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Machine cleaning with or without cap jewels?

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For cleaning I like to have the balance assembly, with the spring settings, installed onto the main plate. Prior to cleaning I remove the cap jewels from both upper and lower settings and keep them in separate baskets, but is it really necessary since they will be anyway in the end dipped in One Dip solution?

So, would it be acceptable to do the wash with the cap jewels in their settings, then,  after wash, use One Dip for the balance assembly which would take care of the hairspring. Finally, take the settings out, separate the cap jewels from the hole jewels and put all through One Dip so that the jewel holes and cap jewels would be cleaned in the solution?

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Some remove the cap jewels and clean with the balance attached to the main plate. However I do not use a ultra sonic cleaner but a watch cleaning machine. Because of this I just don't like the idea of the balance staffs moving around without support.  I just use the method Mark uses which is clean with the balance attached to the main plate and after remove, clean & lubricate the cap jewels.

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Thanks! I am going to use this method now. That is keep the cap jewels on for the wash in the cleaning machine, then take the setting out, clean the jewels in One Dip, and lubricate the caps.

The addition benefit is that this also calls for less of opening and closing of Incabloc springs, which occasionally have a propensity to fly away into the ether...

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This what I used to do.

Remove the balance from the balance cock. Put the balance in ronsonal in a pot with a screw lid and leave. All other parts went into the watch cleaning machine, which was an L & R Varimatic with ultrasonic, one of the best machines in those days money could buy. Never needed to remove jewel caps, that machine did the lot.

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49 minutes ago, oldhippy said:

Never needed to remove jewel caps, that machine did the lot.

I'm not sure what type of watch we're talking about, but on Seikos and other shock-proof watches if you don't remove the ebalance nd stones, you can't properly lubricate them, and you haven't done the work.

Exception, personally I don't remove the two small diashock springs and stones, which are too small and delicate to be worth fighting with. That has been discussed in a recent thread.

Edited by jdm

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With a very steady hand and good magnification, I had no trouble with Seiko movements. Knowing how to use the oiler and how much oil to use is down to experience.      

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14 hours ago, nickelsilver said:

With kif/incabloc, remove the hole and cap jewel and clean them separately. The balance with cock goes back on the mainplate. The staff is fully protected and everything gets cleaned.

Does it mean that the balance with cock, but without hole and cap jewels, goes on the mainplate for the wash?

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2 hours ago, oldhippy said:

This what I used to do.

Remove the balance from the balance cock. Put the balance in ronsonal in a pot with a screw lid and leave. All other parts went into the watch cleaning machine, which was an L & R Varimatic with ultrasonic, one of the best machines in those days money could buy. Never needed to remove jewel caps, that machine did the lot.

I always remove the balance from the cock for cleaning IF the balance is not using Etachron system. With Etachron, such as 6497, I tried it once. Taking it out was easy, but pushing the stud back into the jaws of the stud holder during reassembly was tricky (and dangerous). I had to apply quite some force while praying that my pushing "tool" would not slip. The regulator pins needed to be spread out some to allow for the hairspring to drop through (easy), but then on reassembly they need to be closed back - again hoping for the best while working so close to the hairspring. I would not try to repeat this process every time I clean the movement.

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Does it mean that the balance with cock, but without hole and cap jewels, goes on the mainplate for the wash?
Yes.
If the watch is non-shock protected then the balance needs to come off the cock, cap jewels removed and everything cleaned disassembled.

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I think i will never understand some watchmen. I am in in this just for 8 months, and since 3 months, i never need any magnification and so extreme attention, also working on balance staff on many fake watches, citizen and Seiko movements... After many practicing, i got accustomed and also felt obsessed about cleaning the all balance staff one by one, until the hairspring collet...  Until to see highest amplitude, i work on all of them... That's joy for me...  Taking my next unemployment salary, i think to work on chronograph movements...  First the fake ones... 

By the way, thanks to all Mark's presentations... I owe him so much !...

Edited by Asmobrat

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