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3 hours ago, Dzwiedz said:

It also translates as: benzine, petroleum ether, petroleum naphtha

I am not exactly sure if those are same things and the only picture of that I could find to be sure it is what I mean were in Polish language since I live in Poland.

 

After reading also your next post can I safely assume that cleaning all parts in warm water with dishwasher fluid (degreaser) is completely okay for ALL parts, even shellac? If so, I could then put all parts except the ones with shellac in isopropyl alcohol to finish, but what about parts with shellac like hairspring or pallet fork? How can I finish them after bath in warm water and degreaser? This I cannot find easy answer.

 

So "extraction gasoline" is probably good to both clean and rinse parts. 

You could wash all parts in a water-based cleaning solution but you shouldn't put shellac in any kind of alcohol for more than a few seconds. Maybe only as a final rinse after first rinsing in distilled water. 

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On 2/11/2022 at 2:12 AM, TimpanogosSlim said:

I do not know what "extraction gasoline" is.

Extraction, or extracted = refined, or distilled. The same definition is used in my country also.

 

8 hours ago, Dzwiedz said:

After reading also your next post can I safely assume that cleaning all parts in warm water with dishwasher fluid (degreaser) is completely okay for ALL parts, even shellac?

It is OK but not necessary and not a good practice. Hot water and dish soap works great for filthy cases and bracelets, together with a toothbrush. You save from buying an ultrasonic doing it that way.

But for mov.ts the amount of mixed dirt does not justify it "pre-cleaning". What they need is to remove old congealed oil (which are not even always present) Once again, as repeated many time:

  1. Only If brass parts are present that need to shine are present, wash briefly in warm ammonia based solution.
  2. Follow with petroleum ether (benzine), it can stay as long as you want, but isn't that you gain much anyway. Actually if you have done the step above this one can be skipped often times.
  3. Inspect all holes jewels and peg them as needed or them all if you feel obligated.
  4. Rinse with demineralized water, at least twice, observe the jar against the light, if you can see floating tiny particles rinse again. 
  5. Let dry well in meshed baskets and thimbles, in theory some warm hair could be used to be quicker, but to avoid hairdryer disasters, puffing with a rubber blower is a better idea.
  6. Last rinse is IPA, more to absorb the previous water than anything else.

Note, of all that above the only thing that a cleaning machines does for you is warming fluids, moving the tray from a jar to another, and some agitation. Certainly it doesn't brush, peg or inspect. It has been invented to clean faster, but not necessarily better.
Nevertheless, many hobbyists including total beginners doing one mov.t a month if that much, consider it a necessity.

 

 

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On 2/9/2022 at 3:48 AM, LittleWatchShop said:

shellac was dissolved in one-dip

I associate one-dip with hairspring degreaser, but to my knowledge and experience degreaser has zero effect on shellac so it would be interesting if you could elaborate.

It looks like you might have used heat (pallet warmer) to apply the shellac and the stones were flooded with shellac (happened to me too) but still one of them came loose, right? I don't quite get it, so if you can elaborate on this as well it would be interesting.

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Are we sure IPA dissolves Shellac, as said above I use it in fountain pen restorations and in the pen world it's often discussed and over there we are told to use Ethanol or Methylated Spirits and not to use IPA as IPA does not work.  In the early days I even tried IPA on crushed shellac just to test it and it had zero observable effect on it, yet over here in the watch world we are told it dissolves it quickly ?.

Is the IPA used in other parts of the world different to the IPA we get in the UK ?

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On 3/30/2022 at 10:25 AM, Paul80 said:

Are we sure IPA dissolves Shellac

Yes, in my experience all liquids I bought with a label reading IPA (Isopropanol) either dissolves or softens shellac depending on the age (I assume) of the shellac. The older the shellac is the harder it seems to dissolve it in IPA. Anyway, as stated, this is my personal experience, and that's why I never let IPA get anywhere near my pallets. To dissolve shellac I use acetone, and it's a lot more efficient.

