View Full Version : How To Build A Parts Washer


darkside
01-15-2007, 03:52 PM
Anyone have instructions on how to build your own parts washer???

1320stang
01-15-2007, 05:15 PM
Graingers sells pumps, but they're wholesale only, you have to have an account, I image McMaster-Carr probably does as well. Before I bought my tank type parts washer I was going to make one using a SS kitchen sink. I had one out of a commercial kitchen, a 20x30 two compartment sink like in a home, but each side was 10"-12" deep. I was going to hook up a regular faucet to the right side using the sprayer hole for one of the 3 holes needed, the far left hole was going to be for the left side and the flexible hose for the washer fluid. I was going to use a water based washing fluid, the pipe out of the washer side would go straight down into a 5 gallon bucket holding the fluid and the pump.

You might look into used commercial kitchen stuff either at auctions or at your local commercial kitchen supplier for a welded commercial sink instead.

chaingang
01-15-2007, 06:01 PM
Graingers sells pumps, but they're wholesale only, you have to have an account, I image McMaster-Carr probably does as well. .
You can buy from either Grainger or McMaster with a credit card without an account, online or over the phone. Northern also sells pumps. The smaller cabinets are so cheap now it's not worth building one unless you need something special.

bmwpower
01-15-2007, 06:48 PM
I've considered building my own, except I can't weld... :(
I may design my own anyway and build it once I can weld.

So what, besides the pump, are must-haves?

brownbagg
01-15-2007, 07:15 PM
I've considered building my own, except I can't weld... :(
I may design my own anyway and build it once I can weld.

So what, besides the pump, are must-haves?
harbor freight be cheaper

Runum
01-15-2007, 08:34 PM
I built my own. I used a 55 gallon barrel split in half with a plasma cutter. Welded up a frame out of 2x2 angle. I made one end of the barrel lower than the other and drilled in in barrel for drainage. It drains into a 5 gallon plastic bucket. I bought a pump at a hardware store for about $50.00. The pump pushes the cleaning fluid though some 1/2" aluminum tubing and I attached about a foot of 1/2" rubber tubing at the end so I can shoot the fluid where it's needed. Most of the materials I had on hand in my shop. If I had to buy it all it would cost around $100. You can buy a parts washer for that money but I can rest an engine block in mine. Also, I buy varsol or naptha by the gallon from the local petroleum supplier. I'll post pics later. Good luck with yours.

Sack
01-15-2007, 08:41 PM
I've considered building my own, except I can't weld...

I ain't great, but if you're close to Morristown you could swing by and try welding any time.

trainer
01-15-2007, 10:35 PM
I'm thinking about building one.
I have an inexpensive marine bilge pump (~$15) that I'm going to power with a 15vdc power adaptor from an old computer scanner.
It's low voltage and sealed to be explosion proof and chemical resistant so it should be perfect for this application.


I can't decide wheither to use an old kitchen sink or if i'm going to use an old 25 gallon air tank.
If I use the air tank, I'll stand it on end, weld on some legs at a suitable work heigth, and fabricate some sort of drain tray/ work surface to fit 6-8" down inside the tank. Some baffles and/or the pump mounted up off the bottom of the resevoir section of the tank would serve to settle the gunk out of the fluid.

If I use the kitchen sink, then I'll build a cabinet and use either a plastic pail or a rubbermaid storage bin for the resevoir.

I've got the materials on hand to go either way, so out of pocket cost will be $0

I guess it all depends if I'm in a woodworking or a welding mood when I finally get the time to do it.

mike944
01-16-2007, 09:19 AM
So what, besides the pump, are must-haves?

I wouldn't say the pump is a must-have. I used to have an old parts washer that was basically just a soaking tank. This was a commercially-manufactured unit too, not just a homemade contraption. Worked well for me, even without a pump. Of course the pump is really helpfull.


If you're building your own, I would highly reccomend only using non-flammable solvent. All of the store-bought parts washers have provisions for automatically closing the lid in the event of fire. Unless, of course, you want to build that mechanism too......

Vermaraj
01-16-2007, 09:32 AM
Guy on TDR used a dishwasher (wife was out at the time) and baking soda to clean transmission parts. Seemed to work well.

If you find a used dishwahser:
Calculate the amount of water needed to run a cycle. Then build a reservoir out of 5 gal buckets to hold the solution. Feed the dishwasher out of the bottom of the bucket and return the used solution to the top of the reservoir through a strainer.

