ultrasonic cleaning

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by soundguy, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    I'm still realtively new to reloading.. got a question on cleaning.

    I opted to get a vibro tumbler vs a rolelr tumbler. I got it at the chinese store cheaper than a name brand roller.. heard good things about vibro tumblers.

    now.. while cleanign the garage a few hours ago.. found an older stainless stell pot style ( 70's era? ) ultrasonic high capacity jewlry cleaner that my FIL had. he was a watch and jewlry maker.... is this something I can use? it's been boxed since he died back in 00

    wife already has another US cleaner he had smaller one. this one lookls liek a stock pot it is so big. has basket and all.

    now.. if I use it.. do I use it in addition to vibro tumble. and if so.. before or after?

    any rec on soloution to use. I even found a gallon of cleaner.. must be 15ys old by now. do I have to use US cleaner> or?

    thanks for any comments!
  2. daboone

    daboone Member

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    US are excellent for both brass and parts cleaning (bolts, frames, mags, tools)

    For brass, unlike buzz buckets and tumblers, it will clean both the inside and outside of the case. Use citric acid for the cleaner. 2 teaspoons per quart of degassed water. Degassing is simply running the US for 10 to 20 minutes to remove all the microscopic gas bubbles which interfere with the US process. It's also important to set the temp to 160 to 190F for the best results with citric acid. Another nice feature of citric acid is that it passivates the brass. What that means is after running the brass in the hot solution, the brass is actually made more corrosion-resistant. No need to rinse. However this method is NOT going to give you the super shiny exterior that conventional method will. It will be seriously CLEAN, as said, inside and out just not shiny.

    For part cleaning Dawn kitchen soap will do a fine job. The Temps don't need to be as hot. There is a drawback. This method will remove ALL oils and grease from the gun's frame, the mag, any and all parts. So think RUST if the pasts are not thoroughly re-lubed. Aluminum can be damaged in US.
  3. daboone

    daboone Member

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    I should add a couple of more points about using US for cleaning.

    1.Use a SS basket in order keep the brass or parts off the bottom. It's important to avoid contact with the transducers. Glass beakers or mason jars work well to but they should also be kept off the bottom of the unit.
    2. Brass cleaned with citric acid is so clean that it is wise to dip the neck in graphite, mica, moly type powder or something to make seating easier.
  4. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    should I vibro clean first.. then us clean..?
  5. daboone

    daboone Member

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    The US with citric acid will remove the grime and carbon. As mention it cleans but really doesn't shine. So if you want shine then after the US citric acid cleaning and drying the brass you can toss it in the buzz bucket to get shining.
  6. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    cool.. thanks
  7. Del Slo

    Del Slo New Member

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    I'd suggest differently. Tumble then US

    No need to wash the powder residue off the case from the media this way...
  8. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    good point! will the US cleaner dull the finish any? I use corn cob media and a mix of white rice, if doing dirty range brass..
  9. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    ok.. getting ready to setup the US cleaner. now.. i can't find citric acitanywhere.. people look at mefiunny.

    is there soemting else I can useto clean up thesebrass cases with.

    IO have a few hundred to clean in this batch. i'g got the first 100 or so vibro cleaning right now.

    thanks
  10. daboone

    daboone Member

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    Try Amazon or health food stores. Also grocery stores in the food canning section. LemiShine in the detergent section will work.
  11. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    so i can get powdered or liquid.. cool.

    afterlooting thru my deceased FIL's stuff today I found 3 US cleaners. a large one with a pot maybee 10" x 4" made by L&R and it has a head control. the other 2 are 4" x 4" and no heat. the big and 1 lil have baskets.. one has no basket.. but I have found a plastic basket that will fit just fine.

    once i get the brass shined in the vibro, I'll US clean. should be best of both worlds I guess!

    I'm hyped.
  12. joncutt87

    joncutt87 Active Member

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    Want to trade a us cleaner for a sling?
  13. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    I'll ask the wife, since they are her's / belonged to her father.
  14. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    next stupid question.

    how long do Ileave brass in the US cleaner after vibro cleaning them shiney?
  15. daboone

    daboone Member

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    Depends on the solution you are using and the Khz (power) of the US you are using. With citric acid (2 teaspoons and maybe a few drops of dishwashing detergent pet Qt of water) 10 minutes should get the job done. Other mixtures and of course the power of the US will vary.... Experimentation will be necessary.
  16. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    i played with times last night.. has a 12m timer or a hold (on ) function.. I tried 12 and 24m both seem to yeild same results. man them things look great after a vibro cleaning, US cleaning, and then a set in a dryer rack..

    soundguy
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