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This is a frequent debate. Ethanol (pure) is a better solvent for shellac, but any alcohol or highly basic cleaner will dissolve it. All commercial watch cleaning  solutions are basic and they don't dissolve the shellac. I have a commercial  cleaning machine that incorporates an isopropyl alcohol distiller as its base function, no problems with shellac as per their instructions things with shellac do max 1m in the alcohol.

 

From experience, to "boil off" existing shellac, isopropyl alcohol is next to worthless. Good quality denatured (aldulterared ethanol) works well. Dangerous, but works (I've had pallet forks launched far away from a test tube).

Ipa will dissolve shellac, in time. Ethanol, faster. I had a gig for a high end maker who checked everything under microscope- I would wipe down the up side of my forks with pithwood soaked in 99% iso alcohol to get clean enough to pass. Zero effect on the actual shellac (that went through the pro cleaner with iso alco rinse). Many high end manufacturers now spec final bath iso alc, short bath, but?

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9 hours ago, nickelsilver said:

This is a frequent debate.

Yes, and perhaps the most confusing I've come across 🤪

I use Isopropanol with EC number: 200-661-7. It will either soften or dissolve shellac if exposed to this kind of IPA for even just a minute in a temperature of about 20-25 degrees Celsius. Old shellac (60 years old or so) only softens a bit while newly applied shellac (I use this type from CousinsUK) dissolves into a milky gel in a matter of a few seconds.

9 hours ago, nickelsilver said:

I have a commercial  cleaning machine that incorporates an isopropyl alcohol distiller as its base function, no problems with shellac as per their instructions things with shellac do max 1m in the alcohol.

Assuming your distilled isopropyl alcohol is as potent as my type of IPA, can't you detect any softening if you gently poke the shellac with the tip of No.5 tweezers under a stereo microscope after your rinse?

I wouldn't be surprised if in the end we're simply using different types of chemicals carrying the same name.

Anyway, and as I've mentioned before, I only clean pallets by hand in Horosolv degreaser and it does a great job. I wish and would like to rinse the pallets in IPA (I rinse all other non shellaced parts in my type of IPA) but it just doesn't work, and  if I should forget the pallets will have to be re-shellaced.

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1 hour ago, VWatchie said:

Assuming your distilled isopropyl alcohol is as potent as my type of IPA, can't you detect any softening if you gently poke the shellac with the tip of No.5 tweezers under a stereo microscope after your rinse?

 

I use 99.9% pure IPA. I also use flake shellac, but I don't have any issues at all with it dissolving- quite the opposite. I used some to fixture some parts for sandblasting a while back (I would normally use Loctite 480 black superglue and deglue in acetone) thinking it might be less fuss; it took forever to dissolve off all the shellac, finally in a separate bath in ethanol in the heated ultrasonic for a good 30 minutes.

 

Perhaps there's differences in flake shellac. I know it sort of has an expiration date, though I have used very old stuff many times without issue. Maybe when it's very fresh it dissolves more easily- I would actually bet on it.

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On 3/30/2022 at 9:25 AM, Paul80 said:

Are we sure IPA dissolves Shellac, as said above I use it in fountain pen restorations and in the pen world it's often discussed and over there we are told to use Ethanol or Methylated Spirits and not to use IPA as IPA does not work.  In the early days I even tried IPA on crushed shellac just to test it and it had zero observable effect on it, yet over here in the watch world we are told it dissolves it quickly ?.

Is the IPA used in other parts of the world different to the IPA we get in the UK ?

See my post above where I tested this.

My conclusion was that on hardened shellac, IPA only dissolves it very slowly in a heated ultrasonic.

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1 hour ago, LittleWatchShop said:

Jumping in here...because I was curious.  I did an experiment with two different alcohols.  One of them dissolved my shellac and the other did not.

The IPA did not dissolve shellac.

That is all I know!!

I guess the first one is methanol - which does dissolve shellac, as does IPA

From a woodworking article on French polishing : "Dissolve dry shellac flakes in denatured ethanol, which is sold in most paint stores. It also dissolves in methanol, butyl and isopropyl alcohol". 

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On 2/8/2022 at 4:59 PM, mikepilk said:

From my test, it seems that, once the cracked bits are gone, the remaining shellac does not readily dissolve in IPA.

