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View Full Version : [Gloat!] Ultra Sonic Cleaner!



Grind Hard
09-03-2011, 04:47 PM
http://www.amazon.com/La-Sonic-Connoisseurs-Supreme/dp/B002HIHZYW

Just like this one.

Got it a thrift store for $5. Came with brand new "cleaning cloth" and "brush" still sealed in plastic. No sign of the cleaning solution.


Took it home powered it up it seems to work.

We have one at work... A huge multi-station one that looks like a deep-fryer. We use deionized/ultrapure water in one set of tanks and "cleaning solution" in the other.

At home I mostly work brass and aluminum and some titanium on my lathe as well as a range of plastics.

I am thinking this will do good to clean small parts... but I am uncertain as to what I should use as "cleaning solution" for degreasing/oil-removal.

aboard_epsilon
09-03-2011, 04:52 PM
if there aren't any knucks or cranies in the parts to be cleaned ..then they don't need an ultrasonic tank ..
I hear that you can suspend a sealed bag in the water with your components in it ..the bag then can contain most cleaning solutions.

similar one to that are available in the UK from aldi...think about 17

all the best.markj

Grind Hard
09-03-2011, 05:01 PM
Great idea with the bags. I have some tiny zip-seal bags that might work.

Typically if I make something at home I bring it to work and run it through the tank at the end of the day. Current owner is very permissive of "government projects" so long as they don't disrupt normal production and don't deplete stocks of virgin material that customers have paid for. :)

MotorradMike
09-03-2011, 05:09 PM
Just in case you don't know.
Don't clean any electronics with it.

aboard_epsilon
09-03-2011, 05:12 PM
or caged ball bearings ..so i hear .

all the best.markj

alanganes
09-03-2011, 06:31 PM
The place I work uses an assortment of cleaning solutions depending upon what sort of gunk you are trying to remove. For much of the glass stuff we do, they use what is essentially windex. I've seen guys run Simple green in them as well, works great for greasy stuff especially if you can warm it up some.

Parts should be suspended above the bottom of the tank (you likely know that) and we will often just use water in the tank but put small parts to be cleaned into a beaker with appropriate solvent in it and lower it into the water. Apparently the ultrasonic action couples through the beaker OK.

PTSideshow
09-03-2011, 07:20 PM
Hope you aren't looking for results like the ones at your work. Don't run the unit dry. Depending on the gunk on the pieces it may or may not do the job.
Have had 3 assorted brands of that style type, wife keeps hoping that the next elcheapo will work better than the others. Even with the fancy solutions from the jewelery supply. Results on her jewelry has been mediocre at best.

Grind Hard
09-03-2011, 07:21 PM
PT: I don't expect much from it... It was $5. :)

Mad Scientist
09-03-2011, 09:57 PM
Many years ago I built one from a kit. A simple single tube oscillator although the tube ran with 1000 volts on is plate at 175 milliamp. :eek: At the time my mother had a small gold plated brass belt that needed cleaning. Placed it in the tank with water and a bit of detergent and turned it on. I then got a phone call from a friend and was talking to him for about 20 minutes.
When I got back to the cleaner it had done an excellent job of cleaning. The belt was perfectly clean not a trace of gold left on it.:)

gzig5
09-03-2011, 10:25 PM
For degreasing, I've used Simple Green and water or Dawn detergent and water with good results. I got my three quart capacity L&R out of the dumpster behind the dental lab next door. New resistor for $0.30 and we're off. Doesn't have the oomph of a new one, but works good on small stuff.

Your Old Dog
09-03-2011, 11:03 PM
I got the harbor freight version and really like it. I use a mix of household amonia and water. The amonia is a common cleaner sold in grocery stores in the soap cleaning isle. 50/50 mix seems to work great for me.

lakeside53
09-03-2011, 11:29 PM
I have a couple - my large unit is a 4 transducer model that is uncomfortable to put a finger into... heats the solution nice also, without a heater.

I've cleaned out hundeds of blocked carburetors, and zillions of chainsaw and weedeater bearings. No issues with the bearings (yes, I've heard all the retoric). Heck, I've put entire chainsaw engines into the tub.

Solutions? I tried than all... Most water based solutions work fine. My choice is a 10:1 dilution of purple cleaner. De-rusting - straight Evaporust. Need to clean a few items in some other solution? Put them in a thin pyrex container like a coffee pot, add the other solution and float it in the main tank.

macona
09-04-2011, 12:51 AM
I use TSP and water. Hot water works better.

I have used it on electronics with great success. I have a keypad on my Haas indexer and about half of the buttons would no longer function. Dropped it in the US cleaner (Branson 1/2gal) and the keys worked again.

Paul Alciatore
09-04-2011, 01:24 AM
Just in case you don't know.
Don't clean any electronics with it.

Why not? I cleaned electronic circuit boards and many other electronic components in an untrasonic for years with no ill effects. You just have to use the correct cleaning solutions and wash off with clear water (preferably distilled) afterwards. A final rinse with alcohol (99% pure is best) will help dry them off. Allow to dry completely before powering up.

