Author Topic: How to clean small parts ( nuts bolts brackets etc. )  (Read 3005 times)

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Offline 35chevcoupe

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How to clean small parts ( nuts bolts brackets etc. )
« on: February 19, 2015, 09:52:29 PM »
Hey guys I'm looking for ideas on how to clean all my small parts . I've heard guys using rock tumblers , ultrasonic cleaners , bead blasters etc. . I have A LOT of small parts I need cleaned ( buckets and buckets full ) but don't want to stand there and clean them one piece at a time .
Wondering if anyone can relate and how everyone else does it .
Do these ultrasonic machines really work ?  :icon_scratch:
John Evenson

1930 model A 4 dr sedan
35 chev coupe 2 dr Master Deluxe suicide dr,s
55 chev belair wagon 4dr
59 Buick Invicta 2 dr hd top
65 Buick GS 2 dr ht
71 Buick GS
84 chev 3/4 ton p/u 6.2 diesel
Yeah there's more
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Offline WkillGS

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Re: How to clean small parts ( nuts bolts brackets etc. )
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2015, 11:33:28 PM »
I use a blast cabinet. An abrasive media like fine aluminum oxide cuts faster than glass beads. It does take time but it goes rather quickly. For smaller screws and bolts, I screw them into a piece of wire mesh or screen. I replate my own with the 'Copy cad' (zinc) Caswell plating kit.
If you can find one, you could send your stuff to a local shop to blast/strip/plate them.

We have an ultrasonic cleaner at work to precision clean glass used for high-end displays. with the right chemistry, it'll clean grease, but not rust.
Walt K
Eastern Pa

66 GS Astro Blue/blue 425 auto
66 GS Silver Mist/black 401 4 spd
66 GS Flame Red/black 401 5 spd
66 GS Saddle Mist/black 401 L76 auto
66 Special Flame Red/black 300 5 spd
65 GS vert Verde Green/ Saddle buckets 401 4 spd
79 Turbo Regal

Offline 35chevcoupe

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Re: How to clean small parts ( nuts bolts brackets etc. )
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2015, 12:07:56 AM »
Thanks Walt for the advice on the ultrasonic machine .  Some of the parts I have are a little rusty but most are just greasy and dirty .  I think I'll just take a day and blast them all .
I have also heard of guys using acid dipping , I just don't want the mess .
John Evenson

1930 model A 4 dr sedan
35 chev coupe 2 dr Master Deluxe suicide dr,s
55 chev belair wagon 4dr
59 Buick Invicta 2 dr hd top
65 Buick GS 2 dr ht
71 Buick GS
84 chev 3/4 ton p/u 6.2 diesel
Yeah there's more
There all projects

Offline WkillGS

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Re: How to clean small parts ( nuts bolts brackets etc. )
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2015, 12:13:11 AM »
I usually clean small parts on a bench grinder with a wire wheel first to remove crud, then blast to get them ultra clean. Then plate. If you don't replate them, you can paint with engine paint then bake in a toaster oven to make the paint more durable.
Walt K
Eastern Pa

66 GS Astro Blue/blue 425 auto
66 GS Silver Mist/black 401 4 spd
66 GS Flame Red/black 401 5 spd
66 GS Saddle Mist/black 401 L76 auto
66 Special Flame Red/black 300 5 spd
65 GS vert Verde Green/ Saddle buckets 401 4 spd
79 Turbo Regal

Offline 35chevcoupe

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Re: How to clean small parts ( nuts bolts brackets etc. )
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2015, 02:37:26 AM »
Yeah I've used the wire wheel and my blast cabinet , I just have so much stuff id like to get cleaned up that it would take me forever . Some of it I suppose I could just get rid of BUT I really hate to do that .
I even thought about dumping a 5 gallon pail of stuff in my cement mixer along with some sand and see how it looks after about an hour . :idea1:
John Evenson

1930 model A 4 dr sedan
35 chev coupe 2 dr Master Deluxe suicide dr,s
55 chev belair wagon 4dr
59 Buick Invicta 2 dr hd top
65 Buick GS 2 dr ht
71 Buick GS
84 chev 3/4 ton p/u 6.2 diesel
Yeah there's more
There all projects

Offline gs spoken here

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Re: How to clean small parts ( nuts bolts brackets etc. )
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2015, 06:41:12 AM »
Walt good idea for small bolts, the wire mesh and toaster oven, thanks

35chev. I soak my greasy small parts in purple power first then wire wheel or bead blast. I am using a home made kit to phosphate, I found on the internet you can buy the material for about $30.00, seems to work.

