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Manual mov.t cleaning?


Daniel
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I am planing on getting a watch cleaning machine but for now what is something I can use to clean my watch movements .i have seen some talk in other post about (lighter fluid ) .are y'all talking about the kind you put in a zippo lighter?

And all so do y'all recommend a ultrasonic cleaner or the one that spins in a jar ?? And Ty for any help you my have on my ?? :)

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I am planing on getting a watch cleaning machine but for now what is something I can use to clean my watch movements .i have seen some talk in other post about (lighter fluid ) .are y'all talking about the kind you put in a zippo lighter?

And all so do y'all recommend a ultrasonic cleaner or the one that spins in a jar ?? And Ty for any help you my have on my ?? :)

Hi Daniel,

This is a pretty common topic that comes up quite a bit. I was going to suggest doing a search for it on the forums, but it took me a while  to find the search function! :geek:

 

Anyway, if you haven't read this post, it might have a few answers for you!

 

http://www.watchrepairtalk.com/topic/285-ultrasonic-cleaners/?hl=%2Bultrasonic+%2Bcleaner

 

Regards,

DJW

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I plan on just purchasing one of the Elma or L&R solutions specifically for use with watch parts and ultrasonic cleaning. I'll be using the described method of keeping the cleaner and two rinses (to remove the cleaner which might leave a residue or continue doing its "cleaning" too long) in glass jars, put inside the cleaner which is pre-filled with water. Glass is very good at transmitting ultrasonic so that should work just fine. It would then be advisable to avoid any plastic trays/containers since plastic will definitely weaken the ultrasonic power. Perhaps some metal mesh baskets for the really small parts - fishing them out of a jar one by one sounds like one of those irritating tasks ;).

 

You can make do with cheaper alternatives like lighter fluid, but that stuff is really flammable. I did a bit of research before, so bear this in mind. The flashpoint of Elma WF Pro Cleaner is 30-40 °C, the Elma Suprol rinse is 23-25 °C, and lighter fluid is 4 °C. One of these three belongs nowhere near electronic equipment. Bear in mind that electronic equipment can fail, and the failure may involve a heat source. I've seen reviews for ultrasonic cleaners where the plastic casing has melted or the seals have failed letting the liquid content run out the electric flex inlet! Glass can also fail if exposed to sudden heat or just if it was flawed to start with. It may be safe enough for manual cleaning work in small amounts, but I'd keep it well away from any potential spark source.

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What would be a good but chep ultrasonic cleaner .just to get me going for now .i found me two old wrist watch movements to be my frist test dummies lol :p hopeing to get the level 1 tool kit they got for sell at (time zone watch school ) looks like a good one to me .

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Yes, the KIT-1-ETA-2750-case, I chose the same movement although I had already most of the tools so the complete kit was out of the question.

 

I agree completely, if you made it you most wear it! There is a high level of satisfaction and pride in doing so. I do with all the ones I've made and kept!

 

By the way, I also bought some of the "substitute" movements on line (cheap) so I had a wider range of "experiences" through the class. Funny enough, I've never cased the 2750 and I was seriously thinking about giving it one with the "on-line watch school" wording on it...since they don't give out certificates.

 

Substitute movements for Level one: UT 6498, UT 6497, ETA 6498-1, ETA 6497-1, ETA 2801 (- , -1 or -2), ETA 2804-2, ST 96, ST 974, ST 969 and TISSOT 245. They come on ebay at good prices...sometimes.

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don't know if I will try the class or not . I didn't see a schedule of when the classes are taking place. so I am not sure if it would fit my work time or not .

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No Daniel, there is no schedule, you take them when you can and as long as you can. Just visit the free sample lesson and you will understand what I mean. If you are spending that kind of money in tools and what not, might as well get the class I think. It is still a very personal decision though and I'm not associated to them in any way but I have learned a lot from them.

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I was just wondering what thoughts people have about the way I am cleaning my watch parts. I do get them clean but I think I am moving the individual parts too many times and increasing the risk of flyers or losing something. It has turned into a rather laborious nerve wracking chore and I am sure there must be a more efficient and safe method that I could adopt. I will describe my process and I don't mind at all any criticisms and suggestions to improve it, shouldn't be difficult probably.

