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raymondjohnston
Technician
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Joined: February.01.05
Location: USA
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Posted: August.24.05 at 9:42pm | IP Logged Quote raymondjohnston

I just wanted to throw my two cents in. I have been repairing band instruments for over 32 years and using "slime away" and "lime and scale remover" for close to 30 of those years. In May of 2005, the shop I supervise, purchased a 90 gallon ultrasonic tank. I have been in complete awe from the first day we used it. Instruments that have been flushed every summer for many years came out cleaner than ever. We even had situations where buffing dirt from the factory came out of the horn. We had to change filters a little more often than suggested, but the horns are so much cleaner, including the grease and grime between valves and on sax bodies.
The price tag might slow some down from obtaining an ultrasonic tank, but I guarantee that the purchase is well worth it. The tank actually speeds things up a bit.
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DamienThomas
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Joined: February.23.05
Location: Australia
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Posted: September.21.05 at 9:45pm | IP Logged Quote DamienThomas

I've also purchased an ultra-sonic unit, however I still get the "pink" colouring left on the inside of the valve casings. What do other repairers do to remove this (and from the slide tubing as well)? Sometimes there is hardly any "pink" at all, but at other times a lot. If not removed I find the "pink" (ie copper residue) will come off when the valve oil and the valve rub together and make a gritty black mixture.
Do other repairers have an issue with this? It also happened when I used slime away.
Overall I do find the ultra-sonic cleaner more effient than previous methods.
thanks Damien
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raymondjohnston
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Posted: September.21.05 at 10:18pm | IP Logged Quote raymondjohnston

While I have had a problem with some of the instruments turning pink, and its usually the older ones more prone to do this, I have not had a problem with the pink turning gritty. I have found that some of the pink disappears when I spray a silver tarnish remover (Badger state Repair has this) on it, leave it for a minute, then rinse it off. It gets different degrees of pink off. In addition, we have ran close to a 1000 horns through it, and as long as the filters stay clean, I have had no problems with grit.

In keeping the filters clean, the one that is refered to as the pre-pump filter, instead of having to remove the back to clean that filter, we took a wire mess food strainer and made a filter in the shape of your finger, and gently pushed about an inch into the drain hole in the tank. Every now and then, remove that filter and rinse. Saves pulling the back of to clean it. I still check the pre-pump filter each time I drain the fluid.
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nathanwallace
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Joined: February.06.05
Location: USA
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Posted: September.27.05 at 10:34pm | IP Logged Quote nathanwallace

I'm sold on our ultra-sonic machine. I have had very little problem with the brass tarnishing. Especialy when I run saxophones through it. They come out cleaner, and the brass consistantly retains it's color.

I do need to be very carefull about what temperature the water is. I have damaged the lacquer on a couple of older trumpets. I haven't figured out whether it was the temperature, length of time with the machine running, or simply the way the lacquer is. I have turned the temperature down, so I hope that does the job.  
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SallyGeisert
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Joined: January.17.05
Location: USA
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Posted: September.30.05 at 6:18am | IP Logged Quote SallyGeisert

Who did you purchase your ultrasonic cleaner from?
Sally
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DaveWeiner
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Joined: January.19.05
Location: USA
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Posted: July.26.07 at 6:11pm | IP Logged Quote DaveWeiner

We have a 90 gallon Ultrasonic Power Corp. unit, too. My best employee.

The pink is a reaction from the lead solder with either the brass or the silver plate. Watch where it happens - it's alway at or near a solder joint. The older the horn, the more the pink.

I've use Empires, but it does not remove the pink tarnish.    If it's inside the instrument, the layer of pink tarnish is too thin to impair the operation of the instrument. Outside, you can polish some of it off. Avoid the problem in advance if you can by making sure lacquer is intact.
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LarryMueller
Technician & Clinician
Technician & Clinician


Joined: January.20.05
Location: USA
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Posted: July.28.07 at 7:55am | IP Logged Quote LarryMueller

About all I ever have to clean up, are keys on the smaller woodwinds. So, I
bought a cheap ultrasonic ($70, not the cheapest one) from Harbor Freight.
It does a little bit of good, but not enough to bother using it. I'll probably
get around to selling it on eBay some day.

Larry
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RobertWhite
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Joined: January.19.05
Location: USA
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Posted: September.22.07 at 9:02pm | IP Logged Quote RobertWhite

Concerning the pink residue left after sonicleaning:
I have been using the larger 90 gallon tank in my shop for awhile and have found that using a battery-powered drill and a soft wire brass brush in combination with Dawn foaming action cleaner works really well.
I discovered the brushes at Kraus Music Products (#547 - 9/16,1/2,5/8,3/4,1 inch), page 32 in the catalogue, if you have it. Contact them at 503-722-7977.
Use the drill at slow speed (less than 1000 rpm) with the cleaner and you will be amazed at the results. You will notice an ochre (yellowish/green) color to the initial foam, but don't worry. Run the brush through a couple of times, rinse and repeat. When the foam is white, rinse with hot water and you're done. I use the various size brushes to clean the inside of all slides, receivers and casings. The outside of the slides get buffed in the normal manner. The valves get brushed with the normal bristle brushes, still using the Dawn foam.
For trombone slides use a strip of 3M green scrubbing pad on a cleaning rod. The fit should be snug, but not too tight. Again, the secret weapon here is the Dawn foam. T-bone slides may take three or four times through to get white foam, but you will be pleased with the results. After the slide has hang dried for awhile, I like to use a strip of double-sided flannel to dry the inside of the outside slide. It leaves everything clean and very smooth.
I hope this helps.
P.S. I set the temperature of my tank at 84 degrees, and have had no laquer problems, with the exception of laquered silver. I have learned not to even try putting laquered silver through the process. Hand clean only.

Edited by RobertWhite on October.18.07 at 12:21pm
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