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There Must Be Better Way Department: Getting Oil Out of Bottles


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OK, this one has been bugging me for a long time!  Anyone have a method for efficiently getting a small drop, or maybe two, out of an oil vial and into the cup in your oil stand? It seems no matter what I try I end up wasting at least as much oil as I capture in the cup.  At one zillion dollars a milliliter seems a damn crime!  

Stuff I've tried with no great success: 

  • Pick up a small blob of oil on the end of a polished steel rod and transfer to oil cup (50% of the oil stays on the rod even after treating with epilame) 
  • Attempt to pour from bottle (major mess and waste, quantity uncontrollable)
  • Hypodermic syringe: at least as bad above methods

Not that Moebius is interested in us their using oil efficiently, but it seems obvious they should pack the stuff in a dedicated syringe -- easy and precise dispensing and zero oxygen storage.

Anyway, until that happens (never!) what works for you?

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3 minutes ago, StickDog said:

OK, this one has been bugging me for a long time!  Anyone have a method for efficiently getting a small drop, or maybe two, out of an oil vial and into the cup in your oil stand? It seems no matter what I try I end up wasting at least as much oil as I capture in the cup.  At one zillion dollars a milliliter seems a damn crime!  

Stuff I've tried with no great success: 

  • Pick up a small blob of oil on the end of a polished steel rod and transfer to oil cup (50% of the oil stays on the rod even after treating with epilame) 
  • Attempt to pour from bottle (major mess and waste, quantity uncontrollable)
  • Hypodermic syringe: at least as bad above methods

Not that Moebius is interested in us their using oil efficiently, but it seems obvious they should pack the stuff in a dedicated syringe -- easy and precise dispensing and zero oxygen storage.

Anyway, until that happens (never!) what works for you?

Eyup matey. What was wrong  with the syringe? 

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Most of the oil/lubricant you put in your oil pots are going to be cleaned out the next time you refill your oil puts anyway, since you are supposed to change them out weekly. The actual amount of oil/lubricant going into your movements is actually quite little.

That being said, I find that using the largest oiler you can find to transfer oil/lubricant from the bottle to your oil pot works quite well. You have to do it multiple times (more than 10 times) to get your oil well filled to a necessary depth, so the amount remaining on the oiler after you have filled your oil pot is actually quite little, in the grand scheme of things.

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6 hours ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Eyup matey. What was wrong  with the syringe? 

@Neverenoughwatches,

I am also thinking the syringe is the answer (especially in 30cc size which I have plenty of as a consequence of operating another business that specialized in offering people holistic health solutions for their pets).

What's your experience with a syringe and why wouldn't it be ideal for conserving material like watch oil?  After all, they are designed for use with super-expensive (and dangerous) drugs, so surely they're OK for handing M9010?

Am I missing something?

g.

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29 minutes ago, Kalanag said:

A syringe for pet care from Amazon:

B4C6D26D-334C-4981-BC32-F9310975BC1F.jpeg

The black seal on the (disposable) syringe plunger is lubricated with silicone oil.

Also, I think the amount of oil taken out with a syringe would be way too much for a week’s worth of oil in an oil pot.

If you really wanted to go down this route, an Eppendorf 20uL mechanical pipette would be better than a syringe, but those are very expensive. You would also have to use disposable pipette tips.B833D30D-A15C-4CA2-9F1E-4168B37F5771.thumb.jpeg.9c6868da385def896cb9855bce3cfebb.jpeg

Edited by ifibrin
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12 minutes ago, ifibrin said:

The black seal on the syringe plunger is lubricated with silicone oil.

Thanks for this important remark! The syringe incl. plunger should be cleaned before use. I use a syringe out of glass.

With a 1 ml syringe you are able to dispense very little drops of oil.

 

Edited by Kalanag
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11 minutes ago, Kalanag said:

Thanks for this important remark! The syringe incl. plunger should be cleaned before use. I use a syringe out of glass.

 

I work in Chemistry research, and I’ve never been able to clean out the silicone oil on these black plungers… the silicone oil always appears in analytical work if you use these types of disposable syringes. The silicone oil doesn’t affect water based solutions as used in medical patient injections etc, which is where they are meant to be used.

The largest oiler I have appears to pick up around 1uL of oil (visually, not sure, unable to measure), so by using it repeatedly, I transfer enough oil into my oil pot for a week’s worth. The residual oil on the oiler is small enough that there’s little wastage.

