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Keeping oil out of the AirGraver handpiece

An AirGraver will not idle nicely with oil in it, And even an air compressor with a filter could allow a very slight oil film to occur. The AirGraver bore has Teflon in it, and there is only .0005" clearance between the Teflon and small diameter of the piston. This permits the tools to run and idle at low PSI levels. The Teflon is all that is needed for lubrication, and because it is such a close fit, there is no room for oil. Thus, an oil film in the bore will cause friction. The manual describes a cleaning procedure involving pulling the handle off, taking the piston out, and using a cotton swab to clean the bore and piston with denatured alcohol. The manual says to clean the tool when it is not idling as well (or at as low a pressure) as it used to. This cleaning can be once a week, or once every six months, depending on how clean the incoming air is. The tool will stay clean as long as the incoming air is clean.

Here is something to try that might help determine if the tool is running as it should.

1.      Disconnect the handpiece from the air hose.

2.      Hold the handpiece horizontally and slowly rotate it, pointing it straight up, and then do the same slowly pointing it straight down. You should hear and feel the piston drop freely back and forth within the bore.

If there is an oil film in the tool, it may still drop back and forth in the bore, but it will drop more slowly, and might take a steeper angle to get it to drop. The piston should drop when the tool is at least at 45 (or even 30) degrees either direction from horizontal. When the cleaning described in the manual is finished, blow some air through the handpiece (without the piston in it) to blow out any strands of cotton, and help dry any leftover alcohol. Sometimes, right after the tool is reassembled, it is good to attach it up and run the tool a little. Remove the air line again, and try the piston-dropping test to see if it takes a lesser angle than before the cleaning for the piston to move freely back and forth.

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