Re: [Histonet] AO 860 sliding microtome

From:Rene J Buesa

I learned to cut in one of those (in 1952) and I still consider this model of horizontal microtome the finest ever built, specially with its clever vertical automatic feeding mechanism.
  IF you have mechanical dextereity, it is not difficult to put it back in working conditoins. As you can see, almost every part is screwed and even the feeding mechanisms is like a single unit.
  You will have to unscrew it all and place each component in a bucket with mineral spirits or any other grease solvent. Even kerosene will work. Leave the parts in the degreaser for at least 3 days, you will see how the old grease will dissolve and color the degreaser. Air dry it (presurized air). Repeat the cleaning (degreasing) if it still looks greasy. After you see each part is clean and the nickel chorme is gleaming and sparkling, grease it up (with the same type of microtome grease you would use for any modern microtome; I always used the Carl Jung light oil No. 405; Leica has also a very fine light oil,called "Schlitten-bahnenol Nr. 601".
  The feeding trigger has to be lubricated with light oil, because its return to vertical is caused by gravity, and cannot be stuck in any way.
  The screw for the feeding mechanism has to receive solid grease (Jelly lubrican), I always used the Lipshaw No.294
  This type of maintenance I used to do, at least annually.
  Enjoy your cleaning!
René J.

Caroline Bass  wrote:
  Hi guys,

So I've inherited an American Optical 860 sliding microtome. I consider
this quite a find since it is my all time favorite for slicing fixed brains.
However, it has been packed away for quite a while and seems to be a bit
gummed up and is in parts. Does anyone have suggestions on how to get this
back into working order. I don't suppose there is a manual floating around?
Any general suggestions for degreasing to remove the stick points. How
about a location for spare parts, particularly dry ice stages and maybe a
disposable blade holder?

Any and all suggestions are appreciated.


Caroline Bass

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