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sjhilbel

Cleaning watch parts

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Or you can, for starters, go the manual way and use lighter fluid/naptha (which is what most people recommend, especially for beginner work). Could also use some water and diswashing soap I guess. Perhaps some isopropyl for final rinsing.... ?

Careful what you clean and how. The palet fork needs a different approach. Ultrasonic can make the rubis come off.

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Many, many topics on the same subject, it's always better to search before asking.

Lighter fluid contains wax, perfume, and other contaminants. It is made to burn well, not to clean well. It was recommendable decades ago when no practical alternatives existed. Use instead petroleum ether, which is pure and leaves no residue. It is cheap and available online.

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Ronsonol lighter fluid is so safe you can clean watch hairsprings in it. It doesn't dissolve  shellac, so the pallet stones are save and so are the impulse pins on the balance. You can leave parts in Ronsonol for days, providing you have the parts in jar that has a screw fitting lid. The fluid evaporates very quick.  

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3 hours ago, jdm said:

Many, many topics on the same subject, it's always better to search before asking.

First and foremost, I'm sorry for not searching for the subject. It's been ages since I've been on any forum so I am very rusty. Lesson learned. 

Many thanks for all the help! These are all very doable starts. Getting a ultrasonic cleaner seems doable, but I appreciate the notes about Ronsonol and petroleum ether. The jewels have been my biggest concern so these two cleaning methods will make first cleanings a bit more palatable. Thank you, all!

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Probably everyone have their own workflow for cleaning watch parts, but the products used for beginners (like me) are usually very similar. Here's a video of a guy I follow and I've learn a lot from, talking about how he used to do it (I think he has improved their method and tools), my workflow as an amateur is very similar, although I use naptha instead of Renata which is not availble in my country I think.

BTW, I add amonia to the water/detergent bath, and add a rinse with distilled water after this first bath.

Also, you need to inspect the parts after the cleaning to remove any remaining oil basically on the jewels. With this and a bit of practice you can get very good results.

 

Edited by aac58

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I use naphtha which is essentially lighter fluid.  Get some sealed glass jars from Amazon (Small ones work very well).  You can peg jewels with toothpick/cocktail sticks until you buy some peg wood.  Pith the pivots before and after the first cleaning cycle ( I use three jars successively).  Remember it is flammable and don't breath the vapor from the cleaners any more than necessary.  Naphtha will dissolve many plastics, so be careful or they will contaminate your cleaning jars and potentially damage any plastic parts (Seiko).

 

Good luck and have fun.


RMD

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depending upon your location and how enthusiastic you will be on cleaning watches it's interesting what can be purchased from Amazon. so lots of ultrasonic machines and cleaning fluids. the only problem is there available in 1 gallon containers and cleaning a few watches here and there that gallon will last you a lifetime. the only problem with a gallon of the cleaning fluid is it seems to go bad after a number of years the rinse appears to be stable.

so the link below is for the rinse which in real life is still a cleaning product. Other than the quantity it's actually designed for cleaning watches versus all the other recommendations above even though they're all in the similar category.

 https://www.amazon.com/Ultrasonic-Watch-Rinsing-Solution-Gallon/dp/B01LORNEDC

 

 

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