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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Uncleaned Ancient Coins  |  Uncleaned Ancient Coin Discussion (Moderator: bruce61813)  |  Topic: Ultrasonic cleaner o.k. for coins? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Ultrasonic cleaner o.k. for coins?  (Read 33833 times)
caveman
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« on: February 03, 2002, 07:38:23 pm »

i have an ultrasonic cleaner, is it ok to clean roman bronzes with?

thanks
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Goldcrafter
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2002, 07:45:42 am »

I own a very aggresive Ultrasonic cleaner. I have filled it with filtered water and suspended a few coins in it with plastic clamps.
The looser dirt just flows away real nice,the harder materials tend to stay right where they are.
Now, im not leaving these coins in very long,60sec,I am afraid the intense vibration on such an old and perhaps brittle item will leave me with many small coin bits.
As i aquire some coins im not afraid to destroy,ill leave them in for extended periods and repost with what happens.
            Goldcrafter
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bruce61813
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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2002, 11:36:58 am »

 I recently bought a small, low power Branson 200 ultra sonic cleaner. It was designed for clleaning eyeglasses and other small items. You can use TSP or an alternative and very hot water in it. It's timed cycle is about 5 minutes. Just dirty coins that a water soak did nothing for, started to visable
shed dirt within 2 minutes. It does not bother bronze or copper
or their patina. I was using something calle ALCONOX, it is TSP & Washing soda. Even dish soap in the tank seems to work for just dirt that a brass brush doesn't want to remove easily.
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Goldcrafter
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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2002, 06:24:00 pm »

Be sure to keep your coins separated and off the metal bottom of the tank,you could probably get some bad wear spots otherwise.
   Goldcrafter
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Xerburous
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2003, 10:42:02 am »

Well I can say with confidence that Ultrasonics are the way to go, you only have to be ontop of the situation watching out how long youy leave it in there, For silver coins It's the cats meow, For bronze coins It's also great, but you have to watch out, it will take off patination. NOW the type I purchased :- K&E LEROY ULTRASONIC
It's a LAB GRADE ultrasonic cleaner, has variable Automatic Frequency adjustments(It's a degassing stage, then 1st clean cycle then 2 clean cycle and so on, the water actually gets hot from the frequencies employed. It's right at the moment cleaning one of my silver coins with heavy hard encrustations, after 20 min. there is discoloration of the distilled water and the crust is pitting and falling off Smiley GOT TO LOVE THIS. anyhow when the coin is clean I will post a shot.
All I can say is If, you can get yourself one of these Hold onto it and take care of it, it's worth it's wieght n gold Smiley
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Xerburous
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2003, 01:50:15 pm »

I'm not really sure, it's high enough that it makes the water hot, so it's pretty high ocillations I'd say, It's also the Amplitude of the sound that is important. So what if they vibrate at 90K if they are only doing it at .025watts. You need to achieve well over 20-30 watts to get things falling off. If I had gone for the big soaking vat type cleaner it would clean the coin in minutes, but they are even more expensive. For coin cleaning this is just right, gentle enough not to kill the patination if you watch out, but strong enough to shake the dirt off.
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Xerburous
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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2003, 04:00:46 pm »

none ruined, they clean up fine this is the one that came clean first, just had dirt on it(moderate deposite composing of patination and granular sand). It cleaned the dirt from the everywhere on the coin. The other coins I had left to clean are more rocks than coins so I'm waiting for my competition coins before I make another attempt at cleaning, you'll get to see the after results, I'll be useing the machine to clean them after the first toothbrushing, this will let me know what coins will come clean easy or if there is macro work to be done. Anyhow I'll keep posting results as I can manage. I have until now only used it on a few of the rocks with minor results, they are cement, I think that they willl sooner or later shed the calcifications.
From what I have seen for competion coins this Ultrasound device will do the job rather nicly, cleans them to a nice shine Smiley Every machine is going to be a little different, just have pacients, remember that all your doing is saveing yourelf the work of scubbing they are not miricle machines they are time savers, you don't need to dedicate as much time sitting around scrubbing. I find all in all it's a nice way of getting some finer details clean too, it seems to get nicely into the cracks, where my brush does not tent to reach. Anyhow I can only speak for my self when I say I find it fairly usefull, Most of the coins that I have tried with it have come cleaner or have atleast shown some improvments, but as I stated Most of the ones that are left over form my batch purchases are rocks Smiley kinda hard to get clean even with a hammer Smiley    Hope this answers some of the question you had about why I did not post sooner and about the performance of the equipment . I'll keep posting as it gets done. Grin
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TKE96
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« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2003, 04:15:11 pm »

