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Thread: Acetone or Lacquer Thinner?

  1. #1
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    Default Acetone or Lacquer Thinner?

    Over the past several years, my West System pumps have become quite gooped up, so I"d like to clean. What's best Acetone or Lacquer Thinner? Or perhaps something else?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Acetone or Lacquer Thinner?

    Acetone works well - but remember that it's nasty stuff: respirator, gloves, etc. If hand pumps (not the fancy $400 setup) - I'd say just toss 'em & get some new ones.

    By hand - I mean these ($16.50 @ Jamestown):

    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  3. #3
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    Mendocino, Ca.
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    Default Re: Acetone or Lacquer Thinner?

    After several years I would consider investing in new pumps. I believe acetone is much less toxic than lacquer thinner and less likely to eat your pumps. Another possibility to try first would be hot white vinegar. I do use acetone a lot to clean up epoxy squeeze etc.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Acetone or Lacquer Thinner?

    Use water on the hardener.
    Vinegar on the resin.
    The hand pumps come apart easily. Good to know how they work anyway.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Acetone or Lacquer Thinner?

    At our grocery store you can purchase white vinegar at 5% acetic acid for food prep and at 15% for cleaning.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Acetone or Lacquer Thinner?

    And check the calibration after you put them back together, they can get pretty far off in my experience.
    -Dave

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Acetone or Lacquer Thinner?

    Digital kitchen scale! Never clogs, more accurate, easy to clean.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Acetone or Lacquer Thinner?

    acetone or laquer thinner?

    you will likely spend as much or more on whichever one you choose as a new set of pumps would cost ;-O

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Acetone or Lacquer Thinner?

    Quote Originally Posted by swoody126 View Post
    acetone or laquer thinner?

    you will likely spend as much or more on whichever one you choose as a new set of pumps would cost ;-O

    sw
    50 cents? Hot water and cheap vinegar.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Acetone or Lacquer Thinner?

    Cleaning poxy pumps? Twenty five years of playing with poxy and I have never had a need to clean the pumps. The outsides get really boogered up but the insides have always been clean enough to eat off of - if you like the taste of poxy.

    I have had issues with non-blushing hardener, an oxidizer, weakening the metal spring in the pump. But it is nothing that a gentle pull up on the plunger won't overcome.

    Someone mentioned verifying the pump ratios. I take two same-shaped containers. I pump one stroke of resin into one container. Pump one, two, three, five, whatever the mix ratio is, of hardener into the other container. I visually compare the two container volumes. If the volumes are visually the same, I am good to go. GBI taught me this.

    Surprisingly, I have never found the pumps to be faulty.

    The mix ratio will never be perfect since no measurement is exact. If the ratio is not perfect, the poxy will not cure to maximum strength. But if the ratio is close to perfect, the poxy will cure up stronger than the wood. That is something else I learned from GBI.
    Last edited by Mo 'Poxy; 11-12-2017 at 12:00 AM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Acetone or Lacquer Thinner?

    The hardeners are water soluble.
    I use acetone for resin pumps.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Acetone or Lacquer Thinner?

    But what to do with the waste wash water/vinegar?

    Jeff

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Acetone or Lacquer Thinner?

    I put it in Flanders back yard.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Acetone or Lacquer Thinner?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mo 'Poxy View Post
    Cleaning poxy pumps? Twenty five years of playing with poxy and I have never had a need to clean the pumps. The outsides get really boogered up but the insides have always been clean enough to eat off of - if you like the taste of poxy.

    I have had issues with non-blushing hardener, an oxidizer, weakening the metal spring in the pump. But it is nothing that a gentle pull up on the plunger won't overcome.

    Someone mentioned verifying the pump ratios. I take two same-shaped containers. I pump one stroke of resin into one container. Pump one, two, three, five, whatever the mix ratio is, of hardener into the other container. I visually compare the two container volumes. If the volumes are visually the same, I am good to go. GBI taught me this.

    Surprisingly, I have never found the pumps to be faulty.

    The mix ratio will never be perfect since no measurement is exact. If the ratio is not perfect, the poxy will not cure to maximum strength. But if the ratio is close to perfect, the poxy will cure up stronger than the wood. That is something else I learned from GBI.
    If you aren't a frequent flyer, you will have a lot more trouble with boogered pumps. If the pumps sit for a month or two the epoxy can get poxy and removing the solidified crud without trashing the pump isn't worth the effort. Pumps that are used often enough last a lot longer.

    Most suppliers sell separate resin and hardener pumps that are calibrated to give the correct ratio with one pump from each pump. Some of them just put a stroke limiter on the resin plunger to reduce the volume per stroke. It is still a good idea to check them periodically.

    You have had the springs rust? The only way springs get weaker are over compression, corrosion and fatigue cracks. The pumps can be slow to completely fill if the plastic and rubber parts swell or shrink over time and exposure to the chemicals. They get stiff and slower to fill. Either way, when the pumps slow down too much, whether it is a corroded spring or stiff innards, you need a new one. When the old pumps are slow or the shop is cool, it helps to alternate, one pump resin, one pump hardener to give them a little more time to fill.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Acetone or Lacquer Thinner?

    Oh, Lacquer Thinner, by all means! A bit of celery, some cracked ice, some nice machine oil and a long stainless bolt, top off with thinner, stir and enjoy.
    Hands too small: Can't build his Wall!

    Frayed Knot Arts: Fancywork and Rope Jewelry
    http://www.frayedknotarts.com.html[

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Acetone or Lacquer Thinner?

    Quote Originally Posted by MN Dave View Post
    <SNIP>
    When the old pumps are slow or the shop is cool, it helps to alternate, one pump resin, one pump hardener to give them a little more time to fill.
    Always alternate resin and hardener pumps. Yo might lose count, but you'll still have the right ratio.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Acetone or Lacquer Thinner?

    Also, alternating pumps makes mixing easier.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Acetone or Lacquer Thinner?

    I count aloud.

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