Author Topic: Dial cleaning - Ultrasonic tanks  (Read 3066 times)

Offline Brinybay

  • **
  • Posts: 4433
Dial cleaning - Ultrasonic tanks
« on: November 19, 2009, 05:27:45 AM »
In the process of reassembling my AE 183 Spacemaker (I'll NEVER take one of these apart again!) I was reading up on the dial cleaning part of an AE dials pdf.  Two methods - complete disassembly of the dial (FORGET that!) or putting it in an ultrasonic tank.  Definitely like the latter idea.  A quick search on the net and I see ultrasonic tanks ranging from $20 to $300.

Does anybody use one for cleaning dials?  What solution do you use?  I don't like the sounds of using rubber gloves, rubber apron, and handling some really nasty-sounding stuff like sodium cyanide mixed with mercaptobenzothiazole as instructed in the pdf.  Is there safer stuff to use that's at least almost as effective?

« Last Edit: November 19, 2009, 04:56:55 PM by Brinybay »
The idea that a four-year degree is the only path to worthwhile knowledge is insane.
 - Mike Row
e

Offline dsk

  • **
  • Posts: 4077
Re: Dial cleaning - Ultrasonic tanks
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2009, 08:20:47 AM »
A dash of dishwashing soap (friendly to your hands   :)  they say) and 2 table spoons of vinegar in a pint of hot water has been effective on my camping stove parts, never tried on electrical components.

Next step on rougher washing is just spoonfull of baking soda.

Did you get scared now :'(

Soaking the parts for some time dissolve the dirt, the ultrasound together with bubbles "scrubs" it clean(er).

Brass may be discolored!

dsk

Offline gpo706

  • **
  • Posts: 1403
Re: Dial cleaning - Ultrasonic tanks
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2009, 10:59:19 AM »
(I'll NEVER take one of these apart again!)

LMAO! How many times I have said that dude!

What's wrong with rubber gloves anyway?
"now this should take five minutes, where's me screwdriver went now..?"

Offline Brinybay

  • **
  • Posts: 4433
Re: Dial cleaning - Ultrasonic tanks
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2009, 05:01:35 PM »
(I'll NEVER take one of these apart again!)

LMAO! How many times I have said that dude!

What's wrong with rubber gloves anyway?

Nothing, just the fact that it's necessary for using unpronounceable chemicals that are probably hard to find.  I've used straight vinegar on antique bottles that I found diving, it was effective in removing some stubborn sea growth and it's certainly more readily available than unpronounceable chemicals.  Besides, I live in an apartment, not enough ventilation for the unpronounceable chemical concoctions.
The idea that a four-year degree is the only path to worthwhile knowledge is insane.
 - Mike Row
e

Offline benhutcherson

  • **
  • Posts: 706
Re: Dial cleaning - Ultrasonic tanks
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2009, 07:07:15 PM »
Ultrasonic can be an effective aide in cleaning, but you really do still need to do a full tear-down. It's not possible otherwise to get all of the other dirt and accumulated crud out.

It's great to use ultrasonic to get the separate parts really clean, and I do often use it for this purpose.

As far as cleaning solutions-I use straight acetone on brass parts, and denatured alcohol on any parts which contain plastic or rubber. This is the case whether I clean the parts by hand or with an ultrasonic. I then follow up with a rinse in naptha.

If you desire really bright, shiny brass, you can use simple green in water as a first stage cleaner. Follow up with a rinse in denatured alcohol, and finally rinse in naptha. Again, either ultrasonic or hand cleaning works well. If hand cleaning, use a soft bristle brush(an old tooth brush works well) with the simple green.

One final thing-you shouldn't put organic solvents directly into a tank type ultrasonic. Fill the tank most of the way full of soapy water. Then, put your solvent(or simple green) in a glass beaker that you set down in the water bath.


Offline Phonesrfun

  • **
  • Posts: 4868
  • "Number Please"
Re: Dial cleaning - Ultrasonic tanks
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2009, 07:09:02 PM »
Ben:

What kind of tank do you use?

-Bill G

Offline benhutcherson

  • **
  • Posts: 706
Re: Dial cleaning - Ultrasonic tanks
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2009, 10:49:56 AM »
I use two different ultrasonic cleaners:

At school, I have access to a basic 2-quart laboratory tank. I forget the brand on ours, but I've seen it in hundreds of other labs I've visited, whether chemical or medical.

At home, I use my L&R Master watch cleaning machine, which cleans by both ultrasonic and mechanical agitation. Basically, you load the parts into a mesh basket that's then attached to a cleaning "head". The head is then lowered down into a jar of cleaning solution, where it is spun around(mechanical agitation) and the ultrasonic generator is turned on.

Since the basket it small, this is a somewhat inconvenient way to clean a dial. Also, I keep separate jars of solution for dial cleaning, as dial are usually a whole lot dirtier than watches, and I don't want to contaminate the expensive watch cleaning solutions. Also, denatured alcohol is a big no-no for watches, as it dissolves the shellac used to hold some parts together, although it's a great solvent and perfectly safe for dials.

Offline Come in Nighthawk

  • *
  • Posts: 77
Re: Dial cleaning - Ultrasonic tanks
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2010, 04:22:32 PM »

Won't all these solvents and stuff run the risk of "cleaning" the date and "type" (of dial) red paint (ink?) stamps right off the back of the dial??
 
???

Offline JorgeAmely

  • **
  • Posts: 2184
  • WE 500 from 1958
Re: Dial cleaning - Ultrasonic tanks
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2010, 05:59:41 PM »
CIN:
They do, so unless you don't care about stamps and dates, don't put such parts in an ultrasonic tank. Alternatively, use a small toothbrush and soap then clean around the dates you want to protect.

Jorge

Offline Come in Nighthawk

  • *
  • Posts: 77
Re: Dial cleaning - Ultrasonic tanks
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2010, 07:00:12 PM »
Roger!

And thanks.