What is your soak solution made up of?
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Xerburous
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« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2003, 08:20:14 pm »

Distilled water, mild dish soap, and a dab of defoamer. Nothin special, by the way my machine is on the fritz, so i'm back to scrubbing coins till it comes back from shop. Undecided oh well tiss the risk when buying used equipment. I don't think it'll cost too much to get repaired so thats a good thing. I'm thinking of muying additional units to give me a bit more le-way, one machine is just too little for the volume I'm working with now. Maybe one bigger machine, anyhow If I get something I'll be posting it here to show you how it works. By the way, I was able to use it on 3 of my competion coins with great success, it gets rid of the dirt, but I finished them by brush, just to be sure they did not get screwed up by accident.
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Xerburous
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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2003, 05:45:25 pm »

Ok the good news first, My machine has a blown power resistor, so I can fix that myself, I purchased another machine, PUC Cleaner, same sort of thingie with a heater also build in,
ok now for the reply, As it turns out I had to do a bit of reading on the subject to find out the leanth of time and duty cycles of the machines and so on, as it turns out... DON"T put the coin on the bottom of the pan at all.... DO PUT the coin towards the top 1 inch of the solution. Fill the tank to within 1 inch of the top or too the fill line on tank. Put a touch of dish soap into the solution to improve the action of the Ultrasonics . If you have a container that you use that attaches onto the machine then your better off, mines got no cotainer so I rigged one , the ones with the containers have no problems because they catch the deposits created by cleaning into themselves and do not allow the deposit to fall to the bottom of the ultrasound pan and stop the thing from ossilating proper. WHat I'm getting at is that anything thats in the main pan effects the preformance of the device and can shorten the lifetime of said device drastically. Pre soak your coins just as normal in distilled water untill the coin's deposits looks to be comming off, scrub away most of the dirt manually then put in machine. Leave it run for 10 minutes or so then clean solution, let machine cool off put in more solution ( Water and a touch of dishsoap dab a tooth pic into the dishoap what ever sticks dab into water), let machine run for 10 minutes or so, LOL, Get the pattern? hehe anyhow you'll see results after the first pass and that will allow you to gage the amount of cleaning required.
As for the crusty ones, they will come clean with repeat cycles of cleaning with brush and useing the machine. I was amazed a few times just how fast the machine gets the dirt off, if it's just a light deposit as with some of the better uncleans I've gotten lately, you put the coin in and watch as you turn on the machine... Poof all the dirt goes into solution with in a minute or so. Do not let your machine run for more than 50% of it's duty cycle, this means that if you machines maximum run time is half hour before it shuts off, run for 15 minutes instead, let it cool down and start again when the thing cools down. If you have a larger maching such as the bigger ones for cleaning needles and such for tatoo shops, then you have a safe 1 to 4 hour duty cycle depending on the model, also you will have spent about 400.00 US to get this Smiley
For the amount of cleaning I'm up too, 2 Smaller machines do fine Smiley
Oh ya and if you were wondering whats PUC, it's Pulsed Ultrasonic Cleaner... Uses lowfreaquency for turbulence and high frequency for cleaning. This one is a about 1 time more powerful that the other one I have so less time to wait.
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Xerburous
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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2003, 10:53:57 pm »

