DIY Ultrasonic Record Cleaning Machine

[Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
edited April 2016 in DIY, Mods & Tweaks
So a couple months ago at a audio show here in Denver I came across a guy that was selling these ultrasonic record vibrator deals. I couldn't afford the price, but I was sold on the whole ultrasonic cleaning idea.
Since I work as a welder I thought I'd build my own. After a month worth of lunch breaks I came up with this contraption. It's a fairly basic design and mimics some of the other custom units that I've seen on the interweb.
On one end of this I used a piece of solid steel round stock. That I welded a 1/28" bolt on top of. Ground that done for a nice smooth finish. On top of that I have a rod end bearing with a 1/4" hole. This supports and allows the spindle to spin freely. As well as pivot up and down clearing the height of the cleaning unit when I load and unload the spindle.
On the other side I cut some 3/16"x 3" hot rolled flat bar. Layed out some mounting points for the motor, switch, and transformer.
As for the spindle I used a piece of 1/4" solid stainless round stock. Which I welded a 4" stainless disk on as a stop.
The collets are stainless pipe that I had to drill out to a 1/4" diameter. Then I just drilled and tapped them for some #8-32 set screws.
The only thing I still need to build is a stand that holds the spindle vertical. So I can safely load and unload records. I'll build that tomorrow and post some pics of that.
I've been using this all weekend and I'm totally impressed with the outcome. All those clicks and pops from before seem to have just floated away. The only other cleaning method that I feel might rival this, is one of those vacuum systems.
But as far as the "rca discwasher" that I was using before...this beats the h-e double toothpicks out of it.
So hopefully this motivates some people to save the money and build their own ultrasonic cleaning set-up. :-)

HUGE THANKS to Larry!! For letting me build this out of stock material and hardware. And for having it sent out for paint all for free.
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Sorry for any grammar or spelling mistakes I typed this on my phone.


"The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors."
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Comments

  • msgmsg Posts: 4,270
    maaaaan, that thing's cool!

    So this stand and an ultrasonic bath tank?
    Which model did you go with for that?

    How many records can it do at once?
    Rotation speed/passes?
    Cleaning solution?

    Are you seeing sediment or film in the water after several washes?

    You should open this up to orders.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited April 2016
    msg wrote: »
    maaaaan, that thing's cool!

    So this stand and an ultrasonic bath tank?
    Which model did you go with for that?

    How many records can it do at once?
    Rotation speed/passes?
    Cleaning solution?

    Are you seeing sediment or film in the water after several washes?

    You should open this up to orders.
    Other than the stuff that floats on the top you can't see much. But when you drain it that's when all that gunk and sediment shows up because it's stuck to the bottom and the sides. Which is why I'm going to invest in a fish tank filter to hang off the side. It can do up to three records at 1" intervals and the motor turns at .06rpm.

    Here's the recipe that others use and is working for me.
    1. little under a gallon and a half of distilled water (enough to reach all the grooves)
    2. 4 drops of Kodak photoflo (allows water to shed of so there's no water marks.)
    3. Teaspoon of denatured alcohol (breaks down oil from fingerprint prints and oil used to break it away from the mold.)
    4. All kept at 100° - 110°
    5. Let cook for 10 minutes


    Here's a link to ultrasonic cleaner that I bought
    http://m.ebay.com/itm/Stainless-Steel-6-L-Liter-Industry-Heated-Ultrasonic-Cleaner-Heater-with-Timer-/222055421608?_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20150519202348%26meid%3D368c79d5f9ed460fa1312510a8fb6f3d%26pid%3D100408%26rk%3D17%26rkt%3D19%26sd%3D400762623779&_trksid=p2056116.c100408.m2460
    "The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors."
  • MrBuhlMrBuhl Posts: 2,308
    edited April 2016
    I have been on the fence about one of these for a while - thinking of doing almost exactly what you have done. thanks for posting!

    So you have about 10 min of rotation for three records?
    About how many records do you think you get before needing to change out the tank?

    Very nice work BTW, looks professional!
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  • MrBuhl wrote: »
    I have been on the fence about one of these for a while - thinking of doing almost exactly what you have done. thanks for posting!

    So you have about 10 min of rotation for three records?
    About how many records do you think you get before needing to change out the tank?

    Very nice work BTW, looks professional!

    Thank you, I found that if I do three records per load, 10 minutes seems to work out alright. (All the photos I have posted are when I was first running two at a time.)
    Since I don't have a filtration system yet. I've really only been running my brand new records. And I'm comfortable with 15 records per tank so far. Once the filter is in place I'll start running more of my really used records. I'm curious if I can get the same results.
    And I say go for it! This in total only ran me about $250.
    "The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors."
  • vcwatkinsvcwatkins Posts: 1,701
    Amazing work. Well done.
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  • Wow Dean Martin's greatest hits was dirty...lol
    j1esop2j7z29.jpg
    "The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors."
  • vmaxervmaxer Posts: 4,305
    Great looking cleaner.
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  • msgmsg Posts: 4,270
    Seriously, I think you could make a little business out of a kit. I'm sure there are forum members who'd be in for orders. Do you think you could do it cost effectively and make it worthwhile for your time? Even just the stand and parts. It's that stuff that kills this for me, as I don't weld. But with the stand, and a parts list, I'd enjoy the partial DIY on something like this.
  • Dennis GardnerDennis Gardner Posts: 4,754
    edited April 2016
    Nice fabrication! It is always good to see those that can take an item and find a way for it to work in a different application.

    On a side note, I am seeing a number of this type of cleaners crapping out within a month or two of purchase. It is too early to tell whether there is common cause for the short lifespan or if it is a single maker as many of these are unbranded, but I would suggest keeping track of hours used so that if this happens to you, proof of usage is readily at hand for any type of return or warranty needed.

    Not intended to be a thread crap at all, just something that I have run into researching the type of RCM to invest in.

    On a positive note, this type of cleaner seems to beat all others in the area of static control.
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  • xcapri79 wrote: »
    Well done! Ultrasonic cleaning is the way to go. :)

    I suggest though that the dish rack you are using could possibly damage your records.
    I would suggest leaving the records on the spindle to dry by setting them on a fabricated stand. Have extra spindles available for more records to clean.

    There are some ultrasonic vinyl cleaners out there. Thought you might be interested in these. This method has sealing discs to better protect the labels from getting wet.



    This one has a high speed spin dryer. Canadians will certainly appreciate this one.
    There are some good ideas to consider.


    thanks! I like the extra spindle and drying rack idea. it'll make this whole process faster.
    "The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors."
  • msg wrote: »
    Seriously, I think you could make a little business out of a kit. I'm sure there are forum members who'd be in for orders. Do you think you could do it cost effectively and make it worthwhile for your time? Even just the stand and parts. It's that stuff that kills this for me, as I don't weld. But with the stand, and a parts list, I'd enjoy the partial DIY on something like this.

    I'll look into that. I would need to do some design mods for a more universal stand that can accommodate for different size tanks. And my locking mechanism makes me nervous. I don't like having a allen wrench that close to my records. So that needs to change too. But yea if I can find a big enough customer basis on here I'd definitely looks into it.
    "The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors."
  • xcapri79 wrote: »
    ER308L wrote: »
    thanks! I like the extra spindle and drying rack idea. it'll make this whole process faster.

    Also consider the spin dry idea of the second video.

    Haha that's awesome! I like it!
    "The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors."
  • Nice fabrication! It is always good to see those that can take an item and find a way for it to work in a different application.

    On a side note, I am seeing a number of this type of cleaners crapping out within a month or two of purchase. It is too early to tell whether there is common cause for the short lifespan or if it is a single maker as many of these are unbranded, but I would suggest keeping track of hours used so that if this happens to you, proof of usage is readily at hand for any type of return or warranty needed.

    Not intended to be a thread crap at all, just something that I have run into researching the type of RCM to invest in.

    On a positive note, this type of cleaner seems to beat all others in the area of static control.

    Thank you! that's definitely something I'll keep track of.
    "The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors."
  • Toolfan66Toolfan66 Posts: 13,910
    Looks great Brian, can't wait for you to bring it over so I can see it work...
  • Toolfan66 wrote: »
    Looks great Brian, can't wait for you to bring it over so I can see it work...

    Thanks, I'm excited to see those new CRS+'s.
    "The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors."
  • That oughta work as a good spindle loading/unloading stand.
    h6jinedbt8bu.jpg
    "The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors."
  • muncybobmuncybob Posts: 1,890
    You do nice work Brian!
    Yep, my name really is Bob.
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  • Gracias!
    "The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors."
  • starkillerstarkiller Posts: 2,609
    oooh, make a kit!! I have over 4,000 lp's I have to clean and while the Spin Clean does a commendable job for the price its nowhere at the level of your "concoction" and even I might be able to assemble it :)
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  • starkiller wrote: »
    oooh, make a kit!! I have over 4,000 lp's I have to clean and while the Spin Clean does a commendable job for the price its nowhere at the level of your "concoction" and even I might be able to assemble it :)

    If I can find at least 20 people who would have interest it might be worth my time.
    "The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors."
  • msgmsg Posts: 4,270
    edited April 2016
    Count me in as an official first.
    I'm thinking URCM + VRCM as an experiment in clarity.

    What are you thinking? Chassis fab only, or turnkey kits of some sort?
    I enjoy a bit of DIY, so I'd be interested in your chassis plus the parts/vendors list for the other build parts, and obviously something in there for your development time.
  • Anyone else? :-)
    "The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors."
  • voltzvoltz Posts: 5,000
    why not B) I'm in!
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  • JhaymanJhayman Posts: 1,555
    How much we talking here in American dollars?
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  • Jhayman wrote: »
    How much we talking here in American dollars?

    I don't know yet I still have to do some design mods and get with my project manager to figure out an estimate. That probably won't happen til next week, unfortunately.
    "The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors."
  • Toolfan66Toolfan66 Posts: 13,910
    Your project manager?? :D
  • MrBuhlMrBuhl Posts: 2,308
    voltz wrote: »
    why not B) I'm in!

    I Agree - I'm in!
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  • msg wrote: »
    Count me in as an official first.
    I'm thinking URCM + VRCM as an experiment in clarity.

    What are you thinking? Chassis fab only, or turnkey kits of some sort?
    I enjoy a bit of DIY, so I'd be interested in your chassis plus the parts/vendors list for the other build parts, and obviously something in there for your development time.

    Well if I'm going to do this I would include the chassis and all that stuff, motor, transformer, and switch. That way all the stuff that needs machined will perfectly fit this chassis. The ultrasonic cleaner would be left up to the consumer.
    "The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors."
  • Toolfan66 wrote: »
    Your project manager?? :D

    Yea this ginger guy that works in a coat closet of an office upstairs. ;-)
    "The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors."
  • msgmsg Posts: 4,270
    ah, I see. that would make sense since this is all hand work.

    yeah, let us know when you pull together some ballpark figures so we have a sense of what we're looking at.
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