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Thread: Anyone been, lured into the Sonic Cleanser deal, yet?

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Anyone been, lured into the Sonic Cleanser deal, yet?

    So, I'm doing the super compact loading scenario lately,
    squeezing into the forecastle of my boat project,...




    as a result, the case polishing, has been manual,...which seems fine really,..... so far

    through about 7 reloads of the fifty cases I have, they are maybe getting gradually dirtier

    Then I'm reading some magazine article, the oldtimer reloader article, mentions
    potential scratching of dies and chambers when taking shortcuts on case polishing

    pretty debatable I think, (keepin' 'em pretty clean at the range, box to mag to box again,
    so it's just a little powder black around the neck I'm wiping off, right)

    and of course the article on Handloading is a promo for the Hornady Sonic Cleanser "New Mag Cleanser" unit or something

    but as I look at it, the speed of cleaning, cleaning the inside of the case as well as the outside,etc.

    I'm Feeling "Lured In," to one of the little units,

    Any of you folks using these yet, is it worth it for just a little case cleaning ??
    maybe even, "The Cats Meow ??"
    or spendy gimmickry for those with extra $$ laying around?
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Bought one a couple weeks back...then work demanded all my time. Plan on using it to clean some 338 edge brass tomorrow. Will report back with pro/con

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Don't have one but thinking hard on it, Id add to your question which is the best sonic cleaner. Dirty brass will kill a die, Ive done it, but we are talking dirty range pick-up from the mud and shake it off dirty brass.
    Andy
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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I have one and have used it a fair amount and it does good on the cleaning. I use Distilled water, a cup of white vinegar, a cup of lemon juice, and a few drops of dawn. I found that recipe somewhere, maybe on here.

    The cases come out clean, but not pretty. If you want pretty you still need a vibratory cleaner.

    My ultrasonic cleaner came from Harbor Freight. It is the SAME unit that Lyman sells, i.e. I am pretty sure Lyman just puts their stickers on the HF model. It was half the price of the Lyman on sale and less than any other gun industry company's model. It is quite a bit bigger than the small Hornady and nearly as big as the large Hornady model.

    Mine will hold 80-100 45 colt cases, but it cleans better with 20-30 at a time. I have not tried any of the commercial cleaners to see if they work better.

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    Default Ultrasonic cleaning & LemiShine

    I've been proclaiming the ultrasonic cleaning of brass for the last 30 or 40 years! It sure has taken a long time for others to discover the method.

    Over the years I've used all sorts of cleaners with good sucess but what really works GREAT is LemiShine. A dishwashing liquid and LemiShine solution will clean and shine/brighten up the cases in a matter of minutes. The LemiShine solution will also work great on stainless steel guns but don't try it on anything made of carbon steel.

    If you have a tumbler, try cleaning some tumbled cases in a ultrasonic cleaner. You will be amazed at all the crud and crap that the tumblers leave in cases.

    And- if you don't have a tumbler or ultrasonic cleaner just try some LemiShine and liquid dishwashing detergent in hot water. A detergent / LemiShine solution in hot water will clean cases pretty well alone.


    Quote Originally Posted by evandailey View Post
    I have one and have used it a fair amount and it does good on the cleaning. I use Distilled water, a cup of white vinegar, a cup of lemon juice, and a few drops of dawn. I found that recipe somewhere, maybe on here.

    The cases come out clean, but not pretty. If you want pretty you still need a vibratory cleaner.

    My ultrasonic cleaner came from Harbor Freight. It is the SAME unit that Lyman sells, i.e. I am pretty sure Lyman just puts their stickers on the HF model. It was half the price of the Lyman on sale and less than any other gun industry company's model. It is quite a bit bigger than the small Hornady and nearly as big as the large Hornady model.

    Mine will hold 80-100 45 colt cases, but it cleans better with 20-30 at a time. I have not tried any of the commercial cleaners to see if they work better.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    I expect I've been missing something, but for more than four decades I've just used a rock tumbler with white rice. Absolutely polished cases, clean inside and out.

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    I took the bait last winter when the Hornady units went on sale. The Hornady One Shot solution is a waste of time and lots of money. You can use Lemishine (carr's, wally Mart, or fred's) or use acetic acid and dish soap. I have yet to use lemishine, but the acetic acid from the health food store mixed with the distilled water and Dawn worked well on some old brass I had laying around. Next batch of brass will be this spring after some sighting in work and then I will test the lemishine and compare to the acetic acid solution. Lemishine is acetic acid, but has some other surfactants that improve its performance.

    The one thing that I noticed with acetic acid is that some of the brass ends up with a coppery hint to it. I looked up the reason why, but forget the exact chemistry. Its not an issue with using the brass.

    Primer pockets on remmington brass didn't seem to want to clean up as well as other brands and I had to brush them before treatment.

    If you are looking for pretty shiny brass the best solution is a tumbler and stainless media. It is no more messy than the sonic cleaner.

