Ultra Sonic Cleaners

I would like to know if anyone has ever run across any plans to
build Ultra Sonic Cleaners? There should be some kind of site out
there for this. Clint

Clint, At MPG Repair we repair all jewelry equipment and sell new and
used equipment. So from working on ultrasonics I can tell you, you
won’t find a site or plans on building them. It’s not as easy as you
would think. There is a lot of science involved.

If you look back in the archives you will see this has been
addressed several times already. Your biggest problem will be the
transducers. What kind do you want? How many do you want? If you
don’t know the answer to these questions you can’t build a circuit.

Buying one or two transducers will cost several hundred dollars
each. The only way to buy transducers inexpensively is to buy
thousands at a time. So unless you plan on building them in mass
quantities you won’t be able to build one very cheap.

The transducers also can’t be used right away when they are bought.
See the archives for why.

When buying an ultrasonic don’t buy based on price alone. Some of
the least expensive ones are also the worst on the market. The most
important factors when buying an ultrasonic are Action, Warranty and
then Price. There are several brands that would suit anyones need in
the industry. Look for these brands.

Sonix IV/Gem Oro - same machine made by Sonix IV

Healthsonics - They make many of the units in use in this industry
and in the dental industry under different names. The unit all look
the same but may have different colors.

Crest Ultrasonics - Not usually sold in this industry.

Sonicor - Again not usually sold in this industry.

The next thing I say will upset many people that sell these units
but they all know how I feel about the brand anyway.

Unless you are a manufacturer needing to run thousands of parts a
day through a sonic or are a very small producer that runs the sonic
a few times a week stay away from the Elma brand.

The more expensive Elma line is very aggressive and will literally
destroy it’s tank in as little as 3 months. After servicing these
units for 10+ years on a daily basis they have proven to be more
hassle than they are worth.

If you use the sonic a couple times a week you shouldn’t have this
problem. If you are a large manufacturer you have the money to buy
several of these machines so you always have at least one working.

The lower cost line of Elmas are okay but the 3 qt. unit should have
a second transducer to get the proper amount of action throughout
the tank.

There are several other brands on the market that are sold in the
jewelry industry but I wouldn’t recommend them.

Also when buying a sonic look at the warranty. This will tell you a
lot about how confident the manufacturer is about their machines. A
longer warranty means you know it’s going to last. A short warranty
(1 - 2 yrs.) means the manufacturer knows the machine won’t last
much longer than that if that long.

I apologize to Dale and Mike now because I know how you feel about
the Elmas and we both know we don’t agree.

One last thing.

For more info on ultrasonics visit our web site at
http://www.mpgrepair.com and look on the first page for a link to
‘Tech Notes’ follow this to download a free copy of our ‘Do’s and
Don’ts’ for ultrasonics. It is in Adobe Acrobat format and you MUST
have the latest version of Acrobat Reader to view it. To get the
latest version download it Free from Abode’s web site.

If or anyone has any questions about ultrasonics or other equipment
please feel free to email or call me.

Ken Kotoski

 I would like to know if anyone has ever run across any plans to
build Ultra Sonic Cleaners? There should be some kind of site out
there for this. Clint 

Clint Try ThomasRegisters.com, sign up (it’s free!) and try parts


Hi Ken,

Thanks, again, for sharing your valuable insight on this piece of
equipment. Oddly, I did have a silly question I was pondering
yesterday, and was considering posting a question.

What impact does the cleanliness of the solution have on the
effectiveness of the ultrasonic? In other words, how often should I
change the solution? If the tank is murky, is it pointless to put
something in it? During periods of heavy use, I get a lot of buffing
compound in there, and would probably have to clean it out daily,
which is kind of a pain. Is this really necessary, or does the amount
of gunk floating around really of little consequence? It seems to me,
from casual observation, that there is a degradation of performance,
but wonder about it.



Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)

Your right Ken! Because we do warranty work for both Healthsonics and
Elma I think I can comment on the quality of the brands Ken
mentioned. All those Ken mentioned are excellent machines, however,
I have to come to Elma’s defense. It has been our experience that IF
the user keeps the unit clean, and: (a) turns the unit on when
needed, don’t leave it on all day with no work to do just because it
is too much trouble to turn it on and let the timer turn it off, (b)
wipes the unit down after you empty the dirty solutions into a
holding tank or filter through a Mr.Coffee filter (metal recovery as
well as 1 and 2 pointer recovery) © does not leave the heater on
over the weekend…! With good care, ANY UNIT including
ELMA will give good service. Name your favorite brand of ultrasonic
and Ken , Dale and I have seen units less than 1 year old trashed
because the user was too “distracted” to do minimal maintenance on
the ultrasonic cleaner. You can bet that the rest of that users
equipment also has had a “short life span”. YES, Elma is not the most
inexpensive ultrasonic in the market. Does it clean, You bet it
does! After all, that is what an ultrasonic cleaner is supposed to

Mike & Dale

Ken Thanks for the reply regarding building an Ultra Sonic Cleaner. I
was wanting to build one that would be as big as hold 12 gallons
cleaner. there is no way I could afford to buy one that big, I might
look into finding a bunch of smaller ones at some of the auctions I
make, and construct one large one with all the smaller transducers, I
realize this is a major undertaking, but what the heck. You would be
surprised of all the other stuff I build. I also will visit your site.

Hi Dave,

Your question is not silly at all.

Yes, the dirt in the solution will decrease the effectiveness of the

Clean solution is the best. If your solution gets really dirty fast
try steam cleaning first or rinsing with hot/warm water in the sink
first to knock off the loose stuff. Or just plan on changing the
solution each day or two.

If the solution is murky you can still clean it but it may take
longer. Also the soap in your solution will get used up after so
much dirt is in it so it too won’t be helping to clean.

Ken Kotoski
MPG Repair

Hi Mike,

 Name your favorite brand of ultrasonic and Ken , Dale and I  have
seen units less than 1 year old trashed....

Mike is right. a little TLC goes a long way to making your equipment
happy and live long life.

Ken Kotoski
MPG Repair


This won’t work either. The transducers are made of a ceramic
crystal and epoxied with special epoxy onto the tank. When taking
them off you would not be able to reuse them because they usually
crack or break. The epoxy is not the type you buy at your local
hardware store.

In fact you can’t buy any of these epoxies unless you call the
manufacturer. And the minimum order is usually $150.00 worth of
epoxy which will do many more transducers than you will want.

Then a 12 gal. tank is not small and most of the epoxies used have
to be heat cured. Do you have an oven big enough for the tank?

You also can’t just mix and match transducers. They all have to be
balanced and of the same type. If they are not balanced when you put
the power to them some will burn up right away and those that are
left will burn up if they have too much power going to them. When
the transducer burns it can destroy the circuit also.

If you’re determined to do it anyway good luck. I’m sure once you
give up you will have spent more than you would had you just bought

Ken Kotoski MPG Repair www.mpgrepair.com

Clint : Ken is right again! The epoxys that we use here at Lone Star
cost $750.00 per 4 quart package…MIMIMUM order is 4 quarts. These
4 quarts last about 8-12 months and have to be refrigerated as they
are a two part epoxy. I just investigated a single part epoxy…are
you sitting down?..30cc’s cost $300 per syringe. You get a real
bargain at the 1 quart size…$550.00! Transduers are matched by
frequency. For a 12 gallon unit, at 40KHz you can recon 2
transducers per gallon, or 24 transducers.

If you wanted 100 watts of power per gallon, your power supply would
have to be capable of 2.4KW. Now you are dealing with some serious
voltages and amperages. Circuits can be “isolated” or the transducers
have to be “isolated” electrically. No mix and match with salvaged
transducers or circuits.

Another area to consider is what type of transducer are you going to
use? Disk type or solid block or "stacked " transducers. Each one
has its own characteristics and power reqirements. Transistors have
to be matched in these lager tank circuits.

Truly you will spend more in time, money and frustration than a “do
it yourself” ultrasonic is worth.

Mike & Dale at Lone Star Technical Services