I am using a small ultrasonic cleaner, the type you see on ebay for cleaning jewellery etc.  I don't have the space or budget for a proper cleaning machine. So, after I have the watch stripped and the parts laid out in the parts tray I transfer them one segment at a time into the sonic cleaner in which I have a degreasing agent (Jizer) diluted appropriately. After a few minutes in there I take out the parts and rinse them in a beaker of clean warm water and place them on kitchen roll to blot away as much moisture as possible. I then place them in a dish of lighter fluid for a short time and then once again allow them to dry on some kitchen roll before putting them back in the parts tray if they have cleaned up ok and move on to the next segment. When I am completely finished I usually stand the parts tray on my desk which is above the radiator where they get warmed and hopefully dried off completely. The tiny parts go into a screw top mesh basket before I put them into the u/sonic but the larger parts I just drop straight in. I don't put the balance in the u/sonic, placing it only in the lighter fluid for a bit.

I just have the feeling I am giving myself too many opportunities to lose something or drop something while transferring the parts back and forth so many times. If I used a good cleaner in the u/sonic could I do them in one cycle?  I timed myself the other night and it took me a good two hours using this method to clean one set of parts, and then I almost had a catstrophe as parts sometimes "disappear" in the cleaner and I nearly threw a couple away but just noticed them before it was too late.

As I say any suggestions would be gladly received that might make this essential task a little less stressful and time consuming.

Thanks

 

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Hi Davey, your method sounds very similar to mine, but no way it takes me 2 hours. I divide the small parts in 3 small mesh baskets and the big parts go straight in. I have 2 seperate warm water rinses ready. I also have a bigger mesh basket circular and 1/2 size of a tennis ball, spring type. Instead of lighter fluid I use Isopropanol for drying (£12 for 5 litres), and have 4 small containers ready with Iso. The big parts come out  of the ultrasonic and go straight into the tennis ball, 2 water rinses and then get attacked by my missus's hair drier, then into the isopropanol. The 3 small mesh baskets follow the same routine all at once going into the tennis ball still in the mesh baskets, through the rinses, hairdryer treatment and into the 3 separate Isopropanol. Keeps all the parts separate and not mixed up. Last time I followed this technique I lost a cap jewel ......

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going to suggest using a tea leaf strainer as a parts holder, it will safely transfer your parts back and forth, the ultrasonic will work with it, and they are cheap, if you like keeping your parts in groups, pick up a several, they are cheap, at least around here, the mesh is tight enough to prevent the parts from escaping.

 

I have a couple of the Bergeon parts containers, and I like the tea strainer better, I can clip it onto the edge of the jar, and let the parts soak, then easily pull it out, as opposed to digging it out with the small containers... and the screen is tight enough to prevent parts from escaping..

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I think it sounds like I need a couple more containers. I like the tea strainer idea, I think I will track some down and buy two or three maybe. That way I should be able to have a few different groups of parts cleaning at once instead of repeatedly transferring parts into and out of the one little basket that I have. Glad to hear I am not a million miles away from others with my chosen method anyway.

Thanks for the tips.

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I used to use one of thesehttp://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fine-mesh-ultrasonic-stainless-steel-basket-5-x-4-repair-clean-jewellers-tools-/291240168881?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item43cf444db1

You can lay all the parts in and turn them over if desired, You can then lift it all out together and change the cleaning fluid for a rinse once done you can use a hair drier (carefully). Use demineralised water to avoid stains on the parts!

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I use some small stainless steel cups . A little like a eggcup but bigger . Maybe for bigger eggs :) . In them i have a tea strainer that i have take apart .Fit is perfect inside the cup . I lay my parts like jewels and other small parts that are easy to misplace . 

