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Old 02-22-07, 09:01 AM   #1
literider
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Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner on Chains

Has anyone ever thought/tried about doing this?
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Old 02-22-07, 09:20 AM   #2
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I've heard of people using an ultrasonic cleaner on bike parts. Not sure about jewlery cleaners per say though. Could be a capacity, size, issue?
My first thought on the matter is why bother? Some mineral spirits in a plastic bottle, drop in chain, install lid and shake. Drain and done.
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Old 02-22-07, 09:25 AM   #3
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I tired a water pic once and it worked really well; but was time consuming and messy. The messy part is easily fixable.

I had cleaned the chain really well, but there was still some grit in some areas, so I used the water pic to finish the job. I was cleaning it above and beyond so I could take the photo below of my bike.

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Old 02-22-07, 09:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by literider
Has anyone ever thought/tried about doing this?
I've read/heard about some who immerse the chain in their favorite solvent, then set the container on top of the washing machine for one full wash cycle for the agitation effect. Clean your clothes and chain! I'm not sure if this is more urban myth or not. I assume it can't hurt to try, but remember, your mileage may vary. I'd be afraid of the container walking itself off of the washing machine during the cycle.
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Old 02-22-07, 09:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by literider
Has anyone ever thought/tried about doing this?
And be sure to use only watchmaker grade solvent and then lube with only SPERM WHALE OIL or your chain will be destroyed!

Sorry to pick on you but it just seems that people here go overboard with chain maintenance.

My last chain lasted about 2k miles and was still within the wear limit when I changed it. My maintenance consists of wiping the chain with a rag everytime I ride, then applying about 2 tbls of motor oil to the chain and then wiping the excess off. The whole process takes less than 2 minutes. I never take the chain off and dunk it in solvent.

Is my chain as spotless as the one in the picture? No, but its good enough for government work.
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Old 02-22-07, 12:24 PM   #6
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...

My last chain lasted about 2k miles and was still within the wear limit when I changed it. My maintenance consists of wiping the chain with a rag everytime I ride, then applying about 2 tbls of motor oil to the chain and then wiping the excess off. The whole process takes less than 2 minutes. I never take the chain off and dunk it in solvent.

Is my chain as spotless as the one in the picture? No, but its good enough for government work.
Hey San Rensho! Weren't you running an experiment with chain wear on a clean vs. dirty chain? How did that turn out? Or are the results not in yet?
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Old 02-22-07, 12:40 PM   #7
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Hey San Rensho! Weren't you running an experiment with chain wear on a clean vs. dirty chain? How did that turn out? Or are the results not in yet?
Thanks for remembering, but I decided not to do it.

I started to question my motives, that I was just doing the experiment to prove the point that people go way overboard as far as chain maintenance goes. I realized that even if my theory was correct, that repeated cleaning in a solvent bath has little or no effect on chain life, I wasn't going to change anyones mind and people were still going to believe what they wanted to believe and keep on doing what they were comfortable with.

All I know is that I get good chain life, and spend minimal time maintaining my bike and riding more, using my very minimal method of wiping the chain, oiling and wiping.

But from an academic point of view, you are welcome to try my experiment and post the results.
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Old 02-22-07, 01:42 PM   #8
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Most jewelry cleaners are about 40% ammonia & the rest distilled water. Make your own if it will work.
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Old 02-22-07, 01:44 PM   #9
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Call me crazy, but switching chains once, perhaps twice a year is a lower personal cost than constant degunking, lubing, or ultrasonic bathing.
It's just a chain.
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Old 02-22-07, 02:10 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by literider
Has anyone ever thought/tried about doing this?

Yeah, we talked about this in one of the many chain-lube threads, half a year ago.

I was and am a strong advocate of ultrasonic cleaning for bicycle parts, especialy chains.

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Old 02-22-07, 02:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by San Rensho
And be sure to use only watchmaker grade solvent and then lube with only SPERM WHALE OIL or your chain will be destroyed!
What's this obsession you have with sperm whale oil?

As a joke, it's really old and b u s t e d.



Joke busted.
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Old 02-22-07, 02:20 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Moochers_Dad
I used the water pic to finish the job. I was cleaning it above and beyond so I could take the photo below of my bike.



Holy crap! Not only is that a beautifully cleaned drivetrain, but that's a beautiful picture as well! Are you a professional photographer by any chance?
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Old 02-22-07, 03:05 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
Yeah, we talked about this in one of the many chain-lube threads, half a year ago.

I was and am a strong advocate of ultrasonic cleaning for bicycle parts, especialy chains.
I have experimented with ultrasound cleaners, and have noticed that they seem to damage plated surfaces, or at least remove plating. Having noticed it in person I did a little research and found out that this is in fact well documented; I'm not sure that it is a real problem with bicycle parts. One thing for sure, the ultrasound tank will get the parts clean.
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Old 02-22-07, 03:26 PM   #14
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^ +1

I tried this and was not particularly impressed with ultrasonic cleaning per se.

