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Everything posted by Moose

  1. That sounds like a good idea. I have a very fine mesh colander which is big enough to get quite a bit of mesh material from to fashion dividers. But, I also fancy a bit of a challenge. Once I get moved I will see if I can manufacture a shaft. I have a mate with a lathe and I’m sure he would let me loose on it for the usual “consideration”. It also depends if I can get together the Elma bits at a lot less money than they seem to be advertised for. On the plus side, I already have the basket holder... But, it will have to wait till the move is over with and I’m settled again. So I’m keeping my eyes open in the meantime. And, my wife’s colander may well bite the dust in the meantime.
  2. But will Elma attachments fit the Lanzetter National? (No...) The problem is simply size related. Whilst the two baskets look to be very close, the measurements are different enough to matter. Now - IF I had a lathe, and IF had the inclination... In these photos you can see the size differences. The inner diameter of the Elma baskets are 64 mm. The outer diameter of the National attachment point is 67 mm. Also the wall thickness of the Elma basket is only 2.2 mm, so there is insufficient thickness to be able to reduce it to allow the National head to fit, as there would be insufficient material left to provide enough strength. As can also be seen, unlike the Elma Basket arrangements, the National basket holder and impeller, are both an integral part of the shaft. The Elma basket holder attaches to it's motor shaft via a metal bush and grub-screw, so it would need more "metal bashing" in order to fit an Elma Basket support to the National motor spindle. Now - If I had a lathe, and IF I had the inclination, it should be possible to either: Turn down the National basket support to fit the Elma basket holder. After all, it only needs about a mm or 2 taken off to fit. But - I would have to remove the 3 mounting studs during turning and then likely re-drill the newly-turned basket support to fit new ones. OR, I could manufacture a new shaft for the National, bored out at one end to fit on the motor shaft, and turned down to fit the Elma Basket support. (I think someone actually did this, in another post on here somewhere.) But I don't have a lathe and, crucially at the moment anyway, also do not have the inclination. In any case, we are currently packing up to move house by the end of the month, so it would in any case, have to wait until after we were settled, until I decided if I was tackle this, or just leave things as they are. Anyway - there it is for anyone else wondering if these things might fit... (Anyone want to buy a surplus to requirements Elma Basket holder?)
  3. Thanks for the update. Looking good and I'm pleased its functioning well for you. I'm guessing that somewhere in its life, someone has replaced the motor with that from a Mark V, which would explain the off-white colour. Not sure why the heat tunnel is white though, never seen a National Machine with a square and white tunnel and the Mark V tunnel is tubular. Maybe someone just painted it white? (See photo of a Mark V, below.) Looks to be in much the original condition that mine was in: The internal wiring is the same, fabric wound stuff and the heater and the way it's mounted is the same as well. The difference - and I was expecting it - is the rheostat. Yours seems to have - what must be - a later modification, which changed the "flat-pack" style of fixed-resistances that mine had, with a more up-to-date (for the time) wire-wound and circular resistance. I think this is also why Lanzetter added the additional ON-OFF switch, as the circular rheostat did not have an OFF position, whereas the "flat-pack" version that my older one has, has the first stud-contact not connected to anything, thereby isolating the motor from the mains voltage when turned to off. What's still the case, is that they were both just as unsafe really - even by standards back then - mainly due to the unprotected, mains-potential connections on the rheostat. It would have been a relatively simple thing to incorporate some form of protective cover over that area, to make it safer. All the same, a good acquisition as it is and an even better one, once you have spent some time on it. Good catch! George.
  4. I would particularly be interested in viewing the rheostat. I have a theory about the later editions of the model 1, like yours, with the additional on/off switch for the motor. My thinking is that they changed the design of rheostat which necessitated the addition of an on/off switch, as the new version did not have an “off” position, like the one originally fitted in mine.
  5. Glad you found it useful. I was impressed at how quiet it was as well. For such an old machine, I sort of expected wear in bearings or something to perhaps create some imbalance and vibration, but no, steady as anything. Certainly downward force on these older machines, but mostly nowadays they are automatic and bi-directional and as far as I know the “rotor” part does not exist anymore, so there is no imparting of a flow direction when it rotates. I think for the average hobbyist, just using a machine, even of this vintage, is going to make a such a difference to cleanliness, that it won’t really matter. still can’t wait to hear about you starting on your machine. I wish you well with it. G.
