turnbuckle thread cleaning - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 06-08-2009
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turnbuckle thread cleaning

Any suggestions on a safe product or process to clean the threads on brass turnbuckles? I took mine apart this year to lube in Lanacote. 3 of the 4 lowers went well but the 4th seems to have more grit in the turnbuckle (closed) than the others and is putting up some resistance. I was able to remove the turnbuckle OK, it's just not going back together smoothly and I don't want to force it and damage any threads.

Thx.
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Old 06-09-2009
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The threads are probably already damaged. Stainless Steel tends to 'gall' due to the nature of the metal. You will probably have to obtain a screw thread Tap (for the female thread) and Die (for the male thread) of the appropriate size to clean the threads or replace the turnbuckle.

Last edited by r.furborough; 06-09-2009 at 06:55 AM. Reason: additional information
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Old 06-09-2009
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I doubt that they are brass, more likely bronze (there is a big difference). Use some paint thinner or other solvent to soak them and clean with an old toothbrush. Then look at them, any thread damage will be obvious. The grit is probably in the female thread in the body of the turnbuckle.
If there is thread damage, curing it with taps and dies is pretty tricky. Most likely you should replace the turnbuckle.
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Old 06-09-2009
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A Tap and Die is a good suggestion, however due to the nature of the turnbuckles, half of the threads are normal and the other half is left-hand and those are hard to find and expensive.

Probably soaking them in a cleaner (aka diesel) for a few hours and then brushing them is the simplest and least destructive.

Since your turnbuckles are brass, then you want to use bristles that are fairly soft: not steel because they will cause rust, not stainless because it will score the threads, even some synthetic bristles are harder than brass.

Take your time and try not to force if it jams during reassembly.

Initially use plenty of lubricant, it will help wash out any debris from the barrels. You can always wipe down the excess when you are finished.
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Old 06-09-2009
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Turnbuckles are generally stainless steel or BRONZE, not Brass.
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Sorry for the confusion, I was also looking at cleaning some brass and mistyped. Bronze it is.

I was very careful to stop turning them at any sign of resistance so I'm hoping that the threads are still OK. I'd like to attempt a clean and re-lube first but will replace if that doesn't work.

What are safe/good solvents that would be useful after this exercise (don't want to buy a L of product x were I only need a few ml)? I don't have a use for diesel as I run a 2 stroke OB. Gasoline is available though everything I have on board right now is already mixed. No paint thinner on hand at the moment though we need to do some house painting later this summer so it wouldn't hurt to get some early. I think I'll do that unless someone has a better suggestion.

Thx all.
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