Edited by ifibrin
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1 hour ago, ifibrin said:

I work in Chemistry research, and I’ve never been able to clean out the silicone oil on these black plungers… the silicone oil always appears in analytical work if you use these types of disposable syringes. The silicone oil doesn’t affect water based solutions as used in medical patient injections etc, which is where they are meant to be used.

The largest oiler I have appears to pick up around 1uL of oil (visually, not sure, unable to measure), so by using it repeatedly, I transfer enough oil into my oil pot for a week’s worth. The residual oil on the oiler is small enough that there’s little wastage.

Hello @ifibrin,

I'm not 100% clear on what you mean by what you wrote above - are you saying there is a potential for tainting watch lubricants if a syringe featuring the "typical" black plungers is used? 

Do you think that risk exists and therefore syringes should not be used?  At what quanta of risk are you talking about?

While performing background research on my upcoming paper "How (and Why) We Clean Things" I have come across several resources with respect to silicone oil.  For example, several solvents for silicone oil are listed in the following article:

https://www.shinetsusilicone-global.com/products/type/oil/detail/about/index2.shtml#:~:text=Silicone fluid is highly soluble,ethanol%2C methanol%2C and water.

Along with a handy chart:

https://www.shinetsusilicone-global.com/products/type/oil/detail/about/index2.shtml#solubility_chart01

Finally, here's a very easily read chart of silicone oil solubility results that you may find useful:

image.thumb.png.1e038b1c04c0d22646fbe6874f063a8d.png

Source:  https://www.shinetsusilicones.com/p2502.html

Cheers,

g.
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Why don't you guys just use your tweezers? Dip a properly cleaned #3 into a vial, open them slightly to "suck up" the oil between the prongs (capillary action) , then go to your pot and open them fully to dump the oil. Job done and no issues with cross contamination. Repeat if you need more, but usually once should be enough

Edited by gbyleveldt
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1 hour ago, gbyleveldt said:

Why don't you guys just use your tweezers? Dip a properly cleaned #3 into a vial, open them slightly to "suck up" the oil between the prongs (capillary action) , then go to your pot and open them fully to dump the oil. Job done and no issues with cross contamination. Repeat if you need more, but usually once should be enough

I saw Marshall do that on video once, it looked pretty slick to me (pun intended).  😆

g.
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17 hours ago, Gramham said:

Hello @ifibrin,

I'm not 100% clear on what you mean by what you wrote above - are you saying there is a potential for tainting watch lubricants if a syringe featuring the "typical" black plungers is used? 

Do you think that risk exists and therefore syringes should not be used?  At what quanta of risk are you talking about?

I wouldn’t use disposable syringes that have plungers/gaskets lubricated with silicone oil because I’m worried that the silicone oil will contaminate the oil. I haven’t actually investigated the solubility of silicone oil in Moebius lubricants, but I don’t think it’s far fetched that silicone oil is miscible in watch oils…

If you are very careful with your syringe and don’t allow your watch oil to contact the plunger head when you suck a small droplet of oil in, you may be able to avoid contamination. However, this is still a risk… 

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I use a large head pin, stuck into a short length of wood cut from a bamboo chopstick. The pin head picks up a lot of oil. For thick oils like D5 or HP1500, usually a single dip is enough. Thin oils like 9910 would require a few more. 

I'm OCD, so I use a separate dipstick for each type of oil. I even use a different oilers for each type of oil. My mentor taught me to stick the oiler in a piece of pithwood to clean it. But unless the piece of pithwood is disposed of very frequently, the different oils will mix in the pithwood and cause cross contamination. 

So, what do you think? Do I need psychiatric help?

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35 minutes ago, HectorLooi said:

Do I need psychiatric help?

This activity is all about splitting hairs.  If the rest of your practice parallels this level of attention more power to you.  If not then yes you need help.

Shane 

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2 hours ago, ifibrin said:

I wouldn’t use disposable syringes that have plungers/gaskets lubricated with silicone oil because I’m worried that the silicone oil will contaminate the oil. I haven’t actually investigated the solubility of silicone oil in Moebius lubricants, but I don’t think it’s far fetched that silicone oil is miscible in watch oils…

If you are very careful with your syringe and don’t allow your watch oil to contact the plunger head when you suck a small droplet of oil in, you may be able to avoid contamination. However, this is still a risk… 

Hello @ifibrin

My plan was to pull the plunger up a bit, leaving an air gap and just load the steel tip.  The other thing I could potentially do is clear the steel tip with one of the listed solvents to reduce the presence of silicone oil to a nominal amount, but that may dilute the watch oil in the process if I am not careful.  Do you have a suggested protocol from your experience in industry?

g.

