(Topic ID: 212101)

What parts cleaner


By bbhenry2000

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 33 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by jwilson
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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    #1 1 year ago

    Planning on cleaning parts for a restore. With a voice between ultrasonic or tumbler, which do you choose and why?

    #2 1 year ago

    Two totally different things.

    An Ultrasonic lifts dirt off of objects.

    A Tumbler grinds down an object, exposing a new layer of material.

    #3 1 year ago

    I use both. Like vid says, they do different things.

    There are usually 3 basic steps for handling metal parts:

    -Clean
    -De-rust
    -Polish

    #4 1 year ago

    Echoing both Vid and ForceFlow, I tend to use my ultrasonic cleaner on plastic parts (especially ones with intricacies)--like star posts, lane guides, and other miscellaneous things. Hot water with a hearty dose of degreaser does a really good job.

    I use a tumbler (I much prefer a vibratory tumbler) on nuts, bolts, washers, screws, metal lane guides, ball trough parts, etc, etc. I tend to use a walnut shell media, and run it for a couple of days, and again, does a really good job.

    #5 1 year ago

    After doing this for over 15 years I find that the best method is to clean all parts with Wesley Bleche White and warm soapy water. This is a non-corrosive cleaner. Use this for nuts bolts brackets plastics circuit boards wire harnesses etc. It is by far the best cleaner out there.

    For parts with mild corrosion I use a tumbler with walnut media. For certain metal parts I will finish up with novus 2 prior to installation. And Novus 1 for all plastics.

    #6 1 year ago

    If you’ve got a source for original Bleche White, you should share it. It’s NLA since they changed the formula.

    #7 1 year ago

    I need a tumbler. Next on my shopping list of pinball related tools. I use an ultrasonic on everything, since it's the only thing I have. I've read to not use it on plastic with art printed on it as it will remove the art.

    Any recommendations on tumblers?

    #8 1 year ago
    Quoted from FatPanda:

    Any recommendations on tumblers?

    Not sure what your budget is, but I've been using a cheap harbor freight vibratory tumbler for almost 10 years now, and it hasn't given me a single problem. Works great, and for the same price of the expensive brands, you can buy the biggest HF tumbler, a boatload of media, and a spare tub, and still have money left over.

    I've been using the 5 lb tumbler, and it's large enough for piles of hardware, and the occasional wireform. It's good for wet or dry tumbling. They sell the 18 lb tumbler, which can hold pretty much anything, and has a drain hose built in. In any case, I'd avoid a rotary tumbler. They're just not as good.

    #9 1 year ago

    Tumbler 100%. The ultrasonic is great for plastic parts - I have not found it to be real effective For metal, plus it does not polish the way a tumbler + a couple squirts of Novus 3 does

    That said, doing my last restore I used the ultrasonic to clean all my plastics - but then discovered many of them were broken (star posts mostly), making cleaning them pointless. I just put in a $8 order to PBL and saved myself an hour.

    On the ultrasonic -
    If you have basic plastics (don’t put stuff with artwork or paint In there!) you can’t find elsewhere, try it out. But if it’s one or the other, the tumbler has a million better uses.

    #10 1 year ago
    Quoted from mbaumle:

    Not sure what your budget is, but I've been using a cheap harbor freight vibratory tumbler for almost 10 years now, and it hasn't given me a single problem. Works great, and for the same price of the expensive brands, you can buy the biggest HF tumbler, a boatload of media, and a spare tub, and still have money left over.
    I've been using the 5 lb tumbler, and it's large enough for piles of hardware, and the occasional wireform. It's good for wet or dry tumbling. They sell the 18 lb tumbler, which can hold pretty much anything, and has a drain hose built in. In any case, I'd avoid a rotary tumbler. They're just not as good.

    I'm not sure I would need the large 18lb one as I don't have the space for it necessarily. I think the 5lb one would be good, and the price is a bit better for my wallet.

    #11 1 year ago
    Quoted from FatPanda:

    I think the 5lb one would be good, and the price is a bit better for my wallet.

    Yea. The 18 lb one is massive. Don't forget to use a 20% off coupon too! No one pays full price at harbor freight.