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    Default LemiShine or acetic acid

    I used acetic acid and about everything else until I tried LemiShine. LemiShine is most likely citric - not acetic -acid; I don't recall if I've tried citrix acid or not but LemiShine is cheap enough in the quanities I use. I add a bit of dishwashing liquid to the LemiShine solution to help remove the sizing lube and act as a general surfactant. Even the Remington primer pockets come out clean in 10 min or so.

    LemiShine will also cause a copper hue if the brass is left in the solution too long- the acid will disolve the zinc faster the brass leaving the copper intact.

    The stainless media works well but you have to seperate out the media etc. With the LemiSHine in my ultrasonic cleaner I put the brass in nylon mess food bags and simply remove the bags from the cleaner and rinse them several time. Can't get much easier!


    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    I took the bait last winter when the Hornady units went on sale. The Hornady One Shot solution is a waste of time and lots of money. You can use Lemishine (carr's, wally Mart, or fred's) or use acetic acid and dish soap. I have yet to use lemishine, but the acetic acid from the health food store mixed with the distilled water and Dawn worked well on some old brass I had laying around. Next batch of brass will be this spring after some sighting in work and then I will test the lemishine and compare to the acetic acid solution. Lemishine is acetic acid, but has some other surfactants that improve its performance.

    The one thing that I noticed with acetic acid is that some of the brass ends up with a coppery hint to it. I looked up the reason why, but forget the exact chemistry. Its not an issue with using the brass.

    Primer pockets on remmington brass didn't seem to want to clean up as well as other brands and I had to brush them before treatment.

    If you are looking for pretty shiny brass the best solution is a tumbler and stainless media. It is no more messy than the sonic cleaner.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly 2 View Post
    I expect I've been missing something, but for more than four decades I've just used a rock tumbler with white rice. Absolutely polished cases, clean inside and out.
    I tried rice, hang in the flash holes on me and was a pain. I thought it might be good before decamping, but then you still have dirty pockets.
    Andy
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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    +1 for LemiShine!
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    I took the bait last winter when the Hornady units went on sale. The Hornady One Shot solution is a waste of time and lots of money. You can use Lemishine (carr's, wally Mart, or fred's) or use acetic acid and dish soap. I have yet to use lemishine, but the acetic acid from the health food store mixed with the distilled water and Dawn worked well on some old brass I had laying around. Next batch of brass will be this spring after some sighting in work and then I will test the lemishine and compare to the acetic acid solution. Lemishine is acetic acid, but has some other surfactants that improve its performance.

    The one thing that I noticed with acetic acid is that some of the brass ends up with a coppery hint to it. I looked up the reason why, but forget the exact chemistry. Its not an issue with using the brass.

    Primer pockets on remmington brass didn't seem to want to clean up as well as other brands and I had to brush them before treatment.

    If you are looking for pretty shiny brass the best solution is a tumbler and stainless media. It is no more messy than the sonic cleaner.
    AK Ray - you mentioned that the hornady one shot solution is a waste of time; are you satisfied with the hornady ultrasonic cleaner unit itself ? I also am "on the fence" between a hornady unit and a lyman unit ??
    Anybody else have experience with the function of these units ?
    Sounds like they all "work" and the effectiveness issue is the cleaning solution itself, is this correct ?

    Thanks for any feedback

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    I have one and have used it twice with the Hornady solution. I bought the bigger one. It takes some time to clean everything out, maybe 8 minutes or so. But really, that is not too long. The primer pockets were good and the insides were clean. No more lube on the cases. Not shiny, but I do not care. The smaller units have less power and less capacity. I would imagine it would take a lot longer to clean cases. I also bet the Hornady and Lyman models are the same thing from the same manufacturer, just a little different plastic on the outside. I have never used a tumbler, so I don't know the difference. I was really most interested in cleaning primer pockets quickly, and this seems to work for that just fine. Give them a rinse and dry them off. I put them in the oven for 10 minutes or so on the lowest heat spread out over a cookie sheet. I was doing 300win and 338 win cartridges, I bet pistol cases would be WAY faster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbikeguy View Post
    I also am "on the fence" between a hornady unit and a lyman unit ??
    Anybody else have experience with the function of these units ?
    If you are at all serious about the Lyman unit, go to a Harbor Freight or order from them online and you will get the EXACT same machine (but without Lyman's name on it). If you watch HF's sale ads you can get theirs for about half the price of the Lyman. I think I paid $55 when I bought mine. It works great as long as you don't get over zealous and put too many cases in it at once.

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    Member DanAKAL's Avatar
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    I've not used any of the sonic cleaners so can't comment. However, given your space requirements perhaps this small size vibratory tumbler would be more to your liking.

    http://store.smartreloader-usa.com/s...mblernano.aspx

    Dan

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbikeguy View Post
    AK Ray - you mentioned that the hornady one shot solution is a waste of time; are you satisfied with the hornady ultrasonic cleaner unit itself ?
    Thanks for any feedback
    The small sized unit I bought is fine. It is small so if you need to process lots of cases it will turn into an all day affair. I think the manual said 200 pistol cases (9mm). As most folks point out the Hornady model appears to be identical to the way cheaper Harbor Freight model.

