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I've been using and abusing ultrasonic cleaners for more than 30 years. I've also repaired many units for friends. I've encountered brands like Elma and L&R Quantrex, and unbranded ones like Chine

Like almost everything else in this group we've discussed this before. So I have a link all kinds of ideas and I swiped a picture out of the link to post here. I'm using commercial watch cleaning

Really? Maybe during the war it was the only thing available. Below a page from an early 1900 watchemaking book, benzine is the same product is still best fo degreasing, and post-ammonia rinsing. You

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38 minutes ago, vinn3 said:

watch  cleaning machines?  who needs them.?  if it is a hobby,  one should enjoy cleaning.!  also;  cleaning is part of a proper inspection.

Proper inspection is done before cleaning and again after cleaning that includes all parts even the screws.

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22 hours ago, Oaksclocks said:

Hi, from what I am realizing in cleaning clocks and watches, there simply is a total lack of watch cleaning machines in the U.S.A.  

Oaksclocks,

I think that it depends on what you are willing to invest and your level of skill. Even as a casual hobbiest, I simply can't put out big $$$$ for cleaning equipment. (unless I can get it on the cheap). I agree with oldhippy and vinn3, inspection is one of the keys to proper diagnosis and repair, 90% of what I have experienced in the process of repair, is due to being able to observe what isn't operationally correct, even with that said, cleaning is only part of the process. The better the tools you have, the better the results. If you have the coins to spend, then by all means do it! Hope this doesn't cloud the waters on the subject.

 

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So as the subject has come up before in the past multiple of times here's a link to cheap ultrasonic cleaning. So I went to eBay did a search for partial description of the one referenced in the link below basically $30-$50. The only thing is there cheap they look similar are they the same? Then while you're on eBay do a search for ultrasonic cleaner all sorts of machines come up much bigger tanks for just a little more money.

http://www.watchrepairtalk.com/topic/4619-ultrasonic-cleaner/

Then images attached the little ultrasonic machine was purchased from the local drugstore extremely long time ago I think it lasted about 20 years before it finally died. Normally in the descriptions you don't want to put glass anything solid on the bottom of the ultrasonic it's supposed to do bad things but this machine came with the beaker that's in the machine and Instruction specifically said put the bakery and fill with water worked fine. It probably would've been better though if I had separate jars for the fluids as opposed to having to pour the fluid back into the plastic containers I'm storing the fluid in.

Then when little machine died somebody gave me the ultrasonic tank you'll notice there is a plastic piece on the bottom the beaker is not on the bottom. Then my sophisticated dryer the white nozzle on the left is a hairdryer. So as you can see your cleaning set up with ultrasonic doesn't have to be expensive.

clean-1.JPG

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clean-3.JPG

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  • 2 months later...

Hi! thank you for all what yo'u share with us! I am new on watch repairing, just as a hobby. I had never known there were things such as ultra sonic cleaners, thus, I would really appreciate that any of you helped me with these questions...

1) Should an ultrasonic cleaner be enogh to clean watches when you just do it as a hobby?

2) Do all ultra sonic cleaners come with a "basket" so that the pieces you place in don´t touch the bottom?

3) Although it would work with water and detergent, is there any special solution to clean watch parts with an ultra sonic cleaner?

4) Should there be any specific cleaning solution, you just put that solution into the tank?

 

From what I´ve been reading I understand that most of you pours just water into the tank and once the basket is placed you put the watch parts inside small jars with the cleaning solution. These jars don´t touch the bottom of the tank due to the basket and the ultra sonic effect still does it job although the pieces are inside a basket, is that right?

I apologize for my ignorance :unsure: and will really love that you answered me.

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1 - Yes, for a hobbyist a small ultrasonic cleaner should be fine.

2 - I think most consumer ultrasonic cleaners will come with a basket. Larger more professional models might require that you buy baskets as accessories.

3 - Water, a small amount of dish washing detergent, and just a few drops of ammonia make a great solution for cleaning bracelets and cases.  For cleaning the movements, I use Naptha, and then 99% pure (anhydrous) alcohol as a rinse. These I don't put directly in the ultrasonic tank, but in jars. Then the jars are put in the ultrasonic cleaner with water in the tank around the jars.

4 - The above water,detergent, and ammonia solution can go directly in the ultrasonic tank. Just as you would if you were cleaning jewelry.

The Naptha that I use is VM&P (varnish makers and painters) naptha. You can also use  Ronsonol type lighter fluid, it is almost the same. 

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  • 10 months later...

Hi All

I'm just learning this as a hobby.  

I see that Esslinger here in the US sells cleaning machines that range in price from $35 here https://www.esslinger.com/gemoro-sparkle-spa-ultrasonic-jewelry-cleaner-new-and-improved-model/

up to $700 here https://www.esslinger.com/cleaning-supplies-1/?sort=bestselling&page=3

There are also a number of demagnitizers here https://www.esslinger.com/demagnetizers-1/.  My tweezers are already magnitized!

