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I've got a serious amount of cleaning to do on my restomod project (RRC). All sorts of parts from engine parts to structural stuff. What do you folks use to clean parts effectively? I've considered a parts washer but cant justify the cost (presuming the cheap Clarke ones are rubbish of course).

And, no, the wife wont permit me using the Dishwasher...

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I was gonna say the dishwasher, a well remembered ex member used to wait for his missus to go out and clean all the parts he wanted 😂🤣😂

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My parts washer looks pretty much like this £120 one from SGS apart from being bright red rather than black https://www.sgs-engineering.com/spw200-230v-floor-standing-parts-washer?gclid=CjwKCAjwy7CKBhBMEiwA0Eb7aqsVJu7SXe3SB_SgH9NeIVMwplZY0Szx78uoibHVnJg4xiCFMxtxqRoC-YEQAvD_BwE .

Still works after 45 or so years of occasional use. Being red it might well have come from Machine Mart as the ancestor of the current CW1D. Currently £50 more than SGS tho'.

Zoro will sell a Kennedy badged pump unit for £26 + VAT and delivery https://www.zoro.co.uk/shop/cleaning-and-hygiene/cleaning-bath-accessories/replacement-parts-washer-pump/p/ZT1030664X . Not clear how complete it is. Pump only or all the gubbins including switch and flexi spout. If its complete gubbins may be worth rolling your own if you have one of those big plastic boxes to hold the cleaning stuff. If you have to buy a tank can't see DIY being worth it.

The Machine Mart concentrate fluid is pretty effective at 10 to 20 % concentration but best to scrape off the thick grime first. It is said that more aggressive cleaners will eat the innards of the pumps supplied with affordable tanks.

Could always get serious and adapt a machine tool coolant system. But new isn't cheap, pumps are about £100 up. Used harder to find.

Clive

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The Clarkes parts washers aren't that bad actually. We fully equipped a mates workshop in France with stuff from Machine Mart. If you have the space in your workshop, you could always install a second hand dishwasher.....

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i use turps or white spirit for parts and metho for brake parts, sometimes i use the spay on degreaser to, and for heavy covered areas use a wire brush first then degrease.
yes i have a cheap parts washer as well

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Thanks all. How about big stuff like engine block, axles, diffs etc?

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Screwfix no nonsense heavy duty degreaser and a pressure washer.

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For the small stuff I use a Clarkes (rubbish) wash tank that works pretty well. For small but serious stuff I use a (rubbish) Clarkes blast tank which also works pretty well connected to a (rubbish) AirMaster compressor which also works pretty well. For the really big stuff I use a (rubbish) Simac steam cleaner that also works really well. The drive then gets all the crud washed off it with the (rubbish) Karcher pressure washer that, wait for it, works really well. Brake cleaner is used as the final rinse for ‘sensitive’ stuff. Meths is used for stubborn interior stains before the application of proprietary cleaners (smells so much better than turps, white spirit or petrol).

These are all cheap, some would say value for money, items that do the job. Sure, if I was using them every day as part of my employment I would use stuff of better quality and, of course, more expensive. However, for home DIY this cheap stuff is perfectly adequate and not so rubbish as some would have you believe and makes jobs a lot, lot easier.

I also use citrus degreaser in the wash tank as it can be disposed of very easily and legally and isn’t a fire risk unlike some of the exotic potions one can use.

PS: I am allowed to use the kitchen dishwasher for cleaning of the EAS valve block body parts when I refurbish them and an oven for drying them!

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Wonder how well a shower pump would do as a power wash / parts washer substitute.

Used ones seem to be cheap enough (£10-£20) in the usual Facebook, GumTree, local free ad papers or even E-Bay sources. Proper power wash lances can also be found cheaply, or even free, as the inexpensive power washers are less than durable so the pump dies before the accessories do. Or possibly those cheap hose pressure intensifier nozzles from the "cheap import tat" online suppliers actually do work. I have a design for one that reliable sources say really does go well, reportedly lethal on the end of a power washer (!), so its not impossible.

