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Alternatives to Ultrasonics?


#1

Dear All,

I have gone through the archives and spent some time researching
ultrasonics and I am now of the opinion that maybe I can do without
paying the expense for one of them. I will probably not be using one
enough to justify the cost.

I am interested in finding out what advice you might have about
alternatives to ultrasonics. From the archives and one of Tim
McCreight’s books, I saw that you can use soap and water. Any other
advice about techniques I can use – I am looking to clean off
polishing material and give my designs a mirror finish – would be
greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any responses!


#2

Ask any of the larger supply companies. They might have a used one
for sale. I purchased a refurbished unit half price from Otto Frei
about 8 years ago and it works great. Give the suppliers a call and
put yourself on their radar for a used unit.

-k

M E T A L W E R X
School for Jewelry and the Metalarts
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
781 891 3854
www.metalwerx.com


#3

I make a mixture of 1 cup water, 1 Tablespoon Ammonia and 1
Tablespoon of Palmolive liquid dish soap. An old empty Palmolive soap
bottle is great for squirting it on the piece after the polishing
compound has left it’s trace - scrub it gently with a soft toothbrush
and rinse with water. Don’t dilute the mixture when applying or
scrubbing with the brush. This won’t guarantee a mirror finish, but
gets rid of the residue and no ultrasonic is necessary.

I teach classes at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico and this is one of our
standbys! I also have classes in Denver - my specialty is Channel
Inlay. Check out the Web for GhostRanch.org at Abiquiu - will be
teaching a one week Seminar July 22 to 29, 2007, in Channel Inlay
there - 15 years of teaching it! The new catalog should be online
after Jan 1. For my classes in Denver, give me a personal e-mail.

Rose Marie Christison


#4

Hello Annabel,

I did without an ultrasonic for a long time. How to best remove
polishing compound relates to the nature of the compound. Soap and
water will work, but is tedious.

There are a couple compounds advertised as removable with dish soap
and water, and they do clean off more easily. However, the usual
compounds are better removed by soaking in an ammonia-based liquid,
followed by scrubbing with an old toothbrush. I’ve used straight
ammonia (which can damage some stones), but the fumes are obnoxious.
“409”, “Mean Green”, “Awesome” are tradenames for cleaners that have
been good removers for me. As noted previously, some stones are
sensitive to ammonia, so keep turquiose, lapis, pearls, etc. out of
those liquids with ammonia.

Ultrasonics are a very nice thing to have, so plan to save your
loose change and buy a good one eventually. Maybe put it on your wish
list for your birthday or special event. My hubby hates to buy me
tools, but that’s my favorite gift. :slight_smile:

Hope this helps,
Judy in Kansas, where we’ll hopefully see some thunderstorms today! I
finished putting in my spring bulbs, so timing is perfect.


#5
Ask any of the larger supply companies. They might have a used one
for sale. I purchased a refurbished unit half price from Otto Frei
about 8 years ago and it works great. Give the suppliers a call
and put yourself on their radar for a used unit. 

I’ve made this point on numerous occasions and my posts keep getting
censored out and not posted. I’ll try again. People, could you PLEASE
not change the subject line AND snip away everything the previous
poster wrote? For example, this post above: I’m interested in whatever
possible machine “k” might be referring to, but there are simply no
clues here to be had. "Ask the larger supply companies… What? "A
used… What? "A refurbished unit? “…a used unit?” Are these ultra
machines or something else?

Thanx
Ray


#6

Hi there,

I also don’t use ultrasonic cleaners much - I am a hobbyist and
although I bought a cheap one recently it is very patchy in its
operations (lots of hot spots and dead areas) - the curse of low cost
tools.

Generally, to get polishing compound off, I mix a bit of washing up
liquid with 1/2 warm water and 1/2 turpentine or white spirit. I
then dunk the jewellery in this for a few minutes and clean it using
the same stuff and a soft sponge, which I find more effective than a
toothbrush. Use a toothpick to get into difficult to reach areas. I
then rise it under running water, dry it with kitchen towel and give
it a final going over with a polishing cloth. The white spirit acts
as a solvent on the polishing compound, making it much easier to
remove.

Wear gloves if you have sensitive skin, and be careful not to drop
your jewellery down the plug hole unless you like removing U bends.

Throwing it into a rotary tumbler for 5 minutes is also surprisingly
effective, but it can mess with the finish.

Chris Penner
Collarsandcuffs.co.uk


#7
I am looking to clean off polishing material and give my designs a
mirror finish -- would be greatly appreciated. 

Sonicare toothbrush ($50), small crockpot set on low ($20), and some
ammonia ($5). That would be the ultra low budget solution to get
polishing grime out of every nook and cranny in your piece. If you
can, get real polishing removal compound from Rio or other jewelry
supply store, its doesnt quite have the stench that ammonia does. You
may have to break in the toothbrush a bit to soften the bristles.

If this thing can get plaque off of my teeth, polishing compound
wont stand a chance against it.

P@
www.patpruitt.com


#8

yes there is an alternative to using an ultrasonic and steamer, you
can you a soft tooth brush and scratch up your piece. or you can
use a water gun from American Niagara company, but your best bet is
the steamer and ultrasonic, even the $100 steamer is better than
nothing.

Matthew


#9

A $40 vibratory tumbler from a gun shop. Stainless steel shot, and
Simple green cleaner. Cleans and polishes. You’ll love it!