Hornady ultrasonic cleaning


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theshephard
September 20, 2010, 03:43 PM
This may be old hat, but thought I'd post anyway. A few weeks ago I bought the Hornady ultrasonic cleaner. It's really the identical cleaner from Gemoro that you can buy for $70 from any jewelry supply store. For example:
http://www.nationaljewelerssupplies.com/ultrasonic-cleaners/SK1785.html

Two design problems you'll note off the bat - there is no switch, it needs to be unplugged to be powered off, and the basket could do with a handle. I've seen these issues pointed out by others, and just want to confirm that they are annoyances, but minor. If you're at all handy you can wire up your own inline switch onto the power cord. I find a chopstick works great for getting the basket out. :rolleyes:

So, living in Alaska, I've not been able to find Hornady's companion cleaning solution for sale. It's classified as a solvent, so it "can't" be shipped by air and the local stores don't seem to stock it. I read all the recipes on 6mmBR.com, which seemed like more work than using a tumbler, so was curious about what simple solutions could be used.

I had some Orange Peelz bike degreaser in my garage. Tried this diluted and straight. Straight, it discolored the brass, giving it a nice green patina, but not what I wanted. Diluted, it worked okay, cleaning the primer pocket and coming out looking better than nothing. Not good enough though.
Tried Citranox, and that seems to work pretty good so far. The pics below are after putting the shell through two 480 sec. cycles at about a 1:75 diluted solution. Basically mixed 8 cups of distilled water with five teaspoons of Citranox. I did not really degas the solution, just ran it by itself through one 480 sec. cycle and then started cleaning. So, if degassing improves anything, it should give better results tonight if anything.
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_-FxBCO6mgRY/TJcRmW0cI5I/AAAAAAAACmw/mhK5VzH8NA0/IMAG0125.jpg
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_-FxBCO6mgRY/TJcRmX7PB6I/AAAAAAAACm0/VwJP4U4eJNk/IMAG0126.jpg
So not bad, eh? I'm going to try three cycles at 480 tonight to see if the inside gets a little cleaner. The inside was noticeably better than the the uncleaned shell, but not nearly as shiny inside as the new-in-box Nosler brass. Also, you can see on the unfired round that there's some annealing discoloration around the neck and shoulder, and that seems a little stubborn.
After taking the shell out of the solution, I wipe it off with a paper towel/rag, and to rinse I use some tap water with baking soda added in just as a good luck charm. I'm not sure I need to do that, but it doesn't hurt to neutralize.
I have not tried a batch of 20+ shells yet, and that will be the 'acid' test to see if this works for quantity and thereby results in some time and effort savings. Will try that either tonight or tomorrow.

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rattletrap1970
September 20, 2010, 03:49 PM
A guy on one of these forums did a study of several different cleaning solutions. The best performer was a 50/50 mix of water and white vingar. Add 1 drop of Dawn dish detergent for each cup of cleaner. Neutralize with a bit of baking soda in water, then dry thoroughly. I put the brass in a cut-off pant leg from a pair of jeans, tie the ends and toss it in the dryer (with some old towels so the dryer doesn't get beat up). Then I tumble overnight.

theshephard
September 20, 2010, 03:57 PM
Yeah, I think I might have read that post at some point. I think I remember that it cleaned well but didn't do much for a shine. I assume you just tumble in corncob to polish 'er up afterward? EDIT: *you probably meant tumble in the drier overnight rather than in a tumbler after the drier*
I was thinking of using the oven for drying rather than the drier. Just bought one of those fancy rocket ship driers and it's still enjoying some respect for its form before being downgraded to the utilitarian role it will inevitably achieve. :D

essayons21
September 20, 2010, 07:51 PM
I combine 50/50 water and vinegar, then a good squirt of dawn dish soap. Run for as many cycles as necessary until its as clean as I want. Distilled water with baking soda will shine them up quite a bit, as will tumbling, but I really just care about getting the brass clean.

Combining the vinegar and soap seems to clean faster than running them in separate cycles. Also, presoaking brass in a mixture of soap and vinegar while the previous cycle runs also speeds up the process.

I dry the brass in the oven at 200 degrees for about 20-30 mins.

The pictures with Citranox look pretty good, I may give that a shot. Their website shows a Ph of 2.5 for a 1% solution, which is at the low (more acidic) end of vinegar. I would worry about making the solution any more acidic.

GW Staar
September 20, 2010, 09:10 PM
Thanks for sharing...epecially the cheaper source!!!

I've never tried it but you might try a driveway detergent like Dep or equiv.

Anybody try things like Oven Off? I don't have a sonic yet, but I will! And what about carburetor cleaners? If I'm all wet sound off.;)

rattletrap1970
September 21, 2010, 08:48 AM
[quote]Yeah, I think I might have read that post at some point. I think I remember that it cleaned well but didn't do much for a shine. I assume you just tumble in corncob to polish 'er up afterward? EDIT: *you probably meant tumble in the drier overnight rather than in a tumbler after the drier*
I was thinking of using the oven for drying rather than the drier. Just bought one of those fancy rocket ship driers and it's still enjoying some respect for its form before being downgraded to the utilitarian role it will inevitably achieve. [quote]

No, I dry in the dryer till the brass is dry, then Tumble overnight in my tumbler. The brass comes out like mirrors inside and out.

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