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Hey SecondsOut, good to have you here and wanting to be involved. I think your idea is perfect….I did the same thing and would give that advice to anyone wanting to get started, buy some clunkers and experiment, get used to the tools and small parts, I would also add to start out working on a larger pocketwatch would be a good idea as things are a bit bigger and easier to see operation ect….I am still learning theory but something that has helped me out was making drawings. As far as the loupe you probably want something hands free.. I went thru a process of figuring out what worked best for me with different style loupes so my suggestion would be to buy inexpensive items and once you know what works best for you buy the better ones if your able. all kinds of suggestions on cleaning machines, you can clean by hand all the way up to a $4000.00 machine. I use a basket and jar type cleaning machine, maybe someone here has used the small ultrasonic machines. look into using a good cleaning solution (many opinions out there also) I personally would stick with the solutions that are recommended for watches like L&R or similar. I have a extra L&R cleaning machine (really nice) I was going to list on ebay. I DO NOT know if it is O.K. to do business thru the forum here, I will have to see what Bob says about that. As a side note, stay involved on the forum as allot of people can benefit from your experience, there is a wealth of information and super nice people (like Paul) to help you if your struggling in any area. have a fantastic day, William

willofiamReply To: Rookie