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1 hour ago, HectorLooi said:

I use a large head pin, stuck into a short length of wood cut from a bamboo chopstick. The pin head picks up a lot of oil. For thick oils like D5 or HP1500, usually a single dip is enough. Thin oils like 9910 would require a few more. 

I'm OCD, so I use a separate dipstick for each type of oil. I even use a different oilers for each type of oil. My mentor taught me to stick the oiler in a piece of pithwood to clean it. But unless the piece of pithwood is disposed of very frequently, the different oils will mix in the pithwood and cause cross contamination. 

So, what do you think? Do I need psychiatric help?

@HectorLooi,

I don't think so.  In many respects OCD may benefit you as a Watchmaker as it would likely prevent laziness and corner-cutting.  It's more a matter of how much rather than if when it comes to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).  We see a lot of it in the University system, and I've received special training in terms of identifying it and dealing with it in students...and by extension, colleagues.  You would not believe how fanatical academics can be about the littlest things.  Many of you on this platform probably see more than a little "fanaticism" in my postings.  Besides my natural inclination for developing meaning, I've also been trained to "go deep", usually way deeper than normal.  🙂

My own oil management protocol is going to be pretty much the same (atomicity and separation), so it's not crazy.  The loading technique you mention is quite good...and inexpensive, and simple - so I'm going to copy that one if you don't mind.  It's a lot simpler than cleaning and loading a syringe that is known to be tainted with silicone oil.

I also like the "tweezer" technique...why don't you use that?

g.

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Edited by Gramham
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3 hours ago, Gramham said:

Hello @ifibrin

My plan was to pull the plunger up a bit, leaving an air gap and just load the steel tip.  The other thing I could potentially do is clear the steel tip with one of the listed solvents to reduce the presence of silicone oil to a nominal amount, but that may dilute the watch oil in the process if I am not careful.  Do you have a suggested protocol from your experience in industry?

I wouldn’t use a disposable syringe at all when doing analytical work, unless the disposable syringe is one of those without the rubber plunger. Those are more difficult to find. Best practice is to use a Hamilton glass syringe with PTFE plunger.

However, if you plan to use a steel needle and only use the volume inside the needle to transfer watch oil, it should be ok. However, you need to use a new needle each time. Not sure if that is economical.

Take a look at this website https://www.medicaldesignandoutsourcing.com/what-is-the-difference-between-two-part-and-three-part-syringes/

“Occasionally a researcher or engineer may have difficulty identifying the source of various contaminates in their process.  Sometimes the source is either the rubber or silicone oil found in common three-part syringes. If that becomes apparent in your process, there may yet remain another low-cost option by way of a two-part syringe. Two-part syringes are slightly different because they do not use a rubber tip on the plunger to create a vacuum seal.  Instead, these syringes have been specifically designed to not introduce additional materials such as rubber or even silicone oil.”

 

 

Edited by ifibrin
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20220826_145552.thumb.jpg.fd6fda307e1d51b99036340da2a0f7b2.jpg

This is the dipstick that I use. It's actually made from a dental ball-ended clasp wire but a large head pin will probably work just as well.

20220826_145717.thumb.jpg.e5984c07b7e4b51cce72e6d4b36762fc.jpg

For grease, like 8300, I have an old dental grease applicator called a Lubrimed. The grease is loaded into a PTFE cartridge and loaded into the applicator. Turning the back cap advances the plunger which squeezes out a precise, controlled amount of grease.

They used to be given free with every handpiece but they are practically extinct now. Ebay has some going for about USD $60 each.

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6 hours ago, markr said:

How about gluing an oilier into the bottom of the oil bottle cap?  Extra oil on oilier goes back in bottle when you screw cap back on.  no waist.

The idea is brilliant! My only concern is the cap material (PP? PE?) which can not be glued reliably.

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I use an oiler and the principle that you can vary the loading by changing the speed at which you remove it from the bottle. Submerge a thick clean oiler in the stock bottle and remove it quickly and you’ll have a nice drop to move to your pot. Do the same thing with a slow removal and you’ll have next to nothing clinging to the oiler (which may be what you need when actually oiling a jewel).

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