Jump to content

Cleaning Solutions, UltraSonic and not

Recommended Posts

I tried using water and it had two big issues. First, water melted the shellac. I couldn't believe it and thought it was heat. But I ran the same pallet fork in mineral spirits and it was fine. It could be the detergent and ammonia solution I used, but again I need to confirm it.

Edit: turns out it was the detergent and ammonia I was using. This woodworker dissolved shellac in water using borax which is a common detergent. Since I also added ammonia, it probably made te situation worse. Learn new things everyday...

Edit2:  Another thread. A chemist mentioned using ammonia would dissolve shellac.

Second, sometimes I leaves parts in the cleaner for long periods of time because I forget or need to do something. Turns out mineral spirit and water separate each other. You end up with a pool of water at the bottom and you end up rusting parts because of that.

Acetone dissolves water since they are both polar. Seems like that's a better choice for a rinse if you want to use water based cleaners.

Edited by dieale2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/29/2018 at 8:30 AM, Watchtime said:

a friend of mine who is a professional watchmaker in germany uses isopropanol for mvts, nothing else.


I haven't followed this thread in detail but in my experience isopropanol dissolves the shellac pretty quickly. I've ruined a few pallet forks that way forgetting to pick'em up quickly enough from my final rinse.

BTW, is the correct terminology "shellac" or "resin"? I believe Mark Lovick uses the term resin.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know this thread is about cleaning solutions, but I'd just like to chip in that in my (limited) experience mechanical cleaning is an absolute must as a complement to reach a clinical state. To this end, my fibreglass scratch brush is my most valued tool. I'm always amazed by how effective, still gentle, it is, for example removing rust, hard to remove dirt, and corrosion from wheel pinions, arbors, teeth, and pivots. After my US cleaning (chemically pure gasoline, isopropanyl, etc.) I'm often surprised to see how unclean certain parts are through my stereo microscope, especially the train wheels.

Edited by VWatchie

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

+1 to that. Ultrasonic and chemical cleaning will remove a heck of a lot of "stuff", but there are times when a bit of manual intervention is necessary. I have a brass, steel and fiberglass scratch pen set (cheap 'n Chinese, from ebay,  as is everything these days it seems). The brass pen works well on stainless cases, as it is softer than the steel, so doesn't scratch the finish, but will remove even the most stubborn bits of ancient DNA and fossilized chicken soup.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Ok then that settles that. Yeah I thought I saw it titled Horolovar 400 day clock repair so it stands to reason that it's probably the most informative.

      I was also looking on one of my favorite sites on the net: clockworks.com I'm not sure if you're familiar with it but it has a wonderful clock repair kit with a comprehensive e-book with a repair guide for cuckoo clocks, anniversary clocks, spring driven and weight driven clock repair. Also with that you get an oiler with oil, cleaning solution, visor, level, brass brush, hand/gear puller and a mainspring letdown key all for $69. Seems like a great deal for all that and I'm fairly certain is not all Chinese crap either.

      I need to get a staking set and anvil, a better hammer, decent screwdrivers, (also unsure as to what the best ones for clock repair are) bushings and the necessary tools to do that work, all at a smaller price point.

      I don't have the funds to shell out atm for everything I want. Also I'm only in the hobby phase for now. I am, more and more coming to truly enjoy working on clocks and watches and am considering doing this for a source of income. When you can turn a hobby into a job it's a win-win.

      Sent from my Z956 using Tapatalk

    • Terwillger's book is the one I had. That is the bible of anniversary clocks. 
    • I'm not familiar with Rabuska's book so had to look it up. But putting it simply Terwillger's book is published by Horolovar which is the company that also makes the replacement suspension springs and mainsprings for anniversary clocks, it is considered 'The bible' for Anniversary clocks. It is also 237 pages compared to 98 pages for Rabuska's. I'm not saying Rabuska's book isn't good as I don't know as I've not read it, but if I was only going to get one book I would get the Horolovar book as it gives setup suspension spring drawings for pretty much all anniversary clocks.
    • Thanks very much OH! I'll be sure to ask how old it is before viewing, and check what you mentioned when I see it.
    • Looks complete. You will need a motor to run it. Check the lathe bed and make sure it is smooth with no marks in it. Ask what type of work has been undertaken. how old is it? Make sure the collets are in good shape and not strained, out of shape collets are no good.  A fair price I would say.