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tony1212

Cleaning balance assembly and pallet anchor

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Hello,

I have a question about cleaning. In the course I saw that if I don't have a cleaning machine I can clean parts by hand using benzine. 

I wondered if it could be a problem to put parts that have jewels fitted with shellac in benzine. As the benzine could melt the shellac. Is it ok to do it if doesn't stay to long in the solvent? How would you clean these parts if you don't have a dedicated watch cleaner?

Thank for your help!

Tony1212

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For balance assemblies I find automotive brake cleaner, or electrical contact cleaner sprayed in a small bowl works very nicely.I tend to leave pallets alone unless they are dirty. I too am worried about the effects of solvents on the shellac, I have had stones fall out. If need be they get a dip in hot soapy water..for the shortest possible time.

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I use naphtha and in my experience, the shellac will basically stay unaffected. However, I wouldn't leave those parts in naphtha for a week, but for a day or two I haven't had any problems, and I always check the integrity of the pallets and impulse pin after cleaning. However, be very careful with alcohol-based solvents such as isopropanol (aka IPA). I ordinarily rinse in IPA, but the pallets and the balance only for a few seconds and then I immediately blow them dry. The idea is to remove any remaining naphtha.

An ultrasonic cleaner and warm/hot water will do a decent job (I use 60 ml glass jars with naphtha that I place the parts in and then the jars go in the ultrasonic cleaner). However, the ultrasonic cleaner will not be able to remove rust, corrosion, and some other stubborn dirt, so after cleaning I always inspect the parts and use fibreglass scratch brushes (my no.1 favourite cleaning tool)  as needed and rinse in IPA again.

Good luck!

Edited by VWatchie
typo

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For you guys doing hand cleaning with naphtha or any solvent it's important to dry in warm air, a hair dryer is fine. The evaporation drops the temperature and there's a real risk of condensation and rust on the newly cleaned steel. This is why the old books are always talking about drying in warm sawdust.

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Oh, forgot to mention!

Big parts (main plate, bridges, and even some medium sized parts such as the ratchet wheel, etc.) I clean using warm/hot water, detergent (Yes!), and variously sized toothbrushes! It's super efficient and after this treatment, the parts look all shiny and new! Haven't found anything that beats it, and I even doubt a watch cleaning machine would do a better job. However, be careful to blow everything perfectly dry as soon as possible to avoid the possibility of any rust building up. And, I never use this method for the train wheels as they rust very easily.

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you can get yourself a jar of one dip for pallet and balance, 2oz bottle will cost you $9. and a bottle of ronsonol lighter fluid for the rest. or use the lighter fluid for everything. you can manually clean after a soak with pegwood, rodico, and fiber brushes. some guys make their own water based concoctions but was never really a fan of water based cleaners, i prefer solvents. they work better at removing old oil if you are not using an ultrasonic.

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Mineral spirits on everything but hairspring and pallet..let the parts soak.All the crud gets dissolved or falls off.you might want to change it once or twice on a really filthy movement.I put the parts in a small dish inside a biscuit tin so it doesn't evaporate.

Edited by yankeedog

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Thank you all for all your tips.

This forum is pleasingly active. You guys helped me get years of experience in just 24hrs!

I can see that like in every trade, everybody experiments and sticks to what work for a specific person, his liking and environment. Thank to your help I'll have the opportunity to make my own experiments.

I already tried to put a flake of shellac in benzine for 3 hours. It came out unchanged. I don't have to do the experiment in IPA or ethanol. I know the answer. These are the solvents that I use when I prepare my wood finishes. (@nickelsilver : thank you for pointing it out. I didn't suspect that)

Please allow me a few more questions :

Is there a risk that the glass fiber brushes leave marks on the metal parts? How to you use them? Liberally or with specific care?

For those who use One Dip, how do you use it? Do you transfer it to a more practical jar to use it and then back to original container?

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For those who use One Dip, how do you use it? Do you transfer it to a more practical jar to use it and then back to original container?

I transfer some into a small glass jar with a glass pipette. Easier to work with that way and can be sealed up so it doesn’t flash off as quickly.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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On 3/22/2019 at 2:50 PM, tony1212 said:

Is there a risk that the glass fiber brushes leave marks on the metal parts? How to you use them? Liberally or with specific care?

