View Full Version : Ultrasonic cleaners?
07-31-2005, 08:01 AM
Does anyone have experience with the inexpensive ultrasonic jewelry cleaners sold on ebay? I occasionally have use for something like this for cleaning up shutters, it would be nice to drop all the bits in for a bit and have 'em come out clean.
Also, what kind of cleaner is safe to use for such a job in one of those?
Of course I send any shutter that I want to rely on for accuracy to Carol Flutot (http://www.apug.org/forums/member.php?u=6000) :)
Thanks in advance,
07-31-2005, 03:20 PM
I have a small one for technical pens (about 8 oz capacity). It works great.
I use whatever fluid is appropriate. An ammonia solution to clean greasy dirt, or a mild acid etching solution to clean rust. It will completely clean rusty screw-threads in just a few minutes!
The cleaner will heat the solution, so I don't use anything flammable.
08-01-2005, 02:39 PM
Thanks Eric, I generally distrust cheap stuff but I think for the light use I will probably give this thing it will work just fine.
08-12-2005, 09:44 AM
I use mine with Windex cleaner. It is ammonia based and works well. In the jewelry store I worked in they used SpicN'Span cleaner in all their ultrasonics. They also make ultrasonic cleaners for dentures, they are way cheaper and are the same.
08-21-2005, 12:11 PM
1) Steve Grimes once stated that under some conditions, ultrasonic cleaner can etch a lens, so, either keep your glass outta the the fluid or see if SK Grimes folks can qualify that coment.
2) I once had an Agfa folder with the front cell stuck so badly I gave up on all the tools I had & threw the ...I'm tryign to get my story right...it's been a while...I may have just put the front cell assembly in , and not the shutter. I think I used an aerosol dichloromethane or similar for the shutter (I learned don't do that outside in humid summer weather...the expanding gas will chill and condense water so badly out of the humid air your (camera) parts will frost heavily.
I worked somewhere that misused their ultrasonic cleaners...they put solder flux 'safety solvent' in ...a non-flammable hydrocarbon, for degreasing aggressive lubricants. I put that lens in for I think 10 minutes. When I came back, not only was my front cell unstuck, all the lens elements were unscrewed and most of the paint was gone too! I was kind of startled. The brass underneath was a weird military olive drab.
I greased the lens cells & moved on...
As far as I know, you're not supposed to use non-aqueous solvents in such cleaners, for many reasons, one of which is improper containment of vapors...you don't want such chemicals evaporating into your breathing space.
There are enough proper solutions available for the average job.
But you may consider loosening of shutter screws as a hazard to watch for. Maybe I'm talking from my armchair and people do it all the time without trouble. The one I used was pretty hefty.Maybe it would heist diamonds from rings put in there too.
08-21-2005, 12:35 PM
check out Rio Grande jewelry supplies. They have lots of ultrasonic cleaning solutions, some of which are used for watch crystals and such. Generally the ones with a more acid base will harm lenses. The ones that are ammonia based should be safe. Then there are those that are safe enough for pearls, that is really the kind you want.
Acid should be "safer" than ammonia on lens glass - glass dissolves in strong alkali!
08-21-2005, 01:20 PM
Summers makes UV-cure lens cement and sell both ultrasonic baths and cleaning solutions: