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Hey all, I have read a lot about gun cleaning on this website. I believe out of the 10 or so guns I own, all but 1 have been purchased brand new and after use I wipe them down with a soft rag and run thinners through them to keep them nice and clean.
we used acrastrip in our ultrasonic, and it definitely worked. with a little heat, and time, crud came flaking off. i don't think i would be comfortable using any flammable solvent in an ultrasonic, but perhaps acrastrip is a good choice for this job.
Don't put flammable stuff in an ultrasonic unless it is a special explosion proof one. It's an amazingly bad plan.
Acrastrip should work well here (depending which version you use).
Another one that would work is is n-terpinal RS-75.
That one is just NMP and surfactant.
Heating to 40-50C is the way to go and will make it work a lot faster (dunno for acrastrip, they can tell you what the right temp is. Too hot and it will actually start to lose effectiveness again)
But it's still going to take a while.
It will not dissolve stuff, just delaminate it. But it will delaminate almost all coatings over time.
Note that the good ultrasonics (IE good enough to clean the gun) will, over time, destroy aluminum.
I usually disassemble it, put all the non-aluminum parts in, ultrasonic them to death until they are clean.
For anything with aluminum, i'll use it as a heated bath for a few hours, then run the ultrasonic part once or twice instead of for hours.
Diddo… We run Crest Ultrasonics with polychem acrastrip automotive.... it will really loosen up the crud with some added heat from the crest unit.... it will really attack the aluminum and chrome parts if you soak them for too long... try a couple hours with heat with the solution 1:1 water.... if that doesn't soften things up go full strength... if you leave chromed parts or aluminum parts too long it will turn chrome parts black and pit aluminum. I've seen a pile of kremlin aircaps get ruined from finishers forgetting about them soaking for a couple days.
Agreed with the above, a heated ultrasonic cleaner does WONDERS even with conversion varnish crud.
I use "Aircraft grade Simple Green" (which isn't anything remotely similar to regular Simple Green, it's more like concentrated 409).
Come to think of it, 409 alone (off the shelf at WalMart) would probably work great, especially if heated.
hey matt, this is good info. where do you get that stuff, and do you see that it attacks chrome or aluminum?
Hello I use a Crest ultrasonic cleaner with a 10-1 solution of Citra clean. $30 on Ebay.
great info. have you tried that on waterborne finishes? does it break them down?
Hello Dave yes is works on WB. Easy way to clean gun parts and hard to clean tips
Any of the ones that are NMP or similar (DBE, DME, etc) should break down waterborne (and 2k urethane) as well.
That includes the acrastrip/terpinal rs-75/etc.
Same issue. Thanks for the reply, this will be very helpful for me.
We bought our ultrasonic cleaner from Amazon, just read the reviews. Be sure to measure your guns to make sure they'll fit in it, but don't make the mistake of buying the biggest one possible. That's a lot of expensive cleaner you'll be wearing out if you use a huge cleaner for only small stuff.
You can also get the aircraft simple green stuff from Amazon.
Re-use it. I pour it in straight, undiluted. Once it's done, and cooled off, I filter it with paint cone filters and put it back in the jug. Add a little water to replace what's lost/evaporated.
I have not had any problems with it damaging any aluminum or plated/anodized items, but neither do I use it frequently.
Neither do I leave stuff in it more than maybe 20 minutes. It's either removed, or softened, everything on our guns in 20 minutes (heat and ultrasonic on) enough to clean them with brushes. We spray conversion varnish.