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Hello, everyone.  I can’t seem to find Naphtha here in the Philippines.  I’ve been using locally-produced lighter fluid for my pre-cleaning and though the results are ok, I’m not really sure of its content.

I found a video of someone doing a movement service using Gamblin Gamsol, a solvent used by artists in oil painting.  I checked the MSDS and it indicates it is 100% naphtha hydrotreated heavy.

But I find it a bit oily/waxy compared to lighter fluid.  I’m not sure if this how Naphtha is supposed to be.

Anyone has used Gamblin Gamsol for cleaning Watch movements?

Edited by joelcarvajal
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  • joelcarvajal changed the title to Gamblin Gamsol for cleaning?
  • 2 weeks later...

I don’t know anything about this product, however assuming you have it if you put a drop on a mirror or piece of glass lying flat on a table and leave it to evaporate if it leaves any sort of residue it is not really suitable for watch part cleaning.

 

Tom

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On 4/11/2024 at 12:42 AM, joelcarvajal said:

Hello, everyone.  I can’t seem to find Naphtha here in the Philippines.  I’ve been using locally-produced lighter fluid for my pre-cleaning and though the results are ok, I’m not really sure of its content.

I found a video of someone doing a movement service using Gamblin Gamsol, a solvent used by artists in oil painting.  I checked the MSDS and it indicates it is 100% naphtha hydrotreated heavy.

But I find it a bit oily/waxy compared to lighter fluid.  I’m not sure if this how Naphtha is supposed to be.

Anyone has used Gamblin Gamsol for cleaning Watch movements?

Light naptha is what you need to be looking for. The carbon to hydrogen ratio is high with heavy naptha, it doesn't evaporate as well as light naptha and is prone to leaving more residue. Try tom's suggestion of the mirror test.

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1 hour ago, tomh207 said:

I don’t know anything about this product, however assuming you have it if you put a drop on a mirror or piece of glass lying flat on a table and leave it to evaporate if it leaves any sort of residue it is not really suitable for watch part cleaning.

Any naphtha will leave an oily deposit - as it is a petroleum distillate. Light naphtha  is fine for cleaning watch parts as long as you do a final rinse with isopropyl alcohol.

Try the mirror test on a watch cleaning solution, like Elma WF Pro - it leaves a residue. Which is why you use a rinse, and then a final IPA rinse. 

This is what I sometimes use on very dirty parts - it is a light refined naphtha, and on the mirror test leaves a slight oily residue. The IPA, of course, doesn't leave a deposit.

20240419_121846.thumb.jpg.fbe40cd6583318170e7c6ede556a452f.jpg

 

Edited by mikepilk
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Thank you all for the replies!  Very informative!

True enough, the Gamsol took some time to evaporate and does leave a residue.

So not all naphtha are created equal!  Need to find alternatives then.

i was able to try Hexane recommended by Alex and it seems great.  I wonder what the cons are?

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3 hours ago, joelcarvajal said:

Thank you all for the replies!  Very informative!

True enough, the Gamsol took some time to evaporate and does leave a residue.

So not all naphtha are created equal!  Need to find alternatives then.

i was able to try Hexane recommended by Alex and it seems great.  I wonder what the cons are?

Naptha appears to be a general name and its content can be varied depending upon what it's specific use is. Lighter fluid as an example can be light or heavier also with other ingredients to help it burn. Try sesrching for benzine ( as opposed to benzene which is linked to causing health issues ) . There are other fluids such as ethanol that you could try and also methylated sprirts, mostly ethanol with a small percentage of methanol added. Experiment with any new chemical to see how quickly schellac dissolves in its presence. I have tried a few things but hexane is not one of them, i understand it does evaporate very quickly.  Be sure sure to check out any safety data on chemicals you try. Toxicity of fumes and flash point information, ultrasonic machines can heat up fluids even without a heater function. And of course always ask here for personal opinions when trying a new substance. 

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