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Ultrasonic Cleaners


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20 replies to this topic

#1 Blatherscribe

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 15:46

I searched the forum before posting this, honest! smile.gif

In this thread, advice is given that it's a bad idea to immerse an Esterbrook in an ultrasonic cleaner, as this will trap moisture in/around the J-bar and cause rusting. A follow-up question was asked about piston-fillers, but never answered. This has left me wonder, what should I not put in an ultrasonic cleaner, apart from casein, celluloid, and hard rubber?

And is there anything else I should avoid doing with one of these gizmos?


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#2 Lloyd

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 16:49

QUOTE(Djehuty @ Jan 28 2008, 10:46 AM) View Post
what should I not put in an ultrasonic cleaner, apart from casein, celluloid, and hard rubber?

A hamster.

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination."
Oscar Wilde

#3 gregamckinney

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 17:03

I avoid putting inlaid nibs, Parker 61 arrows/shells and any cracked or crystallized material in an ultrasonic.

My understanding is that most of the warnings about what not to put in an ultrasonic cleaner are simply due to the submersion of your pen in water (e.g. HR, Casein, hard-to-dry pen innards, etc.)

Regards, greg
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#4 Blatherscribe

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 19:34

OK, so, what about a Pelikan or other piston-filler? Is it a bad idea to get water in through the wrong end? I read in one post that someone holds his pens nib-down in an active ultrasonic cleaner; is this a better idea, or, in the event of bumping the nib against something, even worse?

No hamsters, I promise. biggrin.gif


#5 southpaw

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 20:25

Basically, to use one you must immerse the nib, feed, and section of the pen. Mine came with a plastic basket and another insert that, when used together, allow me to prop the pen up so that only the nib, feed, and section are immersed. You are correct about hard rubber and casein and I would also avoid any pen with something inlaid, be it a nib or an arrow or whatever.
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#6 dcwaites

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 21:47

QUOTE(Djehuty @ Jan 29 2008, 02:46 AM) View Post
And is there anything else I should avoid doing with one of these gizmos?

A extra fine example of Halite crystals... crybaby.gif crybaby.gif crybaby.gif

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#7 MYU

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 23:23

If your Esterbrook is so locked up with dried ink that you can't unscrew the nib, then definitely put it in an ultrasonic cleaner, keeping the celluloid barrel above the water.

As for inlaid nibs, I've run Pilot Custom inlaid nibs through an ultrasonic cleaner with no sign of nib loosening. The cement Pilot used is super tough, but to err on the side of caution I rarely subject the inlaid nibs to an ultrasonic cleaning (it's only if I manage to leave ink in a pen long enough to make a regular soaking impossible to clear it out).

Lastly, never stick your ear in one--it'll rupture your ear drum and cause you permanent tinnitus.

(just kidding, of course!) laugh.gif

Edited by MYU, 28 January 2008 - 23:23.

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#8 MYU

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 23:24

QUOTE(Lloyd @ Jan 28 2008, 11:49 AM) View Post
QUOTE(Djehuty @ Jan 28 2008, 10:46 AM) View Post
what should I not put in an ultrasonic cleaner, apart from casein, celluloid, and hard rubber?

A hamster.



Elderberries!




(now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!)

Edited by MYU, 28 January 2008 - 23:25.

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#9 Deirdre

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 23:40

QUOTE(MYU @ Jan 28 2008, 03:24 PM) View Post
Elderberries!

(now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!)

Snarf!

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#10 lallin

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 02:01

QUOTE(Djehuty @ Jan 28 2008, 09:46 AM) View Post
And is there anything else I should avoid doing with one of these gizmos?

Don't put the weighted wire from a stylographic pen in all by itself; I learned that when the gold wire vibrated out of the weight and was nearly impossible to find in the tank. That wire is hard to see and feel becaus it is so tiny and, color wise, blends into the stainless "tub" of the cleaner.

#11 SMG

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 03:01

Caution would suggest that it would be wise to refrain from putting the blind cap end of a Pelikan in a US cleaner. I have always placed pens in there nib down unless it was a totally disassembled pen, like a Vac barrel. I really don't think that you could hurt a newer Pel in an ultrasonic cleaner, but why try? There should be no real reason to do so unless there was ink past the piston in a demonstrator. Even then it would not take the ink out.

