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Parts Washers?

Discussion in 'The Tool Shed' started by mofugly13, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    I have decided that it would be nice to have a solvent parts washer. I'm tired of going through cans of carb cleaner and engine degreaser. Kragen has an OK looking 3.5 gallon unit that goes on sale for $39.00 or so from time to time, but the fine print on the box says it's for water based solvents only. I like the barrel mount ones, and ebay has some good deals, but the shipping always kills the 'deal'. I'm just looking to clean small to medium sized parts, not blocks or heads, the biggest thing might be a junkyard diff. carrier, and of course I'd use it for cleaning my 'utility' and 'project' firearms, SKS and whatnot. I'm also thinking of finding a solvent pump and trying to fab up something of my own. I'm sure I could scrounge up one of those mini-barrels somewhere. I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on parts washers. What's a good size for a small home shop? Are the ones that use water based cleaners any good for the extreme layers of greasy grime we encounter with used parts?
     
  2. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    feel free to come check mine out sometime and maybe take a pic or right down dimensions so you can make one for yourself.

    I will keep an ear open though because from time to time i hear about someone selling a small one just like you're looking for.
     
  3. camiswelding

    camiswelding 1/2 ton status

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    the water based cleaners dont clean... and solvent is really toxic...

    I use jet a and water in mine... the jet a has a good cleaning action... and doesnt mix with the water... it stays up top and the crud falls to the bottom in the water...
    the jet a leaves a slight film to prevent parts from rusting,,, and wipes off easily... and isnt smelly like solvent.. or as explosive,,,
    I also put a filiter on my machine... so far I have the same batch thats three years old and it is still clean

    6 gallon home depot bucket is a cheap way to go... put the parts in.. put the lid on .. drive around for awhile.. works on mild to moderate crud... heavy crud requires scraping,, and shouldnt be going into the tank anyway
    (Im lucky.. I have a steam cleaner,,, and it does 95 percent of my stuff)
     
  4. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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  5. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    Yeah, that thing is badass. I don't have any room for something like that.
     
  6. Muddytazz

    Muddytazz 1 ton status

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    About a couple months ago I found at a garage sale a used parts washer that napa used to sell. Pump worked, only problem was the drain had rusted out. Bought it for $5.00, took it home and welded in a new drain and now i have a perfect parts washer :thumb:
     
  7. 3 on the tree

    3 on the tree 1/2 ton status

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    Go buy a palstic deep/laundry sink from Home Depot. Like 60 bucks with the legs and drain line. Small radiator hose from the drain down to a 5 gallon bucket filled with solvent. One of those cheapie buzzbox elec fuelpumps, hooked to a 10 amp charger.
     
  8. botboy

    botboy 1/2 ton status

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    The parts washer I've got uses a cheaper aquarium powerhead type pump hooked to one of those flexible tubes like nice mills use to spray coolant. The power-head type pumps already take 120v as is, and keep the solution insulated from the motor - no brushes to start flammable parts washing solutions on fire. I know axe-man (a kick-ass local surplus shop) carries them for around $10/ea.
     
  9. Leper

    Leper 1/2 ton status

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    I have one of the 39.99 ones. I run a 50/50 mix of water and simple green. It doesn't clean anything.
     
  10. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Home brewed..

    My older brother made a parts washer from an empty 15 gallon laquer thinner drum I got from a body shop's junkpile,a 12V boat bilge pump,all plastic and submersible..and an old stainless steel sink and faucet from the metal pile at the landfill..

    I had doubts about the bilge pump holding up for very long,but he built it in the early 1990's,and its still working!..he used "Saftey Kleen" solvent ,same stuff they used where he works..the company is only 5 miles away from me,and their solvent works as good as kerosene,but has low odor,doesn't evaporate,and they will re-cycle it ..he also used the brush with the hose attached like the "real" parts washers used..runs the pump off a 12V converter or battery charger..it works very well for something that cost about 20 bucks to build!..has stood the test of time too..:crazy:
     
  11. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    That's the ticket. I need to find one of those 15 gallon barrels, but I was wondering what I was going to use for the top/basin, and the SS sink sounds like just the ticket. I can get a solvent pump for about $20. I guess I'll start getting parts together.
     