  6. So - That's it... I hope someone gets some information and maybe, a little pleasure from reading this series of posts. These Nationals are likely to become increasingly rare, especially working examples, as it seems a certain generation of older watchmakers are disposing of their ancient equipment. Or more likely, and sadly, the descendants of older watchmakers and repairers dispose of their loved one's estates and wonder what can be done with this heavy old bit of junk in Grandad's shed... I really enjoyed working on this old machine and putting it back into useful service as my own, hobbyists watch cleaner. As well learning a little bit about the business of Mr Saul Lanzetter and his National brand and some of the patents in his name, which may or may not, have led to many such machines and their derivatives being sold all over the world. All that remains now, is to find a watch of mine that is next in line for a strip down, fix, clean and rebuild and put this little machine back into productive service. To that end, I'm waiting for the new 7750 video by Mark due anytime now. Ok - now where exactly did I put that tired old Valjoux 7750 when I cleared the decks for this old thing?
  7. A "close up" sir? Thought I would just give a close up after I had made some checks to see how much fluid was the correct amount for these jars, as they were unmarked and came with no instructions. The Elma instructions indicate that the correct level of fluid should be around 1cm above the "suction blade" where the basket is attached. Also that when in use, the suction blades should not become visible, otherwise too much suction will be caused and may result in excessive foam being created. So I thought I would try to capture this to show what the correct levels and speeds look like. This was done just using plain water. Firstly with the correct level established. In these National Jars this volume is 750 ml. This is about 75% full. Then rotation at the correct speed, move to too fast and then back down to nominal again. The action of the "wave breakers" can also be seen in these shots. IMG_1574.m4v
  8. A video maybe... (if my upload works) It's not often these machines turn up, and less often they turn up working, so I feel justified. No commentary, just the noise of the machine itself. Dunno how it will sound to you, but right in front of me, its nice a quiet and completely unobtrusive. I start from switched off, turn it on, advance the control to what I think is likely to be normal for use in liquids. Finally turning off. Sorry - Francis Ford Coppola I'm not! IMG_1572.m4v
  9. The "After" Shot. So - here it is after the work was done. I think it is a sympathetic restoration and I have tried to maintain the original look and function of the machine and have kept all of the real replacements out of sight. It looks well to my mind whilst still managing to wear it's age well. TESTING Speed control - easily controllable, steady speed when set. The new controller does have a different operating range than the old one. The new controller (when the power switch is ON) provides a minimum of 30 volts to the motor. This is not enough to move it in any visible way. Advancing the controller till the motor begins to move and I measured around 130 volts at the controller output. A slow and steady rotation happens when the control is further advanced and the output at this point is around 150 volts. Around 160 to 175 volts is needed to obtain a steady rotation at around the operational "washing" speed. This seems about right as the motor will rarely (if ever) be operated flat out. Over all speeds, the motor exhibits no detectable RF interference, according to my RF Test gear, so I'm guessing the new controller is well suppressed as standard, and the motor itself is not noisy. The heater was also measured for surface heat temperature and self-regulation. Essentially I just turned it on and measured it over a period of around 15 minutes. The surface temperature quickly reaches around 170C to 180C (after about 5 minutes), and seems to maintain that temperature fairly steadily, not really varying by more than about 10 degrees. Hot enough to burn yourself if you touch it, but well out of the way with the "tunnel" installed. Heat at the top of the tunnel was estimated to be no more than around 45 degrees (rising air temperature) with the tunnel itself remaining cool to touch over a test period of 20 minutes. My recommendation would be to turn the heater on when you start the first wash and it will be ready for you when needed at the end of the second rinse.
  10. PAT TEST Not required in a domestic situation, but I have a tester and it would provide additional peace of mind and help guard against daft mistakes. Visual checking was already done, fuse in the plug changed for 3 Amp (more than sufficient) and tester connected to the machine. Everything switched on and simply push to test. Earth Continuity Test = PASS Insulation Resistance Test = PASS Overall Result = PASS. Yay! Silly I know, but immensely satisfying in some ways... (And yes - my tester is calibrated, till April 2020.)