    This is a good post about ultra sonics and other cleaning methods.

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/foru...leaners-59999/

    On other shooting forums there are lots of threads about case cleaning methods. On one of my searches I found that there is a commerical sonic cleaning solution made called citrinox. It costs a lot per gallon, and is not sold locally. TTT Environmental can order it or you can try to buy it through Amazon. Shipping may make that too costly. After lots of post reading I decided to stick with the home grown process of citric acid solution and soap since the citrinox MSDS clearly states that it is citric acid and several surfactants in a water solution.

    On some of the threads out there in the intertubes you will see discussions about case orientation when in the cleaner. Some guys swear by having the cases all mouth up. Others swear by having the cases mouth up in a glass beaker sitting in the cleaner tank and only a little bit of water in the cleaner tank to conduct the wave. Way too much "science" with no actual imperical data to support anyone's claim.

    I just filled the basket up with cases and dunked them under then pushed the button. Three or four cycles, give them a rinse and dry in a low temp oven if needed.

    BTW - I was incorrect about the acetic acid. It is citric acid that I am using. The natural pantry carries it by the pound in their candle making section.

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    Was satisfied with the outcome. Brass was clean inside and out. Primer pockets 90%. Used the Lyman model with the Lyman solution. Will try the LemiShine next time. Cleaned each batch on the 8min cycle and dried in oven on warm setting.

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    Have any of you tried using a crockpot? I just heard yesterday that it works well cleaning things. Just add water and soap and they come out really clean. Jim

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    I haven't tried it on brass yet but I am a lemishine believer! We have HARD water and it has been night and day in our dish washer! The glasses come out spot free and even the heating element looks cleaner after using it 100% of the time for the last 4 months. I suspect that it will prove to be the "magic powder" that some sites are reporting it to be with any wet brass processing techniques.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdb3 View Post
    Have any of you tried using a crockpot? I just heard yesterday that it works well cleaning things. Just add water and soap and they come out really clean. Jim
    That's a good one,....I'm wondering now, are these Sonic Cleaners actually glorified Crockpots,...??

    I broke down and bought a little compact one, the Lyman 700 something,...

    found it for only $65 or so,(on sale at Cabellas) and thought I'd try the "Official Sonic Solution" for it, (another $16 for the bottle, enuf for a long time)
    as I hadn't seen Lemishine around yet,.....wanted to try it when I got home that night, right?

    So this is the perfect size unit for my situation,...maybe 8"x10" 6" tall, easy to store on the boat somewhere
    (tho I was tempted to get the little tumbler "Nano")
    I have all the tumbler stuff at home, so didn't want to duplicate all that
    and to try something new for $80 total, that's not a hard decision,....and it sure looks cool and smart,....right,...??



    So, after all this Lemishine advice, I wish I would have waited til morning, found some at Walmart or something

    I ran the heavy dirt solution mix and ran 3min cycles,....again and again,.....sounded all cool and Hi-tech
    Lights and Buzzing and all,....


    but the end result was really not very impressive,....I had to still wipe them down and picked up a fair bit of black
    on the paper towel
    and then inside of the cases does not look like anything has improved at all ,...????

    These were not really dirty at all on the outside, just not "Tumbler shiny",
    I had already Uniformed and Brushed out the Primer Pockets, and Necksized them, wiping by hand as I have been doing

    So all I was looking for was the "as advertised," shiny clean inside the case,......NOPE, Not At All

    and then the drying of the cases, (without an oven around in the fc'sle of the boat) was agonizingly slow
    Next morning,...... still moist down inside the case
    so, I ended up running my Shopvac on Blower Mode, to air dry them

    I did finally get to a Walmart and found Lemishine, so next time,...I'll "Follow Directions" from the Forum folks
    and I will admit I didn't have Distilled water around that night,
    so just used water that had been run thru a Brita Filter, seemed fine, maybe not(?)

    Anyway,...Not so impressive so far, beyond these assets,...
    - really compact and easy to store,
    - really quite Fast, (if just concerned for the outside of the case, it's about a 10-12 minute deal, with clean-up 30min.)
    (with Case Drying wait,.....20 hours or so,...heh heh, or 5min with the shopvac or air compressor)
    - one little bottle of solution to stash for a lot of cleaning, maybe better than the vibratory granule mixes, Barely

    I'm not really a "Believer," yet

    Did I blow it trying to get a little compact one ??

    I wonder what a little Lemishine, little Joy soap, and a mini Crockpot would have set me back,...$$,...??

    Geez, now that I think about it,....$80 is about 3 pounds of powder,.....Yikes, shoulda just kept wipin' 'em by hand

    Reloading has saved me sooooo much money tho, .........
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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