You do need to be careful of any components that may be harmed by any of the steps in this. But there are very few that will be.

Leftover flux can be troublesome. It can wash into switch or relay contacts or onto connector fingers and cause bad connections. It is best to rinse flux off with a flux remover solution (available in spray cans) first and make sure the solvent does not drain into any such places on the board or assembly.

As a side note, years ago we used Freon TF solvent to clean electronics. I once saw a photo of an oscilloscope submerged in a tank of Freon TF while operating. It had a waveform displayed on it's tube's face and all indicator lights were on. Very safe solvent for electronics, but I guess it wasn't so good for the environment.

You just have to use the right solvent. They make water based cleaning solutions for electronics. McMaster-Carr, among others, has them.

John Stevenson
09-04-2011, 07:49 AM
Two quick questions:-

Can you use kerosene [ paraffin to us ] for very dirty parts ? if not why ?

Secondly why not clean bearings in them ?

I have one of these, had it for about 5 years but it's still in the box.
Thinking of using it for cleaning ball nuts off CNC ball screws prior to re-lubing.

2ManyHobbies
09-04-2011, 08:26 AM
Don't use it for aluminum. If you need a demo, suspend a piece of aluminum foil half in and half out, hit go, and come back in a bit.

boslab
09-04-2011, 08:57 AM
Two quick questions:-

Can you use kerosene [ paraffin to us ] for very dirty parts ? if not why ?

Secondly why not clean bearings in them ?

I have one of these, had it for about 5 years but it's still in the box.
Thinking of using it for cleaning ball nuts off CNC ball screws prior to re-lubing.
we have one in work for glass/bits an bobs, i asked the same question of the lab supplies we got it from and they replied that the bath evapourates solvent into the air faster, we use plain water in the bath, never put solutions into the tank apparently, we have loads of cut off plastic bottles/beakers etc we put the solution in and the part, the tank then stays clean as its only the crap in the bottle for throwing away, the stuf we use in the bottles is decon 90, good stuff it is to, but a bit of washing powder in water works well to, theres a sign on the machine, no solvents, strong acids/alkalis.
regards
mark
http://www.zinsser-analytic.com/Catalogue/exeProduct/?id=170

MotorradMike
09-04-2011, 10:04 AM
Why not? I cleaned electronic circuit boards and many other electronic components in an untrasonic for years with no ill effects. You just have to use the correct cleaning solutions and wash off with clear water (preferably distilled) afterwards. A final rinse with alcohol (99% pure is best) will help dry them off. Allow to dry completely before powering up.

You do need to be careful of any components that may be harmed by any of the steps in this. But there are very few that will be.

Leftover flux can be troublesome. It can wash into switch or relay contacts or onto connector fingers and cause bad connections. It is best to rinse flux off with a flux remover solution (available in spray cans) first and make sure the solvent does not drain into any such places on the board or assembly.

As a side note, years ago we used Freon TF solvent to clean electronics. I once saw a photo of an oscilloscope submerged in a tank of Freon TF while operating. It had a waveform displayed on it's tube's face and all indicator lights were on. Very safe solvent for electronics, but I guess it wasn't so good for the environment.

You just have to use the right solvent. They make water based cleaning solutions for electronics. McMaster-Carr, among others, has them.

It's not about the immersion, it's about the shock on bonding wires and crystals.
This may be a paranoid stance by the Aerospace industry but we were never permitted to do it.

lakeside53
09-04-2011, 11:48 AM
Two quick questions:-

Can you use kerosene [ paraffin to us ] for very dirty parts ? if not why ?

Secondly why not clean bearings in them ?

I have one of these, had it for about 5 years but it's still in the box.
Thinking of using it for cleaning ball nuts off CNC ball screws prior to re-lubing.


You can, but it is supposed to be dangerous... ;) I don't use kero, but something lighter and more volitile - here it's called Coleman lantern fluid (white gas) in a thin Pyrex coffee pot (IMHO transmits the ultrasonic waves better than plastic bottles) often and have never had a problem, but that doesn't make it "not dangerous". Some will say that the ultrasonic frequency is optimized for water, and other fluids will not work. Sure....

Bearings - the "conventional wisdom" is that you will damage the races/ball with the vibration. Ultrasonic cleaning action is from the micro-shock waves causes by cavitation bubbles collapsing. I have put a lot of carbon encrusted and gooey custom bearings from small engines into the tanks, and had them come out clean as a whistle, and no apparent damage. The are still in operation today at speeds 15k...

.

Grind Hard
09-04-2011, 02:18 PM
This unit is tiny. No chance of running electronic items in it. :)

Perhaps a couple of small turned or milled parts... that's it.

Lew Hartswick
09-04-2011, 03:00 PM
. Some will say that the ultrasonic frequency is optimized for water, and other fluids will not work.

.

That is FUNNY. :-) Certainly the best one I've seen in a long time. :-)
...lew...

gzig5
09-04-2011, 05:18 PM
I run bearings in mine but only long enough to get them clean or loosen the crud. I don't think mine has enough guts to damage them. I have seen steel parts that were left in a commercial tank for a long time come out with a frosted look from the cavitation action.