www.surplusrifle.com.

    The basic concept is pretty simple - put a lightbulb in the bottom of a galvanized trash can, lay the thing on its side, and put your gun parts on a rack inside, over a drip pan of aluminum foil.

    Close the lid, hit the power, and just wait for the cosmoline to melt away.

    This design seems to have a couple basic design flaws. First, there's a lot of wasted volume inside, requiring a higher wattage bulb than might be necessary. Second, and this was the big one for me, you're limited as to the length of the piece you can fit inside with the lid closed.

    The barrel/receiver would have to be flipped around to get both ends heated up, and you wouldn't be able to close the lid to maximize the efficiency of the unit.

    The length issue was addressed, somewhat, in this addendum to the original design posted at surplusrifle.com. But, face it, while it might work perfectly as intended, the stacked garbage can method won't win any beauty contests.

    That is where "The Grease Gauntlet" (for lack of a better name) comes in.

    Post with pictures here.

    The one thing I need to change is the overall length. It's too long to get warmed up by a single light bulb without insulating the whole thing with a blanket.
     

  2. EddieCoyle

    EddieCoyle Consigliere Moderator NES Member

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    I like it! I'm planning on building one, and was going to use a similar design with a few changes:

    1. I'm going to wrap a piece of 24" wide fiberglass insulation around the duct to keep the heat in.
    2. Instead of a light bulb, I'm going to use an infrared heater like this. They screw into a standard light bulb socket and are available at most reptile supply houses. All of the energy goes to making heat, there's none "wasted" on light. I'm going to use a rheostat (dimmer) to control the temperature.
    3. I like your "sled" idea. I was planning on just using a 5" wide piece of that plastic "grid" that they use to cover commercial fluorescent light fixtures (it looks like a huge ice cube tray for tiny ice cubes, but with no bottom). I figured that since it wasn't metal, there was less of a chance that it would stain the wood.
    4. I'm going to put the drain holes on the same end as the fixture, and tilt the whole unit about 3" over it's length. This way, the "high end" of the tube is away from the heat source (heat rises) and the liquid cosmoline flows toward the heat source so it stays nice and runny.

    This setup is similar to a 'steam box" that I made years ago to steam wood prior to bending.
     
  3. LoginName

    LoginName NES Member

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    That's an interesting idea (better than degeasing it the old fashioned way then putting it in the oven for awhile to remove any residual cosmoline and setting off the smoke detectors ... ask me how I know [wink] )

    Home builders have made a similar device for curing bake-on finishes like GunKote, except a couple of heating elements and temperature control are used.

    Another idea for removing cosmoline...

    I wonder how well using a heat gun (the kind used for stripping paint), would work?
     
  4. JonJ

    JonJ Moderator NES Member

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    I had some sheet metal laying around and bent it into a reflectors of sorts. I then used a small Coleman Catalytic LP heater. Worked real well.
     
  5. Bruce for NH State Rep

    Bruce for NH State Rep

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    I like that IR heater. A little more $$$ than a lightbulb, though. I'm trying to keep the total cost less than $50.
     
  6. Bruce for NH State Rep

    Bruce for NH State Rep

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    Think my wife would notice if I snatched one of the floodlights off the garage?
     
  7. EddieCoyle

    EddieCoyle Consigliere Moderator NES Member

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    Nah, you just moved in. Tell her it was always that way.
     
  8. Uncle Fester

    Uncle Fester

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    Well that beats 2 guys with 4 cans of brake cleaner in an unventilated basement any day of the week.
     
  9. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 NES Member

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    You forgot to mention the taste of the next meal cooked in that oven. Turkey Pot Pie tastes liike crap when it has a tange of cosmo mixed in with it. (ask me how I know) [hmmm]
     
  10. ipscdrl

    ipscdrl

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    [rofl] [laugh2] [smile] [rofl]
     
  11. SKS Ray

    SKS Ray Moderator NES Member

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    I'm too stubborn and lazy to build such devices.[laugh]
    For stocks I wipe off the excess, rub down with turpentine, and hang it high over the wood stove with coat hangers in the cellar with a good fire going for about an hour, and wipe it down with clean dry rags every 10 minutes and turn it over. A final wipe with turpentine and a protectant depending on what kind of finish the wood has and thats it. I've been doing this method in the winter now for a year with a few SKS' that needed it and it works good for me.
    I read from a few old collectors that you don't want to remove all the cosmolene from a stock because the wood dries out. Since I like to avoid refinishing whenever possible, I stick with this theory.
    As for metal, I enjoy scrubbing it down with Break Free and solvents. It gives me a chance to inspect all the parts carefully before re-assembling. Really thick old cosmo in hard to reach areas gets a jet steam treatment from the hand held steam cleaner.
     
