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Old 01-31-2008, 10:20 AM
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Parts Washer - To have or have not!??

Hi Guys ...Got a question for you, my wife gave me a parts washer (HF) a few years ago, but to date I have yet to use it. The main problem for me is getting the cleaning fluid. I could find something to use, but when I'm cleaning "parts" I normally using either paint thinner or lacquer thinner. So some environmentally friendly & non-flammable "proper" liquid just doesn't sound usable to me! ...Also a new wrinkle has appeared, I have a semi large shop (24x 36) but will all the "stuff" I have in it i'm now fighting for space. And now I have located a "new tool" that needs a home, a small knee mill! This is a have-to-have tool! ...SO to the main question, is this parts washer really "have to have piece of equipment"!?? It's new (un-used) and I don't want to part with something that may be more valuable then I realize, so I liked like to get you guy's take on it!?? ...Use it or loose it?

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Last edited by 11echo; 01-31-2008 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:00 AM
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And now I have located a "new tool" that needs a home, a small knee mill!
That knee mill is NOT a "have to have" tool. So being the guy I am, I will let you store it in may garage. LOL!!! If you don't have room for the parts washer and REALLY don't see a need for it, sell it for some mill equipment. When I had my parts washer, I found it took up more room and it was something that set most of the time. I am more of a power washer type of person and would rather fire up the hose and power washer than having a tank of solvent sitting around that only got used once in a great, great while. Now let me know when you want me to store the mill for you. LOL!!!
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Old 01-31-2008, 03:31 PM
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Kevin ...Man that's d*mn nice of you to offer your shop to store my mill in! BUT I first have to get my mitts on it! Heading over to get it tomorrow!!! ...Can't wait!!!!!!!!!
...SO did you want me to clean it up first and get it working correctly first? ...Won't want to give your shop a bad name with old rusty tools!!! ...Wait I have it, I'll store my parts washer at your place and the wife, that way I'll have plenty of room for anything I want!! *L*
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Old 01-31-2008, 04:09 PM
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My $.02....

A 24 by 36' is not a semi-large shop. That's 864 square feet. I'd consider that a decent size shop. Compared to mine (20 by 22'-440 sq.ft.), yours is huge, but compared to seemingly most others, that's about average.

I'm about 75% in agreement with Kevin about not really needing a parts washer. Here's my reason for not going 100 percent. I think a parts washer qualifies as a "seldom used, but near must-have when I need to use it" item. A cherry picker, an engine stand, 3 1/2 ton rapid lift floor jack all rate in that category, IMHO. Granted, you can't rent a parts washer like you can rent or borrow any of the others, but boy, when you need to use it, it's nice to know it's there.

Now I'm not going to tell you that you absolutely have to have it either. I did just fine without mine for a good, long time (partly because I had an in with a buddy who had one I could use any time...). As with most any larger shop tool, you can make due without owning it if you plan ahead. I still don't own a drill press , and I don't own a decent bench grinder either. You just learn to live without.

I've been working on writing up a sort of garage/shop vs tool-need listing to maybe contribute to the knowledge base for some time now, and I figure I'll be posting it in a month or so. Along with that listing, I'm including little tips about better shop layout that I've picked up on though various sources. Should be good reading once I'm done with it.


In a while, Chet.
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