Jump to content

Recommended Posts

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I've cleaned quite balances ultrasonically over the years without any problem. If in doubt, try it on an old movement first to see how you get on. The only thing I will not ultrasonically clean I'd the dial. I tried it early on and it destroyed the finish.

Edited by Geo
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mark re-attaches the balance to the plate prior to cleaning in his videos, and the manually cleans the jewels after. Whipping around a liquid bath seems more violent and sitting stationary in an ultrasonic cleaner so I'd assume it's safe.


Mmmmmmm, sloshing about may be Ok, I'm concerned that 22Mhz may mess with the hair spring..............

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been collecting the tiny little Wilkin and Sons jam jars you get in some cafés, I can fit 3 in my ultrasonic cleaner and it means I can have a different fluid in each one if I wish. 

The brass fine mesh balls are useful sometimes as well for the really small bits. 

Like Bob and George I clean just about everything bar the dial and pointers.  The only thing I would say is dont use any solvent cleaner type substance that could dissolve the shellac/glue holding the jewels in place.

Since seeing Mark do it, I have started putting the balance back on the plate and it seems to be perfectly ok that way, it does not take long plus the plate gets a clean as well.





  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As title really, all of the sites I normally use for my watchmaking, Cousinsuk, HSWalsh, and Gleave & Co, are all based in the UK, and all cannot ship the products I need to Finland due to being dangerous chemicals.


I am preparing my Elma Super Elite, watch parts cleaner machine, and need these following products...


L&R 111 Cleaning Solution

L&R #3 Rinsing Solution


15508778617_5ff71f4ba5.jpg2014-11-02_2210 by Micky.!, on Flickr


So as you can see, I am a little stuck on where to buy the above products from, and I don't know of anywhere in Finland that would possible sell them :(

Edited by SSTEEL
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Micky,


Have you tried some US suppliers? Is it the same situation as with UK?


This is unbelievable but I searched for "watchmakers supplies, Finland" and I got "Rio Grande" suppliers... not even supplying watch related products. Apparently Mexico has borders with your country!! :D

In any case, if you don't find one close to home, check our directory of suppliers, maybe there is one close enough that can send what you need, probably ground shipping. I believe it is going to be expensive at best. If you were to find one in Finland, tell Mark so he can add it to our directory.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ouch, that is a bit pricey.

As this is a hobby with me I'm going to experiment with brewing my own. I picked up an old watch cleaning machine recently and l love to experiment. I will post how I get on whether good or bad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I clean all my balances in the ultrasonic and have had no problems, however I have learnt to be a bit more careful with the Pallets as the cleaning solution can get a bit warm if used for an extended time period ( I personally can use it quite a lot in a one session) and sometimes Pallet jewels can come loose due to the shellac/ adhesive softening because of the increase in temperature within the cleaning solution...

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cleaned a watch this afternoon using my L&R machine and noticed the parts are a little bit sticky.  Thought it was my tweezes but i think the movement parts have a film of some sort on them. I have recently cleaned several clock parts in the L&R & wondering if there was just too much old oil etc & it has contaminated my cleaning solution.

I have been keeping count using two counts for clock movements & it totals 18 washes. Any suggestions guys.

I have been using Elma

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would not normally do clocks but if I did then I would use a separate jar of cleaner for the clock parts.


I used to work in a place where the clockies would take our used watch fluid to clean their watch parts (too dirty for us but clean enough for them). The exception was platform escapements which would not normally be a problem in the watch jar.


I have never used the Elma fluid but I have almost run out of my current stuff and was thinking of giving the Elma fluid a try. Apparently you use distilled water in the first rinse. Right now I use L&R watch rinse in the second and third jars. When the second jar gets dirty I will swap the third jar in it's place, discard the second jar's fluid and refresh it with new fluid - it becomes my new final rinse. Less waste this way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Topics

  • Posts

    • So i've been trying to source a bellmatic dial for some time that's compatible with the bellmatic i own and theres a handful on ebay but none appear to be compatible. Ebay japan doesn't even let me look at listings but i've heard of various ebay like sites in japan where users sell things and it seems like seiko parts like that would be a lot easier to find in japan. I'm not looking for a watch parts specific place but just a place where people in japan would sell watches to each other and parts and that sort of thing among whatever else they want to sell. the phillipines and thailand also seem to be a pretty rich place to find seiko parts so if there's a market in those places i could search too that anybody knows of that might work also. I've heard of a few over the years but i can't remember the names of any of them. Any help would be appreciated.
    • Thanks! You learn something new every day. I wasn't sure about the difference between a beat and an oscillation. So good to know. 2 beats = 1 oscillation.  I sure will. It's going to be interesting. So far I've turned the balance near 300° before letting it go and on a really healthy balance it has been swinging for about 70-90 seconds in the horizontal positions. Anyway, when doing the test, I'll only swing it 180°. I will be surprised to see it swing for only 25 seconds or less, but we shall see. That could be because I've never tried to count oscillations and only assumed it would be impossible or difficult. Anyway, let's see when I get a chance, hopefully in a month or so as I'm still on vacation and far, very far, from a workbench. Here's Kalle Slaap doing the kind of test that I do (start at 12:30). An interesting observation is that when Kalle starts the balance towards the end of the video at 14:40, it oscillates for about 50 seconds before the video ends. It is difficult to judge whether the balance swings more than 180° at the start, but it looks like it could be close to 180°.  
    • Thanks for the comments I ‘ll pay attention to both points. 
    • I noticed at 0:25 the balance stops because it touches the movement holder. Be aware of that, because if you tighten down the movement holder and something is contacting the balance, you're going to have a Bad Day. When you remove the setting lever spring, I've found it's helpful to loosen the screw a couple turns, then lift the arm of the spring off the setting lever to relieve tension on the spring. I do the same thing for installation--get the screw started, then put the spring arm over the post on the setting lever. Otherwise looks okay to my amateur eyes.
    • Welcome @MartinF! Nice to see more Scandinavians. I myself live in Sweden but have Denmark in my heart. I couldn't agree more. Never use force. Get a bigger hammer! 😉
  • Create New...