Finishing the new extended-stroke piston rod is taking a little longer than planned, so in the meantime I decided to clean the piston and pump body lever mechanism. This is what transmits the pump spring pressure to the pump proper.
Like other pieces in this area of the caster it was coated with a heavy layer of hardened oil, so after disassembly I started with scraping using a putty knife, then gave it a soak in paint remover. All the joints were lubricated and reassembled.
Note that the second photo was taken with the camera flash making the metal look brighter. I decided not to paint these parts because the paint I am using would not likely withstand the heat from the pot. Instead I will coat it with mould oil to develop a finish similar to what it had before, but without the substantial accumulated thickness.