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Ultrasonic rouge builds up


#1

Hi all, One of the biggest problems I come across when using the
ultrasonic is the amount of rouge powder that builds up in the
solution. I have tried filtering it out using fine mesh, without any
success. Is there a way of doing a pre wash to remove some of the
rouge, or does anyone know what could be used to filter out the rouge
powder. Not only would the solution last longer if the rouge could be
removed, it would reduce costs. Richard Whitehouse


#2

Hi Richard, I like to clean my pieces with a solution of a little
ammonia and water with an old soft toothbrush before I put them in
the ultrasonic cleaner. Works great to get the majority of the
rough off. I’ve tried many products. Next to good ole soap and
water it works great. At least for me. Not good for all stones but
most stones that can’t take ammonia shouldn’t be washed in the
ultrasonic anyway. It is cheap too! Mary Barnes


#3

Hi Richard, I have personally found that using simple Dawn dish soap
in my ultrasonic works extremely well. The water must be Hot. Since
it is a lot cheaper than the concentrated solutions from a supply
house I can change the water daily or as needed should you need to
fish out a stone. Also, since there’s no ammonia, it will not damage
pearls or turquoise so I don’t need to worry about what is being put
in there.

Try it you might be pleasantly surprised,

Mark


#4
    Hi all, One of the biggest problems I come across when using
the ultrasonic is the amount of rouge powder that builds up in the
solution. 

Richard,the sludge usually settles to the bottom of the tank
overnight, and in the morning I drain out the top solution into a
container, then dump the rest down the drain(I have a gold trap!) and
the wipe out tank with a paper towel and toss it into refining
bucket, rinse tank, pour ‘good’ solution back in , top it off with
water or more fresh solution.This saves bucks and has worked well.
Only takes a minute or two. Thomas


#5

Richard, A rinse and brush with a mix of ammonia, water and dish soap
(use a soft old toothbrush for great results) will remove much of the
rouge prior to the ultrasonic. That way, the ultra is only working
to remove the small amount you haven’t been able to get by hand.
It’s pretty amazing how much you can remove just with a toothbrush
and ammonia – I rarely use the ultra to take off rouge unless the
piece is very heavily filigreed or textured and it’s trapped where I
can’t get to it.

Best of luck,
Karen Goeller
@Karen_Goeller


Handcrafted and Unique Artisan Jewelry


#6
    One of the biggest problems I come across when using the
ultrasonic is the amount of rouge powder that builds up in the
solution. 

Hi there, just wondered if I might be missing the point here but
in my workshop and in that of my mate the goldsmith, the ultrasonic
cleaning is about 99% concerned with cleaning off rouge from
polishing. So… if you do pre- ultrasonic-ing , wouldn’t that just
take up more valuable time and involve more expense than just
changing the ammonia + fairy liquid in the ultrasonic tank and make a
two step procedure from one step. Ruth, melting in a very very hot
evening in Nottingham. :slight_smile:


#7
 One of the biggest problems I come across when using the
ultrasonic is the amount of rouge powder that builds up in the
solution. I have tried filtering it out using fine mesh, without
any success. 

I haven’t tried this myself, but I would suggest trying to filter
it through 2- 3 coffee filters placed in a large cone-shaped funnel.
Allow gravity to do the work. If that won’t do it, get some
circular filter paper (say 15 cm in diameter, from a science supply
company. It should be a “fast” type of paper to allow filtration in
a reasonable time.

Good luck,
Brian


#8

when using the ultrasonic is the amount of rouge powder that builds
Oh, another thing. I changed over to ‘dry’ polishing compounds. They
are not nearly as greasy! The polishing room, buffs, and hands don’t
get as filthy, and hands, ultrsonic and jewelry are easier to clean. Thomas


#9

The purpose of the ultrasonic machine is to clean whatever you are
working on while you go on to something else. it doesn’t get any
more cost effective than that. You must change the water and the
solution periodically in order for it to cut and clean properly.
However, if you have plenty of time on your hands, you can brush
soapy water on the item to remove surface rouge, and then place it
in your ultrasonic which will get into those oh so hard places to
get to.

Steve Burns


#10
        One of the biggest problems I come across when using the
ultrasonic is the amount of rouge powder that builds up in the
solution. Hi there,  just wondered if  I might be missing the point
here but in my workshop and in that of my mate the goldsmith, the
ultrasonic cleaning is about 99% concerned with cleaning off rouge
from polishing. So.... if you do pre- ultrasonic-ing , wouldn't
that just take up more valuable time and involve more expense than
just changing the ammonia + fairy liquid in the ultrasonic tank and
make a two step procedure from  one step. Ruth,  melting in a very
very hot evening in Nottingham. :-) 

Hi Ruth, Well, if that’s all you’re really using your ultrasonic for,
then I suppose it would be adding time to your process.

In my shop, I don’t use the ultrasonic very much for rouge removal
– in fact, I only use it for rouge removal of VERY textured,
filigreed, or patterned pieces. It’s much faster for me to give a
quick scrub with ammonia and dish soap, using a soft-head toothbrush
(the new SPIN brushes, at $5 - $7, are amazing for this!), rinse, and
then the piece is ready for the next polishing or finishing stages.