The absolute best chain cleaning method I have used is to remove the chain, contain it in something soft i.e. an old sock, and run it on a high temperature wash in the laundry machine. Avoid combining the wash with white shirts . Note: your significant other may not be as tolerant of this practice as mine...

Second best is to remove chain, don some rubber gloves, apply neat dish detergent to the chain & work, rub and flex the neat detergent into the parts before rinsing thoroughly with hot water.

I used to use mineral spirits, but it is a pain to use, keep and dispose of it, and the results are not significantly better than detergents IMHO.

Cheers,

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Old 02-22-07, 06:39 PM   #15
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I purchased one of those ebay ultrasonic cleaners, the 1400 ml model. I've had it about a year and use it all the time. I use Simple Green as my solvent and find I save money with the ultrasonic unit because I can cut the solution 50/50 with water and achieve the same results as full strength Simple Green in the old coke bottle method. Also, the ultrasound cleans part I can't fit in the coke bottle .
I flip bikes occaisionally so I've cleaned a lot of old parts in the ultrasound including plated derailers. I've never had plating come off in the ultrasound.
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Old 02-27-07, 04:09 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
I was and am a strong advocate of ultrasonic cleaning for bicycle parts, especialy chains.
I haven't done it, but I think it's a good idea provided the thing's case would stand up to the solvent used.

(They work great to clean my glasses.)
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Old 02-27-07, 04:19 PM   #17
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Seems like a rather steep investment for little gain.
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Old 02-27-07, 04:38 PM   #18
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As dumb as this sounds. I don't recommend to clean chains...!

Here is why.

AS your chain builds up crap between the links it makes it stiff. You ride and strectch the chain.

Then all of us have been there. You clean the chain, it sparkles but now it's very loose and jumps.

"Like Dah" The chain has movement again.

I recommend to get an old rag. Squirt the going Chain cleaner or Echo-Tech onto a rag. Grab the chain tight with the rag. 3 full back spins and the chain has gone around once. Clean to about 80% and then leave it alone. You can clean your cassette to eating of the floor clean. That's OK

and yes I tried it. Popular in the 70's
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Old 02-28-07, 03:56 AM   #19
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Seems like a rather steep investment for little gain.
+1

For routine maintanence it's a huge investment. If you are a shop or clean and sell bikes it's a real time saver. I first became aware of them in the firearms world. They use 3'-4' long tanks for rifle actions. They are amazing cleaners. There is no way the old Coke bottle method cleans as well. I challenge anyone to clean their chain in a bottle then take it to a sonic cleaner. A lot of hidden grime will come out that supposedly clean chain.


Tim
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Old 03-01-07, 07:37 AM   #20
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+1

For routine maintanence it's a huge investment. If you are a shop or clean and sell bikes it's a real time saver. I first became aware of them in the firearms world. They use 3'-4' long tanks for rifle actions. They are amazing cleaners. There is no way the old Coke bottle method cleans as well. I challenge anyone to clean their chain in a bottle then take it to a sonic cleaner. A lot of hidden grime will come out that supposedly clean chain.


Tim
Could you post some link to different models? How much do they cost, where do you get them?
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Old 03-01-07, 07:42 AM   #21
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I hope you can use them on chains because I certainly wouldn't use them for any fine jewelery.
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Old 03-01-07, 05:09 PM   #22
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Harbor Freight



(I wonder how the car cover got into that result set?)
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Old 03-01-07, 09:18 PM   #23
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Although this isn't the firm I purchased mine from, the 93035 model for $59.99 is the one I purchased. It has held up well. Someone asked about solvents and thats a good point. I use Simple Green cut 50/50 with water. I never use kerosene or organic solvents in the ultrasound. I'm not sure if they will damage the unit or not, I just don't want to chance it.
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Old 03-01-07, 09:26 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by cs1
+1

For routine maintanence it's a huge investment. If you are a shop or clean and sell bikes it's a real time saver.
Tim
+1, We have 9 bikes we ride. Two MTBs for my older son and I, three road bikes and 2 MUP bikes plus my younger son's beater and my beater. In addition, I occaisionally flip a bike or two, i.e. working on bikes is a hobby for me.
I like the ultrasound because I can put the parts in, hit the button and work on something else. But if I only owned one or two bikes, it would not be worth the investment. The ultrasound does NOT clean parts better than I can with a tooth brush and pan of Simple Green, it's just a heckuvalot more efficient. And I'd like to find time to actually ride my bikes instead of work on them.
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Old 03-02-07, 03:38 AM   #25
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The ultrasound does NOT clean parts better than I can with a tooth brush and pan of Simple Green, it's just a heckuvalot more efficient. And I'd like to find time to actually ride my bikes instead of work on them.
Have to agree. Naturally, you have to wipe off all the major grease and gunk before you drop the part in the cleaner. Where the ultrasonic cleaner shines is in getting the little places clean. It is much better at getting grit out of the pivot joints and places you can't reach with your tooth brush.

The only thing you have to watch is, when the parts come out of the tank, they have no lube on them at all. The vibration and cleaning fluid get every last bit of oil or grease out of it.

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