  11. OK - Its all assembled and looking good. One minor modification was made before finishing: I have added a ON/OFF switch that isolates the motor when switched off. I have wired it so that the heater can be left on to allow pre-heating. I don't know if this will be a real benefit or not, but it's there anyway and prevents a continuous low voltage AC current be ing applied to the motor, even when not used. To install the switch, I simply drilled a 12mm hole opposite the existing heater switch, so that it looks - to all intents and purposes - like a later version of the same Model 1, which also had the switch fitted sometime in its life. The first photo shows the underside completely rewired. Incoming mains lead (fitted with a moulded plug and fused @3 amps) enters from the right and immediately terminates in the original connector block, which was in good condition. A new earth bond lead was also fitted. The internal wiring (orange, twin flex) runs up the centreline following the original cable run. It routes over towards the new ON/OFF Switch. From there, the wiring goes direct to the new speed controller, where there are two terminals: live in and neutral in. The motor wiring comes from the motor. down the central support pillar, and from the bottom of this, directly to the remaining two terminals on the speed controller: live VAR out, neutral VAR out. The heater wires are not indicated as being live or neutral, so one side was simply connected to the incoming neutral terminal on the speed control. Then an additional conductor was taken from the incoming live terminal on the controller to one side of the heater switch. the other side of the switch was then connected to the other wire on the heater. Finally, I shrunk the heat-shrink shrouding where I had fitted it, to provide additional protection where I considered it useful. Wires were tidied up and then a visual inspection to make sure that all the neutral's and live's and earth's were connected to the things they should be connected to and that live and neutral were not accidentally transposed anywhere. Then a multimeter check to ensure correct continuity (no resistance) where it should be, and that isolating switches were doing what they should be doing. All good.
  12. It will be interesting to try the horolene, but I’m sure Mark does not use it in his Elma. In the video he showed something else from a UK manufacturer ( the name was mentioned for it, but I can’t find a supplier). I’m not sure how Horolene would perform in a Machine as I believe it was originally designed as a soak for clocks. I think putting it into a machine would cause it to foam too much, but I do stand to be corrected on that point. I think Mark’s reference to Horolene was as an additional step for badly soiled components, but not as a first wash in the machine. Happy to be proved wrong on this though.
  13. Late edit to the above... Not de-ionised water, either use distilled or demineralised water in the first rinse. G.
  14. I think you made a great purchase, and yes, I admit bias. They are very robust machines that have already lasted likely over 60 to 70 years, and with a bit of TLC, should keep on going and providing useful service. Your machine looks to have the separate on/off switch for the speed control, which mine does not have, but is still identified as a Model 1, as is mine. Yours has a much better makers plate on the front than mine, so maybe has not has as much use. Hopefully then, yours will have plenty of life left in it. For cleaning fluids, I’m going to go with something very original. I have yet to find out exactly what the National recommended fluids consisted of, but are likely to be similar to what I am going to use. Now I know this risks “many” opinions from others as to what their particular recommendations are, and I respect that. But, all I am going to say is, this was always good enough for Elma, so it’s good enough for me, at least to get me started as a hobbyist. I will likely only do one cleaning a week and not on a commercial basis, so this will do nicely. For the first wash, I plan to use Elma 1:9 cleaner which, as it is named, is diluted 1 part cleaner, to nine parts tap water. Elma themselves say that tap water is OK as the formulation allows for this. For the first rinse, I will use de-ionised water, again in line with recommendations from Elma when using the sequence described. Final rinse will be Elma Suprol. Followed by a spin-off and then heat drying. I have not found any instructions for the National yet, but as these machines are all so generic, the Elma Instructions for the Super Elite, should easily work well for both the sequence, timings and cleaning fluids. (They are described in the attached instructions.) Others will also have their opinions as well, so we can always experiment to find out what works best in our own situations. I have uploaded the Elma instructions in full, which are freely available for download direct from Elma, Cousins and Walsh, so I do not believe there should be any copyright issues as long as they are reproduced in full. I’m looking forward to hearing about your National when you have time, and I hope That my ramblings here help out in some way, to get yours back into productive use. Instructions For HC511 - Elma Super Elite Watch Cleaning Machine.pdf
  15. Ahh... well done. I was watching this one on eBay and was wondering it it would anyone on the forum. Good for you! well, I hope there is enough in these simple posts of mine to get you going and refurbish it to the level you want. I am pleased to say that mine is now nearly completed and I just have to do some quick photography on the required base, and then test with fluids. cant wait to see yours when it arrives and maybe we can compare notes. G.