My ultra is used mainly for:

  • Final cleaning of completed items with set stones

  • Neutralizing pickled items of hollow-ware, mokume, or designs
    likely to have trapped pickle (using a dollop of baking soda and
    water in a floating baby food jar)

  • Deep cleaning older items before working on them

So I guess it comes down to your work procedures. For me, it’s more
time, trouble, and expense to use the ultra for routine rouge
removal. For you, it may not be.

I’d be interested in hearing how others divvy up their use of the
ultra.

Karen Goeller
@Karen_Goeller


#11

This is what I was wondering about the use of an ultrasonic. I got
mine to save time in cleaning, just like the Steam Dragon I use.
Compared to my father’s and grandfather’s studios, I have cut
cleaning time by two thirds because of these two machines. This is
what I would council to anyone when considering an equipment
purchase, how will it pay for itself? I suppose a case could be made
and a study done about cost benefit in my time (VS) ultrasonic
solution costs but, hell, I can tell you the outcome right now, the
price of the bucket of Magic Green in the Ultra sonic and the
distilled water in the Steam Dragon are much less than my time, on
the order of one hundred to one. Sam Patania, Tucson


#12

Hey Brian and ALL I had the same problem , but the main problem was
my ultrasonic was too small ( 2 qt ) and after about 30 cleanings
the bottom is caked and soultion changing was becoming a daily chore
if not twice a day. So I bought a 1.5 gallon ultrasonic , using ultra
CR for the solution and I get about 3 days before I have to change
it again. That’s based on an average 20 to 30 repairs a day with the
ultrasonic on about 10 hrs a day.

To me it would take too much time trying to filter out the solution
( except for metal recovery ) although I know in the automotive
sector there is such a animal that recycles the solution but that
would not be to practical. IMHO

Regards
Tony


#13
     One of the biggest problems I come across when using the
ultrasonic is the amount of rouge powder that builds up in the
solution. I have tried filtering it out using fine mesh, without
any success. 

Rouge is extremely fine, and therefore difficult to filter it all
out. Fine filters are slower acting. There’s also the wax to
consider. I can think of two things you could do if you really must
use an ultrasonic bath:

Pre-wash the pieces (may not be practical for your work…).
Options vary from washing by hand using detergent and a toothbrush,
through to maybe using a steam-jet, if you’re processing lots of
pieces.

Or, put your pieces in a separate container of cleaning liquid which
you then float in the ultrasonic bath. Have several containers, so
that you clean first in the most contaminated liquid, take the pieces
out, rinse, then into the next cleanest liquid, and so on. From time
to time the dirtiest liquid is disposed of, and all other containers
get “promoted” up one place, and you introduce a new container of
clean liquid at the end of the row.

Some years ago I had professional contact with ultrasonic tank
manufacturers who generally didn’t approve of using floating
containers. But it is a practice widely adopted in horological
circles, where you don’t want to contaminate a tankful of expensive
liquid with one dirty clock.

Kevin (NW England, UK)


#14

Hello Karen,& Ruth, Re: the build-up of rouge powder, etc. in the
ultrasonic. A great Orchid hint from the past is using small ziploc
bags to hold the appropriate cleaning solution, the object, and a
little air. The sealed bag floats in the 'sonic liquid and all the
grunge, loose stones, etc. are contained within the little bag. The
liquid stays clean. Just another example of the ingenuity found in
Orchidland! Judy in Kansas, where temps are soaring. Summer is HERE.


#15

Hi all, I have tried using a toothbrush with a little washing up
liquid is ok, but tends to leave scratches made by the toothbrush. As
I only have quite a small tank the solution gets saturated with rouge
powder. I would need to change the solution several times a day to
keep it clean. Are to recommended ultrasonic solutions worth spending
the extra money on? Or are household detergents just as good? Richard


#16

Hello , One thing I’ve not seen mentioned in this ultrasonic
discussion , is the power of an ultrasonic to force rouge , in
particular red rouge , into epoxy glues , staining them red . One
shop “foreman” I worked with insisted on use of red rouge as the
primary final finish compound [ it certainly works well ] the
Ultrasonic solution would quickly become red from the rouge and once
red , Any glue would become stained red after exposure to the
ultrasonic solution . This would not be a problem if you can control
completly what is going into the solution , but that shop had a large
repair/trade work component and there were many surprises . The “red
” was not just on the surface but was actually into the glue itself
and was not at all easy to “clean”

Mark Clodius


#17

Ok, here’s my 2 cents worth. I have a Bransonic 1210 heated unit
now, but I once had a 2 cup capacity ultrasonic that was my favorite
by far. I have to change the solution every day anyways. I learned
clear ammonia and Mr. Clean ( the original tennis ball green color).
This works better than any commercial solution I have tried. My
tool of choice for putting jewelry in the cleaner is a plastic juice
strainer. It won’t scratch the jewelry, and if you’re putting
earrings in, the posts will go through the mesh so the earrings
won’t touch. I also have one of those racks for rings and pendants,
but it’s my second choice). If the rouge won’t come out It’s usually
behind a stone and I use a small dental tool to unlodge it or an old
toothbrush (which sometimes scratches).

P.S. I was also taught to strain the used solution through a paper
towel placed in the strainer. This goes in the recycling bucket.

wendy newman
www.goldgraphix.com