Parts cleaning tank. Any ideas?

Easy ways to clean parts, remove broken bolts, etc.
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Buzzard Wing
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Parts cleaning tank. Any ideas?

Postby Buzzard Wing » Tue Oct 25, 2005 1:57 pm

Haven't gotten the how-to just yet but I though if I threw out some random ideas, something may come of it.

One thought is to use an old plastic barrel (20 gallon?) cut part of the side off and lay it on a stand or held in place with a simple 2x4 frame. A rack from an oven or frigidaire could keep the part out of the swill.

The part I haven't quite figured out is how to pump and filter the cleaning agent. Or what to use for a nozzle. One place has a pump for $100 and the 20 gallon parts washer is $119 (go figure!) Northern has a pump for $33 but it looks like it needs a lot of cleaner to work (intake is on the top)

I have a 'engine cleaning' deal that I got at HD or Lowes. has a pick up with a screen (intended to go in solution that you are going to spray) and runs off an air compressor. Works pretty good for the intended purpose and is pretty cheap ($12). Likely would have to have a gravity drain with a filter and it tends to atomize the cleaner, so not the best for a parts cleaner.

It would also make sense to have this be a dual purpose device.... you could use the same container as an electrolisys tank when you are not cleaning parts with it.
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Postby Bigdog » Tue Oct 25, 2005 2:34 pm

Buzz, when I retired I started accumulating some shop tools that I had wanted for years. With a fixed income you learn to become frugal which doesn't mean you're cheap, it means you look for the most bang for the buck. Pricing a few key components in many cases I decided the best money spent was for complete units especially considering good performance as one of the criteria. I have cobbled things together for years to accomplish what I needed to. And there's nothing wrong with that. My parts cleaner was on sale for $100. By the time I considered buying separate components and about a half-dozen trips for connecting parts (never fails) I was money ahead to buy the unit.

Your mileage may vary.
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Postby Rudi » Tue Oct 25, 2005 4:02 pm


Funny you should post this... 8) :lol:

Eugene and I have been corresponding. He sent me his idea for a parts cleaner, one that he has actually built. I have the pics and the narrative and I am putting the presentation together. This is not a small table top unit... it is for slightly larger parts such as the rear end of a Cub :!: :idea: :D It should be up on the server in the next week or two.. I hope

Based on what we have been discussing, I am planning to build me one over the winter, I shall document it of course.

As usual, the more ideas the merrier. So.... bring it on.

However, I do agree with Big Dog on this. For a small parts cleaner, you are probably farther ahead to buy one from Northern Tool or Princess Auto, especially when they are on sale. The kids got me my small one for my birthday.. was $80.00 Cdn about $65.00 or $70.00 US at that time.. back when we was getting around $0.72US for a loonie.

But, now ifn you are gonna use slightly less than new parts, that is a different kettle of fish :idea: :!: :shock: 8) 8) Sometimes what can be somewhat described as cheap is really frugality or better yet, the 3 tenents of good environmental science -- RRR -- Reuse, Recycle,Reduce... that is where the fun is...
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Postby George Willer » Tue Oct 25, 2005 4:32 pm

First and formost, as usual should be safety. The very cheap cleaning tanks really do include a lid held open by a fusible link that would drop the lid in case of fire to eliminate one source of fuel. Having experienced the loss of everything I owned at the time, I can't over emphasize the emphasis on fire protection.

Next comes economics. I have such a tank and rarely use its' built in pump. Since the loss to evaporation is fairly high, I find that the use of an air powered squirt gun with a fresh jug of solvent for a supply allows me to rinse all parts with clean solvent. The clean solvent added in this manor barely keeps up with loss to evaporation.

So... my recommedation is to buy the cheap tank for its' advantages and use the air powered gun to rinse, thus replentishing the solvent lost to evaporation.
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