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18 minutes ago, bojan1990 said:

Is it advisable to clean hairspring and pallet fork with benzene or acetone and then rinse it quickly in isopropanol?

As covered many times already, benzene is never used. Refined "naphta" (gasoline, benzine) takes different names according to the country. I recommend against lighter fluid as it's mean to make a flame, not clean part, hence is not refined enough.

Now, since refined benzine leaves no residue, no rinsing is really necessary. But different people do differently.

Another thing that you will read is that IPA dissolves shellac, however not quickly, and not all of them.

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1 minute ago, bojan1990 said:

I wanted to say "benzine" aka lighter fluid. What is alternative, acetone maybe? Or should everything be cleaned with IPA? 

It's not the same, you should get refined benzine, for the reason explained above. That is the traditional product to clean watch parts, IPA was invented much later and for different purposes. Personally I use either and both work fine.

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6 minutes ago, bojan1990 said:

Since it is easier for me to get the IPA, I will try cleaning with it. Do you leave parts for some time in the solution, clean and then rinse?

You can get refined benzine on Ebay. Leave parts few minutes into whatever solution, then let dry under a dust cover. For tiny parts like it's a good idea to use a small mesh basket.

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To dissolve oil, grease, and dirt I use a liquid named "Gripen Kemiskt ren bensin". That's Swedish and translates to "Chemically pure gasoline" by Google translate ("Gripen" is the brand). I wonder if a better translation would be "refined benzine"? What do you think? The back of the bottle says (again Google translate): Naphtha petroleum hydrotreated lightly. When I try with "refined benzine", Google translate recommends I visit the nearest gas station, and I don't think that's right?

I buy the stuff at my local grocery store and it's about a quarter of the cost of Zippo lighter fluid. That is, I pay approx $2 for 125ml. I'm sure there are bigger and less expensive bottles or alternatives but I haven't looked into it. The front of the bottle reads: "Efficiently removes spots of oil, grease, and glue", and that seems to be what it does!

For my final rinse, I always use IPA, to remove any possible "cleaning fluid" (whatever I've used) residue. I know from experience that the shellac or resin doesn't go well with IPA, so I'm very careful to rinse the balance and pallet fork very quickly (max 30 sec.).

Anyway, for any parts big enough I definitely get the best results using warm water, detergent, and a soft toothbrush. The jewel pivot holes I peg out, and if necessary also treat with the chemically pure gasoline.

This post by "clockman" was the best info about cleaning I could find when I was new to this. I still think it's good!

Edited by VWatchie

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I was told by a restorer that since benzine may have several formulas, with higher or lower flashpoint and levels of purity, to look for n-hexane instead. This is the most desired part of what comes mixed into “benzine”...

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Also a Swedish resident, I use the ”Gripen” benzine mentioned by VWatchie. And btw, the Gripen benzine works perfect as lighter fuel in my Zippo hand warmer I use a lot during winter ski tours, at the fraction of the cost for the original Zippo stuff.

I use two small licqeur glasses and my hobbyist u/s machine with a squeeze of regular dish wash liquid in hot tap water. If I feel ambitious (and can stand the fumes) I add a splash of ammonia.

The parts (in the natural group order) goes into the first benzine container for a few min’s and then into the u/s.

After that back into the first benzine glass again with the main purpose to push out any remaining water from hidden places in the parts. The water separating property of the benzine is a cool one!

Then over for a final rinse in the 2nd benzine glass and out to dry on a regular printer paper.

Lately I have tried to re-use the benzine by pouring off the top section (the water is heavier and stays low) but noted I get some staining, probably from dissolved oils and grease so I will stop that and use fresh stuff every time.

If I note any remaining stains on the jewels, I remove these with a wooden tooth pick.

The procedure usually takes me a 1/2 hour for a regular manual movement, which works for an amateur and hobbyist, I guess.

/Bsoderling




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On 7/18/2018 at 10:55 AM, bojan1990 said:

Is it advisable to clean hairspring and pallet fork with benzene or acetone and then rinse it quickly in isopropanol?

I am sure that someone can give you correct advice. I use an U/S cleaner with Naphtha. I clean the balance and scape with Acetone, then rinse with Naphtha and allow to dry naturally. I do not use Isopropanol. This method works very well for me. Do not get Acetone anywhere near plastic`s and you can buy 5 litres of med or fast Naphtha from you local auto paint shop at around £12. They call it Panel Wipe !!. 

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On ‎7‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 11:18 AM, jdm said:

As covered many times already, benzene is never used. Refined "naphta" (gasoline, benzine) takes different names according to the country. I recommend against lighter fluid as it's mean to make a flame, not clean part, hence is not refined enough.

Now, since refined benzine leaves no residue, no rinsing is really necessary. But different people do differently.

Another thing that you will read is that IPA dissolves shellac, however not quickly, and not all of them.

I read not to use lighter fuel, but a good replacement is from the Go outdoors camping store, but I can't remember the name, it's a lot cheaper than lighter fuel, anyone??? 