What is recommended for someone who's just learning and plans (hopes) to fiddle with cheap vintages pieces from time to time?

Thank you

Charlie 

 

 

 

 

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That blue 39$ demag can be bought from china for 7-8$. I have it and it has worked fine for me. I'd strongly suggest you don't pay 40$ for something that costs less than 10$. It's the same thing just branded differently and sold for a lot more money.

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Ill echo that about demags, no reason to buy an expensive one. 
Not sure about ultrasonic cleaners, they can be really hit and miss, and I've only ever been supplied with them, not had to make the choice myself. 

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I had the blue demag I think it cost me around £15, it certinly wasn't made in bloody China.

Be careful with Chinese stuff when it needs electric power, the power leads can be very poor and do catch alight.  

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Note: I used to recommend Esslinger here but no more after I had a bad experience with them and will use them in the future only if there is no other way! 

I've bought the demagnetizer for about $7 from eBay and the cheapest ultrasonic on Aliexpress (around $22) 5 months ago. since as an amateur, I don't have so many watches to clean yet and must say that so far even though it's a small one (about 6.5" X 3.25") it is working very good for me with no problems, and sometimes in the future when I'll have the need for a bigger one I'll spend the money and space for it.

BTW: Old Hippy is right. one magnetizer I've bought on eBay stopped working after a day and after I've gotten my refund bought another one which is working fine now. So if you can buy it for £15 go for it and be safe.

Ultrasonic search on Aliexpress

Demagnetizer on eBay

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  • 1 month later...

You usally get what you pay for  :thumbsd:. I bought a machine called ulsonix.  Not sure that you can buy that where you live? But for the money it's a very good machine. I bought a cheap machine first and had to change it 4 times within the garantie period of 2 years. Before i bought the Ulsonix . This ulsonix cleans the watch parts much better then the cheap one does. 

i use the smallest 0,7 liter machine. Check the web on ulsonix. You can buy it from Germany. 

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Thanks rogert63 for your very quick reply. The background reading I have done so far mentions things like, avoid the ones that look like a toilet and its only any good if it will perforate a foil dish/tin foil and yet others have achieved very good results from the budget machines - if anyone else could share their experiences of brands or retailers  - I'd really appreciate it - my wallet isn't ready for Bergeon just yet.

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On 12/9/2017 at 8:45 PM, PJA said:

the cheapest ultrasonic on Aliexpress (around $22) 5 months ago

@PJA are you using the ultrasonic cleaner to clean watch parts? I'm keen to get one as well and would like to hear how you find it. Did you get the little baskets like this https://www.esslinger.com/brass-ultrasonic-cleaning-basket-with-stainless-steel-mesh-1-diameter/

for the watch parts? what cleaning fluid do you use and do you need to rinse or anything ?

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12 hours ago, SteveT said:

@PJA are you using the ultrasonic cleaner to clean watch parts? I'm keen to get one as well and would like to hear how you find it. Did you get the little baskets like this https://www.esslinger.com/brass-ultrasonic-cleaning-basket-with-stainless-steel-mesh-1-diameter/

for the watch parts? what cleaning fluid do you use and do you need to rinse or anything ?

1

 

 

for the small parts, such as hands, crowns, screws etc. I use this basket (I've gotten one at the local Dollar Store), which I removed the chain off, and it works really well. My basket is a bit bigger than the hight of the machine and I kind of squeeze it with the cover which is no problem at all. As for the bigger parts, I just put them on the bottom and let the machine do its works. I do not have any experience with any professional machine nor really have a need for at this time (something that same me money and space). the machine comes with two power 30w and 50w and I use the 50w for the longest time possible (30 minutes) and sometimes for watches that I tend to buy at the flea market or get from friends, I double the time and give it two rounds.

Do not waste your money with Esslinger unless for items that you can't find any other place.

A )  Ultrasonic Machine from AE

B )  Basket

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2 hours ago, PJA said:

the machine comes with two power 30w and 50w and I use the 50w for the longest time possible (30 minutes) and sometimes for watches that I tend to buy at the flea market or get from friends, I double the time and give it two rounds.

Do not waste your money with Esslinger unless for items that you can't find any other place.

A )  Ultrasonic Machine from AE

I had that same and it blew (likely transducer failure) after one year of not so frequent use. So I recommend that you go easy on it.

 

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12 minutes ago, jdm said:

I had that same and it blew (likely transducer failure) after one year of not so frequent use. So I recommend that you go easy on it.

 

So far so good for me. As I said, I don't use it much really, so for the once in a while use, it works fine, even if I'll have to buy another one after a year or two, I may buy a bit better but it still cheaper than putting a few hundreds of dollars on a professional machine, unless I'll have to use it once a day or so.

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