Parts washers

Hi folks,
I'm thinking I might get a parts washer. Does anyone own one of the cheap imported machines which sit on a bench? The ones which are sold
under brands like Clarke for 30-40? I was just wondering if they're any good. What's the build quality like? Is the gauge of steel used heavy enough? And does the jet of solvent have enough speed to blast away dirt, or is it just a dribble? I'm guessing it's a dribble, but I'm not sure.
I'm usually against buying Clarke stuff but I haven't seen many second hand industrial parts washers for sale, and I don't want anything too large.
Any thoughts would be welcome.
Best wishes,
Chris
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Chris,
I have one of the Clarke bench top washers, it has a good pump on it and cleans stationary engine parts for me satisfactorily.
Martin P
Hi folks,
I'm thinking I might get a parts washer. Does anyone own one of the cheap imported machines which sit on a bench? The ones which are sold under brands like Clarke for 30-40? I was just wondering if they're any good. What's the build quality like? Is the gauge of steel used heavy enough? And does the jet of solvent have enough speed to blast away dirt, or is it just a dribble? I'm guessing it's a dribble, but I'm not sure.
I'm usually against buying Clarke stuff but I haven't seen many second hand industrial parts washers for sale, and I don't want anything too large.
Any thoughts would be welcome.
Best wishes,
Chris
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Same here, Clarkes benchtop parts washer does a great job on all the engine parts I need to clean.
Joules
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Hi folks,
I'm thinking I might get a parts washer. Does anyone own one of the cheap imported machines which sit on a bench? The ones which are sold under brands like Clarke for 30-40? I was just wondering if they're any good. What's the build quality like? Is the gauge of steel used heavy enough? And does the jet of solvent have enough speed to blast away dirt, or is it just a dribble? I'm guessing it's a dribble, but I'm not sure.
I'm usually against buying Clarke stuff but I haven't seen many second hand industrial parts washers for sale, and I don't want anything too large.
Any thoughts would be welcome.
Best wishes,
Chris
Two problems with them. The tray and pump take up so much room you can't get an engine block or anything else large in the tank. I have a floor standing Clarke one bought many years ago and modified it to take a 25 litre plastic drum under the tank, drilled a hole in the tank to drain into that and rigged up a car fuel injection pump and fuel filter which sits next to the plastic drum. Now I have the whole tank space for parts. Also you don't really want the solvent full of dirt and crap in the same tank along with the parts you're trying to clean. You could very easily buy a benchtop one which is cheaper and have the plastic drum under the bench. There's certainly nothing wrong with the steel, the lid or anything else but I guess by the time I'd finished my mods all I'd actually bought was a tank and I could probably have got an old loft tank for less than that.
I think in future if I ever did it all again I'd buy a large galvanised steel or plastic tank of some sort and rig my own pump, filter and solvent drum up. A suds pump from a lathe would be ideal.
Paraffin is as good as anything for solvent btw. Pennies per litre at your local bulk oil supplier. The pukka stuff smells nicer but costs a fortune and doesn't do a better job. -- Dave Baker Puma Race Engines www.pumaracing.co.uk Camp USA engineer minces about for high performance specialist (4,4,7)
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Jim Lugsden
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Thanks for the advice. I think on the whole I am a little discouraged from buying a Clarke by Dave and Jim's comments. I must admit that I'm a fussy customer when it comes to machines.
I can see two potential problems. The first is part size. If my parts washers can't clean something 12" x 4" x 4", say, it's going to be of limited use. I'm not sure if the small parts washers would take something of this size. The second is that sometimes I need to clean absolutely filthy parts, and other times I need to wash fairly clean things which need to be super clean. So I need a machine which allows the crud to settle and doesn't disturb it.
Thanks for the opinions. Any more thoughts?
Best wishes,
Chris
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discouraged
I'm
parts
of
allows
45 gallon drum with a heavy mesh on top and splash catcher to the rear with a second drum as fluid reservoir with separate pump and filter - you could even switch between different fluids with simple manual valves and two reservoirs. Scale down if pressed for space (who isn't !!)
AWEM
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On 1 Dec 2006 10:29:10 -0800, "Christopher Tidy"