I'm curious to know the consistency of the remaining shellac? Soft, hard, or something in between?

A theory that came to shame was that shellac that had softened as a result of subjecting it it IPA would harden again once the IPA had evaporated. I rinsed a pallet fork in IPA, the shellac became soggy and soft, and after six months I checked it again and the shellac was still soggy and soft.

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1 hour ago, VWatchie said:

I'm curious to know the consistency of the remaining shellac? Soft, hard, or something in between?

A theory that came to shame was that shellac that had softened as a result of subjecting it it IPA would harden again once the IPA had evaporated. I rinsed a pallet fork in IPA, the shellac became soggy and soft, and after six months I checked it again and the shellac was still soggy and soft.

Well, I cleaned it up after the experiment.  The shellac in the IPA never softened.

As an anecdote...recently, I mistakenly rinsed a pallet fork in IPA (not the denatured alcohol) and the result was that the shellac softened and the pallet jewels fell out.  So...maybe the nature of the shellac itself is at play.  Very interesting.

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22 hours ago, mikepilk said:

I guess the first one is methanol - which does dissolve shellac, as does IPA

From a woodworking article on French polishing : "Dissolve dry shellac flakes in denatured ethanol, which is sold in most paint stores. It also dissolves in methanol, butyl and isopropyl alcohol". 

Denatured alcohol is ethanol mixed with a small amount (up to 5%) of methanol to make it undrinkable.

Isopropyl alcohol is a kind of alcohol with a longer carbon chain than either methyl alcohol (methanol) or ethyl alcohol (ethanol).

Since shellac is obtained from insects, the exact species it was isolated from, what they fed the insects, and even the season it was isolated from can affect the properties of the shellac that is obtained from the bugs.

It seems that the higher the carbon chain of the alcohol, the less likely / longer time it takes for the shellac to dissolve in the alcohol, but this is still very variable. The length of time the shellac has been allowed to cure for (how old it is after heating/setting) also appears to play a part in whether it will dissolve.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have read up on  and tried many ways of cleaning the watch parts but I'm never entirely satisfied. 

My current method is hot water and dish soap, rinse, isopropyl, then dry. 

The cleaning is done in our kitchen so I can't use harsh chemicals. 

I know there will be a debate about this but what do you recommend  

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I realise that there will be many opinions on this but I need advice on cleaning. 

My cleaning is done in the kitchen so I can't use some of the cleaning solutions. 

I currently use a ultrasonic cleaner, hot water and washing up liquid, rinse, isopropyl and then dry.  I'm never totally satisfied with the results. 

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2 hours ago, RichardHarris123 said:

I'm never totally satisfied with the results. 

image.png.78e60a5c30ce54eae00c4d186e5c2e43.png

I'm in a similar situation. I've tried several methods, but my current method is to use a 70 year old Elma cleaning machine as seen above. I use ELMA RED 1:9 for cleaning (about 5 minutes), de-ionised water in the first rinse (about 1 minute) and IPA in the second rinse (about 2 minutes) (I always clean shellaced parts manually). These liquids aren't perfectly odorless but definitely acceptable from a distance of about half a meter. Depending on how dirty the movement is I repeat this cycle one to three times.

However,  like you I'm never totally satisfied with the results either. I wouldn't be surprised if washing up liquid, instead of ELMA RED 1:9, would be more efficient, but would of course not be practical as it would create too much foam.

After cleaning I always inspect most parts individually under magnification, and I should mention that if an eye loupe was my only option of inspecting cleaned parts I'd probably would be a bit more satisfied with the results. However, inspecting parts at 20x/40x magnification using my stereo microscope (which I always do) reveals everything.

Residue of dried up oils oftentimes remain on the jewels so pegging is always a must, and sometimes a bit of manual cleaning using a paintbrush and a degreaser is necessary. I also always check all pivots and clean them some extra and when necessary burnish them in my Jacot tool. There may remain (some small amount of) dirt and oil inside parts, for example the cannon pinion, between pinion leaves and so on, so they may also need some pegging to become perfectly clean. However, accept for the jewels, pinions and pivots, removing these minuscule amounts of dirt and oil on other parts probably have limited impact on the running of the watch, but if not for any other reasons I want my movements to be perfectly clean for esthetical reasons.

