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    Re: Refilling a compass
    From: Bob Peterson
    Date: 2004 Jun 23, 11:58 -0500

    I've put myself out front on compass issues, so I best stand and deliver.
     From no sources or my experience do I find any reference to using
    glycerin and water as a compass fluid.  I've talked to the old guys and
    checked every compass reference known and nothing on glycerin/H2O.  And
    I've never seen a compass come across my bench in almost 20 yrs that
    contained same though I've seen some strange home-brew concoctions.  My
    concern is that glycerin and water will freeze.  Historically, there
    have been only two compass fluids: alcohol/H2O and petroleum
    distillate.  And all modern compasses use petroleum derivatives.  That's
    it.  If others have references, I would like to review them 'cause this
    is an unknown technology to me.
    Ritchie was the first to develop the "wet-card" compass; previous to
    that all compasses were "dry-card" compass of the British type.
    Kelvin-White (later Danforth)  was the first to develop the spherical
    compass as against the Ritchie flat-top.
    I would like to hear more.  This is a good time of the year for me to
    respond;  "Schoooools, OUT for summer!"
    Thanks.  -- Bob Peterson
    Courtney Thomas wrote:
    > I'd appreciate your information regarding the proper mixture for a
    > compass fluid.
    > Thank you,
    > Courtney Thomas
    > Henry C. Halboth wrote:
    >> It was my understanding that, starting from scratch, compass fluid was a
    >> proper mixture of glycerin and distilled water (my notes give the
    >> correct
    >> proportions if anyone is interested) - lacking that a good grade of
    >> Vodka
    >> was always recommended as the fluid to get rid of a bubble. Many years
    >> ago there was always a problem with sailors tapping the compass for a
    >> surreptitious drink.
    Robert S. Peterson
    31 N Alfred, Elgin IL  60123  USA
    Compass Adjusting & Repair for Lake Michigan Navigators Since 1985
    Physics @ Bartlett HS
    e-mail: rspeterson(at)wowway.com

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