Morrisman
01-16-2007, 11:30 AM
When I worked in a sailing boat yard a few years back I built one out of a 50 gallon oil drum. I cut it round one of the stiffening ridges, two thirds up, with a 4" grinder, so that the top section turned upside down and sat neatly inside the bottom lip. A couple of welding tacks and that was my base/stand and washer combined. I ground the razor like edges off too. :shocking:

I cut a 6" square hole in the side of the base to allow access to the smaller cap in the upturned top and fitted a v/v and drain hose to it.

I found some expanded steel mesh to fasten on the top and a small 12v electrical submersible yacht type bilge pump to pump the fluid to a simple hose for washing parts off. When it got real dirty I'd drain if off from the small fitting underneath and refill with fresh diesel.

Cheap and nasty, but it worked real good and took up no more room than an oil drum. :thumbup:

Nowadays you can buy them for, like, $60 in England, so I wouldn't even bother making one.

malibu101
01-16-2007, 12:34 PM
I have a HF blue with red lid washer for about 6 years. I use it pretty hard with great results. Cleaning the bottom of the parts washer when needed is the crummy job.
Anyway, I wanted to add that if you wish to build your own I heard (never seen used) that an electric fuel pump for a car works very well. Made to run for hours at a time handling flammable liquid. Just need a power supply.

RPH
01-16-2007, 04:52 PM
Try using a dishwasher. It heats the solution and really cleans the grease up. Just let it pump the solution in and out of a bucket.

jweller
02-28-2007, 02:56 PM
Try using a dishwasher. It heats the solution and really cleans the grease up. Just let it pump the solution in and out of a bucket.

I've been thinking about this for months now. I couldn't decide if it was brilliant or moronic. You know how some things always seem to straddle the line. I guess i know which side it belongs on

1320stang
02-28-2007, 04:52 PM
I've been thinking about this for months now. I couldn't decide if it was brilliant or moronic. You know how some things always seem to straddle the line. I guess i know which side it belongs on

Well, if you're using a water based cleaner, I think it would work great. :thumbup:

JebNY
02-28-2007, 11:03 PM
I love the dishwasher idea but I went cheap years ago.

I took the 55 gal drum approach, but I went the other way and cut in to top to bottom so I had two 1/2 drums, lay it on the side so I have a rounded bottom. I gave one 1/2 away to a friend to building a grill and took the other one and made a frame with casters that it sits in so it doesn't rock. Welded some angle iron around the edges to cover up the sharp edges and stiffen it. Made a wooden top for it to keep the fumes in. The whole thing rolls under the bench. It gives me a big cleaner tank. A square piece of mesh or basket can be put in across the curved bottom for smaller parts. I was always going to add a pump but haven't.

Jeb

martell06
03-01-2007, 12:22 AM
tp tools sells a parts washer pump. or hf sells cheap ones. i was thinking about building one out of a plastic double wash tub. one side would be for soaking parts and one for rinsing. i just thougt about rigging a solvent heater into the whole deal.

evintho
03-01-2007, 01:01 AM
I've had my HF unit for 4 years. Cleaned everything from bolts to complete transmissions. Cheap Chinese junk, but works great!

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=7340

KingPerformance
03-01-2007, 04:19 AM
DISHWASHER WORKS AWESOME! In college I used the one in my apartment all the time. I even did the unthinkable, I put cast aluminum and dish washing detergent together ... came out shiney.

KingPerformance
03-01-2007, 04:21 AM
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/photos/42800-42899/42817.gif

I want to build one of these because I know of a place that sells thoes drums in stainless steel, and it would be perfect to have a stainless steel drum and a stainless steel sink.

russlaferrera
03-01-2007, 07:29 AM
When making a parts washer with a 15-30 gallon drum. I found by placing a 5 gal can at the bottom and filling it with 4 gal. of cleaner allows faster cleaning of the parts washer. Just pull out the 5 gal. can ,recycle or filter the cleaner, reinstall....russ

Garage5.9
02-09-2011, 04:21 AM
i know this a old thread but what was every one using as solvent ? commercially bought stuff or unconventional like diesel or paint thinner ?

EuroVt
02-09-2011, 07:13 AM
Mineral Spirits here.

Berserker
02-09-2011, 06:59 PM
I looked at buying one from Northern tool couple years ago, but got as far as the solvent. $$$$.

Okie Pete
02-09-2011, 08:33 PM
I mounted a old cast iron sink on top of a 35 gallon barrel . Pump is in the barrel . I put about 5 gallons of diesel in it .