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Ultrasonic Cleaners


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1 minute ago, PJA said:

So far so good for me. As I said, I don't use it much really, so for the once in a while use, it works fine, even if I'll have to buy another one after a year or two, I may buy a bit better but it still cheaper than putting a few hundreds of dollars on a professional machine, unless I'll have to use it once a day or so.

Agree. I didn't had the time and will to locate a spare transducer or better diagnose the fault. Now I'm back to shaking a cup, to be honest it seems to produce the very same results.

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One note on those blue demagnetizers, dont just set the movement on them and push the button, that will actually magnetize your part. Hold the object above the unit, press the button and slowly draw it away with a slight twisting motion, repeat a few times and you should be good to go.

Edited by khunter
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  • 3 months later...

At some point I'd like to add an untradonic cleaning machine to my workshop.  I work on clocks and watches so I'd probably aim for a larger machine.  There are lots of eBay sellers selling machines like this:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/302691315924

They are so cheap I'd almost consider a small one for watch components and a bugger one for clock parts.  Question is, are they any good or am I better going for a more expensive machine?

Thanks

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As far as I've heard the cheap ones work but they might not last for very long... And, definitely, a more expensive one will be better in all aspects.

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5 hours ago, oldhippy said:

Antique clocks should never be cleaned in an ultrasonic. They should be cleaned by hand.  

 

I use both methods. I peg the pivot holes and the leaves of the wheels and generally clean by hand. Then but the parts through the ultrasonic and then hand clean again to ensure every part is spotless.

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I have a cheap Chinese one, different brand, but similar to that.

I've had it for about a year nad its still working fine, but it only sees occasional use, not every day use.

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5 hours ago, clockboy said:

I use both methods. I peg the pivot holes and the leaves of the wheels and generally clean by hand. Then but the parts through the ultrasonic and then hand clean again to ensure every part is spotless.

Some very early clocks such as Lantern Longcase and Bracket where the brass is cast have impurities. These are best kept away from modern cleaning and the solutions.

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What oldhippy said regarding older clocks. Work-hardened brass is full of microscopic fractures which become knackered of you use ultrasonic. 

The stainless Chinese cleaners are good. Just don’t run the ultrasonic for more than 5 minutes at a time (you shouldn’t need to anyway). 

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22 minutes ago, rodabod said:

What oldhippy said regarding older clocks. Work-hardened brass is full of microscopic fractures which become knackered of you use ultrasonic. 

The stainless Chinese cleaners are good. Just don’t run the ultrasonic for more than 5 minutes at a time (you shouldn’t need to anyway). 

I just got one and it seems to be doing a good job so far, and was a cheap-ish Chinese one.

Sorry to derail the topic, but in reference to the quoted post, might this be a good point to ask rodabod - what adverse effects might running for longer than 5 mins have?

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1 hour ago, KelSolaar said:

Sorry to derail the topic, but in reference to the quoted post, might this be a good point to ask rodabod - what adverse effects might running for longer than 5 mins have?

Well, I managed to burn mine out by running it for too long. I'd heard it could be a problem before. It's the ultrasonic element which is the problem, not the heater. I've been running for years ok now while running it at five minutes at a time. I usually run it at around 50c.

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1 minute ago, rodabod said:

Well, I managed to burn mine out by running it for too long. I'd heard it could be a problem before. It's the ultrasonic element which is the problem, not the heater.

Same here. But in fairness it's not a priority for me to get another one.

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Thanks for all the replies.  Some good advice about cleaning antique brass here which I'm well aware about and the use of amonioniated cleaning solutions.  Conservation is always a hot topic but for 20th century brass made of rolled brass the brutal cleaning methods are fine.

Back to the ultrasonic cleaners it feels like these Chinese units are good for occasional use and only for short periods of time which probably suits my initial use anyway.

 

If you happen to burn out the ultrasonic element can you get a replacement or is the unit a throwaway item which parts are not available.

 

My other option is to purchase a higher quality unit.  Can anyone suggest a fairly priced unit?  Elma is an option I can see but they do cost 7 times the price of the Chinese unit!

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Well there's 'buy cheap buy twice' and then there's the buy at your level mentality. If you have started employed by a company and then move on to self employed then hands down you'd buy the most professional equipment necessary. It's all up to you at the end of the day. In experience of equipment such as this it won't be worth repairing a cheap unit. Read reviews of the products, if enough people say it burnt iut after a few weeks - which often on ebay and amazon, they say exactly that - then steer well clear. 

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15 hours ago, mbhorology said:

If you happen to burn out the ultrasonic element can you get a replacement or is the unit a throwaway item which parts are not available.

My other option is to purchase a higher quality unit.  Can anyone suggest a fairly priced unit?  Elma is an option I can see but they do cost 7 times the price of the Chinese unit!

I couldn't find a replacement U/S transducer, so I had to throw it away before moving. A typical consumerist waste.
But using the right products any mov.t can be perfectly cleaned without any machine and the saved money be spent on more important tools.

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  • 1 month later...
On 5/4/2018 at 7:37 AM, oldhippy said:

Antique clocks should never be cleaned in an ultrasonic. They should be cleaned by hand.  

 

Agreed oldhippy !. For quality work there are no short cuts. 

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  • 1 month later...

Hi, I have recently bought this old Elma watch cleaning machine. It has the movement holder fitted and I do have a holder for the set of baskets, but I am missing the baskets.
Any good idea where to find those? Obviously I don't want to pay ~150£ for Elma brand new...

thanks,

IMG_3293.thumb.JPG.0088fabc0fd3c77e579382959caf521b.JPGIMG_3294.thumb.JPG.cd110d2933f28e51cdb98bdc7226db36.JPG

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  • 1 month later...
15 minutes ago, Muligans said:

I just bougt myself a ultrasonic cleaner and was wondering what kind of solutions u guys use? Is water good enough or should something else be used?

If you do a search, you will find many posts on the subject.  If you click on this link I have a couple of posts explaining what I do.  

 

 

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On 3/24/2014 at 9:42 PM, No8yogi said:

Hello there, I have a jeweler friend who runs all my bits through his ultrasonic cleaner for me as I don't have one, whilst nice this isn't practical, on the famous bidding site there are many around the £25 mark, my question is are these any good? Does anyone have a recommendation, I don't need large capacity just something that comes recommended and works

I have one of the cheap 'n cheerful small Chinese ultrasonic cleaners, and while it works (I bought it faulty and fixed it), I can't say the build quality is very impressive, in fact quite the reverse. 

Some of the really cheap items advertised as "ultrasonic" dental cleaners are not even genuinely ultrasonic. The small plastic ones often have nothing more than a vibrating motor in them, so steer clear of those. 

Edited by AndyHull
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On 10/24/2018 at 6:03 PM, Geo said:

If you do a search, you will find many posts on the subject.  If you click on this link I have a couple of posts explaining what I do.  

 

 

Thanks Geo, will try the search function next time.

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