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This is my one on my site http://watchinprogress.com/new-watch-tool-elma-vintage-watch-cleaning-machine/ found jars from Morrison's that fitted perfectly, check there or the usual places before buying jars if you need replacements... You can put that money towards your next watch tool, three years on and I don't want to know how much ive spent !

Edited by jnash
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found jars from Morrison's that fitted perfectly, check there or the usual places before buying jars if you need replacements...

Hi Jonathan, I require a jar myself. How long ago did you buy the jars from Morrison's, and were they screw tops?

Edited by Geo
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While ultrasonic cleaners are good, you need to be able to clean jewels manually as well as some stubborn dirt just cannot be removed with ultrasonic cleaners.

 

Here's how I do it on the cheap  using naptha (zippo fluid) and a small dish.

 

I spend a lot of time away from my home but usually travel with basic watch repair tools. For cleaning I get by with a white porcelain cup (used for chinese tea), lighter fluid, pegwood and a cheap stiff art paint brush (cut down to about 3 inches).

 

Fill the porcelain cup so that it covers your part. Use the paint brush to clean all the parts. Use the pegwood and ream out the jewel holes and the jewel surfaces. You then need to rinse it and use a puffer on it.

 

The only problem I've encountered is that with the balance jewels, sometimes the cap jewel gets stuck fast to the hole jewel. No problem with an ultrasonic but without one you need to get creative.. how I solved it was boil the jewel in water, unortodox but worked!

 

caution... Iighter fluids come with hazards.. fire and health. Use in well ventilated area preferably with the fumes blowing away from you and be mindful of fire hazard.

 

Anil

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I found an L&R machine on Craigslist for a good price that I thought I could restore but realized that it was fairly large from watching Marks cleaning video.  Currently I have no permanent workbench so when I'm ready to start the TimeZone Level 2 course I'll just get a cheap Ultrasonic machine like Bob.

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hi paul, if you find a cleaner at the right price but 110v no prob look on ebay for a transformer like they use on building sites where all their tools are 110v. my tip for beginners on a budget for cleaning is steal the wifes jewellery cleaner or they are cheap to buy mains powered or mine is battery i use aerosol caps to put the fluid in different fluid for what ever state the job is, may have to use an artist brush to help it, it isn't quick but i tend to do two or three jobs at once and leave it running and do another item, but always without exception finish the cleaning at the end of a session blow the bits, inspect and lay out and cover for tomorrow, i found if l left them in the containers they seemed to either get a film on them or attract dirt and i would have to do some cleaning again, hope that makes sense 

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  • 1 month later...

I'm in the process of making my own experimental ultrasonic cleaning apparatus. One thing I'm not sure of is; how long do you run it for when loaded? Can someone give me an idea of ultrasonic cleaning and rinsing times please? Do the 2 rinses need to be agitated also?

 

thanks.

 

Tim

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I give them about 9 - 10 min and sometimes if the part is too dirty an extra 3 min. My machine only do 3 min at a time, so I press the button 3 times...but sometimes I loose count so I've probably done 4 times 3 min....Never had a problem. It doesn't agitate apart from the ripple proper of the ultrasonic.

 

 

I'll be interested in this project too!

 

Cheers,

 

Bob

Edited by bobm12
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  • 3 weeks later...

Yes I put plain water in the reservoir and it works well. I am just working on a small scale so the small Jam jars are fine for me using Naptha (good grade lighter fuel with no added ingredients) and finish with pure isopropanol.

I sometimes use Horosolv for bad cases and that is basically Benzene based.  Don't forget to keep the pallet jewels away from the strong stuff as previously mentioned. 

You can use other cleaners of course - one test to check them is to leave a drop of cleaner on an old mirror or piece of glass and check after evaporation that there is little or no residue

 

Cheers,

 

Vic

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All,

 

Can anyone please assist with what ultrasonic cleaning solutions are available in Australia, what are some of the better solutions, if rinse solutions are also required and where I can obtain these solutions in Australia.

 

Also if anyone can advise if Zenith Radiant product 777 is available in Australia and where.

 

I am relatively new to all this and must be some kind of a Muppet as I have searched the internet high and low and still as confused as I was when I started.

 

Would greatly appreciate any advise anyone can give.

 

Thanks

Phil

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  • 1 month later...

I was just wondering what thoughts people have about the way I am cleaning my watch parts. I do get them clean but I think I am moving the individual parts too many times and increasing the risk of flyers or losing something. It has turned into a rather laborious nerve wracking chore and I am sure there must be a more efficient and safe method that I could adopt. I will describe my process and I don't mind at all any criticisms and suggestions to improve it, shouldn't be difficult probably.

I am using a small ultrasonic cleaner, the type you see on ebay for cleaning jewellery etc.  I don't have the space or budget for a proper cleaning machine. So, after I have the watch stripped and the parts laid out in the parts tray I transfer them one segment at a time into the sonic cleaner in which I have a degreasing agent (Jizer) diluted appropriately. After a few minutes in there I take out the parts and rinse them in a beaker of clean warm water and place them on kitchen roll to blot away as much moisture as possible. I then place them in a dish of lighter fluid for a short time and then once again allow them to dry on some kitchen roll before putting them back in the parts tray if they have cleaned up ok and move on to the next segment. When I am completely finished I usually stand the parts tray on my desk which is above the radiator where they get warmed and hopefully dried off completely. The tiny parts go into a screw top mesh basket before I put them into the u/sonic but the larger parts I just drop straight in. I don't put the balance in the u/sonic, placing it only in the lighter fluid for a bit.

