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Burrr…I’ve never lived in cold country and since my people come from warmer climes I probably wouldn’t last a day! That snow sure is purty though.
Thanks for the kind words Scott,
I’m very pleased to hear that the Ultra course is what you were looking for.
The most popular dip clean would probably be One Dip. It’s often used to clean various watch parts but is used mostly for hairspring cleaning. I’m not convinced that it’s all that great though. It seems to have the exact same cleaning effect on parts as Naptha which I think is just Ronson lighter fluid. I’ve heard that One Dip is Napha but I’m not at all sure about that. Maybe someone can post more info on it. If that’s the case Naptha is much less expensive and available just about everywhere. One dip and Naptha work well for quick cleaning fresh oil off of parts and hairsprings but doesn’t do much for hard to get off grime. Also doesn’t leave that clean looking sheen that L&R cleaners do. Many times when one dip fails to remove the tough stuff off of a hairspring I just soak it for a little bit in regular L&R watch cleaner and then run it through the clean and rinse process. This almost always takes care of it. Also One Dip is expensive where Naptha is not. Naptha does work very well as a rinse.
As for alcohol I would stay away from this when working with watches as it will dissolve the shellac used for holding the roller jewel and pallet stones in place. Works well on parts that don’t have shellac but eventually you will probably forget about that and drop those parts in the same batch. I have. I highly recommend using L&R Cleaners and rinses if the budget allows. They seem expensive at first but you’ll find that the solutions will turn out being very cost effective in the long run. They last a long time for the beginner since you’ll probably just clean a few watches a week at the most. If you’re going to be using the “Soak Method” rather than a mechanical or ultrasonic then you should prepare the watch as I show in the course ie: peg the hole jewels etc.
There are solvents that can be used but it’s difficult to get stuff that’s pure enough that won’t leave a residue. Again that’s why I recommend L&R. Some people use Coleman Stove Fuel which I have found works VERY well as a solvent, leaves no residue and won’t dissolve shellac. The problem is that it ignites too easily and burns like crazy (hence the words Stove Fuel) so it can be dangerous to work with. For that reason I wouldn’t recommend having it in the shop. That being said I suppose large amounts of Naptha wouldn’t be much better. Whatever way you choose just be safe.
If you can get your hands on an old mechanical cleaner with a heated dryer you’ll find it much faster than the soak method. But hand cleaning will get you up close experience with the cleaning process and is actually a lot of fun.
Happy Holidays Scott and thanks for being here!