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6 hours ago, Lenj said:

I read not to use lighter fuel, but a good replacement is from the Go outdoors camping store, but I can't remember the name, it's a lot cheaper than lighter fuel, anyone??? 

Coleman fuel. Try Panel Wipe from your auto paint shop. Pure Naphtha, as pure as you will get anywhere. £12 for 5L. It is an excellent watch cleaner. Cheap enough to clean and wash components properly at low cost. Fine for U/S. 

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7 hours ago, Lenj said:

I read not to use lighter fuel, but a good replacement is from the Go outdoors camping store, but I can't remember the name, it's a lot cheaper than lighter fuel, anyone??? 

You should go for quality not price. Anything that is made to burn is not purified enough for lab or cleaning purproses. https://www.ebay.it/itm/Petroleum-Ether-80-C-100-C-500ml-Petroleum-Spirit-Shipped-Same-Day/142061406816

10 minutes ago, ecodec said:

Fine for U/S. 

Using (highly) combustible liquids in an U/S cleaner is not recommended for obvious reason, as written on the device instructions as well. The heating from the process is significant. You can do that anyway one million times and be fine, but I prefer to use only soapy water in the cleaner.

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Hi,

I find this test and conclusions a bit strange...

The residue seen on the glass is what’s left after the solvent has evaporated i.e. It’s an indication of the level of impurities in the solvent, not a property of the solvent in itself (that’s not there anymore)

As such this test can be used to determine if your solvent (benzine, alcohol, acethone ...) is as clean as you want it to be.

But to determine if your solvent as such is good or bad, I see no guidance here.






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On 7/22/2018 at 5:49 AM, bsoderling said:

Hi,

I find this test and conclusions a bit strange...

The residue seen on the glass is what’s left after the solvent has evaporated i.e. It’s an indication of the level of impurities in the solvent, not a property of the solvent in itself (that’s not there anymore)

As such this test can be used to determine if your solvent (benzine, alcohol, acethone ...) is as clean as you want it to be.

But to determine if your solvent as such is good or bad, I see no guidance here.






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It's a very useful test for final stage rinsing. A popular cheap way to clean is to use lighter fluid and then rinse with %99 IPA to get rid of the film that it usually leaves behind.

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So you use the test (solvent on glass sheet) to ensure the IPA is clean (= no residue ) whereas you don’t expect that from the lighter fluid that is primarily intended for burning and can be contaminated ?

That makes a lot of sense to me and I will try that next time with the benzine I use for cleaning and rinsing.



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On 7/20/2018 at 8:12 AM, jdm said:

You should go for quality not price. Anything that is made to burn is not purified enough for lab or cleaning purproses. https://www.ebay.it/itm/Petroleum-Ether-80-C-100-C-500ml-Petroleum-Spirit-Shipped-Same-Day/142061406816

Using (highly) combustible liquids in an U/S cleaner is not recommended for obvious reason, as written on the device instructions as well. The heating from the process is significant. You can do that anyway one million times and be fine, but I prefer to use only soapy water in the cleaner.

I soak the parts in Naphtha for a period. Then clean with very little heat at all from the U/S cleaner.  For the balance components and escapement I use Acetone then a wash in clean Naphtha. Sometimes for stubborn staining I use a brush.  This method has never failed me.

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15 hours ago, bsoderling said:

So you use the test (solvent on glass sheet) to ensure the IPA is clean (= no residue ) whereas you don’t expect that from the lighter fluid that is primarily intended for burning and can be contaminated ?

That makes a lot of sense to me and I will try that next time with the benzine I use for cleaning and rinsing.



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1

Please remember to let us know the result. Thanks!

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Hello,

is there any kind of guide how to clean watch movement by hand? I found something like that in Practical Watch Repairing book, but I am wondering if there is something on Internet as well. I know that a lot of members use an ultrasonic machine for cleaning, but nevertheless I want to learn proper hand cleaning technique, especially when it comes to the hairspring (as very sensitive part of the movement).

Thanks.

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The solutions are fine, I am now trying to clean everything with isopropanol and rinse it in acetone. However, I am not sure how to clean without the cleaning machine. My idea is to after soaking parts in isopropanol, clean every part with soft brush, peg everything I can, clean pivots with pithwood, and rinse. However, I am not sure what to do with the hairspring. It is very sensitive and I am afraid to deform it by cleaning it with brush. 

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The solutions are fine, I am now trying to clean everything with isopropanol and rinse it in acetone. However, I am not sure how to clean without the cleaning machine. My idea is to after soaking parts in isopropanol, clean every part with soft brush, peg everything I can, clean pivots with pithwood, and rinse. However, I am not sure what to do with the hairspring. It is very sensitive and I am afraid to deform it by cleaning it with brush. 
As for the balance spring , I would suggest one dip or an alternative degreaser, you shouldn't need much more than that.

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If you dip the HS in Acetone for a short period then you need have no fear of there being any old oil left on it. It will be oil free. Acetone is the best de-greaser I know of and is used for strain gauging operations where Any Oil would be anathema to the bonding process !!. I have isoprop but have never used it.

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