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Ultrasonic Record Cleaning with some help from IKEA


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Have been considering purchasing a Record cleaning machine for some time but found the cost of commercial machines quite prohibitive.

With the dawn of 3D printers, wands for vacuum machines have become cheaper but after much searching of the web, consensus appears to be that the best result is from Ultrasonic baths.

Ultrasonic baths can now be had for a reasonable price and again consensus appears to be that the 40kh units are ok, with the commercial cleaners using this frequency.

That led me to look at ways to suspend the records over the bath and turn them.

 

The “Vinyl Stack” http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/161402849405?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT is a really neat solution but the machine plus post is around $500, so my next thought was could I make something as good, cheaper.

 

My solution was arrived at after looking at what others had done and some trial and error.

The platform for my machine is made out of an IKEA cutting board and I used three more to complete all the other parts.

The motor for turning the records is a BBQ Rotisserie motor. 

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/171563301027?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

The rod for suspending the records is an old tent pole and the brass ferule that holds them in position, originally held the spindle for a Turntable, I just drilled it right through so I could slip it on the rod.

The discs were cut with a hole saw and the foam is 6mm, self-adhesive, closed cell from Clark Rubber. All the parts are screwed together.

The Bath came through ebay.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/322171248214?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

I have now cleaned around a dozen LP’s and I am quite happy with the results.

 

All up the cost has been around $250

Motor $28

Bath   $185

Foam Rubber $15.50

Ikea cutting boards $12

 

I would probably do some things differently, if I made a second one, find a slightly thicker board for one and I am sure there will be some fine tuning over the next few weeks, plus some experimentation with cleaning solution, time and temperature  but I think it establishes that anyone with a few tools and a bit of time can make a RCM for a reasonable cost.

 

 

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Edited by EV Cali
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My main hope is that this post will encourage people to make one for them selves, as all you need is a jig saw, electric drill and a hole saw.

I am happy to provide any information any one needs and can't pick up from the the pictures and write up.

 

It is also a presently a work in progress. The first thing I have become aware of is that the spindle needs to be lower ,so the records sit lower in the water.

When I played one of the LP's I had cleaned ,that was particularly in need of a clean, I could hear a distinct differences in the sound quality of the last centimeter or so.

To remedy this I intend to lower the unit so it sits  lower in the bath.

Will post pictures after I have done the alteration tomorrow.  

 

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Have now lowered every thing, so records sit lower in the bath, so more of the record is covered by the water and is being cleaned.

Not possible to lower any more than this in a bath this size but records are now fully covered, with out the water being too high.

 

If I had the skills and access to a lathe I would  like to make the spindle out of  8mm square, stainless steel  bar, so that it locates in the motor recess.It could then be turned down to 6mm round for the records, a thread added to securer the spacers with a wing nut and finally turned down to 4mm to sit on the rest.

     

 

 

 

rcm r2.JPG

rcm r.JPG

Edited by EV Cali
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Great job Robin,

 

I have been thinking about it, but no garage or decent workspace (pretty poor excuse). Looks great.

 

That was a great idea using the ikea boards like you did.

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Go for it 

Just wait till you have the place to your self and then use the kitchen table. If you end up with a few holes in it tell your partner it is woodworm.

 

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I have been asked by members what I use for cleaning fluid. 

For my machine , in a 6lt bath I use tap water, about 100ml  Isopropyl Alcohol and about 20ml Photo Flow.

It gives a excellence result and is cheap ,so after cleaning 30 or so LP's I just throw it out .

Some use distilled water but I do not feel the need.

I mix it up in the tank and am not too scientific about it. I have now started to  put some cold water in and then a kettle of boiling water. I have mine set at 45 degrees and with out some hot water it takes the machine about an hour to get to this temp.

My records just air dry in a washing up rack at around twenty minutes ,depending on the weather.

I have just ordered 5.750 lt of IPA off of ebay for $35 ,this should last years. The bottle in the picture is just a Lt bottle.  Only a small amount of Photo-flo is used ,so the cost per tank is insignificant.