Like all these make do, mod and mend deals it does depend on what stuff you have in your "will come in handy box(es)". Anything beyond fairly minimal buying and careful choice from inexpensive new offerings comes out cheaper and works well enough. As I know to my cost having frequently spent much time effort and creativity to save about thruppence three farthing over just buying something.

I sold my industrial standard Kew pressure washer and got a "£50" jobbie from LiDL. The Kew was significantly better but the LiDL cheapy works well enough and is far less cumbersome. Only place it seriously looses out is the biannual heavy patio cleaning session. No substitute for super pressure and lots of flow when shifting the slippery green stuff.

However when it comes to sandblasting the inexpensive kit really has to be considered unsatisfactory and makes even the simplest job hard work. Blasting needs plenty of air and a decent extractor system on the cabinet to get the job done in reasonable time. I have a pro Guyson cabinet with the proper extractor so I can see what I'm doing. My Hydrovane 502 makes 10 cu ft (nominal) of air and barely keeps up with the demands of the smallest air nozzle. Small nozzle makes for slow work. One day I'll upgrade the workshop electrics, drag the (freebie) Hydrovane 504 out of storage and fit a bigger air nozzle. 20 cfm is exponentially better than 10 for this sort of thing.

At least the Hydrovane is quiet. Just a gentle buzz from the other side of a chipboard partition wall. The racket from a modern, high speed, DIY rated reciprocator on similar duties would be pure torture. Even with my crappy hearing. The hefty cast iron Atlas Copco Vee twin running at 1,000 rpm that preceded the Hydrovane was way quieter than anything modern but still not exactly a comfortable noise level.

Clive

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For very small parts, I have got an ultrasonic bath that I can use with either warm water/detergent or isopropyl alcohol (IPA). It works very well but only for small bits and pieces. Anything larger goes in the dishwasher when she is out. I set it on intense. After the cycle I put another tablet in the empty machine to make sure it is clean. She is then none the wiser. Valve blocks and brake parts mainly. Nothing big.

During the lockdown I revamped the air compressor in my workshop. It is a Wolf twin cylinder 14 cfm with a 3 hp motor on it. I have just upped the pressure to 150psi and fitted a new retractable air hose. I have got a blast cabinet and I have previously messed about with silica sand, glass beads and and even baking soda blasting. I do it out in the garden. The blast cabinet is portable and goes on top of a B&D workmate. The air system wasn't up it, but now I have rejigged it, I am planning to use it again. The ceramic nozzles seem to wear out fast as well.

I don't use Gunk or other engine degreasers as there is nowhere for the water to run off. I have to do it out in the drive. I generally use rubber gloves and a piece of terry towel soaked in petrol for wiping oil stains off the underneath of the car.

Only other thing to add is I subscribe to a few YouTube channels and one guy recommended G101 detergent for cleaning parts. I bought a 5L container but have hesitated so far to use it on aluminium parts. It is strongly alkaline.

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Dave

150 psi is way too much for blasting. I run 80 psi on advice from an ex-Guyson engineer. Works better than the 120 that my late mate Andy (who used to do blasting inside big tanks and exterior work for a living) advised. Higher pressure just makes more dust in the cabinet and breaks the abrasive media down faster.

I'd be seriously worried at the amount of fine broken down media floating around outside ready to breathe if using high pressure with the common bench-top cabinet. At 120 psi I used to get some abrasive fines residue drifting out of the arm seals which made for a messy "dirty shop space". Having dropped the pressure finally got round to re-working the extractor system so its as the maker intended rather than with Andy advised "it will be fine" longer ducting its all amazingly better and cleaner.

My Guyson nozzles last well.