  16. I agree. If there is one thing I know well (that's not watches, by the way, but I am trying), it's electrics. This thing will be as safe as it's design allows once I'm done. Which means all the lives and neutrals will be the right way around, all terminals sheathed with appropriate insulation, wiring tidied away and secured out of the way, and earth bonding made and checked. Final power consumption checked and then appropriately fused at the plug. Can't imagine it needs more than 3A. Finally, PAT tested to make sure it will at least pass that. I may even label it (for my own benefit), if I think it justified, but I suspect that the basic design means that it would likely fail the visual inspection part of any half competent Class 1 (metal) equipment test. Incidentally - the fuse is not really there to protect anyone - it's there to protect the equipment mainly. You you be very lucky indeed if the fuse blew before enough current had flowed through you first. Like you mention - Proper wiring and correctly protected circuits are more likely to work. That is assuming they are up to date and regularly tested. It never used to surprise me, the large number of private households that have not had a check in the past ten years or sometimes much more, to see if their house wiring is considered safe. As well of the number of half-arsed "self installed circuits" that are so unsafe, it beggars belief.
  17. Yeah, I can image that sort of thing on a old (very old) train set. It's all a bit "Frankenstein's monster" really. The mains come in and connects the the rotary wiper. It normally rests on the first brass conduction (where it is in the photo). and this conductor is not connected to anything, providing the whole thing with a sort of rudimentary "Off" switch. Rotating the dial wipes the mains across decreasing amounts of resistance, until the minimum resistance point is reached when fully rotated. Quite scary really - bear in mind that the red insulated lead is normally connected directly to 220V at all times (unless unplugged), and that it is no more than 5mm away from the metal of the base when installed. There's no insulation between the rheostat and the metalwork of the base, excepting for the insulation on the wire. AND this wire is under continual rotational stress every time the machine is used. The wire I removed had all of its original insulation perished and it literally just flaked off in my fingers when I removed it for replacement. I actually fabricated a piece of insulation which would sit between the rheostat and the case work, but in the end, my conscience got the better of me - it had to go. If any one else has one of these National Machines, or is considering getting one from somewhere - I strongly recommend examining this item carefully, or more practically, completely replace it, as I have done. So unsafe!
  18. A short one today. I was bothered about using rubber seals in the jars. I have never seen the original seal in a National jar, but thought anyway, that cork would have been far more likely. So cork it is. Obviously, you can't buy the seals and Elma (etc.) seals are all the wrong size, so the rest of that cork sheet I had was used, and I cut them by hand. These jars are quite a bit bigger that it's contemporaries and I think that is a legacy from these machines also originally being supplied with clock cleaning baskets, as an option. The jars are around 110mm square with around a 90mm neck size. Don't think I have seen any available as spares anywhere, so likely difficult to get hold of without the purchase of a whole machine. Anyway, I'm happy with these now.
  19. Installation of the PWM Controller. This needed two new mounting holes to be drilled in the main base of the watch machine, the old rheostat fixing points being way too far away to be useful. Thankfully - and by one of those happy coincidences that just make your day, when they happen - two new fixing holes could be drilled and they would be hidden by the old control knob when it was in place. Happy Days! As can be seen in the photos below, the new controller occupies far less space and, just by itself, is a much safer solution than the original. I also hope that motor speed control will be far smoother than with the original. I will still make up an internal cover of sorts, just because I can, and I because am minded to. I cleaned up the old Bakelite knob a little and ran a little silver paint into the arrow head engraving, to brighten it up. And, as can be seen, the two new mounting holes for the PWM controller are hidden by the knob. Result! Finally, I replaced the original mounting screws for the old controller, so I did not have holes left on the dial. I think this is the best compromise I could have arrived at, as at least from the outside, the old machine looks to be still original and nothing visibly takes away from its undoubted age. After all - I am dealing with something likely to be over 75 years old and I was trying to take nothing away from that. That's it for the base unit - so all that remains is to remount the motor etc. to the base and rewire it all. The jars have been cleaned, I have fitted new rubber seals to the jar lids - I decided against cork as although likely to have been more original - I also had some nitrile rubber sheet to hand and used that instead. I can always refit this with cork later, if I find out for sure these old National machines used cork. Nothing "build related" for a couple days as I have other work to do, but hoping to get it finished at the weekend. Maybe a short testing video sometime after that. Thanks for reading.
