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Thread: DE-gunking My "Bargain" P-C 7538 Plunge Router

  1. #1
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    DE-gunking My "Bargain" P-C 7538 Plunge Router

    I bought a "bargain" Porter Cable 7538 Plunge Router online a while back. On arrival, the plunge rods were frozen in their tubes. A soak in mineral spirits freed that up! The router seemingly ran just fine, but I tore the beast apart completely.

    Good thing I did. The motor interior is completely coated with thick black gunk, thoroughly impregnated with fine aluminum shavings. The black stuff reminds me of hardened bee's wax.

    IMG_0389.jpgIMG_0388.jpg

    I hesitate to dunk the whole mess in a bucket of mineral spirits although my gut tells me it would be okay! Would electrical contact cleaner be a better choice? Whichever course I take, I will spring for new bearings when it is all clean inside. Then, my big "bargain" plunge router can earn it's keep.

    Thanks for your input, as always!
    [/SIGPIC]Necessisity is the Mother of Invention, But If it Ain't Broke don't Fix It !!

  2. #2
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    In automobile repair they have parts washers, which are used to tackle messes like you have. The usual washing fluid is mineral spirits. So you should be able to use mineral spirits on your router. The important thing will be to not leave those aluminum shavings bridging the contacts on the rotor. Lodged in the windings they shouldn't be a problem, but shorting two contacts together would be bad.

  3. #3
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    Go to the home center a buy a few gallons of denatured alchohol and just submerge the whole thing. Pull it out and brush a few times. Get yourself some squeeze bottles and at the end take another gallon and rinse it off.

    At that point you can decide a course of action.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Bolton View Post
    Go to the home center a buy a few gallons of denatured alcohol and just submerge the whole thing. Pull it out and brush a few times. Get yourself some squeeze bottles and at the end take another gallon and rinse it off.

    At that point you can decide a course of action.
    I wonder if you can find any gallons of denatured alcohol. I'll bet people have bought it up to make hand sanitizer.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  5. #5
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    That may be true. I just bought 5 gallons the other day. My point was wt least with alchohol you can put everything including your cell phone in for a.bath and go on.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  6. #6
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    I would be worried about the aluminum shavings in the windings, over time, working through the winding insulation, and gradually shorting turns together. Best to get them out of there if you can.

    I know lots of people use the compact routers to finish machining 80% AR lower receivers (aluminum) using available guide systems. A compact router can probably do a few lowers without much problem. I wonder if someone was doing a lot more than a few with this router.

    -- Andy - Arlington TX

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    I wonder if you can find any gallons of denatured alcohol. I'll bet people have bought it up to make hand sanitizer.

    Mike
    Yes, Mike, this Pandemic has unforetold, far-reaching effects! Just my bad timing to choose "now" to clean up this router. It's a good thing I don't need a mask to work with either alcohol or mineral spirits!

    Thanks Guys! Stay safe and stay Healthy!
    [/SIGPIC]Necessisity is the Mother of Invention, But If it Ain't Broke don't Fix It !!

  8. #8
    Would not brake cleaner in a spray can be a good choice to clean out the gunk? Stuff smells like acetone.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Andrew View Post
    Would not brake cleaner in a spray can be a good choice to clean out the gunk? Stuff smells like acetone.
    Brake cleaner can be nasty stuff & I'd want to make sure it wouldn't degrade any of the non-metallic parts. Mineral spirits is cheap, will clean it up quickly, & is pretty benign.

  10. #10
    what about WD-40.

    When I cleaned the dovetail machine I started with Auto Purple power 50 percent mix. Sawdust on the machine was up to 1/2" thick and it had not been cleaned in 70 years plus. The purple was way too strong so lowered it to 15 percent mix. Asked a top car detailer and he said no dont use purple use WD-40, his concern electronics and WD being fine. I said its mechanical and electronics are not an issue but did do the rest of the clean with the WD. It worked well enough but I still have more to do, Wet WD I left on sort of got sticky after some days but think as i continue on and put more WD on it will just loosen it up again.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pratt View Post
    Brake cleaner can be nasty stuff & I'd want to make sure it wouldn't degrade any of the non-metallic parts. Mineral spirits is cheap, will clean it up quickly, & is pretty benign.
    And the hard part with brake cleaner is it flashes off so fast it doesnt give you a lot of soak time.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

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