One very neat trick that I have just recently learned, which improves the result on pinions (and pivots) significantly is to pre-clean the pinions mechanically using pith wood and a bit of Horosolv degreaser. You can read more about it here

I do wonder if other chemicals, like those from L&R, would be more efficient. I've never tried it though as I know the rest of the family would never accept the smell (I assume they smell a lot?). I once tried SUPROL PRO in the final rinse and my wife threatened with divorce if I didn't give it up 😆

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57 minutes ago, VWatchie said:

image.png.78e60a5c30ce54eae00c4d186e5c2e43.png

I'm in a similar situation. I've tried several methods, but my current method is to use a 70 year old Elma cleaning machine as seen above. I use ELMA RED 1:9 for cleaning (about 5 minutes), de-ionised water in the first rinse (about 1 minute) and IPA in the second rinse (about 2 minutes) (I always clean shellaced parts manually). These liquids aren't perfectly odorless but definitely acceptable from a distance of about half a meter. Depending on how dirty the movement is I repeat this cycle one to three times.

However,  like you I'm never totally satisfied with the results either. I wouldn't be surprised if washing up liquid, instead of ELMA RED 1:9, would be more efficient, but would of course not be practical as it would create too much foam.

After cleaning I always inspect most parts individually under magnification, and I should mention that if an eye loupe was my only option of inspecting cleaned parts I'd probably would be a bit more satisfied with the results. However, inspecting parts at 20x/40x magnification using my stereo microscope (which I always do) reveals everything.

Residue of dried up oils oftentimes remain on the jewels so pegging is always a must, and sometimes a bit of manual cleaning using a paintbrush and a degreaser is necessary. I also always check all pivots and clean them some extra and when necessary burnish them in my Jacot tool. There may remain (some small amount of) dirt and oil inside parts, for example the cannon pinion, between pinion leaves and so on, so they may also need some pegging to become perfectly clean. However, accept for the jewels, pinions and pivots, removing these minuscule amounts of dirt and oil on other parts probably have limited impact on the running of the watch, but if not for any other reasons I want my movements to be perfectly clean for esthetical reasons.

One very neat trick that I have just recently learned, which improves the result on pinions (and pivots) significantly is to pre-clean the pinions mechanically using pith wood and a bit of Horosolv degreaser. You can read more about it here

I do wonder if other chemicals, like those from L&R, would be more efficient. I've never tried it though as I know the rest of the family would never accept the smell (I assume they smell a lot?). I once tried SUPROL PRO in the final rinse and my wife threatened with divorce if I didn't give it up 😆

Yes, I have read that they really stink. My other half would kick me out too. 

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1 hour ago, VWatchie said:

image.png.78e60a5c30ce54eae00c4d186e5c2e43.png

I'm in a similar situation. I've tried several methods, but my current method is to use a 70 year old Elma cleaning machine as seen above. I use ELMA RED 1:9 for cleaning (about 5 minutes), de-ionised water in the first rinse (about 1 minute) and IPA in the second rinse (about 2 minutes) (I always clean shellaced parts manually). These liquids aren't perfectly odorless but definitely acceptable from a distance of about half a meter. Depending on how dirty the movement is I repeat this cycle one to three times.

However,  like you I'm never totally satisfied with the results either. I wouldn't be surprised if washing up liquid, instead of ELMA RED 1:9, would be more efficient, but would of course not be practical as it would create too much foam.

After cleaning I always inspect most parts individually under magnification, and I should mention that if an eye loupe was my only option of inspecting cleaned parts I'd probably would be a bit more satisfied with the results. However, inspecting parts at 20x/40x magnification using my stereo microscope (which I always do) reveals everything.

