parts washers/ultrasonic cleaners

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Giganews, Jan 31, 2003.

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  1. Giganews

    Giganews Guest

    OK, here's a lazy man's question.

    I was toying with the idea of getting a parts washer or ultrasonic cleaner to save time (no more
    toothbrushing the chain, cogs, etc). I find those drivetrain cleaner gadgets from park and finish
    line to be just about useless.

    Any advice on this? It has occurred to me that the thing could be used to clean a number of parts
    really easily.

    BC_/)_
     
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  2. Ajames54

    Ajames54 Guest

    On Fri, 31 Jan 2003 11:36:08 -0500, "GigaNews" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >OK, here's a lazy man's question.
    >
    >I was toying with the idea of getting a parts washer or ultrasonic cleaner to save time (no more
    >toothbrushing the chain, cogs, etc). I find those drivetrain cleaner gadgets from park and finish
    >line to be just about useless.
    >
    >Any advice on this? It has occurred to me that the thing could be used to clean a number of parts
    >really easily.
    >
    >BC_/)_
    >
    If you can find an ultrasonic cleaner/parts washer at reasonable price let me know where ... I want
    one. (the good ones work amazingly well)

    Most of the solvent based parts washers on not too far removed from the old "bucket full o' varsol"
    ... none of them are a match for ultrasonic ...
     
  3. In article <[email protected]>, GigaNews <[email protected]> wrote:
    >OK, here's a lazy man's question.
    >
    >I was toying with the idea of getting a parts washer or ultrasonic cleaner to save time (no more
    >toothbrushing the chain, cogs, etc). I find those drivetrain cleaner gadgets from park and finish
    >line to be just about useless.
    >
    >Any advice on this? It has occurred to me that the thing could be used to clean a number of parts
    >really easily.

    A parts washer is a nice convenience. It usually works about as well as the solvent in it. The
    same solvent used in a spaghetti cooker (any kind of deep pot with a basket and lid) also works
    pretty well.

    If it's big enough for an assembled right crank arm that's about all you need.

    harborfreight.com (or a nearby harborfreight store) is one of the cheapest places to find a small
    parts washer in the US.

    Think about disposal requirements when you select the solvent.

    Never used an ultrasonic gizmo myself.
     
  4. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    "GigaNews" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > OK, here's a lazy man's question.
    >
    > I was toying with the idea of getting a parts washer or ultrasonic cleaner to save time (no more
    > toothbrushing the chain, cogs, etc). I find those drivetrain cleaner gadgets from park and finish
    > line to be just about useless.
    >
    > Any advice on this? It has occurred to me that the thing could be used to clean a number of parts
    > really easily.

    Ultrasonic cleaners are indeed pretty neat, quick and very effective. But hardly an impulse item.
    Mine was $800 and I got an "econo" model. Anyone know if these have dropped in price lately?
    Mine's old.

    If you're mostly cleaning chain, a bottle and a 1/2 liter of solvent is pretty effective and
    dirt cheap.

    --
    Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
     
  5. reset

    reset Guest

    On Fri, 31 Jan 2003 22:28:42 -0600, "A Muzi" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >"GigaNews" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >> OK, here's a lazy man's question.
    >>
    >> I was toying with the idea of getting a parts washer or ultrasonic cleaner to save time (no more
    >> toothbrushing the chain, cogs, etc). I find those drivetrain cleaner gadgets from park and finish
    >> line to be just about useless.
    >>
    >> Any advice on this? It has occurred to me that the thing could be used to clean a number of parts
    >> really easily.
    >
    >Ultrasonic cleaners are indeed pretty neat, quick and very effective. But hardly an impulse item.
    >Mine was $800 and I got an "econo" model. Anyone know if these have dropped in price lately?
    >Mine's old.
    >
    >If you're mostly cleaning chain, a bottle and a 1/2 liter of solvent is pretty effective and
    >dirt cheap.
    >
    >--
    >Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
    >
    >

    I would like one for bicycle and automotive use.
     
