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Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here) If you have any useful general hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration, please share them here. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 18th Oct 2018, 1:23 pm   #41
MrBungle
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Default Re: Don't try this at home...

I suggest if anyone finds anything asbestos, hire someone else to deal with it. Start here: https://www.arca.org.uk/

Also you can't take it to most council tips now. It requires hazardous waste collection and handling services as of 2012.

Genuinely dangerous stuff. My uncle died from mesothelioma as well about a decade after an asbestos garage roof collapsed next to him in the 1980s.

Don't even think about winging it.
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Old 18th Oct 2018, 1:41 pm   #42
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Default Re: Don't try this at home...

Talking of now discontinued medicine, Thallium salts were used to treat ringworm & facial hair in women & was the source of the "Bovingdon Bug" when Graham Young thought it was fun to put it in his collegue's tea!
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Old 18th Oct 2018, 2:01 pm   #43
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Default Re: Don't try this at home...

I recently found out that my local council will come and take away small amounts of asbestos products by appointment, free of charge.
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Old 18th Oct 2018, 2:54 pm   #44
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Default Re: Don't try this at home...

When I was but a kid and into photography, my local chemist had all the photographic chemicals as he was a serious enthusiast. He would give me small amounts of Hydroquinone, Metol, Hypo etc. I had hours of fun mixing them up and developing films and prints. He would also save up out of date film for me.
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Old 18th Oct 2018, 5:27 pm   #45
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Default Re: Don't try this at home...

That reminds me that I must have the remains of a bottle of Johnsons Uranium Intensifier somewhere. I did use it as a schoolboy in the 1960's to salvage some underexposed negatives. A chemist colleague subsequently assured me it would have been harmless, despite my having immersed the negatives with my fingers: Brazil nuts would have been more radioactive.
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Old 18th Oct 2018, 5:40 pm   #46
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Default Re: Don't try this at home...

Yes, my council takes away up to 40kg of asbestos waste from the doorstep, although if you tried it regularly i think they would withdraw the privilege.

Mention is often made of white asbestos being 'safer' than brown and blue, but the physicality of the actual fibres is what makes blue and brown catastrophically hazardous- that is to say they are amphibole type- short, sharp, stiff fibres which the lung cilia cannot expel. Serpentine statistically causes less long term problems in the body since the lungs tend to be able to expel them. (Although you would not want to test this..) Seen microscopically they are similar to wavy dogs hair.

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Old 18th Oct 2018, 8:50 pm   #47
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Default Re: Don't try this at home...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBungle View Post
I suggest if anyone finds anything asbestos, hire someone else to deal with it. Start here: https://www.arca.org.uk/

Also you can't take it to most council tips now. It requires hazardous waste collection and handling services as of 2012.

Genuinely dangerous stuff. My uncle died from mesothelioma as well about a decade after an asbestos garage roof collapsed next to him in the 1980s.

Don't even think about winging it.
I've taken asbestos to the tip, bagged up whilst wearing disposable overalls. I needed an asbestos waste permit, which house holds here can apply for one, one per year. Mine was the last garage roof.
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Old 18th Oct 2018, 8:52 pm   #48
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Default Re: Don't try this at home...

Though, this is a good reminder to us all with our hobbies, that there may be asbestos within. I know some of my earliest Avometers contain asbestos, as does the range extending accessories (shunts etc).
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Old 18th Oct 2018, 9:00 pm   #49
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Default Re: Don't try this at home...

Beryllium Oxide scares me more to be honest...
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Old 18th Oct 2018, 10:43 pm   #50
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Arrow Re: Don't try this at home...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajgriff View Post
Please don't be complacent about asbestos.
I certainly shan't! And thanks for your concern.
Apart from the point / question which I was implicitly making / asking in my post, I do recognise that all those years ago, the knowledge we have now is not what it was then. And not long ago, that was very relevant here. Shortly after we moved to this house, it was necessary to replace the roof & timbers on an out-house that is here. The roof was corrugated asbestos. (Some evidence indicated that this structure dated from the mid-1960's). I had it removed by a specialist and replaced by a builder using tiles. The cost of the removal and disposal of the asbestos was almost as much as the new roof!

Al.
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Old 18th Oct 2018, 11:20 pm   #51
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Default Re: Don't try this at home...

Quote:
Originally Posted by G4YVM David View Post
It puts gas pokers in the lounge and coal gas balloons in the shade!
David
OOH! I remember the gas pokers ... Looking back, NOT a good idea. My nanna had one and used to reverse light it off the coal fire to light her cigarettes .
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Old 19th Oct 2018, 12:14 am   #52
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Default Re: Don't try this at home...