  12. afroman006

    afroman006 1/2 ton status

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    Mmk check out afro's idea. I have not read up on the subject much but I do know I deffinately want to either build or buy a parts washer because I am also tired of buying cans of carb cleaner, plus I am fixing to do a frame off restoration on a CJ5 (with many other vehicles in the future) so I'll be cleaning alot of stuff.

    It seems like "all" you need for a parts washer is

    Solvent reservoir
    Tub
    Pump
    Hose or some way to get solvent from pump to object being cleaned

    Now I was thinking, having a larger washer certainly wouldnt hurt, so would it be ok to make one out of a 55 gallon drum? I see that commercially made ones have lids, and gather that the lid is so you can cover the tub in case of a fire, I assume to smother the flame. It doesnt seem like a lid would be hard to fab at all for the drum, why not use the other half of the drum and make it look like a bbq pit? Obviously legs would be easy to make and I might try the fish tank pump routine, or even a bilge pump if I feel like splurging. What to use for the reservoir? Would a 5 gallon bucket be enough or will I need a larger capacity? A 10 or 15 gallon barrel of some kind? I have a ****load of stuff at my shop so I'm prety sure I can scrounge this whole shebang up for next to nothing. What kind of filter do most people use? How well filtered does the solvent have to be? I figure for the nozzle I can use a garden hose and sprayer head, althogh I dont know how well the fish pump would like pressure building up when you are not spraying something, maybe just make some kind of nozzle that is always open.
     
  13. 8_YOUR_H2

    8_YOUR_H2 1/2 ton status

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    I called the local bulk oil wholesaler and got a 30 gal drum for $10. I think a 55 gallon was 15.
     
  14. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    super size it!...

    You could use a 275 gallon heating oil tank cut in half and hinged together too,like a pig roaster!..just think--you could dunk a complete Dana 60 in it,hubs and all!...:D ...take a LOT of solvent to fill it though..:doah: ..

    A 55 gallon drum is big enough for most parts..I fix a lot of small engines,so I used a 15 gallon drum--but no pump on mine,I just use a parts cleaning brush by hand,and blow dry the parts with an air hose..I used mineral spirits as a cheap solvent...

    On my brothers parts washer we made, we used a brush that had a hose nipple on the handle end made for a factory built parts washer..(Saftey-Kleen one..you can buy the brushes from them or other suppliers)...we simply put an old nylon stocking over the drain in the sink to filter the large chunks of crap out..they sell screens that fit in the drain too,cheap at Lowe's or Home Depot...we mounted the pump 2" off the bottom of the barrel to avoid sucking dirt in,and put window screen under the pump too..


    You'll probably have to leave the solvent "running" constantly..with the pump running,and a valve shut off,our bilge pump built up enough pressure to blow the hose off,and it made a huge mess..:doah: ..
     
  15. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    I plan on using a foot switch when I fab mine together, for hands free on/off action.
     
  16. afroman006

    afroman006 1/2 ton status

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  17. hatchetjack

    hatchetjack Registered Member

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    Mine is a Carolina (from Sam's) set on a 30 gallon drum. It has a pump, brush, fire-lid, etc. I use mineral spirits as a solvent, best i've found, but you should wear solvent-proof gloves.
     
  18. rdn2blazer

    rdn2blazer 1 ton status Premium Member

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    that is the same one I have and now selling, it is a great washer.
     
  19. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Do you need to 40 gal of solvent to run it?
     
  20. afroman006

    afroman006 1/2 ton status

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    Dont know, I know next to nothing about these things and am just kinda wingin it as I go.
     

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