Customs: Ultrasonic Parts Cleaner

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by Boggs6ft7, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. Boggs6ft7

    Boggs6ft7 TFW2005 Supporter

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    I had been shooting this idea around in my head and finally went through with it. The idea was to use a parts washer to strip paint off figures. I thought about getting a jewelry cleaner from Wal-mart or something, but I found something a little better.

    I found this on Craigslist. It is a heavy duty professional ultrasonic cleaner that has a digital timer and a heater built in. If you look up the price for this cleaner, keep in mind that I did not pay nearly that much. A fraction of the cost is an understatement.

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    Here is it working:

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    You are not supposed to put anything flammable inside these, but I was really wanting to try it out. I put some alcohol inside and did not turn on the heater, just let the cavitation do the work. The cavitation of hte bubbles alone heated up the alcohol to 122 F, so I see the danger of flammables going inside. I kept a close eye on it to make sure it didn't get too hot.

    I tried a starscream torso first, this had been partially cleaned already and I wish I took a before shot. No scrubbing was done on this piece.

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    To give you and idea of how well it works, I tried another torso from Ramjet. Here are the before shots.

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    Here are the after shots, again, no scrubbing whatsoever.

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    The part only stayed in the solution for 30 minutes and there was one stubborn area where either the plastic was stained, or just some paint that needed some more time in the cleaner.

    I was more than pleased with the results. The parts were cleaner, no scrubbing, and less mess.

    I am trying another test using a solution that does not risk catching on fire. I will post those results once that test is over.
     

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  2. Cyber-Kun

    Cyber-Kun UNLEASHED!

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    wow! That's look fantastic!
     
  3. yourreflection

    yourreflection Well-Known Member

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    That is so Awesome! Man, there are some Transformers that would look awesome all white...The whole fire thing scares me though.
     
  4. Boggs6ft7

    Boggs6ft7 TFW2005 Supporter

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    This thing is seriously one of my new favorite toys.

    Before, I talked about testing out the cleaner using alcohol. Well, you aren't supposed to use anything flammable in the cleaner, so today I went out and bought some Super Clean. Stuff is about 7 bucks for a gallon. Its a degreaser you can buy in the automotive section at Wal-mart.

    I ran some parts through the machine with the heat on for about an hour and a half. I was extremely pleased with the results.

    Here are two pieces that I put through the cleaner. One is a hood piece from Sideswipe that I had tried to turn into a repaint of Tracks. I scrapped the project and threw that piece into a jar of alcohol for a few weeks and that is what it turned into. The other piece was from an unfinished Sunstreaker repaint. Both pieces had been primered and covered with a top coat.

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    And here is the after. You can still see some of the paint on the yellow hood, it could have spent a few more minutes in the bath.

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    I'm sold on using this as a prep machine and to possibly save some old projects that I thought were ruined. I'll find other used too for cleaning stuff around the house.

    Do I think its practical for everyone? No. This would be far down on the list of essentials, but it sure is nice. You might be able to get similar results from the jewelry cleaners you can get at Wal-mart or Mejiers, I just don't seem them being as effective.
     

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  5. Nemesis Predaking

    Nemesis Predaking Offical Enforcer WTF@TFW Veteran

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    Damn, that is impressive.
    Your making me want one of these.
     
  6. Napjr

    Napjr <b><font color=gold>Mr. Internet</font><br><font c Veteran

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    Awesome!

    You know, i got similar results using brake fluid on some figures, like a TM Terrorsaur arm and some extra painted pieces. All the paint was removed after some hours or even days, only soaking them on the fluid. Maybe you could try it also

    However, in my experience, some pieces bleached! Terrorsaur for example, got a lighter purple... i cant feel any difference on the plastic itself, but who knows on the long run
     
  7. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    The main advantage I see here is the lack of scraping the paint out of the smaller crevices. Great find, bud :thumb 
     
  8. Boggs6ft7

    Boggs6ft7 TFW2005 Supporter

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    Yeah, this was my favorite part. No scrubbing. Less mess, and the parts are actually cleaner than if I did use a toothbrush.
     
  9. Satomiblood

    Satomiblood Prototype Black

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    You weren't kidding about the price. How much did you pay for it? Also, what solutions are good with it?
     
  10. project9

    project9 White n' Nerdy

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    Wow, that's a neat little tool.

    The Branson 2510MT (no heater, old school non-digital timer) is $500 and the little half gallon model (1510MT) is $355. That's fairly reasonable if 1) you do a lot of customs/commissions and 2) you make reasonable money on those. Major time saver, I'm sure (lord knows, I spend days upon days trying to get the blue paint off sideswipe's windshield).
     
  11. Boggs6ft7

    Boggs6ft7 TFW2005 Supporter

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    A lot less.

    Pretty much anything non-flammable can be put in it. Right now I'm running Super Clean degreaser in it.

    Mine has the heater and the digital timer. Its pretty tight.

    There are a few on ebay from branson, but you could pick up cheaper model at Harbor freight if you have one those near by. A jewelry cleaner might work also.
     
  12. Satomiblood

    Satomiblood Prototype Black

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    Lol, do you not want to disclose the price?
     

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