I avoid placing Casein, HR or degraded material in there, as the water and US action will further damage the pen. 61's are OK if you are prepared to replace the arrow should it fall out. Not all of them will, but it can happen.

Cheers,
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#12 Blatherscribe

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 03:10

QUOTE(MYU)
If your Esterbrook is so locked up with dried ink that you can't unscrew the nib, then definitely put it in an ultrasonic cleaner, keeping the celluloid barrel above the water.


Esterbrooks are made of celluloid? I thought it was plain old plastic. unsure.gif

That was going to be my next question: Avoid getting water in around the J-bar, sure, but what about a fully-disassembled Estie? Can that be dunked fully in the cleaner? A couple of the Esties I've purchased for restoration practice are feeeeelthy. I cringe at the thought of using a damp Q-tip to try to get all of that crud out of the barrel.

QUOTE(SMG)
Caution would suggest that it would be wise to refrain from putting the blind cap end of a Pelikan in a US cleaner. I have always placed pens in there nib down unless it was a totally disassembled pen, like a Vac barrel. I really don't think that you could hurt a newer Pel in an ultrasonic cleaner, but why try?


I'll be careful about getting the wrong end of my Pelikan in the cleaner, thanks for the advice on that point. smile.gif

Edited by Djehuty, 29 January 2008 - 03:12.


#13 Gerry

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 05:05

It's plain old plastic.... LOL - at least the common Esties. BHR was used earlier - but you knew that...

I don't even particularly worry about the barrel - although there's usually no reason to US on them unless the sac leaked and ink got in there - in which case the J-bar is probably already rusted. The obvious solution is to remove the J-bar, and then clean. Dry with Q-tips or compressed air (photo dusters work fine too!). As long as the cleaning fluid isn't left in the barrel for a long period of time - rusting won't be a problem.

But normally, US cleaning will be limited to the section and nib.

Regards,

Gerry

#14 Blatherscribe

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 02:50

My ultrasonic cleaner has arrived, and I have a small problem. I can't see a way to prop up my Pelikan so that it isn't completely immersed without having the nib resting against the steel tank, or very likely to slip and hit the tank (the plastic basket has large holes and narrowish slats between them).

Is vibration from the steel tank likely to damage the nib? If I put a wadded-up paper towel in there and rest the nib on that, will the paper towel prevent the cleaner from doing its job by cushioning the nib too much?


#15 SMG

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 04:04

If you put the nib in one of the holes close to the center, and rest the barrel of the pen on the side, then the nib won't actually be touching the steel base. smile.gif I have never had an issue with the nib being damaged from the US cleaner.

Cheers,
Sean
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#16 Blatherscribe

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 07:20

I'll give it a shot, thanks. smile.gif


#17 ian1964

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 04:17

Thanks, this is a helpful thread. mind you I doubt anyone will be reading my reply being as the thread 7 years old....but thank you anyway :D



#18 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 23:28

My ultrasonic cleaner has arrived, and I have a small problem. I can't see a way to prop up my Pelikan so that it isn't completely immersed without having the nib resting against the steel tank, or very likely to slip and hit the tank (the plastic basket has large holes and narrowish slats between them).

Is vibration from the steel tank likely to damage the nib? If I put a wadded-up paper towel in there and rest the nib on that, will the paper towel prevent the cleaner from doing its job by cushioning the nib too much?

 

Cut a piece of pizza box about 2-3" wide and long enough to go Well over the edges of your cleaner. You can always bend the ends of the cardboard band down to kind of hold it a little on the top of the cleaner. 

 

Poke a hole in the middle of the cardboard strip and slowly enlarge the hole with your little finger until it will snuggly hold the pen nib down.

 

Lay the strip across the top of the cleaner and push the pen down until it's far enough in the solution to cover what part you are sonicating. (You are using the friction fit of the pen in the hole to hold the pen in the right position in the cleaning solution.)

 

Nothing touches the pen down in the cleaner but cleaner.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl



#19 Herrjaeger

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 21:50

Excellent, practical suggestion.

#20 praxim

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 22:11

I just put a bit of cotton cloth, a bit of old T-shirt has about the right weight, below the nib tip in the basket. Even if that were to reduce the vibratory effect, it is only at the tip which is not the main part I am trying to clean. Another bit of cloth can cushion the barrel where it rests on the edge if that is a concern.


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