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Reviving an old Brenray Cleaning Machine

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Ok, happy tidings! I've finished all the soldering, put it back together, and everything is working! No blown bulbs, super heating resistors, or blown fuses!

The heater is heating up. I ran it for about 30 mins under supervision, and all seems to be fine. The plate gets pretty hot, but the air in the chamber doesn't get too hot, so I suspect the 60 degree thermostat might not ever kick in, but it's good to have it there just in case. I seem to be having trouble with photos again, but here' s a shot of it operating:IMG_2773.thumb.JPG.9a03804d3801f3f1443ba4569901aa42.JPG

I decided not to do anything with the control plate at the moment. The machine has taken up most of my watch time lately, and I want to get back to that. Maybe at some point in the future I'll get one made up.

Once again, thanks to everyone who has helped. Without you guys, I wouldn't have been able to get it all working again! I look forward to posting in the watch repair forums from now on!:D

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I'm still using the plastic bushing I made (for the bolt through the elma bracket to the motor shaft). I've got those brass ones from ebay on the way, and will replace them when they arrive.

The speed control works, although it seems to be a very fast top speed. I've only run it dry though, I expect it will turn slower in the cleaning fluid. Will try that out when they arrive!

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On 5/12/2017 at 3:08 PM, Hammer2017 said:

Thanks again Rob. I've taken some photos of the brushes. I don't know how long they need to be, but they are spring loaded and seem to be in contact with the motor. Hopefully you'll be able to see from the photos if this is the cast and they are ok. It was hard to get a good shot. It'll also give an indication of the dirt inside the motor housing.

IMG_2754.thumb.JPG.36c9f6059428e276a42f6b236db71421.JPGcan you tell what size the brushes  shown are please also the spring length and diameter. Thank you.

Other images to follow... I'm having an upload issue!


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Thank you to everyone who shared their knowledge, i managed to use some brushes made by Lucas but at the end of the day it turns out i have four or five sections down on the commutator, so i have to try and locate a used one.

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Dear Fellow Watchmakers

I note this regarding acquiring and servicing a Brenray cleaning machine. I have also purchased one of these. The machine works, with the motor running and the heating element heating up.

I am an amateur watchmaker in training at a rookie level, to say the least. My master has recommended that I service / re-wire this machine before use.

I'm not confident to undertake this myself and would prefer to hire the services of a professional (or at least someone who has undertaken a job like this before).

Would anyone in this thread be able to offer this service or know someone who would?

I am based in NW London

Kind regards


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9 hours ago, maclerche said:

Only if you have a functional RCD 

I think I'd disagree with that.  A GFI is safer so I agree would maybe have a greater chance of saving a life, however a ground frame will cause a regular fuse/breaker to go if the frame comes into contact with something hot.  i.e. without a grounded frame, a frayed hot wire makes contact with the frame and the whole machine is hot waiting for the operator to touch it (no doubt barefoot and standing in a puddle :) ) to provide a path to ground. 


Edited by measuretwice

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53 minutes ago, measuretwice said:

I think I'd disagree with that.  A GFI is safer so I agree would maybe have a greater chance of saving a life, however a ground frame will cause a regular fuse/breaker to go if the frame comes into contact with something hot.  i.e. without a grounded frame, a frayed hot wire makes contact with the frame and the whole machine is hot waiting for the operator to touch it (no doubt barefoot and standing in a puddle :) ) to provide a path to ground. 


I do not know what you call it in Canada (can you explain GFI?) but here in Denmark and most of EU we call it RCD or RCCD (old days HPFI) Anyway Here you can't have a private installation whiteout RCD (call it what you want) that turns off before a leak of 30 mA!  This is the only thing that can safe life. I agree that a ground will be a good idea as well.. but ground alone,  that will only safe your lift if you can be sure to have the same potential as the machine all the time... 

I think we are talking about the same but that it has different name here in EU and in US/CA?





Edited by maclerche

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31 minutes ago, maclerche said:

I think we are talking about the same but that it has different name here in EU and in US/CA?



 it might be slightly different.  GFI is ground fault interrupt,  same idea as RCD.  Essentially It trips if current on both wires is not the same - as you say, its looking for a leak.   

afaik in North America these are only required by code in specific circumstances - bathrooms for example.  You'd not see them in typical outlets or workshops.  Even in bathrooms, GFI requirements are usually handle at the outlet level - circuit itself is not GFI protected.  While GFI/RCD might give some theoretical improved protection, it just doesn't seem to be a problem given the rest of the code;  people are not dying and its not common or code to have to use GFI breakers (afaik)

All circuits are protected by a breaker or fuse - that is code.  This trips if too much current is going through the hot side.  However it doesn't care where the current is going - so long as its not drawing more amps than its rating, it won't trip regardless if the current is safely flowing back neutral or flowing through your heart.    This is not a safety issue outside say bathrooms where a hair dryer could get dropped in a sink as its almost impossible for a hot wire to touch a person without touch the frame.  Since the frame is grounded (as per watchabit) if a hot wire does come loose and touch it, the breaker instantly goes as the current flows through the ground.

It would be a major safety faux pas imo to think grounding the frame would only  have a safety benefit if use a GFI/RCD.   The problem of suggesting that, is if the party is in place that does not use GFI, they might interpret it as "no point in grounding since its not GFI/RCD".  Not true.  That ground does save lives/stop fires with a fuse/breaker as the instant a hot touches something it trips the breaker and stops current flow.   GFI or not, you want the frame grounded imo.

Edited by measuretwice

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Well stated MT,

When working on any vintage equipment with two wire power cords, I always change them out for a three wire grounded cord that is grounded to the chassis. In the US grounds are all connected together and to earth ground. Any leak from load side AC to ground will trip a circuit breaker. Btw, gfi's are code required near a water source. 

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