Photoflow is used in photographic printing and it stops water marks / spots, as the photos are drying. I could not find it on line and purchased mine from a photographic shop in Brisbane.

 

Photo flow.JPG

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Very nice Robin.

Can you tell me the speed of the motor and how long you rotate the record in the cleaning solution. I certainly plan to build one...

Thanks 

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Hi Malcolm

As you can probably imagine ,as it is a BBQ rotisserie motor, it turns quite slow.  Just counted about two RPM. 

 

For the time, the consensus in the postings on the net  is Fifteen minutes. Longer is not a problem as it does not appear possible to do any damage. 

So you can do about 16 in an hour. I am normally bored with it after a couple of hours so I just leave it and do some more another day.

I have even used it on brand new records, that had some hiss and it has removed this . I assume there must have been some of the release agent from the press left on it. 

 

It would be good to see your finished machine and any improvements you come up with.

Edited by EV Cali
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21 minutes ago, coylum said:

Very nice Robin.

Can you tell me the speed of the motor and how long you rotate the record in the cleaning solution. I certainly plan to build one...

Thanks 

Look forward to another update. I'll eventually get around to trying something. 

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Most of the second hand records I have, have  been cleaned by wiping them with a cloth and some fluid when I first got them and I assumed them to be reasonably clean.

After cleaning around 30 LP's with the Ultrasonic bath  I was amazed at the amount of dirt sitting in the bottom of the bath.

I have never used a vacuum cleaner but consensus across the net,  from people that have them,  is that Ultrasonic is better.

My own thoughts are that the USB does not have any contact with the records and rubbing them with a cleaning pad and then vacuuming them ,just like wiping them with a cloth, must do some damage and get less dirt out.

Plus making up your own fluid is really cheap 

 

Edited by EV Cali
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  • 2 weeks later...

@Ian McP

Hi Ian 

Yes I am an IKEA fan.

My records and cd's are all in IKEA units.

I had not seen site you linked to but it was mentioned on this site that I posted a picture of my machine on.

http://thevinylfactory.com/vinyl-factory-releases/ikea-hacks-for-vinyl-lovers/

 

I especially liked the double bed. If only I could convince my Wife.

 

ExpeditBed4.jpg

 

Edited by EV Cali
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On 3 September 2016 at 7:57 PM, EV Cali said:

My main hope is that this post will encourage people to make one for them selves, as all you need is a jig saw, electric drill and a hole saw.

I am happy to provide any information any one needs and can't pick up from the the pictures and write up.

 

It is also a presently a work in progress. The first thing I have become aware of is that the spindle needs to be lower ,so the records sit lower in the water.

When I played one of the LP's I had cleaned ,that was particularly in need of a clean, I could hear a distinct differences in the sound quality of the last centimeter or so.

To remedy this I intend to lower the unit so it sits  lower in the bath.

Will post pictures after I have done the alteration tomorrow.  

 

Been contemplating a RCM for some time, Only just spotted your steampunk model.

 

Great post, I'm getting a bath, let's see what I come up with.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Powerglide said:

 Only just spotted your steampunk model.

 

I like to think of it more as IKEA Modern.

 

I am very interested to see how yours turns out .

Edited by EV Cali
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Inspired by this post im going to have a crack at building one as well. Hoping to incorporate an auto lift feature to raise/lover the records into the bath with will allow them to dry without having to mess around will a separate drying station.

 

This is what im planning on using for the lift mechanism and the 1 RPM motor (slowest I could find) 

s-l1600.jpg

s-l1600 (1).jpg

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@Tubularbells

That is great.

I can't wait to see what you come up with. one of the reasons I posted lots of pictures but not a step by step guide, is to inspire others to come up with some thing different or better that we can all learn from. 

Although just copying mine is not a problem either . I am happy to provide information on my build and answer any questions from any one who wants to ask.

