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Dust blower and benzine jar for cleaning watch parts


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When agitating the benzine in the benzine jar with a dust blower during watch parts cleaning, some of the benzine can get into the dust blower. Will the benzine attack the rubber dust blower, or more importantly, cause unwanted chemicals to leach into the benzine when blowing out of the dust blower? I also noticed that the dust blower I had had small pieces of rubber flaking off when I was drying watch parts with air, which is a bit concerning because it may contaminate the parts?

Does anyone have have idea if I should be concerned about these issues?

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Ah! A wristwatch jacuzzi. Does that method even work? 

When cleaning manually, I used to let the parts soak for awhile then use a small painbrush to gently brush the pivots, pinions and wheels.

Nowadays I let it soak for about 10 mins then ultrasound it for 2-4 mins. Sometimes it still need manual brushing to remove grease and dried oils.

I working on a motorized revolving container in an ultrasound bath to minimize chances of damage due to the effects of cavitation. I'll post pictures of this project next week.

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24 minutes ago, HectorLooi said:

Ah! A wristwatch jacuzzi. Does that method even work? 

When cleaning manually, I used to let the parts soak for awhile then use a small painbrush to gently brush the pivots, pinions and wheels.

Nowadays I let it soak for about 10 mins then ultrasound it for 2-4 mins. Sometimes it still need manual brushing to remove grease and dried oils.

I working on a motorized revolving container in an ultrasound bath to minimize chances of damage due to the effects of cavitation. I'll post pictures of this project next week.

It was one of the recommended methods in the course by Mark, although possible not as effective as an actual watch cleaning machine. Do you soak in benzine or lighter fluid?

How will the revolving container help with the cavitation?

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7 minutes ago, ifibrin said:

How will the revolving container help with the cavitation?

It keeps the parts moving to avoid a high energy spot from causing damage.

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Just now, HectorLooi said:

It keeps the parts moving to avoid a high energy spot from causing damage.

Oh... that makes sense! I have also noticed the bubbles in an ultrasonic always seem to be in the same position.

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As for the cleaning solution, I use petrol for clocks, lighter fluid for watches. Sometimes I use a water based cleaning solution for very stubborn dirt. 

It's hard to get "horological cleaning products" here in Singapore as most airlines will not accept hazardous materials. Khatena has a limited range of L&R products but at a higher price.

A couple of years ago I lost a very good L&R cleaning machine during shipment because the seller forgot to remove a bottle of cleaner from the box and the US Customs had the shipment impounded and destroyed. The seller tried very hard to get it back for me to no avail. 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/17/2021 at 12:38 AM, ifibrin said:

Will the benzine attack the rubber dust blower, or more importantly, cause unwanted chemicals to leach into the benzine when blowing out of the dust blower?

@ifibrin, regarding your question, I think benzine will react with rubber. Also same for silicone, which feels like rubber. Since benzine will surely go upwards into the blower, there is bound to be bits that get into the solution. Better to avoid the jacuzzi method 😂 and just use a brush as Hector suggested.

On 7/17/2021 at 6:45 AM, HectorLooi said:

It's hard to get "horological cleaning products" here in Singapore as most airlines will not accept hazardous materials.

Any idea where where we can source petroleum ether/benzine in SG? I also currently use lighter fluid for cleaning.

So far I have only found this overpriced 1L glass bottle: https://www.merckmillipore.com/SG/en/product/Petroleum-benzine-boiling-range-140-180C,MDA_CHEM-814563

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26 minutes ago, Zero said:

@ifibrin, regarding your question, I think benzine will react with rubber.

Rubber is a very generic definition however in short no it doesn't, just like petrol full (gasoline in the USA) doesn't (quickly) dissolve vulcanized natural rubber, nor synthetic one (of which there are many many types).

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Also same for silicone, which feels like rubber.

Silicone is perfectly resistent to petroleum ether or petrol fuel (which are actually closely related. In fact that experience smal tubing that you can buy for a variety of applications as well petrol engines are made silicone. These won't quickly shrink harden like the cheap ones.

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Any idea where where we can source petroleum ether/benzine in SG,

If there is no industry in your country that uses it (except chemical laboratory requiring the highest purity, that's the overpriced one that you found), then you can start looking for something else.

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5 hours ago, Zero said:

@ifibrin, regarding your question, I think benzine will react with rubber. Also same for silicone, which feels like rubber. Since benzine will surely go upwards into the blower, there is bound to be bits that get into the solution. Better to avoid the jacuzzi method 😂 and just use a brush as Hector suggested.

Any idea where where we can source petroleum ether/benzine in SG? I also currently use lighter fluid for cleaning.

So far I have only found this overpriced 1L glass bottle: https://www.merckmillipore.com/SG/en/product/Petroleum-benzine-boiling-range-140-180C,MDA_CHEM-814563

Khatena sells for $15 a bottle of benzine (I think it’s 2 liters in volume) that they supply to many watch servicing centers.

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A bit of thread drift but I find the price/quality of the dust blowers sold in camera shops to be quite good actually. Way cheaper than the quality branded ones sold for watch repair and way better than the cheap chinese ones.

Since camera shops are quite common its worth checking out.

Anilv

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9 minutes ago, anilv said:

A bit of thread drift but I find the price/quality of the dust blowers sold in camera shops to be quite good actually. Way cheaper than the quality branded ones sold for watch repair and way better than the cheap chinese ones.

Since camera shops are quite common its worth checking out.

Anilv

The dust blower that came with my camera started to flake after awhile! Most of the dust blowers sold in camera shops now a days appear to be the generic Chinese ones.

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19 hours ago, Zero said:

 

It lists silicone as "not resistant" to petroleum ether. Is this incorrect in practice?

I have checked and indeed pure silicone is not recommended 

https://www.siliconehose.com/blog/oil-fuel-and-silicone-hoses-/

But were I live hardware stores sell it for small petrol engines. Maybe because for certain diameters nothing else is available.

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