 

post-644-0-66990000-1433149500_thumb.jpgpost-644-0-58923100-1433149430_thumb.jpgpost-644-0-98191000-1433149445_thumb.jpg

Edited by rogart63
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I recently made an ace find in a local store, these little circular plastic pots that screw together, almost water tight (good enough) so I've been cleaning little screws and gaskets and other odd parts in them by loading them up partially with fluid, adding the part, screwing it up tight and letting the pot float in the tank. 

Wish I could help you find something similar, I'm sure it would work fine for mechanical watch parts. You could group a small number of parts up that logically go together and have a dozen little floating pots in your tank and clean all the watch movement parts at the same time. 

Edited by Ishima
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I use some small stainless steel cups . A little like a eggcup but bigger . Maybe for bigger eggs :) . In them i have a tea strainer that i have take apart .Fit is perfect inside the cup . I lay my parts like jewels and other small parts that are easy to misplace . 

 

 

 

Strangely enough I was in Ikea today and came across these for £1.70

post-923-0-16593000-1433183653_thumb.jpg

 

I have a feeling I know where you bought yours too.  Didn't spot the egg cups though :)

 

Ishima, I suppose these sort of things are a bit larger than the ones you have. They are handy for keeping bits and bobs in though. They have a screw down top too.

 

post-923-0-66347500-1433183966_thumb.jpg

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As I only get time to do a watch every couple of months I decided to go easy on the range of chemicals and equipment.

2 small glass pots with a little Renata Essence - one for cleaning and one for rinsing. A small, soft toothbrush, and peg wood. No baskets, I just move parts individually with tweezers.

I dismantle the movement into an ice cube tray and clean the parts in groups just before fitting. That way I don't get anything muddled up. I leave parts to dry on plain paper which draws away the fluid and helps it evaporate. I also put cling film over the pots while not in use.

This is sort of adapted from DeCarle. I don't clean my brush on a burnt mutton bone (leg or otherwise for those who have read that!), and I couldn't get hold of any cyanide either! I also don't leave the pallet fork in for too long for fear of softening the shellac.

DeCarle says this should all take 45 mins to an hour, but I've never timed myself.

S

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I don't know about all the fancy cleaning agents you use as I've never heard of most of them. Ronsonol lighter fluid is fine and it evaporates very quick. you should get yourselves a watch blower, there not expensive this will also help to remove the residue of lighter fluid.  Rodico for removing marks. I never used an ultrasonic tank so I don't know if there good or bad. Have you looked for an old watch cleaning machine say on ebay that will give you much better results than all the fiddling about. Never use water. You can leave the balance and pallets as long as you wish in lighter fluid they will come to no harm. How on earth do you manage the mainsprings and the lubrication. I could go on forever on this but I'll leave it there.

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I'm going to have to try some Ronsonal. I've been using Zenith hairspring cleaner. It seems to work okay, but it's expensive.

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As far as I can ascertain both Ronsonal & Essence of Renata are basically the same, it just that the former can be bought cheaper & in bulk from fleabay. As for Ronsonal or similar having any affect on shellac I have yet to see it, having left pallet forks in the stuff for a week or more, then blasted in the ultrasonic without any ill effects......yet.

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As far as I can ascertain both Ronsonal & Essence of Renata are basically the same, it just that the former can be bought cheaper & in bulk from fleabay. As for Ronsonal or similar having any affect on shellac I have yet to see it, having left pallet forks in the stuff for a week or more, then blasted in the ultrasonic without any ill effects......yet.

 

Yes, Ronsonal or lighter fluid will not attack shellac. Alcohol, however, will dissolve shellac and should be avoided on pallets and roller jewels.

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I am new at watch repair and am interested in refurbishing watches, including repair and cleaning. I would like to know what solutions folks use for hand cleaning and in what order. As well, what technique does one use when cleaning individual components. The tips and tricks would be good from the experienced folks. I do this for friends at the moment and they live my work so far. I have completely disassembled cleaned and oils 2 Seiko 7548 movements (divers from the early 80ies) with success so far. But the best cleaning technique can only by attained from experienced watch repair experts. Thanks

49cf18b245d414ed51b4faea3d4f79d3.jpg

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