Residue of dried up oils oftentimes remain on the jewels so pegging is always a must, and sometimes a bit of manual cleaning using a paintbrush and a degreaser is necessary. I also always check all pivots and clean them some extra and when necessary burnish them in my Jacot tool. There may remain (some small amount of) dirt and oil inside parts, for example the cannon pinion, between pinion leaves and so on, so they may also need some pegging to become perfectly clean. However, accept for the jewels, pinions and pivots, removing these minuscule amounts of dirt and oil on other parts probably have limited impact on the running of the watch, but if not for any other reasons I want my movements to be perfectly clean for esthetical reasons.

One very neat trick that I have just recently learned, which improves the result on pinions (and pivots) significantly is to pre-clean the pinions mechanically using pith wood and a bit of Horosolv degreaser. You can read more about it here

I do wonder if other chemicals, like those from L&R, would be more efficient. I've never tried it though as I know the rest of the family would never accept the smell (I assume they smell a lot?). I once tried SUPROL PRO in the final rinse and my wife threatened with divorce if I didn't give it up 😆

I've tried loads of things to encourage  my missus, but she just won't leave 😔 

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4 hours ago, RichardHarris123 said:

I realise that there will be many opinions on this but I need advice on cleaning. 

My cleaning is done in the kitchen so I can't use some of the cleaning solutions. 

I currently use a ultrasonic cleaner, hot water and washing up liquid, rinse, isopropyl and then dry.  I'm never totally satisfied with the results. 

If you’re going to use hot water, soap, then rinse, you will want to avoid leaving any parts wet under air for longer than 15 min, in which you may see rust forming. Interestingly, I found that leaving an item wet after rinsing, while waiting to dry each part individually with the blower promoted rusting far more quickly, as opposed to leaving it in the water rinse until I got around to blowing it dry with the blower. In any case, leaving any parts wet (whether under air, or submerged) is asking for rust. Try to submerge it under isopropyl alcohol as soon as possible after aqueous rinse.

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Just now, Neverenoughwatches said:
3 hours ago, VWatchie said:

image.png.78e60a5c30ce54eae00c4d186e5c2e43.png

I'm in a similar situation. I've tried several methods, but my current method is to use a 70 year old Elma cleaning machine as seen above. I use ELMA RED 1:9 for cleaning (about 5 minutes), de-ionised water in the first rinse (about 1 minute) and IPA in the second rinse (about 2 minutes) (I always clean shellaced parts manually). These liquids aren't perfectly odorless but definitely acceptable from a distance of about half a meter. Depending on how dirty the movement is I repeat this cycle one to three times.

However,  like you I'm never totally satisfied with the results either. I wouldn't be surprised if washing up liquid, instead of ELMA RED 1:9, would be more efficient, but would of course not be practical as it would create too much foam.

After cleaning I always inspect most parts individually under magnification, and I should mention that if an eye loupe was my only option of inspecting cleaned parts I'd probably would be a bit more satisfied with the results. However, inspecting parts at 20x/40x magnification using my stereo microscope (which I always do) reveals everything.

Residue of dried up oils oftentimes remain on the jewels so pegging is always a must, and sometimes a bit of manual cleaning using a paintbrush and a degreaser is necessary. I also always check all pivots and clean them some extra and when necessary burnish them in my Jacot tool. There may remain (some small amount of) dirt and oil inside parts, for example the cannon pinion, between pinion leaves and so on, so they may also need some pegging to become perfectly clean. However, accept for the jewels, pinions and pivots, removing these minuscule amounts of dirt and oil on other parts probably have limited impact on the running of the watch, but if not for any other reasons I want my movements to be perfectly clean for esthetical reasons.

One very neat trick that I have just recently learned, which improves the result on pinions (and pivots) significantly is to pre-clean the pinions mechanically using pith wood and a bit of Horosolv degreaser. You can read more about it here

I do wonder if other chemicals, like those from L&R, would be more efficient. I've never tried it though as I know the rest of the family would never accept the smell (I assume they smell a lot?). I once tried SUPROL PRO in the final rinse and my wife threatened with divorce if I didn't give it up 😆

The elma Pro does, before I installed an  extractor my wife used to send my son up to my workshop to check that I was still conscious and breathing 😄

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