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Problem with refurbish watch hands.


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Hello everyone.

 

I always have a problem with refurbish the watch hands. I used to try to buff them or polish them with a hand grinder machine and they could just got bend or fly off as they are so tiny and fine. Try to clean it in an ultrasonic cleaner in the end they got stains and dim. Any expert or master could advise me on watch hand refurbish/cleaning / refinish? Thanks

 

 

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Hi  Make your self a jig or pin the hands to a soft board and hand clean/refurbish that way they wont fly off, and be very careful using an electric hand tool if so use on the lowest speed and work away from the collet in one direction

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Hi  Make your self a jig or pin the hands to a soft board and hand clean/refurbish that way they wont fly off, and be very careful using an electric hand tool if so use on the lowest speed and work away from the collet in one direction

Any picture to refer or how you do it ?


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You could take a look at this, it shows a quite standard procedure.
 

Yea I watch this before. Maybe I doesn’t secure it enough as mine are still fly off


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11 minutes ago, JayG17 said:

Maybe I doesn’t secure it enough as mine are still fly off

As you see when polishing the Hour hand it is pinned down into a piece of Pith Wood Elder, the trick is not to push to hard just a gentle brushing with the polish disc if you push to hard it will sooner or later flip away when the friction ripps the pin out from the Pith Wood..
When using the riveting block, which is not very common since the holes do not always fit the hand tube, you should work the polisher towards the hole, in that way it will not be lifted up and flung away when you go towards the top.

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What is the name of the luminant pased he used , he just shows it in the vid didn't say its brand or name.

I guess material houses carry them.

TIA 

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The first question you need to ask yourself is “what are these hands made from?”  There’s no good polishing plated hands. And the same usually applies to blued hands too. 
 

Then there is the finish - grained, satin, mirror finish....

For holding them while finishing, I either use pithwood and hold them on it with tweezers, or I hold them on a soft cutting mat with the collet hanging over the edge.

If you have not practiced finishing larger pieces of steel then I would do this first. It’s very common do see it done improperly these days with the most common issue possibly being rounded edges/corners.

Personally, I would never use a powered tool for finishing hands. Can’t understand why you would want to do that. 

Edited by rodabod
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One trick I learnt is to use balsa wood. Get a block of balsa and press the hand into the end grain of the wood until it is practically inlaid into the wood. I usually polish the hands by hand with Autosol using a piece of pegwood for rubbing.

Knowing what the material the hands are made of is really important. Brass is very soft. Using too much pressure will bend it. Steels are brittle and can break, especially those hollowed ones for holding luminous paint.

When using rotary tools to polish, use very low speeds and light pressure. I don't like dremel tools. I prefer to use a dental lab micromotor which has better torque, speed control and less vibration. 

Don't use tools that can catch the edge of the hands, like a cotton mop or felt. Use silicone polishers.

I just can't work with conventional lume paste. The solvents evaporate so quickly that it's hard to get a smooth layer. I prefer using a UV cured paste. I use UV nail varnish and add lume powder to a consistency I like. Use a large oiler to spread the paste in 1 smooth stroke, using very light pressure almost not touching the hand with the oiler. Excess paste can be removed with the oiler. Then cure it in a UV nail dryer for 2 minutes.

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That video above shows Rolex hands which are made of solid white gold and responds well to polishing. Most hands on the other hand (pun not intended) are plated brass which do not as the plating can easily be worn through. Use of rotary tool not recommended. 

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5 hours ago, Nucejoe said:

What is the name of the luminant pased he used , he just shows it in the vid didn't say its brand or name.

I guess material houses carry them.

TIA 

Another typo,  paste not pased.    

I guess its glue mixed with the luminant powder?  What type of glue?

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2 hours ago, Nucejoe said:

I guess its glue mixed with the luminant powder?  What type of glue?

Nowdays most deliver 1 small container luminous powder, 1 small bottle of accrylic varnish and one small bottle acrylic thinner to get the right consistency.

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24 minutes ago, HSL said:

Nowdays most deliver 1 small container luminous powder, 1 small bottle of accrylic varnish and one small bottle acrylic thinner to get the right consistency.

That's the old way. I advise everyone to try the UV nail varnish method.