Remember ironing boards with a framed piece of asbestos to stand the iron on? A little OT maybe but what about the X ray machines in the shoe departments of some stores in the 1950s?
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Old 19th Oct 2018, 2:18 am   #53
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Default Re: Don't try this at home...

Yup, I remember sticking my tiny foot into the X ray machine at Thomas Walker's shoe shop on Cross Church street in Huddersfield.... Jim Fish moved his Amateur Radio Shop into those very premises many years later.

Let's not forget all those ex-aircraft glow-in-the-dark meter movements, and the big synchro compass indicators so sought after as rotator position indicators. Residue from scrapped WWII instruments keeps getting found on the beach at Dalgety Bay. The place has been coned-off for years.

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Old 19th Oct 2018, 8:07 am   #54
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Default Re: Don't try this at home...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_FM View Post
Talking of now discontinued medicine, Thallium salts were used to treat ringworm & facial hair in women & was the source of the "Bovingdon Bug" when Graham Young thought it was fun to put it in his collegue's tea!
Thank you for that reference, I looked up the Bovingdon Bug, fascinating and quite chilling.

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Old 19th Oct 2018, 10:39 am   #55
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Default Re: Don't try this at home...

Well I'm 84 and must have been very fortunate all my life. When I was in the army 1953 and in Egypt we rebuilt vehicle and other batteries. Battery acid was feely available and NO protective gear at all. Later I worked for BR, lots of asbestos around roofing material, heating pipe lagging, tape around hot pipes on steam engines foot plate and diesel electric locos. We had asbestos insulated cable/wire. Could be I'm very fortune but I think we have become a mamby pampy state where every thing is dangerous. Life is an adventure. What I do know is once you have had a shock from a CRO tube you are very careful in future.Ted
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Old 19th Oct 2018, 10:56 am   #56
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Default Re: Don't try this at home...

Salamoniac was another one, ammonium chloride now, used for making primary cells. You could also get aluminium chloride which worked too but was about 2d an ounce cheaper.

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Old 19th Oct 2018, 11:18 am   #57
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Default Re: Don't try this at home...

As regards exposure to asbestos based pipe lagging and the like, i heard first hand of two men who worked alongside each other breathing in the same stuff for many years. One died of related disease and the other (as of 10 years ago, ie when i last heard) was unaffected. I wonder if it may be the case that there are people who are more prone than others. (It would be surprising to me if this extended to vulnerability to liver damage though..)

One thing about lab. testing of suspect samples is the difficult nature of the assessment. Occasionally the decision has to be made that the material under scrutiny MIGHT include fibre so the site is treated as such. Great emphasis is made that the lab assessors need a lot of practice to become proficient...and even at that point there is no shame in getting a second or third opinion on a tricky sample. It's a total minefield.

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Old 19th Oct 2018, 2:12 pm   #58
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Default Re: Don't try this at home...

My great Uncle worked with asbestos both in his time in the navy & in his job as a plumber.

In his last few years he developed breathing problems consistent with asbestos related illnesses, probably not helped by being a smoker for many years.
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Old 19th Oct 2018, 11:33 pm   #59
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Default Re: Don't try this at home...

Thanks to everyone for their contributions, especially to 'Nickthedentist' for his link in post #12 to the biographical details of Donald DeCarle, the author of the book from which I took the details in post #1.

DeCarle apparently wanted to become a doctor, but that ambition was thwarted by his father. However, anyone who has read any of DeCarle's books on horology will have been impressed by the almost anatomical quality of his drawings of clocks and their mechanisms. Clearly an example of an individual able to perceive the human body as a machine and vice versa.

This has become a fascinating thread and I do appreciate everyone's input - please keep it coming!
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Old 20th Oct 2018, 1:05 pm   #60
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Default Re: Don't try this at home...

https://www.bvws.org.uk/405alive/tech/safety.html

Towards the bottom of this page it mentions some dangerous chemicals, & this extract:

" Times change

Old technology, as we said at the outset, is not intrinsically safer than today's equipment, neither can we take satisfaction in old-fashioned attitudes to safety. If you peruse F.J. Camm's Hobbies New Annual for 1937 you'll find tantalising projects such as 'Fun with Photo-cells' and 'The Genet Midget Three Valve Wireless Receiver'. But just take a look at his experimental descriptions, for instance:

'Just cover the quicksilver with some dilute sulphuric acid (accumulator acid will do) in which a few crystals of permanganate of potash have been dissolved.'

This makes our safety-conscious age seem rather tame, doesn't it!

Another header reads:

IGNITING, PETROL, GUNPOWDER, ETC.

and warns:

'sometimes the experiment is rather violent, the substance blowing up rather than burning'.

This sort of thing is priceless and may amuse us today. Life was obviously cheaper then."
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