Having souped up your Wolf to 150 psi do get religious about blowing the tank down after every use. Much more water ends up in the tank at higher pressures and tanks on these import "what badge shall we put on todays run" ones tend to not only worryingly thin but also simple bare, rust ready, steel inside. Or at least the one I refused to weld repair was. Wonder if you can Waxoyl them inside?

Clive

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Thanks for the advice Clive. I will turn the regulator down as you suggest. I also wear a mask and goggles.

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if your looking for a pump for parts washing, the pump in my parts washer is identical to a submersible pond pump with a filter gause over the inlet, in the event the pump stops i will be purchasing another pond pump (the same as used for water features and gold fish)
PS to run a sand blaster even a small one you need 20cfm air compressor or you will be struggling to use it . i have noticed that their is a blaster that goes on the end of a hi pressure water blaster . i think its called a wet blaster, only seen them on the computer some where.

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Although 20 cu ft min of air is a comfortable recommendation for abrasive blasting you can get very satisfactory results with less if the air nozzle is suitable size and the blast nozzle itself not too big.

I have a pdf of the official Guyson air supply recommendations for their range of air and blast nozzles. Can't figure out how to post it but PM me if you'd like a copy.

Summarising at the small end -
A 2 mm bore air nozzle requires 3 cfm at 30 psi rising to 7.5 cfm at 80 psi.
A 2.4 mm bore air nozzle (which I use) needs 4 cfm at 30 psi rising to 11 cfm at 80 psi.
A 2.8 mm bore air nozzle requires 6 cfm at 30 psi rising to 16 cfm at 80 psi.
A 3.2 mm bore air nozzle requires 7 cfm at 30 psi rising to 17 cfm at 80 psi.

Blast nozzle sizes arent so critical. Important thing is that the nozzle is large enough not to choke the flow. Undersize, or close to minimum size, blast nozzles wear fast. I'm using a 5 mm nozzle which is really too large for the 2.4 mm air nozzle but it works well enough.

Again summarising at the small end -
A 3 mm bore nozzle accepts 7 cfm at 30 psi rising to 21 cfm at 80 psi.
A 5 mm bore nozzle (which I use) accepts 19 cfm at 30 psi rising to 48 cfm at 80 psi.
A 6 mm bore accepts 34 cfm at 30 psi rising to 80 cfm at 80 psi.

Most low end blast kit seems to come with 6 mm blast nozzles and 3 mm air nozzles. So air nozzle is oversized for small compressors. Hence the common "you need 20 cfm" comments. Usually the syphon / pick up arrangements are undersized which doesn't help.

Clive

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You don’t need 20cfm on a small blast cabinet. Mine requires just 5cfm at 80psi to run adequately. Indeed the blast cabinet is not to be run at more than 80psi. My small compressor can supply ~8cfm at 80psi and it’s absolutely fine for small jobs.

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Garvin
What breed is your small blast cabinet?

It would be helpful for folk to know a reliable source for one which comes with a properly balanced set-up of air nozzle, blast nozzle and gun throat size to work with smaller compressors.

Seems that some have such a poor mix of components that it's amazing that anything actually comes out of the business end. Of course I only tend to see the bad ones "Why won't it work..".

Clive

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It’s a Clarke (Machine Mart) blast cabinet attached to an AirMaster compressor. Just set the compressor output at 80psi and, quite literally, away you go with the supplied nozzles with the cabinet. However, the choice of material to blast with will make a difference so a bit of experimenting is needed but it’s hardly onerous to screw another nozzle on and have a go. I am currently using Sealey Glass Shot Blasting Beads. They are quite aggressive as most of what I clean is hard metal car components that don’t need a nice smooth finish. There are a multitude of lesser ‘soda’ type materials that are somewhat less aggressive for a better finish.

Apropos of nothing in particular I have brass door hinges around the house and they always tarnish and during redecoration I like to clean them. Used to be a complete PITA but the blast cabinet brings them up nice and shiny with next to no effort. I also now lacquer them before refitting to keep the shine more permanent.