I got a bottle of luminous nail varnish from AliX. Each time I just take half a drop, put it in a mixing well and add Bergeon lume powder to get a brighter glow. No need to add thinner, rush to apply it before it dries out, then wait half a day for it to dry. With the UV method, you can take all the time you need, then cure it for 2 minutes in a UV nail dryer, clean up with alcohol and install the hands back on the watch.

The only thing I miss is the smell of the thinner. :D

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13 minutes ago, HectorLooi said:

That's the old way. I advise everyone to try the UV nail varnish method.

I have tried something similar not to long ago, but never got a perfect result, think it is something a dentist use..
One have to try, anyways my own conclusion was that I'm in no hurry to achieve perfection so I stick to the "old" style a bit longer  ;)

IMG_20200814_073355.thumb.jpg.9938f9df5268ea05fff4b3ef236d78f6.jpg

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That video above shows Rolex hands which are made of solid white gold and responds well to polishing. Most hands on the other hand (pun not intended) are plated brass which do not as the plating can easily be worn through. Use of rotary tool not recommended. 

Yes this make a lot of sense that we cannot based on this video as they using higher quality, durable tough and resistant hand as a basis.

Material too. I always tho they were made all stainless steel but in fact when I gave frictions on it it turn colour as the heat is generated.


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1 hour ago, JayG17 said:


Yes this make a lot of sense that we cannot based on this video as they using higher quality, durable tough and resistant hand as a basis.

Material too. I always tho they were made all stainless steel but in fact when I gave frictions on it it turn colour as the heat is generated.


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Hmmm well durability isn't exactly what people normally associate with gold, unless you're talking about its reactivity resistance so it doesn't tarnish for no reason. 

The reason why your hands turn color has probably more to do with when you "gave friction" with the sand paper, it wore through the surface plating and exposed the yellow brass underneath. Not a problem if dealing with solid white-gold like in Rolex or anything that's not had a surface treatment of some kind.

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Hmmm well durability isn't exactly what people normally associate with gold, unless you're talking about its reactivity resistance so it doesn't tarnish for no reason. 
The reason why your hands turn color has probably more to do with when you "gave friction" with the sand paper, it wore through the surface plating and exposed the yellow brass underneath. Not a problem if dealing with solid white-gold like in Rolex or anything that's not had a surface treatment of some kind.

Uh ha this is more specific explanation


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3 hours ago, HSL said:

 

I have tried something similar not to long ago, but never got a perfect result, think it is something a dentist use..

IMG_20200814_073355.thumb.jpg.9938f9df5268ea05fff4b3ef236d78f6.jpg

If your dentist uses this.... You better check his credentials. :D

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1 hour ago, HectorLooi said:

If your dentist uses this.... You better check his credentials. :D

lol yes.. I'm a sucker for new stuff so when I read about something new and fantastic, I just have to buy and try.
Guess that’s why the addict is full of crap.

In the add for this it was stated it was an improved version of the dental UV glue. (Swedish), so not my own experiance.

https://pro-review.net/bondic/YT/SE/2/?gclid=CjwKCAjwqZPrBRBnEiwAmNJsNkuA8Ou1U6UhG5FKwDEzeV-U_rYK0HZu5OpZE0Xsuz8mRyDzDW9JvRoCEzIQAvD_BwE
 

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1 hour ago, HectorLooi said:

This is the one I use.

20200814_190057.jpg

20200806_222409.jpg

That is an excellent idea! Gives you all the time you need to work with to get things just right, and basically cures on command with UV light! If only they can invent something that gives us the same luxury for gluing opaque objects together:bow:.

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22 hours ago, HSL said:

 

I have tried something similar not to long ago, but never got a perfect result, think it is something a dentist use..
One have to try, anyways my own conclusion was that I'm in no hurry to achieve perfection so I stick to the "old" style a bit longer  ;)
 

In case anyone is having trouble curing their UV cure products, check the UV curing light. Most nail curing lights are using UVA leds with a wavelength of 365 to 405nm. These tend to have a low output and some manufacturers apply higher currents than recommended to increase output. This unfortunately will shorten the lifespan of the LED. The bad news is it will still lights up but the useful UVA part of the spectrum is gone. Hence your varnish or glue won't cure properly.

Another problem is using a dental curing light for curing UV gels. Our dental curing lights are actually using blue light with a wavelength of 450nm. There is absolutely no no UVA. It is designed to be safer for eyes.

Hope this info helps.

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