    #12 1 year ago

    I know they changed the formula years ago I find the current brand to work just fine.

    #13 1 year ago

    I am basically just echoing other as saying I use them both in tandem. I use the ultrasonic more though. I think 10-1 honestly.

    Tumblers work wonders on metal parts but if they are not pitted those same metal parts will clean to a brilliant shine in an ultrasonic with a 50-50 mix distilled water and simple green. When I go through a game I take every assembly completely apart to clean and they all go through the ultrasonic. Only rougher parts get the tumbler. Just my two cents

    #14 1 year ago
    Quoted from Pintopia:

    I know they changed the formula years ago I find the current brand to work just fine.

    Bleche Wite used to be a fantastic cleaner until they changed the formula. If you ever used the original, you know what I mean. Personally, I don't find the new stuff good at all, at least not even close to the old stuff.

    I switched to Purple Power cleaner/degreaser. I buy it in the 2.5 gallon container and pour it into a spray bottle. I use it in my ultrasonic also. I'm sure there are other products that work well (I've tried dozens of them), but this is the one I like the best.

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Purple-Power-Degreaser-Concentrate-2-5-Gallons/16778257?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&wl13=5992&adid=22222222227019585099&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=40839618992&wl4=aud-310687322322:pla-78652671272&wl5=9019483&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=local&wl12=16778257&wl13=5992&veh=sem#read-more

    #15 1 year ago
    Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

    Bleche Wite used to be a fantastic cleaner until they changed the formula. If you ever used the original, you know what I mean. Personally, I don't find the new stuff good at all, at least not even close to the old stuff.
    I switched to Purple Power cleaner/degreaser. I buy it in the 2.5 gallon container and pour it into a spray bottle. I use it in my ultrasonic also. I'm sure there are other products that work well (I've tried dozens of them), but this is the one I like the best.
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Purple-Power-Degreaser-Concentrate-2-5-Gallons/16778257?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&wl13=5992&adid=22222222227019585099&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=40839618992&wl4=aud-310687322322:pla-78652671272&wl5=9019483&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=local&wl12=16778257&wl13=5992&veh=sem#read-more

    I have always used simple green but I actually have heard from several people that purple power is better. I have full intentions on trying it in my next rebuild.

    #16 1 year ago
    Quoted from jmountjoy111:

    I have always used simple green but I actually have heard from several people that purple power is better. I have full intentions on trying it in my next rebuild.

    In reality, Simple Green doesn't do much compared to other products.

    #17 1 year ago

    Both will make your life easier. Are you planning to do more of this work? Even if you don't, the ultrasonic and tumbler are great for all things not pinball too.

    #18 1 year ago

    The Berry tumbler often sold at hunting stores such as Cabellas is Awesome and has never let me down for Many years. Walnut shells (pet store) with 3 big spoons of Mothers Mag and aluminum polish and all you metal parts with look like jewelry! Let them run all night at least for amazing results. I put mine in the garage as mama doesn't like the sound of That vibrator...

    #19 1 year ago
    Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

    In reality, Simple Green doesn't do much compared to other products.

    Then I for sure will have to try purple power because the simple green in the ultrasonic makes all the parts look new again.

    I’ve seen it in the 2.5 gallon jugs. I’m buying it when I do my next game. Might be a while as I’m in the process of moving. Do you dilute in the ultrasonic? A 50-50 mix?

    #20 1 year ago
    Quoted from jmountjoy111:

    Do you dilute in the ultrasonic? A 50-50 mix?

    Yup, although that might be overkill.

    #21 1 year ago
    Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

    Yup, although that might be overkill.

    Would I better off with a more diluted mix then? What would you suggest

    I’m not trying to hijack the thread or anything like that. I just need to know and I’m still somewhat on par with the original post lol

    #22 1 year ago
    Quoted from bbhenry2000:

    Planning on cleaning parts for a restore. With a voice between ultrasonic or tumbler, which do you choose and why?

    I use both and wouldn't do a restore without either of them. For metals, it's a 2-part process: clean and tumble. Cleaning first reduces the tumble time and gives me better results.

