• Upcoming updates
    Over the next couple of weeks we will be performing software updates on the forum. These will be completed in small steps as we upgrade individual software addons. You might occasionally see a maintenance message that will last a few minutes at most.

    If we anticipate an update will take more than a few minutes, we'll put up a notice with estimated time.

    Thank you!

Ultrasonic cleaners

MQ32shooter

NAWCC Member
Jul 7, 2008
868
22
18
75
Garland, Texas
Country
Region
Not sure if this is the correct forum, but looking for some input on Ultrasonics. Trying to find a larger one with a heater. On eBay there are pages upon pages of cheaper ones made in China. Anyone ever owned one of these Chinese models? Is this a perfect example of "you get what you pay for"?
 

nicksey

Registered User
Nov 12, 2009
240
0
16
Cheshire, UK
Country
Region
Replying, partially to keep track of this thread in case it moves, as I am interested in the answer as well.

Additionally, Lets say you have a very dirty movement, with loads of the dreaded wd40 bunging it up and you put the whole movement into the cleaner would it come out better than before you put it in, or worse. I am trying to establish whether attempting to clean an entire movement in this way would actually cause damage to it or would it just, not be as clean as if you had taken it apart first.
 

Steven Thornberry

User Administrator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Jan 15, 2004
25,321
2,478
113
Here and there
Country
I will move this to Horological Tools, where it probably should go.
 

David S

NAWCC Member
Dec 18, 2011
7,215
270
83
Brockville, On Canada
Country
Region
Not sure if this is the correct forum, but looking for some input on Ultrasonics. Trying to find a larger one with a heater. On eBay there are pages upon pages of cheaper ones made in China. Anyone ever owned one of these Chinese models? Is this a perfect example of "you get what you pay for"?
Yes I purchased one of the 2.5L $99 models with heater about 2 years ago. The ultrasonic part works ok, however after about a year the heater burned out. I think that perhaps it was because a whole pile of crap became baked on the bottom of the tank over the heater. So far it has handled all the clock plates that I have worked on, but it is marginal if you plan on larger size plates. To solve the heater problem I just purchased an aquarium heater and put it in the tank so that the thermostat is above the fluid level allowing it to heat up to a higher temperature.

I bought this one because I was on a limited budget.

Regarding the WD-40 question in the next post. I never put a wd-40 movement in my US solution. I always take something like naptha and brush all the crap off the plates before putting it in the US. WD-40 can contaminate some US solutions.
 

MQ32shooter

NAWCC Member
Jul 7, 2008
868
22
18
75
Garland, Texas
Country
Region
Thanks David. The one I'm looking at is a 9.5 liter model. I think it's about $375.00. When working on the really dirty ones, I use Berriman's B12 Chemtool Carburetor cleaner before it ever goes into my solution. It works really good, but don't use it in a confined area.
 

Ed O'Brien

NAWCC Member
Nov 30, 2009
724
63
28
Winter Park, FL
Country
First, nice to have a tank with mineral spirits in it to soak oily movements in, then wash with soap and water before putting into the ultrasonic. You need to know that, even with the ultrasonic it is best practice to disassemble the movement, and you will get a much better cleaning. Even if the machine loosens up junk, it does not always totally clean bushings if the movement is assembled. As to the heater, why bother. I do most of my US cleaning at room temperature, but if I run the tank for 10 or 15 minutes the water is heated by the action of the machine moving the molecules. No roasted gunk on the bottom. As an alternative, I have begun tumbling in a 15-pound unit using stainless beads (quite expensive) media and ultrasonic cleaning fluid. Does an amazing job.
 

dAz57

Registered User
Dec 7, 2011
2,018
36
48
sydney Australia
Country
Region
I bought one of the 13litre ultrasonics with heater for $400 from eBay a few months back, works great, 300W does in 15minutes what it takes hours soaking in clock brew, has to be better for the movement with less exposure to the solutions.
 

binman

Registered User
Nov 16, 2011
797
2
18
Chatham England
Country
Region
I brought a 5ltr Chinese one for 13ounds the 10 ltr not much more. Cleaned 5clocks to date no problem at all. yes I could have brought a L&R 10 litre for 800-900 pounds but a lot of money and they do break down, 2 my friend had burnt out one was repaired the other scrapped. So you take your chance really on anything you buy which is electrical. All I can say is at this time I am quite happy with mine and might buy the 10 ltr in the near future. Mine came with hose for tap and a large basket and a small basket. I use L&R concentrated cleaner.
 

MQ32shooter

NAWCC Member
Jul 7, 2008
868
22
18
75
Garland, Texas
Country
Region
Thanks Binman, that's the kind of information I'm looking for. My gut feeling is, that these Chinese units are probably fine if you don't run them all day long. Heck, I might clean 3-4 movements a month. They should probably work just fine for that. Thanks
 

dAz57

Registered User
Dec 7, 2011
2,018
36
48
sydney Australia
Country
Region
dAz57, was the unit you purchased made in China??
they are all made in China aren't they :excited:

it was sold by a local (to me) ebay seller, says they sell in Sydney Australia, USA and UK, it only took 2 days for it to arrive, 2 year warranty, this has the digital readout smooth panel on the side for the time and temperature.

they have smaller units and going up to a 27litre unit for about $650, these are buy now prices including delivery.

this unit is a good size, the tank inside is 12" x 11" x 6" deep, means I can place a large grandfather clock plates laid out side by side in the basket.

as for running them, they do say not to run them continuously for more than 30mins, I run mine for 15mins which works for most movements, if the movement is reasonably clean I use less time, very dirty I will give it two goes at 15mins each.

at most I might use it 4 times in a day, mostly once or twice a day, watchbands come out great, you can watch the muck just bubble away, in fact a couple of watchbands can turn a clean solution dirty real quick, very effective on those stretch or mesh bands.

the reason I bought this is the price, there is a local supplier who makes up custom ultrasonic units, they sell a very similar machine to the one I bought but with the dial knobs on the front, but it is a chinese import too which they sell for $1600.

if I get 5 years out of this one I will be happy with that, how long it actually will last, time will tell.

but so far I have no complaints about the unit, it looks well made, all stainless steel tub, cabinet and lid, with a basket, drain tap.

I have a small 0.5litre unit I use on my watch cleaning machine, after 40 years it died, so I bought a 40KHz 50W transducer and driver circuit from china for $70 delivered, glued the new transducer to the bottom of the tank, fitted the circuit in a project box and associated hardware from a electronics hobby store, using a shielded 2 core microphone cable and a screw ring XLR connector to the tank,

the driver circuit looked well put together, nice neat soldering and layout, so I think the build quality is fine overall for the small and large unit.
 
Last edited:

MQ32shooter

NAWCC Member
Jul 7, 2008
868
22
18
75
Garland, Texas
Country
Region
dAZ57, excellent write up. I think I'm going after the 9 Liter, 540 Watt model which should be plenty good for the type of work I do. I'm a weekend clock guy, don't do it for a living, so there really won't be alot of demand on the machine. I really do appreciate the input.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
178,955
Messages
1,569,593
Members
54,026
Latest member
IndyF1
Encyclopedia Pages
909
Total wiki contributions
3,088
Last edit
Swiss Fake by Kent