  20. I certainly did not want to replace the motor, as this is so very visible, all attempts at maintaining the illusion of originality would fail. A solution to the problem could only be achieved with a safer, replacement speed control, which could work with the original mains voltage motor. Fortunately, these are readily available in the form of a Pulse Width Modulated (PWM), motor speed controller circuit. These will take in the 220V incoming mains supply and provide a variable output of between 50V and the incoming supply voltage. These are well known devices and proven to work with even simple (old) motors. So, a PWM circuit was obtained (at incredibly reasonable cost), and measured up. In an attempt to at least have the "illusion" of originality, I was determined to use the original hole for the rotary speed control, as well as the original Bakelite control knob. With the shaft on the rotary potentiometer too short for this, I had to do some more metal bashing. As can be seen below, I used the old rheostat as a donor, for a short length of it's shaft, which I would mate to the new potentiometer, allowing the Bakelite knob to operate. This was cut to shape and filed to mate with the new potentiometer shaft. This was then soldered together and thus ready for installation. You can see in the photo, the size and technical comparison between the old rheostat and the new PWM controller circuit.
  21. Next up is the motor speed control. I did think long and hard about my original aim of maintaining as much originality as possible. And, there is no doubt that the original speed control rheostat was a) original and b) functional. But - as I was an electronics technician in an earlier life, and also health and safety professional in a more recent life, the safety aspects weighed heavily upon my concience. Logic played it's part as well - with the original rheostat put back into service, albeit with some hand-made guarding to keep out the fingers of the unwary, it would be safe-ish, for me to use, as long as I kept my wits about me. BUT NOT SAFE FOR ANYONE ELSE unaware of what was underneath. Only the knowledge of what lurked underneath would be keeping me safe, but anyone else might not have a second chance. As can be seen from the photo below, all of the wire on the resistors is not only unguarded, but within millimetres of the level of the base. Also, the incoming mains terminals to the rheostat are also dangerously unguarded. With today's knowledge, it is difficult to fathom how this ever could have been considered safe to use.
  22. Back to the job in hand. I managed to find the cork I thought I may have had, lurking in a box under the stairs. It was the most part of an A4 sized sheet, so more than enough for my purposes - to sit the jars on whilst they are in the machine. Looking at the metal bases, I really can't be convinced if there ever was any cork or any other material for that matter there. But for me anyway, the idea of the glass jars sitting directly on the metal base just seems wrong and I would prefer some cork there as a cushion. It's about as tidy as it needs to be, given the shape of the metal webbing. I suppose I could have cut-out squares of cork, but then it would leave potential weak, unsupported areas of cork, which would likely need some form of strengthening. Anyway - this application suits me and helps the jars sit a bit more stable in their locations. Whilst I am in the vicinity, so to speak, I have also added an earth lead which will bond the chassis to the incoming mains lead, once fitted. This is visible in these photos.
  23. A little further research and then on with the show... A quick browse through patent databases, shows that one Saul Lanzetter applied for and was awarded a patent for this design of watch cleaning machine in October 1937. A brief narrative is reproduced here: Interestingly, the patent application is entitled "Improvements in apparatus for cleaning watch parts and other small parts of machinery." It may be reading too much onto this title to assume that there may have been a previous patent, pre-dating this one, as this one refers to "improvements". Also of interest, there were 2 patent applications from US companies in 1944 and 1945 which cite the Lanzetter patent, and three from Germany in 1956, 1960 and 1961 (only one of which was actually published), which also cite the Lanzetter patent as a reference. Incidentally - the two US patents refer to machines which look strikingly similar to the National Model VI-C above, and the National No 4. machine in the earlier advert, showing the four jars side by side ( this seems to be referred to as a lab machine, rather than a repair shop machine). Naturally, all patents or applications referred to above are now expired. For me anyway, I think this may clear up which watch cleaning machine may have come first (at least in this machine format anyway): The S. Lanzetter National Electric Watch Cleaning Machine, circa 1937.
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