Offline WkillGS

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Re: How to clean small parts ( nuts bolts brackets etc. )
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2015, 07:42:23 AM »
Bill,  the DIY phosphating sounds like a good idea.
I did a quick Google search and I think I'm going to give it a try! It's a more correct finish for our cars anyway.
Here's two links that describe the process:
(go to the photo gallery and click on the pics)
http://www.mustangandfords.com/how-to/paint-body/mump-1103-how-to-apply-phosphate-and-oil-coating/
and
http://www.milsurps.com/showthread.php?t=43247

I've been using the Caswell zinc plating kits for my hardware. Plain zink gives a silver finish, but it can be dyed black, silver-blue, or add a yellow/gold tint for a cad finish.
Tried the basic blackener process but they are not durable at all.
Walt K
Eastern Pa

66 GS Astro Blue/blue 425 auto
66 GS Silver Mist/black 401 4 spd
66 GS Flame Red/black 401 5 spd
66 GS Saddle Mist/black 401 L76 auto
66 Special Flame Red/black 300 5 spd
65 GS vert Verde Green/ Saddle buckets 401 4 spd
79 Turbo Regal

Offline Weldar

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Re: How to clean small parts ( nuts bolts brackets etc. )
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2015, 01:43:26 PM »
For nuts and bolts I've used the vibratory cleaner that holds small plastic cleaning pellets. Works well, but the fastener hole in the lid is starting to waller out. Got it at Harbor Freight. Also, check out this web page for more info on applying a phosphate coating to parts, also known as Parkerizing. If I recall correctly the rear differential gears in the GS are parkerized.

http://www.m1-garand-rifle.com/parkerizing/
65 Skylark GS HT Auto - Under restoration
65 Skylark GS HT 4sp - Driver
2 x 65 Skylarks for parts

"If you stay ready, you don't have to get ready" - Les K.
"The closer to the wellhead the better" - Oilfield Oldtimer

Offline 35chevcoupe

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Re: How to clean small parts ( nuts bolts brackets etc. )
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2015, 02:56:48 PM »
Thanks Welder , that's sounds like it's exactly what I'm looking for . I see there's a pretty wide range on pricing too . I literally have buckets and buckets and vans full of parts to get cleaned up and this sounds like a real time saver .
Thanks . I knew there had to be a way to do it in mass quantities . :icon_thumright:
John Evenson

1930 model A 4 dr sedan
35 chev coupe 2 dr Master Deluxe suicide dr,s
55 chev belair wagon 4dr
59 Buick Invicta 2 dr hd top
65 Buick GS 2 dr ht
71 Buick GS
84 chev 3/4 ton p/u 6.2 diesel
Yeah there's more
There all projects

Offline Weldar

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Re: How to clean small parts ( nuts bolts brackets etc. )
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2015, 03:29:59 PM »
For nuts and bolts I've used the vibratory cleaner that holds small plastic cleaning pellets. Works well, but the fastener hole in the lid is starting to waller out. Got it at Harbor Freight. Also, check out this web page for more info on applying a phosphate coating to parts, also known as Parkerizing. If I recall correctly the rear differential gears in the GS are parkerized.

http://www.m1-garand-rifle.com/parkerizing/


I did not recall correctly. The differential gears were surface hardened by Nitriding (spelling?) rather than Parkerizing.

Dwaine
65 Skylark GS HT Auto - Under restoration
65 Skylark GS HT 4sp - Driver
2 x 65 Skylarks for parts

"If you stay ready, you don't have to get ready" - Les K.
"The closer to the wellhead the better" - Oilfield Oldtimer

Offline marxjunk

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Re: How to clean small parts ( nuts bolts brackets etc. )
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2015, 08:26:30 PM »
i used a vibratory machine too...but i kept watching craigslist til i got a good one....i wore out 2 harbor freights...

i bought mine from a laboratory clearance dude..he had all kinds of equip...mine is from the 40s and takes ether a 2 wheeler or 2 guys to move it..it has a 4 inch block of cast iron on the bottom...it was used to clean  computer circut boards in the 80s who knows what before.....has a cool timer etc..just like everything in the 40s it so over engineered..75 bucks worth 10 times that to me now that i own it

whisper quiet

took me a little while to get it...but i kept at it...the search word i used was vibratory...it aint no rock tumbler..not even close

heres some tips...

use medium plastic pyramids...lubrication is everythng

water and a bit of dawn dish soap will clean anything..i mean anything cleanable...

rusty..just plain old white distilled vinegar...i buy it by the gallon...use it straight...the thing about vinegar..if you wipe it immediately after it comes out..the vinegar leave a white coating and it wont flash rust for a week....leave it on there..2 days its rusty


for really tuff stuff...CLR and water...incredible what it will do...flash rusts fast though...

i dont sand blast anything...to me it makes it fuzzy...that is it changes the surface..the vibratory, when it conmes out you can see every mark code stamp etc

mines about 16 inches diameter...it has a flat stainless pan..i took the plastic container off the junk harbor freight pieces and bungee it on the flat pan..works perfect..and you need the shape of the harbor freight drum to make it rotate the  the material...it looks like a big bunt cake mold...

Offline 35chevcoupe

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Re: How to clean small parts ( nuts bolts brackets etc. )
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2015, 10:58:04 PM »
Thanks for the tips guys , finally now I can get everything cleaned up and inventoried .
I did some sand blasting today and am already tired of doing it that way .
And I agree Marxjunk I don't like the way sand blasting makes the parts look either . :cheers2:
John Evenson

1930 model A 4 dr sedan
35 chev coupe 2 dr Master Deluxe suicide dr,s
55 chev belair wagon 4dr
59 Buick Invicta 2 dr hd top
65 Buick GS 2 dr ht
71 Buick GS
84 chev 3/4 ton p/u 6.2 diesel
Yeah there's more
There all projects