It's tranducer is closer to industrial strenth, they use this one in labs  for streilization of tools and in electronics for board and component cleaning. So it's not bad, I have just ordered that one so I'll be getting it sometime next week or later, Should be decent, I reaserched this one a bit on the internet through the various outlets that destribute them, all seem to get glowing remarks. I am looking for the Plasic tank that mounts to the top, but if I do not find a replacement tank, I'll just find a platic cup that fits Smiley
Just put a little water in tub and insert the plastic cup, make shure that the cup does not touch the tub, so the cup must be in the water, but held with a rig. fill the cup as normal to with in an inch of the top, then suspend the coin from a rig into the cup within 1 inch of the top. With this set-up according to the reaseach, you'll maximze the amount of "Cavitation", this occurs when Vaccules are created in the water through change in water pressure caused by the Ultrasonic waves, resulting in tiny implosions witch then blow microscopic particals of matter off of the harder non moving metal or whatever. The more cavitation one can Create(hence the little dab of dishsoap) the faster the cleaning process, also the more violent the process becomes, but in the grand scale of things these implostions are on such small scale they don't really cause much damage, they are just cleaning the crud off. Mind you if you would leave a coin in the soloution for any great leanth of time the coins patination would also be attacked.
Again you have to use common sence the same as you would when useing any tools on a coin. Keep checking frequently as to the progress and stop when your feeling happy about the job. Better to underclean a coin then over clean..These things CAN OVERCLEAN.
Marko
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Xerburous
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« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2003, 01:00:16 am »

Here is a coin, that is being cleaned useing my new cleaner, the set up is : I have a coin hanging into the cleaning tub from a string on the end of the string is a paperclip witch I use to atatch the coin. The string is supended from a platform rig I made out of an old coat hanger wire, The coin is placed in the solution near the top and slightly off center, the solution is Destilled water and alittle dish soap. This coin is covered in nasty black clay, hard as heck to budge with my brush, but with my PUC its a breeze, this coin started completly covered and now almost clean total runing time on machine just 45 minutes, 9 cycles of 5 minutes . I give the machine 2 cycles in a row then let it cool off. I guess from the amount of work that is already done it should clean up in about  5 or 6 more cycles ( only because the leftover residue is harder still.
It's a MAXIMIANUS AE Ant. CONCORDIAMILITUM Empurer standing faceing right, recieving victory from Jupiter standing right. KE beteen them in field I guess Cyzicus mint?
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Xerburous
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« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2003, 01:00:13 pm »

I'm having a blast with it saves me alot of scrubbin, and it's not too noisy, the other one was worse. I'm still experimenting with agents and water hieght to see what works best.
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bruce61813
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« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2003, 03:46:18 pm »

I'm having a blast with it saves me alot of scrubbin, and it's not too noisy, the other one was worse. I'm still experimenting with agents and water hieght to see what works best.

Have you tried very hot water, washing soda and a little ammonia? It really
breaks up dirt and clay.

Bruce
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Xerburous
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« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2003, 04:04:59 pm »

I'm trying that right now as we speak, just to see the difference on a different coin. Looks very promissing.
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TKE96
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« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2003, 04:48:42 pm »

I will have to try that later too!  What would a mixture like this do to a 30% silvered Ant with some crusty stuff on it?
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Xerburous
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« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2003, 09:57:02 pm »

At worst clean it? LOL The bit of detergent and the amon.. will not effect the coin, just use very little you don't need much dab some on you finder and put in solution(soap) pour alittle windex into the solution.
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Xerburous
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« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2003, 10:05:19 pm »

Here is as clean as the coin wants to get. finished and slabed, total run time 2hrs.
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TKE96
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« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2003, 05:02:03 pm »

OK
Quote
I have a coin hanging into the cleaning tub from a string on the end of the string is a paperclip witch I use to atatch the coin. The string is supended from a platform rig I made out of an old coat hanger wire, The coin is placed in the solution near the top and slightly off center, the solution is Destilled water and alittle dish soap. This coin is covered in nasty black clay, hard as heck to budge with my brush, but with my PUC its a breeze, this coin started completly covered and now almost clean total runing time on machine just 45 minutes, 9 cycles of 5 minutes . I give the machine 2 cycles in a row then let it cool off. I guess from the amount of work that is already done it should clean up in about  5 or 6 more cycles ( only because the leftover residue is harder still.
I got the same PUC for a steal from a local guy.  I am trying to see if I got this right:

You bent a coat hanger to act as a stand.  From that a string extends with a paper clip on the end.  The paperclip holds the coin suspended in the water bath and voila!  So, the paperclip is just a normal one with the coin tucked into it?  And is the coin parallel to the bottom or perpendicular?
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helvetica
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« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2003, 05:04:31 pm »

