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Thread: Ultrasonic cleaners

  1. #1

    Ultrasonic cleaners

    I have been considering buying an ultrasonic cleaner rather than a tumbler partly so that all the lead from the primer gets washed away in the solution rather than remaining in the media dust in a tumbler (Muir had a friend who had found this to be a source of sighnificant lead exposure).

    There has already been an excellent thread on different cleaning and set-up routines but my questions are different.

    Rather than get one of the 700ml small cleaners (around 30 on e-bay) which can only handle a dozen or so cases at a time and have quite small transducers I was thinking of getting a larger unit that I can use to do more cases at a time AND my sound moderators from time to time. Looking at the moderator dimensions this suggests a 2.5l unit which are available from about 80.

    Hence my questions are:
    1. Has anyone used an ultrasonic cleaner on their moderator?
    2. Does the heater function on these larger units aid cleaning results?
    3. Do the larger transducers improve cleaning performance? The unit I am considering has a 170w transducer vs 70w or less on small units, but then there is more liquid to agitate?

    Any relevant experience would be much appreciated.
    Neal

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by mallettn View Post
    I have been considering buying an ultrasonic cleaner rather than a tumbler partly so that all the lead from the primer gets washed away in the solution rather than remaining in the media dust in a tumbler (Muir had a friend who had found this to be a source of sighnificant lead exposure).

    There has already been an excellent thread on different cleaning and set-up routines but my questions are different.

    Rather than get one of the 700ml small cleaners (around 30 on e-bay) which can only handle a dozen or so cases at a time and have quite small transducers I was thinking of getting a larger unit that I can use to do more cases at a time AND my sound moderators from time to time. Looking at the moderator dimensions this suggests a 2.5l unit which are available from about 80.

    Hence my questions are:
    1. Has anyone used an ultrasonic cleaner on their moderator?
    2. Does the heater function on these larger units aid cleaning results?
    3. Do the larger transducers improve cleaning performance? The unit I am considering has a 170w transducer vs 70w or less on small units, but then there is more liquid to agitate?

    Any relevant experience would be much appreciated.
    Neal
    Neal,

    I use the 70w transducer types and they clean my brass brilliantly.

    I always use hot water as this does seem to lift the crud better.

    Never used it on a mod, but judging by the crud coming off the brass I don't think you'll be disappointed.

    regards
    Colin.

  3. #3
    Colin,

    Thanks for the reply, you have answered two of my three questions.

    Has no-one used an ultrasonic cleaner on their moderator? I have a stainless steel ASE Northstar, which does not dismantle for cleaning, so I thought a run through an ultrasonic cleaner every 100-200 rounds might be a useful decrude routine.

    Neal

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by mallettn View Post
    Colin,

    Thanks for the reply, you have answered two of my three questions.

    Has no-one used an ultrasonic cleaner on their moderator? I have a stainless steel ASE Northstar, which does not dismantle for cleaning, so I thought a run through an ultrasonic cleaner every 100-200 rounds might be a useful decrude routine.

    Neal
    Hi,

    I have ultrasonic cleaned a PES T12, a cheapo SAK and a Wildcat P8 mod with very good results - though all were dismantled. The cleaner is 100w with a 4 litre tank.

    I cant see why it wouldn't work on an assembled Mod? I use hot water with a teaspoon of citric acid and a small squirt of washing up liquid for 10 minutes, followed by another 5 minutes in hot water with a teaspoon of bicarb of soda then a final 5 minute blast in clean cold water.

    Works on brass & works on mods.

  5. #5
    UC dont get the brass sparkling clean though do they or is it just my magic formula isnt right? I use vinegar then bicarb with a final rinse in water

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by furrybean View Post
    UC dont get the brass sparkling clean though do they or is it just my magic formula isnt right? I use vinegar then bicarb with a final rinse in water
    I hope it is not malt (brown) vinegar? I have only ever used white (distilled) vinegar or dry granulated citric acid (from chemist or home-brew shop) 'cos I was told malt vinegar will only give dirty cases...........

  7. #7
    Neal. I have an AU-S5 as per my gallery photos. I ran it through the ultrasonic cleaner some time ago. It certainly did something, however I then became concerned about how to get the water out of it. I spent a long time shaking it and drying it in the airing cupboard. I would trial cleaning and check that the outer surface of your moderator is not damaged by the cleaning as I knackered a die I tried to ultrasonic clean. Regards JCS

  8. #8
    JCS,
    You raise an excellent point - I hadn't considered the drying issue with all the seperate baffles to hold the liquid. I guess the shaking and airing cupboard technique is the best bet, but you still have no idea if you have done enough shaking / drying or too much!
    Thanks
    Neal

  9. #9
    I really wouldn't clean a non-strippable moderator in an ultrasonic cleaner.

    I've no doubt that it will come out lovely and clean but you will incur fatigue to the welds which will eventually result in fast-fracture.

    We used to use a similar process (in theory) in Rolls Royce when testing turbine blades for weaknesses.

  10. #10
    Thanks Scotsgun,
    It is this kind of knowledge / point (that I would never have thought of) which makes this forum such a resource. I think I will leave my moderator to its own devices and buy a smaller, cheaper ultrasonic cleaner.
    Neal

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