Mine is based on a number of others I saw on the net with a bit of inspiration on top.

 

The rotisserie motor that I have used turns at  about 2 rpm.

 

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6 minutes ago, Upfront said:

Look at this on eBay http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/322304502258
This way your only playing with 12vdc rather than 230/240v

The bath is 240 anyway, I like the BBQ motor for its square drive as I'm planning to do quick release multiple spindles, the engineers have not approved the blueprint yet but all looks good in my head.

 

contemplating the analog dials on the bath out of respect to the records 

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@EV Cali

On 3 September 2016 at 4:08 PM, EV Cali said:

Have been considering purchasing a Record cleaning machine for some time but found the cost of commercial machines quite prohibitive.

With the dawn of 3D printers, wands for vacuum machines have become cheaper but after much searching of the web, consensus appears to be that the best result is from Ultrasonic baths.

Ultrasonic baths can now be had for a reasonable price and again consensus appears to be that the 40kh units are ok, with the commercial cleaners using this frequency.

That led me to look at ways to suspend the records over the bath and turn them.

 

The “Vinyl Stack” http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/161402849405?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT is a really neat solution but the machine plus post is around $500, so my next thought was could I make something as good, cheaper.

 

My solution was arrived at after looking at what others had done and some trial and error.

The platform for my machine is made out of an IKEA cutting board and I used three more to complete all the other parts.

The motor for turning the records is a BBQ Rotisserie motor. 

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/171563301027?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

The rod for suspending the records is an old tent pole and the brass ferule that holds them in position, originally held the spindle for a Turntable, I just drilled it right through so I could slip it on the rod.

The discs were cut with a hole saw and the foam is 6mm, self-adhesive, closed cell from Clark Rubber. All the parts are screwed together.

The Bath came through ebay.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/322171248214?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

I have now cleaned around a dozen LP’s and I am quite happy with the results.

 

All up the cost has been around $250

Motor $28

Bath   $185

Foam Rubber $15.50

Ikea cutting boards $12

 

I would probably do some things differently, if I made a second one, find a slightly thicker board for one and I am sure there will be some fine tuning over the next few weeks, plus some experimentation with cleaning solution, time and temperature  but I think it establishes that anyone with a few tools and a bit of time can make a RCM for a reasonable cost.

 

 

DSCN3022.JPG

DSCN3028.JPG

DSCN3026.JPG

DSCN3027.JPG

DSCN3028.JPG

DSCN3030.JPG

DSCN3031.JPG

You can tell a lot by a man's or woman's shed, I was admiring your beat the drum matches when I spied a little J90 bullnose plane and then a fairly expensive record No 4, if I'm not mistaken, not normally found in your home handymans kit.

 

I'm not a stalker or a CSI agent, just been building timber joinery ++++ for 35

years 

 

my workshop now has a small steel fab section, thinking to do my bath lid / motor mount out of stainless 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Upfront said:

Look at this on eBay http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/322304502258
This way your only playing with 12vdc rather than 230/240v

 

Thanks @Upfront have just ordered one of those motors as well as that way I can control the motor and actuator for the lift mech of one battery. Also grabbed a couple of speed controls as well.

 

This one to slow the record rotational speed even further (not sure if required)

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/322224371896?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

And this is a neat solution for the lifting mech at it ha a switch for up/down along with a dial to control the speed (which I thought might be handy when lowering the disks into the fluid as it gives some fine tuning so that you can stop just below the label ensuring full cleaning coverage)

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/322321358004

 

s-l1600 (2).jpg

s-l1600 (3).jpg

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9 hours ago, Powerglide said:

@EV Cali

You can tell a lot by a man's or woman's shed, I was admiring your beat the drum matches when I spied a little J90 bullnose plane and then a fairly expensive record No 4, if I'm not mistaken, not normally found in your home handymans kit.