Hi
I read through the thread about ultrasound.
A friend of mine just brought me his brother's ultrasound thingy to test. The capacity of the pan seems to be about 3.4 to 4 litres. There is no manufacturer's name on it and just an on/off switch, so no kind of settings can be made.
I have a couple of questions about trying ultrasound cleaning:
1) What is dish soap ? Is this what we call "washing up liquid" (like Fairy liquid?) or solid soap (that you keep on a soap dish?)
2) How much liquid should I use in this kind of capacity unit?
3) What liquid should I use and should it be cold, or hot ?
4) How can I place the coins so they're not touching the bottom of the pan ? (Xerburous says they shouldn't be just placed on the bottom of the pan)
5) How long should it be switched on for ?
6) How many coins could I clean at a time ? Is there a limit, like there is with electrolysis (voltage/resistance..) ?
7) If you have a coin with one clean side and one grotty side, does it matter how such a coin is placed in the bath?

Would be great to get some help. I had some on the bottom of the pan and the thing made a hell of a noise in the kitchen, scared the socks off my cat and didn't seem to do much except strip the silver off a lovely campgate (the best campgate I ever had, another coin was stuck to it and when I got that off I could see all this silver on the coin.. until I used it on the ultrasound to get the grunge off the second side). OK, kick me...
Helvetica
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bruce61813
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« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2003, 06:52:35 pm »

Hi
I read through the thread about ultrasound.
A friend of mine just brought me his brother's ultrasound thingy to test. The capacity of the pan seems to be about 3.4 to 4 litres. There is no manufacturer's name on it and just an on/off switch, so no kind of settings can be made.
I have a couple of questions about trying ultrasound cleaning:
1) What is dish soap ? Is this what we call "washing up liquid" (like Fairy liquid?) or solid soap (that you keep on a soap dish?)
Yes, it is the same , liquid soap, also powdered soap for automatic dishwashers may also work. Test some cheap coins first. I always have a few of the real cheap one for this type experiment.
2) How much liquid should I use in this kind of capacity unit?What ever you like, try 1/2 to 3/4 full
3) What liquid should I use and should it be cold, or hot ? I have found that hot works best, but I have a less powerful machine
4) How can I place the coins so they're not touching the bottom of the pan ? find some window screen wire, and make a flwt bottomed basket(Xerburous says they shouldn't be just placed on the bottom of the pan)
5) How long should it be switched on for ? Try 5 minutes for real dirty coins
6) How many coins could I clean at a time ? Is there a limit, like there is with electrolysis (voltage/resistance..) ?[color=blue] Not really, it depends on how dirty the coins are, you might have to change the water it can get very muddy[/color]
7) If you have a coin with one clean side and one grotty side, does it matter how such a coin is placed in the bath? No

sorry to hear about the silvered CG  Undecided  The reason for keeping thcoins off the bottom is the banging will cause flat spots on the coins.

Bruce
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TKE96
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« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2003, 09:21:20 pm »

As far as the ultrasound is concerned you can do two things instead of a basket:
1.  Have a paper clip on a sting hold the coin perpendicular to the bottom (suspended)
2.  Us a piece of wire, and some screen from a window - thread the screen with the wire making a loop for the coin to sit in perpendicular to the bottom.

BTW-
If anyone is interested in that PUC that Xerberous has, and I got as well, I can talk to the guy I got mine from and maybe get them for around $50-55 shipped ( I would pick it up and ship it since the guy is within 15 miles of me (save on his extraordinary shipping costs) Grin  If anyone is interested, let me know.  He has like 20 units left, so it would be easy to get a bunch.  I usually have 6 coins in at a time, three in each screen loop.
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JohnODon
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« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2003, 06:24:09 am »

TK...

Do you *highly* recommend one of these devices?  If so, I would be interested.  Do they work that well?

Thanks,

John
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TKE96
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« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2003, 02:30:57 pm »

This ultrasound has worked well for my purposes.  It is more effective then the egg shaped one on Ebay for the same price.  I am happy with it.  Xerberous has probably used it more.  The wire and screen holders that I use slow down the process a bit, but that is ok for me.
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« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2008, 06:57:57 am »

Hi all. I know this is an old post but I was wondering if bruce61813 and Xerburous could update their results and experiences. I have a chance to pick up a pretty powerful ultrasonic cleaner w/ heat (160 watt/42,000 HZ) unit pretty cheap and am interested in hearing any ideas Wink. Thanks
Glenn
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