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Hi Dave and Welcome to the forum and back to the watch repair world!
Arutha caught me again. Guilty as charged! We’re getting unusually high surf here right now so have been sitting out on the patio watching the waves most of the day! Beautiful here today.
It sounds like you’re building a beautiful collection of clocks and watches. Hope to see you up here often.
Your mechanical cleaner will serve you well for repairing pocket watches.
I’ve always leaned towards L&R solutions. For my mechanical machine I usually use L&R Extra Fine watch cleaning solution and their #3 rinse. I say usually since I will often use whatever I have on hand if I run out. This doesn’t mean Extra Fine is the best choice at all. I get set in my ways fairly easily and as a result often fall behind on new improvements that appear on the market. I’ll be trying Zenith products again after my L&R stock runs out as I hear they have really improved and the cost is lower than L&R.
I believe common running time for each jar is somewhere between 5 to 8 minutes for mechanical movements. That’s about how long I run them. If your machine has an auto reverse that’s great. If it doesn’t but does have a manual reverse then running it in the reverse direction for a couple of minutes is a good idea in all jars.
After running in a jar I lift the head up above the solution but not clear of the top of the jar and allow the basket to “spin off” the excess solution back into the jar. Your solution and rinses will last a lot longer as this helps keep the next rinse from becoming contaminated with either the cleaning solution or the previous rinse.
When the final rinse starts to become a little cloudy it can be rotated into the previous rinses position (discarding the first rinse) and a new final rinse added being sure that the jar for the final rinse is very clean before adding the new rinse.
When the rinse is complete raise the basket and let it spin in the final rinse jar for a minute before moving it to the heating cylinder. Then spin in the heated cylinder for a couple of minutes. That’s about it.
I don’t have any kind of manual for the different cleaning machines but maybe someone up here has one on hand or even better, a link to a pdf.
I also heard about NAWCCs plan to close the Watch school yesterday. Interest in their course dropped to point where it just isn’t feasible for them to continue. This is very sad as their course was excellent. I had the opportunity to spend a few days back there back in 1997 and filmed the clock and watch classes in session. Jim Michaels was the school director and watch teacher and Nagle was the clock teacher. Both were excellent instructors. Jim Michaels is a superb watchmaker and nice guy. I believe he has some repair videos and possibly has some written material. The instructors that followed Jim were also top notch watchmakers. So it wasn’t that the course was lacking in quality; just lacking students. From what I hear the NAWCC will be concentrating more on increasing their excellent clock repair mini field courses.
Well hope this helps Dave and again Welcome!
Enjoy your watches!