Introduction: Small Parts Washer

About: Left school at 14 and took on a 6-year apprenticeship for radio and electronics, It was vacuum tubes then), the last 2 actually working for the Technical college I was studying at. Moved on the aircraft electr…


I put together this parts washer to clean small parts from an old motorcycle that I am in the process of converting to electric. This unit pumps a filtered cleaning fluid from the bottom of the container through the centre of the cleaning brush. This washes away the crud from the part you are cleaning allowing to to observe the progress.

Because it is unlikely for most of you to have exactly what was available to me, this is not a true Instructable, but rather a few photos of the finished unit

(photo 1)

I used a stainless food dish that is 9” by 12” by 7” high. I have attached a small 12 volt fuel pump from a motorcycle and formed brake line tubing to enable the pump to extract the cleaning solution (in this case Varsol) from the bottom of the stainless receptacle and pump it through the brush.

(photo 2, 3 & 4)

The pump attachment was made from a piece of aluminum bar epoxied to the outside of the receptacle. Before epoxying it was drilled and tapped to match the pump mounting holes. The back of the aluminum bar and the area at the back of the receptacle where it was to be epoxied was thoroughly cleaned with brake cleaner and sanded to provide more grip for the epoxy adhesive. An on/off switch was added for easy control of the pump.

(photo 5)

The same was done to attach the brake line to the inside of the receptacle.

If you do make a similar unit, DO NOT USE water-based cleaning fluid as it will cause rusting of the internal component of the pump.

(photo 6 & 7)

The straining screen (wire mesh) on the bottom is to create a reservoir of cleaning fluid and the blue fabric is to strain out swarf (small pieces of metal and dirt). The fabric is easily replaceable.

Flow brushes are available on the open market, but I had an old round brush that I drilled a hole through and fitted a length of brake line through it. I will purchase a flow-brush before this one is worn out.

It works well, but I am going to replace the wire mesh with a piece of perforated sheet metal and a few stand-offs to create a reservoir underneath. Of course I will still use the fabric filter on top.