  12. JGG

    JGG

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    A good alternative to infra red or a regular light would be to buy a new halogen bulb. Much hotter and more efficiant at a small price.
     
  13. 50 BMG

    50 BMG Mosin Nagant Collector NES Member

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    Another option

    Just a quick note on this topic. I have collected for many years and have been faced with the cosmo issue. I have tried the "place it in the sun on a hot day" method, the soak it in WD40 or brake clean, and the trash can bake system. They all work. Then I found a trick from an old timer. Buy a wall paper steamer from home depot etc. Remove the end and use the hose directly. It will melt the stuff right before your eyes. It also helps lift out dents in the stock as well. Then simply oil up the parts and off you go.

    Hope you found this helpful.


    God Bless our Troops
     
  14. Chris

    Chris NES Member

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    can't ya just paint the tube black, set it out in the sun this time of year and let it bake the 'natural' way?
     
  15. KMaurer

    KMaurer Moderator NES Member

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    Since the duct doesn't transmit light, there's no real need to pop for the IR heater. The energy that originally goes into the light ends up as heat after reflecting around enough inside the duct; after all, it's got to go somewhere, and it can't get out as light. Except for the heat that gets transmitted through the duct to the outside, it's pretty much a closed system, so every 100 watt-hours you put into it, whether as visible light, IR or UV, very quickly turns into heat, regardless of what it might have started out as.

    Ken
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2007
  16. picketeer

    picketeer

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    A bucket of kerosene and a brush will remove the cosmoline!

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Buckeye

    Buckeye

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    I always had luck waiting to a hot summers day (here in TN ) set the gun out and watching that stuff drip off ...esp. around 100+ degrees ..wipeing it down and useing Greased Lighting ..repeat the next day if needed.
     
  18. sig shooter

    sig shooter NES Member

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    A tub of mineral spirits with a scrub pad will take all of the Cosmo. It also works good with a rag in place of a scrub pad for stocks.
     
  19. MassMark

    MassMark

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    Wal Mart...Steamer...$39.00....No fancy-schmancy, no chemicals, no tubs of anything...Fill up, plug in and watch it all melt away...
     
  20. dsm

    dsm

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    When the light hits the inside of the tube or the objects in the tube, it is absorbed and becomes heat. All the energy produced by the bulb is going to heat since the light can't escape, and the energy can't be destroyed.

    That heater seems like a fine idea for situations where light is undesirable, but where it doesn't matter, a light bulb seems a lot cheaper, especially if you are going to dim it anyway which will increase it's life tremendously.

    Edit: I guess Ken beat me to it. On the other note regarding the halogen bulb, sure they are more efficient emitters of light, but inside a closed box they are all 100% efficient producers of heat.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2009
  21. Arioch

    Arioch

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    I'll be doing my first cosmoline removal job in nearly 30 years in a few weeks. I'm going to try the heat meathod. Thanks for the tip guys. Sounds like it beats out sniffing solvent a lot.
     
  22. SKS Ray

    SKS Ray Moderator NES Member

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    I still swear by WD40 or Break Free. Quicker, easier, and less time consuming.
     
  23. willbdavis

    willbdavis

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    I find steam works best

    When I bought my SKS I tried removing the cosmoline the old fashioned way: wiping and degreaser. What a miserable pain!

    When I bought my Springfield 1903 I did a little more research. I learned that cosmoline has a very low melting point - approximately 130 degrees. I went to home depot, bought a hand held steamer and used that to heat the cosmoline without damaging the 1903. A little steaming, dripping and easy wiping and the firearm was ready to go.
     
  24. squiddoc39

    squiddoc39

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    will, how long does it take to steam and clean a new, cosmoline filled sks anyway? 2 hours maybe. thanks.
     
  25. colt_fan

    colt_fan NES Member

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    Cosmoline removal oven is now operational.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  26. icyclefar

    icyclefar NES Member

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    Dude! That's hard core. [shocked]
     
  27. colt_fan

    colt_fan NES Member

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    i need to put another standard in their to accept smaller stocks. it fits a 91/30 perfectly, but as you can see a m44 is a bit too small.
     
  28. Dench

    Dench

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    how does it work?
     
  29. colt_fan

    colt_fan NES Member

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    2 oil filled baseboard heaters attached to a thermal controller that has a thermocouple going to the inside of the plywood box. i lined the plywood box with rigid foam insulation and taped all the seams. by cranking the temp up to 60C, the cosmoline oozes out of the wood. i need to take the stocks out every now and then to wipe off the excess. it took me 8 hours for all the cosmoline to stop leaching out of the M44 stock. I have a Yugo SKS that I am going to try this weekend that is pretty gooey with cosmo.
     
  30. Dench

    Dench

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    ohhhh very nice!
     

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