Yes! I use them to remove rust and corrosion from stems, wheel pinions, and wheel pivots (steel). You have to use them with "specific care" as they can produce some pretty ghastly scratches on the wheels themselves (non-steel parts). I hold the wheels as steady as I can with brass tweezers or in a vice, and then I brush the pinion in one direction away from the wheel towards the pivot. Fibreglass scratch brushes are extremely potent, sometimes too potent and that's why I've just ordered a nylon scratch brush which can be used more liberally and on other non-steel parts but still have a very good effect.

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I use a small ultrasonic - lighter fluid (naptha)  for cleaning and isopropanol for rinsing.

Worried about shellac dissolving, I tried an old pallet in IPA for 5 mins in the ultrasonic without any noticeable change

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12 hours ago, VWatchie said:

Yes! I use them to remove rust and corrosion from stems, wheel pinions, and wheel pivots (steel). You have to use them with "specific care" as they can produce some pretty ghastly scratches on the wheels themselves (non-steel parts). I hold the wheels as steady as I can with brass tweezers or in a vice, and then I brush the pinion in one direction away from the wheel towards the pivot. Fibreglass scratch brushes are extremely potent, sometimes too potent and that's why I've just ordered a nylon scratch brush which can be used more liberally and on other non-steel parts but still have a very good eff

Out of materials of your choice, I make several  golves to pull over a flat wooden ice creame cone, to use as brush on pallet jewels, Your one directional strokes of the brush is A okay.

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Just now, Nucejoe said:

Out of materials of your choice, I make several  golves to pull over a flat wooden ice creame cone, to use as brush on pallet jewels, Your one directional strokes of the brush is A okay.

Sorry ice cream sticks not cones

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On 3/21/2019 at 1:40 PM, nickelsilver said:

Benzine won't melt the shellac. Alcohol will, but even that needs some time.

I stick pivots into pegwood or cut the tip of a tooth pick with nail clipper to stick the pivot into, rotate the tooth pick " not the pivot"  repeat , best to soak the part in your cleaning solution.  If the shock system lets, remove the jewel ,enter the tooth pick inot the housing, in which case I rotate the wheel. Soak and rinse again.

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On 4/2/2019 at 10:22 AM, mikepilk said:

Worried about shellac dissolving, I tried an old pallet in IPA for 5 mins in the ultrasonic without any noticeable change

I forgot about a pallet in IPA for about 20/30 minutes and the pallets stones came loose, that's why I never rinse the pallets and the roller in IPA for more than a few seconds. Five minutes probably wouldn't do much or any harm, but personally, I just don't want to risk it.

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On 4/2/2019 at 11:18 AM, Nucejoe said:

Out of materials of your choice, I make several  golves to pull over a flat wooden ice creame cone, to use as brush on pallet jewels, Your one directional strokes of the brush is A okay.

I'm afraid I can't picture this in my head, could you please provide a picture? It sounds very interesting!

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On 4/2/2019 at 12:31 PM, Nucejoe said:

I stick pivots into pegwood or cut the tip of a tooth pick with nail clipper to stick the pivot into, rotate the tooth pick " not the pivot"  repeat

Do you by chance mean pith wood? I think quite a bit a force would have to be used to penetrate peg wood (a toothpick would be softer) with a pivot and in my mind that could break the pivot. Or, do you make a super tiny hole in the peg wood first? Or, perhaps the pivot is so small that it can actually penetrate peg wood without any problem. When thinking about it some more the answer is probably yes!? Oh well, I guess I could try it but if you have the time to elaborate I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

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Last year endevour run out of idea, liked and used my tooth pick technology:lol:

he then posted the pix on some tutorial thread , I thought he done post, no need for me to bother. Here we are.

IMG_20190404_131525.jpg

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I actually prefer toothpicks for pegging jewel pivots as they are somewhat softer than peg wood.  You can develop a sharpened tip with sandpaper or a fine file.  I do sometimes use peg wood as well though.

 

I use naptha as well in the ultrasonic.  I run thru three separate naptha baths and pith the pivots on wheels, the pallet, and the balance into pith wood for cleaning between bath number two and three.

 

It works for me but use at your own risk.

 

RMD

Edited by rduckwor

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