Do it for a living and you soon loose the fussy bit <g>

Based on 45 gallon drum, scale to size. Get the type where the lid comes off. Chuck two plaggie milk crates in [ remove milk bottles first ] Fill with water to 3/4 the way up the crates. Place el cheapo machine mart submersible pump on top of second milk crate. Drop another milk crate on top. Fit mesh disk to sit on third milk crate and fill with paraffin to just below mesh.
Switch on and you get clean paraffin coming out for washing, all the crud, shite, swarf and entrails drops to the bottom and the paraffin floats back up leaving the heavier deposits to settle out. Result is paraffin last for ages and when the drum is that heavy you can't shift it due to all the crap, pump the paraffin out, remove top crate and pump, then either clean it out or mark the drum Diesel Fuel and leave it on the drive and the gypo's will pinch it and take it away........................
Then take new drum, chuck two plaggie milk crates in.................................................... -- Regards,
John Stevenson Nottingham, England.
Visit the new Model Engineering adverts page at:- http://www.homeworkshop.org.uk /
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That's the advantage of a separate solvent drum. I put the outlet from mine about 4 inches from the bottom so the crud had plenty of room to settle below it. I did run a filter but found it to be not really be necessary with this system plus it blocked up too often and also reduces the pump flow. Each time I renew the solvent there's an inch of caked debris down there to be cleaned out. However there's no escaping that really filthy parts will spoil the solvent quite rapidly so you need a pre-cleaning tank as well as the main one. A simple paraffin soak bath will do to brush the worst of the oil and grease off before things go into the 'clean' cleaning tank. A pressure washer also helps to pre-clean things.
The other thing I have for engine parts is a cold soak decarbonising tank with 75 litres of proprietory chemical in it. Big enough to submerge any cylinder head or 4 pot engine block. A nasty brew of methylene chloride, acid and other solvents which gets rid of paint, baked on carbon, oil, grease etc. It isn't cheap at 80 per 25 litres but it lasts a long time and is the only way to remove baked on deposits. A friend welded it up from mild steel sheet for me many years ago but any steel tank or drinking trough would do fine. Or you can just cut the tops off the drums the stuff comes in and put smaller parts directly into them. After a soak in there the parts go outside to be pressure washed and then a splash in the paraffin tank washes off the water and stops them rusting. -- Dave Baker Puma Race Engines www.pumaracing.co.uk Camp USA engineer minces about for high performance specialist (4,4,7)
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I've wondered about making one, but I have too many projects on the go already at the moment. I'd probably weld up a tank from mild steel plate, although I have seen some very nice galvanised farm feeding troughs which would be ideal. Nice and tough. My dad has one but I think he wants to keep it!
Chris
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What's the name of this decarbonising chemical and where can you/do you source it from?
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wrote:

and
It's so long ago since I bought the last lot I can't remember and I think when I did try to find them again that particular company didn't exist anymore. I'm told Walsall Chemical Co is a good bet though. -- Dave Baker Puma Race Engines www.pumaracing.co.uk Camp USA engineer minces about for high performance specialist (4,4,7)
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Martin Evans wrote:

Miller oils at Boroughbridge do one called Millasol Green (?sp) that I've used for soaking stuff. Kinda like Jizer only more effective and a bit cheaper. Takes carbon deposits if you let it soak (preferably for a day or 2) and then wash off with water (preferably pressurized and hot).
Cheers, Scruff.
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Many years ago (back when farms didn't trade a tractor in coz it needed new tyres) Dad built a good wash down tank out of a salvaged 450 Gallon farm diesel tank, which he acquired for free because the farmer (like most) was too idle/dumb to clean the inevitable condensation, rust, dust, shite and "misc." out when refilling, causing much leakage through rust holes. BTW, this is also a good cheap source of 1/8" plate (sides are best, top & bottom are normally creased/pitted) and red diesel (the 2-3" left in the bottom can be settled, decanted and strained - don't laugh, I've recovered GALLONS of it before now)... Bloody hell, I'm wandering again... Where was I... Ah yes... After draining, Pop cut about 6" off the bottom and flipped what was left over. Using the angle iron bracing from inside the tank, he added a shelf about 12" from the bottom (formerly top), which supports a piece of ex-NCB steel floor grating on top of some fine-ish weldmesh. Ex-hospital bed castors on the bottom, handles and a hinged top (made from the formerly bottom of the tank) completed the carcass. To circulate the paraffin, he used a salvaged semi-rotary pump on a treadle linkage and a discarded DIY-mig welder bottle for an accumulator... feeding out through a garden hose end he pinched off Grandad... Forgot to mention this has had Perkins 540 blocks in it before now... not to mention the odd D-9 Cat motor... This is probably tottally useless for your purposes, but it does illustrate (hopefully) an alternative technological path which may be scaled down to suit. Total cost was about a tenner IIRC... Those tanks also make good storage shacks, bottle banks, skips, log sheds etc. and can be found in sizes from 100 Gallons upwards. Cheers, Scruff.
Christopher Tidy wrote:

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scruffybugger wrote:

<snip>
50kg propane tanks are easy to get hold of.
--
BigEgg
Hack to size. Hammer to fit. Weld to join. Grind to shape. Paint to cover.
  Click to see the full signature.
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