I just have the feeling I am giving myself too many opportunities to lose something or drop something while transferring the parts back and forth so many times. If I used a good cleaner in the u/sonic could I do them in one cycle?  I timed myself the other night and it took me a good two hours using this method to clean one set of parts, and then I almost had a catstrophe as parts sometimes "disappear" in the cleaner and I nearly threw a couple away but just noticed them before it was too late.

As I say any suggestions would be gladly received that might make this essential task a little less stressful and time consuming.

Thanks

 

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Hi Davey, your method sounds very similar to mine, but no way it takes me 2 hours. I divide the small parts in 3 small mesh baskets and the big parts go straight in. I have 2 seperate warm water rinses ready. I also have a bigger mesh basket circular and 1/2 size of a tennis ball, spring type. Instead of lighter fluid I use Isopropanol for drying (£12 for 5 litres), and have 4 small containers ready with Iso. The big parts come out  of the ultrasonic and go straight into the tennis ball, 2 water rinses and then get attacked by my missus's hair drier, then into the isopropanol. The 3 small mesh baskets follow the same routine all at once going into the tennis ball still in the mesh baskets, through the rinses, hairdryer treatment and into the 3 separate Isopropanol. Keeps all the parts separate and not mixed up. Last time I followed this technique I lost a cap jewel ......

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going to suggest using a tea leaf strainer as a parts holder, it will safely transfer your parts back and forth, the ultrasonic will work with it, and they are cheap, if you like keeping your parts in groups, pick up a several, they are cheap, at least around here, the mesh is tight enough to prevent the parts from escaping.

 

I have a couple of the Bergeon parts containers, and I like the tea strainer better, I can clip it onto the edge of the jar, and let the parts soak, then easily pull it out, as opposed to digging it out with the small containers... and the screen is tight enough to prevent parts from escaping..

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I think it sounds like I need a couple more containers. I like the tea strainer idea, I think I will track some down and buy two or three maybe. That way I should be able to have a few different groups of parts cleaning at once instead of repeatedly transferring parts into and out of the one little basket that I have. Glad to hear I am not a million miles away from others with my chosen method anyway.

Thanks for the tips.

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I used to use one of thesehttp://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fine-mesh-ultrasonic-stainless-steel-basket-5-x-4-repair-clean-jewellers-tools-/291240168881?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item43cf444db1

You can lay all the parts in and turn them over if desired, You can then lift it all out together and change the cleaning fluid for a rinse once done you can use a hair drier (carefully). Use demineralised water to avoid stains on the parts!

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I use some small stainless steel cups . A little like a eggcup but bigger . Maybe for bigger eggs :) . In them i have a tea strainer that i have take apart .Fit is perfect inside the cup . I lay my parts like jewels and other small parts that are easy to misplace . 

 

post-644-0-66990000-1433149500_thumb.jpgpost-644-0-58923100-1433149430_thumb.jpgpost-644-0-98191000-1433149445_thumb.jpg

Edited by rogart63
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I recently made an ace find in a local store, these little circular plastic pots that screw together, almost water tight (good enough) so I've been cleaning little screws and gaskets and other odd parts in them by loading them up partially with fluid, adding the part, screwing it up tight and letting the pot float in the tank. 

Wish I could help you find something similar, I'm sure it would work fine for mechanical watch parts. You could group a small number of parts up that logically go together and have a dozen little floating pots in your tank and clean all the watch movement parts at the same time. 

Edited by Ishima
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I use some small stainless steel cups . A little like a eggcup but bigger . Maybe for bigger eggs :) . In them i have a tea strainer that i have take apart .Fit is perfect inside the cup . I lay my parts like jewels and other small parts that are easy to misplace . 

 

 

 

Strangely enough I was in Ikea today and came across these for £1.70

post-923-0-16593000-1433183653_thumb.jpg

 

I have a feeling I know where you bought yours too.  Didn't spot the egg cups though :)

 

Ishima, I suppose these sort of things are a bit larger than the ones you have. They are handy for keeping bits and bobs in though. They have a screw down top too.

 

post-923-0-66347500-1433183966_thumb.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

As I only get time to do a watch every couple of months I decided to go easy on the range of chemicals and equipment.

2 small glass pots with a little Renata Essence - one for cleaning and one for rinsing. A small, soft toothbrush, and peg wood. No baskets, I just move parts individually with tweezers.

I dismantle the movement into an ice cube tray and clean the parts in groups just before fitting. That way I don't get anything muddled up. I leave parts to dry on plain paper which draws away the fluid and helps it evaporate. I also put cling film over the pots while not in use.

This is sort of adapted from DeCarle. I don't clean my brush on a burnt mutton bone (leg or otherwise for those who have read that!), and I couldn't get hold of any cyanide either! I also don't leave the pallet fork in for too long for fear of softening the shellac.

DeCarle says this should all take 45 mins to an hour, but I've never timed myself.

S

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I don't know about all the fancy cleaning agents you use as I've never heard of most of them. Ronsonol lighter fluid is fine and it evaporates very quick. you should get yourselves a watch blower, there not expensive this will also help to remove the residue of lighter fluid.  Rodico for removing marks. I never used an ultrasonic tank so I don't know if there good or bad. Have you looked for an old watch cleaning machine say on ebay that will give you much better results than all the fiddling about. Never use water. You can leave the balance and pallets as long as you wish in lighter fluid they will come to no harm. How on earth do you manage the mainsprings and the lubrication. I could go on forever on this but I'll leave it there.

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