cleaning small parts

Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:13 am

Thought I would share this: To clean small parts (nuts, bolts, washers and other small parts) I took a Jif jar, put about 2 inches of fine sand, then added a degreaser-cleaner, added hot water to within 2 inches of the top, installed the lid, shake-shake-shake and I was amazed as to how clean these parts came out!

Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:58 am

Could be the tip of the week :shock: :lol:

Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:08 pm

nice tip. one I'll use I'm sure!

Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:24 pm

Wouldn't it be nice to have a paint shaker in my shop. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:45 pm

If you want to "Automate" cleaning the bolts, nuts, etc. Check out the "TIP" from Ralph:

It works, I've been doing for awhile now.

Tue Jul 17, 2007 1:07 pm

BIGHOSS wrote:Wouldn't it be nice to have a paint shaker in my shop. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Yes it would. That's one job I use mine for. I haven't tried using sand. I just add some solvent to a can full of nuts and bolts, start the shaker and leave till it gets quiet again. Coffee cans don't last very long, but I drink a lot of coffee. :D

Tue Jul 17, 2007 2:44 pm

Hey Perk, good idea and I'll try it. Do you use any special cleaner or just any old good cleaner will do? Oh and by the way, welcome to the Forum!

Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:18 pm

i have wandered how my tumbler for reloading ammunition would work . :? maybe use some sand instead of walnut shells that are used for brass casings :wink:

Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:40 pm

I used a product called 'Thund'r Blast'. I picked it up at Dollar General for 2 bucks.
Hey, that paint shaker would make it a lot easier!

Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:46 pm


I do use one of the rock tumblers
They work very well.
A little advice and a few words of caution
DO Not buy the double drum as it has the same little motor on the single and the double and it is undersize for the double drum unit. ... mber=46376

you will also need to first thing take the top off to access the belt take it off and get a large O ring the correct size as the belt.
once you have the O ring put the original belt back on it .
the O ring you got for a spare will be appreciated at that unusual hour that you need it as you Will SHURELY need it. the factory belt is good for about 24 hours of tumble and it will break . The O ring however will last for a long time.
Do Not Overload it !!!!!!!!!
it says 3 pound but that is the sand water and cleaner and bolts.
I put what would amount to a set of front and rear lugs(20) and a set of square wheel bolta and nuts ( in a load
Put some degreaser powder tide or mean green or your favorite cleaner put some sand and water and let it tumble for about 12 hours .
i have cleaned 100 plus pounds of bolts and hardware and it does a good job.

Thanks Ralph

Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:56 pm

Great Idea thanks!

Another take on the Jif jar for small parts

Tue Jul 24, 2007 6:07 pm

The Jif jar is a great idea since it allows you to keep your small parts separate from the "BIG" parts. If you have really small parts that you want to clean, get a tea ball from the grocery store or an Asian food store. A tea ball is a pair of fine mesh stainless steel hemispheres that usually snap or clip together. They are intended to allow you to steep tea leaves to make a pot of tea. If it is good enough for the FDA, it is good enough to clean my Cub parts. The size is limited, but I've got one that is 2" in diameter. It will hold a lot of set screws, or other little parts that need special treatment.

For the next step up from a tea ball, go back to the kitchen store and look for collandars or sieves made with stainless steel mesh. They come in a variety of sizes and you can usually find one that will fit into your container of degrease solution. Take a couple of pieces of stainless steel welding rod to bend up some handles. After the handles are attached, it is like having your own dip tank.

I stress stainless steel because I discovered that the Purple Stuff is death on aluminum. Since I'm on a roll here...

I use a black plastic bucket for my purple degreasing solution. I find that leaving the bucket outside exposed to the sun heats the solution and the hot solution is much more effective that room temperature solution.

To minimize evaporation of the purple solution, I made a lid out of 1/4" ply with pieces of quarter round molding glued on to hold the lid in place. Once the lid is primed and painted with some leftover alkyd enamel and a handle attached, it looks almost "uptown".

I also keep a second bucket full of water to rinse the part after it comes out of the purple solution. This stops the action of the degreaser and then I dry the part with a rag or paper towels. This is kinda like a stop bath in photography.

Just some thoughts,

Dr. Spiff

Tue Jul 24, 2007 6:52 pm

Dr. Spiff,