  6. Rman

    Rman Guest

    "GigaNews" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > OK, here's a lazy man's question.
    >
    > I was toying with the idea of getting a parts washer or ultrasonic cleaner to save time (no more
    > toothbrushing the chain, cogs, etc). I find those drivetrain cleaner gadgets from park and finish
    > line to be just about useless.
    >
    > Any advice on this? It has occurred to me that the thing could be used to clean a number of parts
    > really easily.
    >

    I use an ultrasonic bath to clean parts. I immerse the part in a tub of hexane, and immerse that tub
    in the ultrasonic bath for 10 min. Everything comes out sparkly clean, particularly chains and
    cassettes.

    I am lucky to work in a lab that has access to one and hexane as well, which is better than petrol
    IMO. If you can get access to one I highly recommend
    it.
     
  7. Ned Mantei

    Ned Mantei Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "RMan" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >I use an ultrasonic bath to clean parts. I immerse the part in a tub of hexane, and immerse that
    >tub in the ultrasonic bath for 10 min. Everything comes out sparkly clean, particularly chains and
    >cassettes.
    >

    1) I agree that hexane is a very good solvent for dissolving grease. However, it is also
    unexpectedly toxic. It specifically binds to a protein in axons (neurofilament protein), and,
    when used for cleaning bicycle parts, is especially likely to get at the motor axons that make
    your hands move. There is a disease called hexane neuropathy caused by exposure to hexane through
    the skin--see Google on "hexane neuropathy" for more information. I still use hexane, but only
    with rubber gloves and in a fume hood. I minimize contact with the gloves (not sure they aren't
    permeable) by doing the actual washing in a large screwcap plastic bottle (shaken, not
    stirred...). I also reuse as often as possible--I suspect that evaporated hexane is not good for
    the atmosphere.

    2) Some years ago there was a thread in this newsgroup to the effect that use of an ultrasonic
    cleaning bath would lead to the part becoming brittle. "Hydrogen embrittlement" is the term I
    remember, although it isn't clear to me where the hydrogen would come from. Perhaps only a
    problem with aqueous solvents.

    --
    Ned Mantei Department of Cell Biology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology CH-8093 Zurich,
    Switzerland
     
  8. Dougc

    Dougc Guest

    Ned Mantei <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > In article <[email protected]>, "RMan" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >
    > >
    > >I use an ultrasonic bath to clean parts. I immerse the part in a tub of hexane, and immerse that
    > >tub in the ultrasonic bath for 10 min. Everything comes out sparkly clean, particularly chains
    > >and cassettes.
    > >
    >
    >
    > 1) I agree that hexane is a very good solvent for dissolving grease. However, it is also
    > unexpectedly toxic. It specifically binds to a protein in axons (neurofilament protein), and,
    > when used for cleaning bicycle parts, is especially likely to get at the motor axons that make
    > your hands move. There is a disease called hexane neuropathy caused by exposure to hexane
    > through the skin--see Google on "hexane neuropathy" for more information. I still use hexane,
    > but only with rubber gloves and in a fume hood. I minimize contact with the gloves (not sure
    > they aren't permeable) by doing the actual washing in a large screwcap plastic bottle (shaken,
    > not stirred...). I also reuse as often as possible--I suspect that evaporated hexane is not
    > good for the atmosphere.
    >
    > 2) Some years ago there was a thread in this newsgroup to the effect that use of an ultrasonic
    > cleaning bath would lead to the part becoming brittle. "Hydrogen embrittlement" is the term I
    > remember, although it isn't clear to me where the hydrogen would come from. Perhaps only a
    > problem with aqueous solvents.

    I don't know about the effects of ultrasonic cleaning on aluminum and steel, which constitute the
    bulk of washable bicycle parts, but I have seen warnings about its effect on brass. Ultrasonic is
    sometimes used to clean brass train models prior to painting and running the cleaner for too long is
    known to make the metal brittle.
     
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