 

I'm not a stalker or a CSI agent, just been building timber joinery ++++ for 35

years 

 

my workshop now has a small steel fab section, thinking to do my bath lid / motor mount out of stainless 

 

 

Well spotted. I did a Carpentry apprenticeship in 1975 but not on my tools now.

You can actually plane the plastic cutting boards to get a good edge , after you have cut them with the jig saw or hand saw.

 

We will have to start a  'Show us your DIY , Ultrasonic Record Cleaning Machine' Thread  soon.

 

 

 

 

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@Powerglide

The square drive of the motor is about 25mm deep. The size of the bath is quite tight .

The depth of the drive means that to remove the spindle you have to move the whole spindle just over 25mm, before it can be removed .

To overcome this I filled in half of the drive with a square bit of the cutting board.

This means you now only have to move the spindle just over 12mm  to remove it.

 

Hope this make sense.

 

Robin 

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Dumb ass - I put the wrong street no on my initial eBay order that duplicated to the following orders, all my stuff went to the neighbours they signed for it realised it wasn't for them and sent it back. Three weeks on and I've only tracked down the icy 

 

Farrrrrrrrrrk 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi @EV Cali - finally getting around to putting my cleaner together....

 

I have the US Cleaner machine & can see that as the bath/tank length is 300mm, the 300mm diam record/s need to lowered down to close proximity with the tank ends if cleaning up to near the record label is required.

 

I know that water level can probably be raised to exceed (a little) the maximum depth/height indicated on the tank insides, but what is the height of your mtr axis C/L above the (st steel) tank top, that you have set?

 

Cheers, Owen

http://darklanternforowen.wordpress.com/

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Hi Owen

I put the records on the spindle and then sat them on the bath. Now put a few mm of packing at each end so they are slightly raised and not touching the ends of the bath, this will give you the height for the spindle. 

This will give you the maximum amount of record in the fluid. On my machine the distance from the top the bath to the bottom of the spindle is about 26mm.

If you have it too low they touch the bath and will not turn.

You will end up with about 12mm of the record run off,  not in the fluid. I just wipe the run off area with a clothe before I put them in the machine.

 

This was my second attempt, the first one was too high and some of the music was not covered. 

 

USRCM 1.JPGUSRCM_2.JPG

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Thanks, Robin.

I see that this setup will give me about 4mm clearance each end - glad to hear that this is workable - I imagine that the whole holder assembly would need to be a firm friction fit on the machine, in order to not move with the US vibration.

 

Cheers, Owen

http://darklanternforowen.wordpress.com/

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It is purely friction that holds the frame in position but it is not a tight fit . The vibration  only  affects the items in the tank not the tank its self .

 

You could add an end stop ,after you have slid the frame on but it is not really needed 

 

 

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4 hours ago, EV Cali said:

Hi Owen

I put the records on the spindle and then sat them on the bath. Now put a few mm of packing at each end so they are slightly raised and not touching the ends of the bath.

This will give you the maximum amount of record in the fluid. On my machine the distance from the top the bath to the bottom of the spindle is about 26mm.

If you have it too low they touch the bath and will not turn.

You will end up with about 12mm of the record run off,  not in the fluid. I just wipe the run off area with a clothe before I put them in the machine.

 

Hi Robin - just a detail point - is that 26mm measured to the top of the plastic frame, or down to the top of the stainless steel tank?

 

Cheers, Owen

http://darklanternforowen.wordpress.com/

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6 hours ago, Owen Y said:

Hi @EV Cali - finally getting around to putting my cleaner together....

 

I have the US Cleaner machine & can see that as the bath/tank length is 300mm, the 300mm diam record/s need to lowered down to close proximity with the tank ends if cleaning up to near the record label is required.

 

I know that water level can probably be raised to exceed (a little) the maximum depth/height indicated on the tank insides, but what is the height of your mtr axis C/L above the (st steel) tank top, that you have set?

 

Cheers, Owen

http://darklanternforowen.wordpress.com/

 

I'll be round soon with my vinyl for you to clean! :D

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