Author Topic: Coffee can sediment filter for your 20 gal. HF parts washer --  (Read 3760 times)

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Offline goodfellow

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I've been trying to come with a cheap sediment filter for my HF parts washer for almost six months. Reason being is that when doing a major car restoration, the parts washer becomes one of the most important pieces of equiment in the shop. However, the basins on these asian units become quickly filled with sediment; which eventually gets agitated into the pump. So the pump really takes a beating along with creating a huge mess to cleanup every few weeks.

I finally got sick of draining, filtering and cleaning this thing. Granted, I put a lot of parts through this little washer and often don't do a lot of pre-cleaning; so I'm guilty of creating this big mess in the first place.

I looked around for some sediment traps (both commercial and home brew) but they were all too expensive or complicated. I designed a few quick prototypes and tested them, but they were all too complicated and often required more maintenance than just simply draining the tank and cleaning it by hand.

Last month I decided to go back to basics -- a real simple solution to trap the heavy material while allowing a free flow of fluid. I came up with the coffee can trap.

Take a large 5lb. coffee can (or a smaller 1lb. can if you're working in a smaller washer basin) and drill two sets of 1/8" holes into one of the top and middle reinforcement  bands. The first band should be above the fluid level in your tank. A  large number of holes is required -- 1/2 spacing all the way around. Then drill another set of holes into a band that sits under the fluid level; just a few holes every 1.5" to 2' apart.



Next, cut the can right above the first set of holes in the following fashion -- about 3/4 of the way around and make a small ledge on one side to support the washer's top cleaning tray





Install the trap as in the following pic -- but also use a set of 1/2 washers under the tray's rails to slightly tilt the tray to the rear. This will force most all the washer fluid to flow towards the one corner with the trap. A little experimentation is required because these parts washers aren't precision machinery -- so you will need to find the right mix of washers. In my case I only needed to ad two washers. You can also use your palm to make a slight indentation in the tray to force the fluid to flow in the desired direction.



This thing works!!! I cleaned the tank a month ago and have not found any noticeable sediment in my pump housing. The coffee can trap was pretty full of grit and debris though. So now I only clean that can once a week and don't have to worry about draining and filtering 10 gallons of washer fluid every month.

This thing can be modded further -- but for now it works pretty well.   thumbsup2

How it works!! The can will fill up quickly and all the top holes will let the fluid overflow in a controlled and even manner while the most all the sediment is drawn down to the bottom by the suction created from the fluid exiting the bottom holes. Granted a little grit does get through, but the bulk of the junk will settle in the bottom of the can.



« Last Edit: August 08, 2010, 06:26:53 PM by goodfellow »

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Offline rusty

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Re: Coffee can sediment filter for your 20 gal. HF parts washer --
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2010, 06:35:15 PM »
Great idea GF.
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Offline strik9

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Re: Coffee can sediment filter for your 20 gal. HF parts washer --
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2010, 11:58:03 AM »
In the diesel shop I worked at we ran the cleaning fluid (diesel fuel) into a used canister type air filter before it hit the tank.  Just had to stop up the holes where the bolt passed for its original use.  We got about 3 months out of the biggest ones before they just filled up with sediment.   Recycling one used product to filter another.  After they clogged up completely I would stuff them full of paper and we would use them as lights while doing field jobs at night.  Very bright and stinky.

Offline Fins/413

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Re: Coffee can sediment filter for your 20 gal. HF parts washer --
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2010, 12:40:47 PM »
Good idea I'd probably cut my mess off though.
Eric Corse
Wake Forest, NC
1959 Chrysler New Yorker
1982 Ford Econoline

Offline Aunt Phil

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Re: Coffee can sediment filter for your 20 gal. HF parts washer --
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2010, 10:10:03 PM »
If you're using a non aqueous cleaner or a solvent, the cleaner/solvent can be made to perform more efficiently by floating the cleaner/solvent on top of water. 

Most of the dirt and heavy oil product will separate from the cleaner/solvent where the two meet in the tank, and sink into the water.  A lot of grease will lump up in the water as well, and cleaning the tank becomes considerably easier.

Of course this requires floating the cleaner pump.

Floating the cleaner WILL NOT WORK if BioDiesel is used as a cleaner! 
© Aunt Phil 2011

Offline rusty

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Re: Coffee can sediment filter for your 20 gal. HF parts washer --
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2010, 10:16:46 PM »
Will bio diesel work as a cleaner?
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Offline Aunt Phil

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Re: Coffee can sediment filter for your 20 gal. HF parts washer --
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2010, 01:05:59 AM »
Rusty we really ought to do a big long thread on the differences between solvents and cleaners. 

If you can latch onto soy based biodiesel without bleeding through the eyeballs, go for it.   I got the hairbrained idea listening to all the people complaining about how much crap in fuel systems was plugging filters when they ran soy based bio as opposed to Dino.  Naturally there is none closer than Buffalo, so I had a barrel brought in by one of the guys coming East, and tried it.  SOY based bio is a wonderful cleaning agent, probably a solvent as well, although I haven't looked into the Gilbert Chemistry Set part.

Soy Based is also magnificent for cleaning adhesive left behind when graphics are removed from vehicles and a lot cheaper than the slop the paint store sells.

The only drawback I have found is Soy Based sucks water like alcohol.  It will milk up from humidity if left in an open container with large surface area.

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Offline rusty

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Re: Coffee can sediment filter for your 20 gal. HF parts washer --
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2010, 02:13:57 AM »
I was wondering about the water contamination issues.

A thread about solvents and cleaners would be great.
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