    Quoted from FatPanda:

    I need a tumbler. Next on my shopping list of pinball related tools. I use an ultrasonic on everything, since it's the only thing I have. I've read to not use it on plastic with art printed on it as it will remove the art.
    Any recommendations on tumblers?

    I have the green Cabela's case tumbler. Works great and a lot quieter than the cheaper Frankford one I started with. This is the smallest tumbler I can imagine using as it's just large enough for things like flipper plates.

    #23 1 year ago
    Quoted from jmountjoy111:

    Would I better off with a more diluted mix then? What would you suggest
    I’m not trying to hijack the thread or anything like that. I just need to know and I’m still somewhat on par with the original post lol

    This is actually a great question as my ultrasonic did not give any instructions on what to do, but rather just what NOT to do. LOL

    #24 1 year ago

    The key with the ultrasonic is the water plus cleaner needs to be HOT.

    #25 1 year ago
    Quoted from jwilson:

    The key with the ultrasonic is the water plus cleaner needs to be HOT.

    I thought it was kind of odd, but the paperwork that came with mine said not to put water in over 200* F

    #26 1 year ago
    Quoted from jmountjoy111:

    Would I better off with a more diluted mix then? What would you suggest
    I’m not trying to hijack the thread or anything like that. I just need to know and I’m still somewhat on par with the original post lol

    Let me put it to you this way, some say all you need is a few tablespoons of cleaner and the ultrasonic only needs to run for a couple minutes. I tried that when I first got mine and the results weren't the greatest. After quite a bit of experimenting, I've come up with what works for me.

    I use anywhere between 1/3 and 1/2 cleaner. I don't think it makes any difference. The stuff is cheap, I just dump it in.

    I run it for 10 minutes for everything.

    I run it between 140 and 160 degrees. Make sure the water's hot when you fill it.

    #27 1 year ago
    Quoted from bbhenry2000:

    I thought it was kind of odd, but the paperwork that came with mine said not to put water in over 200* F

    I run mine at 65C, which is 149F.

    #28 1 year ago

    Wow it's like nobody cleans using elbow grease? I have a Branson ultrasonic but rarely ever use it is just not worth the time. Don't have a tumbler or vibration polisher, but a few minutes with never dull by hand and most all pinball parts can be easily dealt with.

    Novus 2
    CLR
    IPA
    Good old stationary tub water, toothbrush, scrubby sponge.
    Vaccum

    Occasionally I use demel and buffer.

    I can maybe see using the other toys if doing a machine every couple days, but for doing one or two machines a year, do it by hand.

    #29 1 year ago

    You can beat your clothes against a rock and hang them on a clothesline, too.

    But you don’t have to!

    #30 1 year ago
    Quoted from CNKay:

    Wow it's like nobody cleans using elbow grease? I have a Branson ultrasonic but rarely ever use it is just not worth the time. Don't have a tumbler or vibration polisher, but a few minutes with never dull by hand and most all pinball parts can be easily dealt with.
    Novus 2
    CLR
    IPA
    Good old stationary tub water, toothbrush, scrubby sponge.
    Vaccum
    Occasionally I use demel and buffer.
    I can maybe see using the other toys if doing a machine every couple days, but for doing one or two machines a year, do it by hand.

    Parts with texture (I'm thinking shooter rod housings) that have grease and grime on them from years of use are much easier to throw into an ultrasonic or tumbler to get them nice and clean. While it's running, you can spend that time to do other things, like taking apart mechs (to throw into a cleaner) or troubleshooting switches etc. It's about efficiency

    #31 1 year ago

    This is a great thread...

    Now I have to ask; What is the best choice for an ultra sonic cleaner?

    I have the Barry's tumbler, it's been running for 15+ years.

    Thanks!

    #32 1 year ago

    Tursonik 10L from Amazon has been amazing. Heater- 4 generators, timer, basket, drain- it does a great job and appears very high quality. Even has a cooling fan. Not super cheap but actually very very reasonable given quality.

    #33 1 year ago

    I bought a Chinese 20L one on ebay and it's been fine. Noisy. They all look identical to me and it was $400 or so.

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