How to Remove & Clean Cryostat Knife Assembly for Microm HM525 & HM550



Hi, I'm Rich at New Life Scientific and today I'm actually going to demonstrate on this 550 cryostat how to remove the cutting assembly and take it over here, disassemble it, clean it, dry it off and then put it back together and make the adjustments that you need to make your cuts. So sometimes though, I know in the past we ship these out and during shipping and temperature, humidity, cold and heat mixing, sometimes there's a lot of humidity or moisture that actually gets built up in the chamber and then what happens is when you get the unit, you turn it on and then that moisture actually freezes. So if there was moisture on any of the components in the knife assembly, then it doesn't allow you to make the adjustments because it's actually frozen together. 

So I would recommend doing this when you get the unit is just taking that out and drying it all off and making sure everything's completely dry and then put it in and then you can turn the unit on and then start getting your cold temperatures. But I'm going to bring the camera in here and essentially you have different knobs here. The first knob here is just your glass for your sizing here and to slide the ribbon under so that's pretty common. The second knob on top is your tightening and loosening of the blade where you would slide your disposable blade in. And then of course, you've got the blade guard here. So this clamps the blade here and then you can also slide the blade back and forth. 

So by loosening the other knob you can slide the whole blade back and forth here, which that's usually not necessary because this one's actually got the wide knife. So just centering it with the cutting head usually does it. And then when you tighten these you can also pull these out and then get the handles down so they're not sticking up and being so annoying. And then of course, you got the knob on this side here. This is probably one of the most important knobs besides the other one on the other side. The other black handle here, this one is actually the one that loosens and slides the tilt or the angle or the degree of cut you're going to do. That one's a very important one because your cutting ribbon that you're going to make you need to really find that accurate point. 

So you're always going to start on the zeros but then you're going to start to tilt in on it or tilt back. But usually you got to bring it down a little bit to get that ideal cutting spot. So that's the knob there that does that. Now to remove the whole assembly, there's one knob over here and you can just pull back on that to loosen this and then this whole thing slides back. But you will need to remove this catch tray if you have one. And you're just going to slide this out and just put it up here out of the way. And then go ahead and loosen this and slide this all the way back like this. And we're going to bring it over here. And while you're bringing this out too, you might as well bring out your trays. 

Lift this up, bring out this tray because it's just a good idea to take these all out so you can clean better and set this over here. And you can even take out these. But that's not near as important as what we just took out. But we're going to come over here the same way that I kind of walked us through on the adjustments. It's going to be basically the same way that you can remove things. So this really here, you're not going to really do anything with that to remove it, but you're just going to unloosen this. So you can then slide this off, completely off here like that. And then of course, you can clean this area or wipe the moisture off. And then you can also loosen that and then slide this clear out like that. 

So that now you can dry, wipe clean this component, pretty much this component. And you can actually slide your glass out and you can clean it. You got a nice clean glass. And then you want to make sure on your glass here, you can see, you can actually feel it. So you want to put that edge that you can feel. You want to put it down and slide it in here again. Put it all the way down because this is the edge that measures that distance. So this here you can disassemble actually this whole knife assembly here too. And that's really easy. You just loosen it and pull the pin out like this. You can wiggle that out and you can see it has those kind of hips on there. That's what wedges and holds the knife. 

And we're just going to bring this back down here and lift this off right there. I'm being careful because there's springs right here that I don't want to lose those. So when you're pulling that apart, be very careful not to lose those springs. That's what keeps the springy part to it. So then while you got this apart, you clean this all up here and just make sure there's not a disposable blade in there. Make sure you remove that before you start doing this whole process because you don't want to cut yourself on it, especially if it's a new blade. So you can see that this actually needed some cleaning here. So I might clean this here. You can take this if you're careful. But I would just leave the springs in there because they are kind of stuck in there. 

So you can see, you can clean that right there's. All right, so we're going to start putting this back together again and just simply goes pretty much right back the way we took it apart. We can just put that right back in there, and then you got to hold it down, hold the spring shut so you can just push your pin back in. And then that just wedges that again. And then we go back this way. And then once you get these cleaned up too, like I said, most generally it's just the glass there. You really don't need to do a whole lot. And you can see because this was so cold in there, it's actually getting wet and that's because when something really cold hits ambient room temperatures, it gets really moist. 

And if I were to put this back in while it was wet and turn it on, well, of course that moisture would just freeze this component to the other component and you would not be able to adjust it. So that's why these need to be completely dried off and pretty much you really need to wait till it gets down to almost room temperature so that this is still really cold. So I'm going to actually leave this because I got it out here and it's so cold even though I'm drying it off, by the time I get it put back in it'll probably be wet again just because of how wet it is. So ideally you would not want to put that get this turned around. So again, we're just going back. You can see the slot here and you can see the notch. 

So that just slips right in there. And again this is pretty wet. So I just had this machine running actually. So I'm going to have to actually wait and let it get warmed up a little more and I'll reclean it. But for the video's sake, I just want to make sure that you see how all this goes back again. You can see this is the same way. It has a slot that slides into this slot here and you can just come over here, slide it right in like that and then this is what tightens it there and that's tight there. So now that this is all back together, the glass is on, then we can just pick the whole assembly back up and come back over here and just make sure this knob is still open because this is the clamping mechanism here. 

So we're just going to slide that back in right there and find your sweet spot there and clamp it down. Again, this knob has a ratcheting mechanism where you could pull it out, bring it back, clip it in and then get another bite. And then when you've got it tight you can pull it back out and just lay the handle down out of the way so that nothing is sticking up. Same way on this one over here. I'm just kind of like stuff all kind of put down out of the way so now you're back and ready to go, but like I said, this is really cold yet. 

And I'm just going to let this completely thaw out and then I'm going to wipe everything down dry and make sure there's no moisture and I'm going to put it all back in before we start it again. Otherwise this will all just with that moisture because I had it out, it'll freeze and none of the slides will work right. So that's about it. And if you have any questions, you can give us a call. We actually sell quite a few of the five hundred and fifty s and we actually have a really nice NX 50 cryostar that we just got in and I'm excited because I love those machines. So if you got any questions, give us a call here at New Life Scientific. Thanks for watching. Bye.