slightly o/t: clogged oilcan

So I was trying to clean up this old oilcan so I could use it to oil my little Sigwalt (instead of simply pouring oil all over the place) and I wanted to get all the gunky old oil out so’s not to let any gunky oil get on my press.

So I wrapped the end of a wire in cotton and was swabbing the skinny tube part out and wouldn’t you know the cotton got stuck —really really stuck— in the tube, right at the spot where the end of the paper clip reaches.

I’ve tried sticking a little hook down there and of course the paperclip from the other end (it’s the stiffest thing I can find that fits). The dense little oily/rusty blob won’t budge.

All I can think of is to somehow burn it out but then how do I get the fire all the way in there without burning the house down?

Any and all suggestions would be most appreciated (by me and the little Sigwalt)!

image: oilcan.jpg


Log in to reply   7 replies so far

How about burning it out in your garden, or on the barbecue or something like that?

Go to a hardware store (or preferably a tack shop) and get some baling wire, it is pretty thin and stiff enough to push all the way through.

I vote for any solution that involves fire!

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

Or if you have access to compressed air at about 30psi and can rig a way to seal the air hose to the small end of the tube you can probably blow it out. Might not require a very tight seal.

while your at the hardware store save yourself the headache and check out new oil cans. if not go with the fire.

waterboard it till it copitulates…

Aha! forgive me for bumping this thread again, but I want to share my solution, you know, for posterity, in case someone in the future also manages to get something stuck in their oilcan or something…

So! I thought maybe if I twisted up a paper towel or something and stuck it all the way in to where the cotton was ans lit the end it might burn all the way down in there and I’d be all set. So I lit the end of the paper towel and it burned right up to the end of the tube and fizzled out. So then I had cotton and paper stuck in my tube and I was cursing my stupidity.

I kind of gave up then, until my brilliant roommate returned from Sweden and solved all of my problems with a propane torch. So then I just had to clean all the black gunk out, and I cleverly taped my sandpaper and cotton to the wire I used to reach in this time…

So matches: no, blowtorch: yes! And now having come to a satisfactory conclusion, I can let my silly off-topic thread drift back into the archives…