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Moose

Watch Cleaning (Hobbyist level).

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Hello All.

I currently use a small ultrasonic cleaner from James Products. It is about 500ml, 42kHz and about 50watts of cleaning power.

I have been using this with warm water in it. In the water I have been using glass containers containing clean Renata Essence as the cleaning medium. After cleaning the pivot holes/jewels with peg wood, the watch parts placed are then inside the jars with the Essence. I Then run the ultrasonic for about 5 minutes and then take the jars out. The parts are then individually removed and given a blow dry (with a bulb puffer) and then stored in my parts trays until needed for re-assembly.

My questions are:

1 - Is this a good enough?

2 - Would I get better results from using a proper watch cleaning fluid? (what would be recommended?)

3 - If using a watch cleaning fluid, would I need to then use a rinse or final finish of some kind? (Again, recommendations, if yes.)

I am looking out on t'internet for a second-hand watch cleaning machine and there are a few about sometimes, typically for around £100 for an old but useable machine. Are these likely too be good value, or am I better off with what I am doing? I'm retired (early) and only doing this as a hobby, so I have time on my hands to do things the long way, but also have a (little bit) of money for a suitable watch cleaning machine, should something come up.

Sorry for lots of questions, but I want to do the best job I can with cleaning.

Cheers

Moose.

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I clean exactly the same way in Naptha and it seems to work well for me.  Cleaning solutions and a machine would be nice, But I, too, am retired and a hobbyist, so the costs are difficult to justify.


RMD

Edited by rduckwor

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On 5/20/2019 at 9:32 AM, Moose said:

Hello All.

I currently use a small ultrasonic cleaner from James Products. It is about 500ml, 42kHz and about 50watts of cleaning power.

I have been using this with warm water in it. In the water I have been using glass containers containing clean Renata Essence as the cleaning medium. After cleaning the pivot holes/jewels with peg wood, the watch parts placed are then inside the jars with the Essence. I Then run the ultrasonic for about 5 minutes and then take the jars out. The parts are then individually removed and given a blow dry (with a bulb puffer) and then stored in my parts trays until needed for re-assembly.

My questions are:

1 - Is this a good enough?

2 - Would I get better results from using a proper watch cleaning fluid? (what would be recommended?)

3 - If using a watch cleaning fluid, would I need to then use a rinse or final finish of some kind? (Again, recommendations, if yes.)

I am looking out on t'internet for a second-hand watch cleaning machine and there are a few about sometimes, typically for around £100 for an old but useable machine. Are these likely too be good value, or am I better off with what I am doing? I'm retired (early) and only doing this as a hobby, so I have time on my hands to do things the long way, but also have a (little bit) of money for a suitable watch cleaning machine, should something come up.

Sorry for lots of questions, but I want to do the best job I can with cleaning.

Cheers

Moose.

1. NO. You need to brush all the spokes and leaves of the train wheels. Peg the jewel holes not just rub them if thats what you are doing. Use rodico after the ultrasonic to sop up any residue.

2 + 3. Yes way better results using LR or Zenith ultrasonic cleaning products, No residue ( rinse is needed), makes the movement shine like new. It can be filtered and reused. It will cost a $100 total for a gallon of the cleaner and rinse and will last you at least a year depending on how often you service movements. Esp since they come in bottles that wont let the solution go bad. if you dont want to spend the money start using Ronsonol Lighter fluid. but use rodico on everything after the cleaning.

Your Machine is fine, i know a lot of pros that do everything manually by hand. the old fashioned way with no cleaning machines.

 

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A quote from a book I have here:

“modern lighter fuel is contaminated with a small amount of oil, making lighter fuel a very poor degreaser. Very small particles of oil will be left on any part that you try and clean when using this substance.”

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2 hours ago, PeterS said:

A quote from a book I have here:

“modern lighter fuel is contaminated with a small amount of oil, making lighter fuel a very poor degreaser. Very small particles of oil will be left on any part that you try and clean when using this substance.”

I have been saying that since joined here. A ready, refined, cheaper substitute is  easily available, but every single time I mention it the discussion digresses on chemistry, hazards and other stories. I gave up and will buy myself a nice Zippo too.

Edited by jdm

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On 6/15/2019 at 7:08 AM, jdm said:

I have been saying that since joined here. A ready, refined, cheaper substitute is  easily available, but every single time I mention it the discussion digresses on chemistry, hazards and other stories. I gave up and will buy myself a nice Zippo too.

I hand clean and only use the lighter fluid for one-dip, what is the cheaper refined alternative you're referring to? I'm focusing on buying proper oils before getting fancy with my cleaning setup, so I'm hand cleaning for now with mineral spirits in a scrub then rinse.

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