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Distance moving a flex shaft in extreme cold


In late winter we moved from Norfolk, MA to Hampton, NH. Our entire
household was packed in an 18 wheeler on a frigid day and sat outside
overnight in sub-freezing temps. The following morning two drivers
drove the truck to Hampton, NH. The next morning in one of the
frequent snow storms of the winter of 2015, the unpacking was
completed. This part of the east coast was the area that received
114 inches of snow during winter and was often sub-freezing.

Our kitchen items were unpacked first so that we could have meals.
All my tools went into the basement and all remained in boxes placed
side by side and four deep against an outside wall. It did not occur
to me to be concerned about my flex shaft until two weeks ago. My
flex shaft and all other tools were in the unheated 18 wheeler and
then moved to an unheated basement. It took several days to bring
the basement to a reasonable temp and to locate a contractor to build
and vent my studio in our new basement.

I need to use my flex shaft in the next few days. My flex shaft was
carefully packed flat in a box. When I lift the flex shaft from its
box, hang it and begin to use it, should I expect the flex shaft to
have encountered any ill effects from laying flat in a box a few days
in sub freezing temps and several weeks in a cool basement two
months ago?

Thanks for any responses. MA

I would think that there should be NO PROBLEMS with the flex shaft.
WE HUMANS are far more intolerant of temperature “extremes” than
mechanical things like a flex shaft.

Hope you are happy with your new digs, ,

john dach

When I lift the flex shaft from its box, hang it and begin to use
it, should I expect the flex shaft to have encountered any ill

No. Should be fine. Now, if you’d had it in some sort of corrosive
environment, that could damage it. But being cold generally does no
harm to tools. You, family pets, liquids that can freeze. those might
be harmed by the cold. But simple solid stuff? Not normally. And flex
shafts are pretty sturdy and fairly simple things. Not delicate. You
could have quickly and easily answered your question by plugging it
in and trying it…

I’d not worry.

Only tiny problem I can imagine would be if you used the machine
while still frozen, in which case the lubricant grease inside the
tube that the shaft runs in might be somewhat congealed and harder
than at room temperature, but it would not have frozen into a hard
solid the way water would. Running the device for a very short time
would heat it up and restore it to normal viscosity.

Likewise the plastic or rubber material that makes up the tube might
have been stiffer than normal at frigid temps but will quickly
return to normal flexibility when returned to room temperature.

If the machine is not at an abnormally cold temp I just wouldn’t
worry about it. Maybe somebody else knows more about these things,
but I think I’ve covered the range of possible problems, which are
not likely to be problems at all.

Marty, who loves easy questions

You should not have a problem. Worst case is the grease in the shaft
and hand piece might be stiff if they are cold but will heat up when
moving. Wouldnot worry.

Vernon Wilson
Panama Bay Jewelers

As a general rule, electrical equipment suffers no ill effects until
the temperature drops to extreme lows (think Antarctica), unless
moisture was present before the temperature drop. I wouldn’t expect
this to be your case. The only concern would be for any lubricating
grease in the actual flex-shaft. If you allow your equipment to come
up to normal room temperature by itself (no hair dryers or setting
next to a hot stove) you shouldn’t have any problems. Bringing it up
to room temperature rapidly may cause condensation to form, which
isn’t good for anything electrical.

Thomas Hammett
Sonora, Kentucky