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  • Walnut Cleanup

    I have some very small parts about 6mm SQ by 23mm Long. To get a good finish I left them in a tumbler with walnuts. Trying to avoid polishing each individual piece, now I find myself having to chisel out walnut crude out of the 3mm tapped holes.

    is there a way I can dissolve the walnut without hurting the aluminum? also is there a way to prevent this in the future? Packing the threads with something that can wash out?

  • #2
    Could you put screws in the holes?
    Mike

    My Dad always said, "If you want people to do things for you on the farm, you have to buy a machine they can sit on that does most of the work."

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    • #3
      Just wondering what size walnut media you use. I've never really found it to be a big problem unless your media is damp. A shot of compressed air should clean the hole out. Also try a smaller size media. Or just plug the hole.

      JL..............

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      • #4
        In the future use RICE instead of walnuts. I buy the cheapest dry rice that Kroger has. Rice does a faster better job than walnuts.

        Sodium Hydroxide will remove the walnuts but I don't remember it is will affect aluminum or not. Buy some Drano make sure it says Sodium Hydroxide on the bottle.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MotorradMike
          Could you put screws in the holes?
          That is what I am doing now. But not all are thru holes, so it is compact. Plus I have 40 parts and that kills my carpal tunnel

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JoeLee
            Just wondering what size walnut media you use. I've never really found it to be a big problem unless your media is damp. A shot of compressed air should clean the hole out. Also try a smaller size media. Or just plug the hole.

            JL..............
            I am using TurNut you use for cleaning gun brass. While the media is not damp, it does have Tru-brite on it. If I could find something useful to plug them with that would not come out.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by gary350
              In the future use RICE instead of walnuts. I buy the cheapest dry rice that Kroger has. Rice does a faster better job than walnuts.

              Sodium Hydroxide will remove the walnuts but I don't remember it is will affect aluminum or not. Buy some Drano make sure it says Sodium Hydroxide on the bottle.

              Rice? Hmm never heard of using that, but hey if it works and cheaper than Walnuts I'll give it a try. That would be big enough to stay out of the holes - I think.

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              • #8
                DON"T use sodium hydroxide with aluminum. It will react in spectacular fashion.
                ----------
                Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
                Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
                Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
                There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
                Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
                Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

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                • #9
                  You mean it is packed in so tight High Pressure AIR won't blow them out ?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JoeFin
                    You mean it is packed in so tight High Pressure AIR won't blow them out ?
                    Haven't tried, not sure I have a high pressure nozzle, don't use air much anymore, but the parts are so small the air would probably blow the parts out of my hand

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SGW
                      DON"T use sodium hydroxide with aluminum. It will react in spectacular fashion.
                      I think I remember doing something like this in my high school lab

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                      • #12
                        Bake it

                        Originally posted by gary350
                        Sodium Hydroxide will remove the walnuts but I don't remember it is will affect aluminum or not.
                        That will dissolve it. Alkalies in iron, acids in aluminum.

                        Simplest way is to bake it in ye old kitchen oven. Self clean cycle, up close to a heating element, will melt the aluminum, as I have discovered. An average of 700 degrees or whatever in a self clean cycle seems to mean a minimum of 700 not a max.

                        Literally leave it in the oven for a couple weeks cooking. Then you get to degrease it with brake cleaner (not oven degreaser, which again, will dissolve the aluminum).

                        dishwasher detergent will also discolor or damage aluminum after awhile, as I have also discovered the hard way. But the dishwasher is a heck of a good way to clean stainless parts.

                        One guy at work told me to leave the part on top of an anthill and the ants will go to great effort to bite packed walnut shell or rice out of a packed hole but I think he is completely full of it. Maybe the rice, maybe.

                        Next time get those birthday candles and drip the threaded holes full of wax and then purchase a new 1 qt kitchen pot for the houses cook, after a trip thru the vibratory finisher barrel, take the old pot, fill with boiling water, and do the obvious. I would not reuse that pot for food purposes, not even for making waxy tea. You'll probably need a squirt of brake cleaner or degreaser tank if you're that wealthy.

                        I like filling drilled holes with wax and then tapping them clean, so I'm already fooling around with fire and candles when I'm tapping, anyway, now I'm just filling the freshly tapped hole back up again with wax. Doesn't take all that long.

                        If the wax gets eaten out of the hole and the hole gets packed, then you're doing something wrong, use a rougher cutter for a shorter time or something. Like walnut shells mixed with a much coarser polish.

                        An entirely different clown at work told me to try styrofoam peanuts with rogue in a vib tumber, he is also generally full of it, then again styrofoam is easy to dissolve, so if by some miracle it actually works...

                        More so than any other machining process, vibratory tumbling seems to attract really weird ideas and beliefs. Somebody should write a magazine article about it, I'd like to read it.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by vincemulhollon
                          That will dissolve it. Alkalies in iron, acids in aluminum.

                          Simplest way is to bake it in ye old kitchen oven. Self clean cycle, up close to a heating element, will melt the aluminum, as I have discovered. An average of 700 degrees or whatever in a self clean cycle seems to mean a minimum of 700 not a max.

                          Literally leave it in the oven for a couple weeks cooking. Then you get to degrease it with brake cleaner (not oven degreaser, which again, will dissolve the aluminum).
                          Seriously? Leave the part in a 700Deg oven for a week? Not only would I have one heck of an electric bill, but I would have warped parts as well.

                          That's also about 4 times longer than it took to make the parts.

                          i do like the idea of wax or something easily dissolved.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Magnum164
                            Plus I have 40 parts and that kills my carpal tunnel
                            Have the carpal tunnel surgery. I've had both wrists done and it sure improved my life not having the pain. BTW, it was quite interesting to hold a conversation with my surgeon as he preformed one of the surgeries.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dr Stan
                              Have the carpal tunnel surgery. I've had both wrists done and it sure improved my life not having the pain. BTW, it was quite interesting to hold a conversation with my surgeon as he preformed one of the surgeries.
                              Actually, it's due to c5-c6 degeneration, had a fusion 10 years ago and it didn't help. Now trying to avoid surgery in c6-c7 (I think). They won't do the CT surgery due to the nerve damage. And no, I did not talk my surgeons during the fusion surgery

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