|Eyepiece Cleaning Supplies|
This spring I decided to clean all of my eyepieces - I have a modest collection of early TeleVue Naglers and Widefield eyepieces. For years I've used an air bulb to remove debris, and Kodak lens cleaning solution to get the greasy kidstuff. I haven't been happy with that result, so I consulted my mirror-making friend Jim. He has a real eyepiece collection. His requires a kid's wagon for transporting some 80 eyepieces in the collection. With that many eyepieces, one gains some experience in cleaning.
Jim recommended that I get a new box of cotton swabs (Q-tips), a new can of compressed air, ROR lens cleaner and a new can of acetone. ROR is short for Residual Oil Remover, and I found it in my local camera shop. ROR is also online at http://www.ror.net . Once I gathered my supplies and eyepieces, I headed over to Jim's for some on-the-job-training.
Jim's method is this:
1) Use compressed air (held vertically and not shaken) to blow off debris. I like an air bulb as it doesn't go empty.
2) Use a drop or two of ROR on a swab to clean the lens. Swab all glass surfaces gently. Use the back end of the swab to dry off the ROR. Repeat until the lens surface looks clean, or the ROR is no longer removing gunk.
3) Use a drop or two of acetone on a swab to clean the surface. The acetone dries very quickly so drying with the back side of the swab is probably not needed.
4) Continue alternating steps 2 & 3 until the lens is clean. I mean really clean.
5) Last, a little breath on the lens followed by a very light swabbing reveals any lingering gunk or a pristine lens. In the former case, go back to step 2.
As I worked through my eyepiece collection, I built up a nice pile of dead Q-tips. Although it seems like waste, it really isn't. They are a key component in the cleaning ritual and a dirty Q-tip is a bad Q-tip. Just use 'em.
Since my eyepieces were overdue for cleaning, I repeated the process on the field lenses of each eyepiece. Now the whole collection is ready for photons - at least until the next finger pokes at an eye lens!