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January 17, 2012 at 12:49 pm #48160
I just got a 2 1/2 gallon ultrasonic cleaner whats the best cleaning fluid to use and what to rinse after with? it dont have a heater on it so what temp water should i put in it? I did’nt get instructions with it so how long should i run it to clean and rense also?
I have clean some parts by hand and they look great but when they sit for a while they get real tarnished the brass and the pivits. The metal pivit part turns black and the brass gets really dull what can i do to prevent this from happening and staying shinny?
Thanks DonJanuary 17, 2012 at 6:32 pm #50956
Heaters are nice but not necessary. Just room temperature is good if you have no heater. As for cleaning solution and rinse I usually use L&R with ammonia for production type clocks and non-ammoniated for high end movements. Usually around 5 to 7 minutes will do the job. There’s a lot of controversy about using ammonia on clocks as the ammonia does cause tiny cracks on brass surfaces. There is a product out there that I’ve heard some good things about. It’s called “Historic Timekeepers Concentrated Cleaning Solution”. To rinse after using this solution first rinse with warm water to remove the solution followed by a rinse of alcohol to remove all the water. The cost for the solution is much lower than L&R. Here’s a link if you would like to take a look at it http://www.timesavers.com/catalogmain2.asp?ProductID=17864&submit1=Search
You are probably leaving the parts in the solution too long if you’re getting discoloring. When cleaning by hand you may want to leave the parts in the solution for a few minutes longer than what’s necessary for the ultrasonic but not for too much longer. I would use a soft brush to do the cleaning rather than letting it soak too long. If it’s really grungy then multiple cleaning and rinsing and pegging the holes in between each washing might be better than letting it sit in the solution for too long.
Hope this helps Don,
BobJanuary 18, 2012 at 8:27 am #50957
Thanks Bob i’ll try it. The dulling of the gears and plates drive me nuts, they look so good at first then after a couple days they get really dull and the arbors turn gray to black, i’Ve put car wax on some parts and they seem to stay shinny but when it comes to the gears i dont think wax is a goo idea. I thought of spraying lacquar on them but that would really mess up the teeth Thanks againJanuary 18, 2012 at 8:53 am #50958
Hey sorry Don, I misread your first post. I was thinking that the parts were becoming discolored while in the cleaning solution. If the problem occurs after you’ve cleaned them then I’m not sure of what might be causing it. It may be that your rinse isn’t removing all of the cleaning solution or that the rinse itself is causing the problem. What are you using to clean and rinse?
BobJanuary 18, 2012 at 12:53 pm #50959
I used brass cleaning to get all the harden oils and stuff off the gears and then washed them in dishwashing soap and hot water then rensed them in hot water and blew dryed with air after they set the brass will tarnish quickly and the arbor and pivits will trn a blackish colorJanuary 18, 2012 at 3:59 pm #50960
That’s a new one for me. I’m not up on brass cleaners so I don’t know why that would happen. A guess would be that the stuff isn’t washing off and maybe the heat from the dryer has something to do with it…I’m probably completely wrong though. I’ll bet when you start using that new Ultra Sonic with a commercial cleaner you won’t have that problem again.
I wish I could help on this one but I’m drawing a blank here. Maybe others up here have run into this and can help out. Anyone??
BobJanuary 19, 2012 at 11:55 am #50961jim1228Participant
Hi Don, You should buy a pint of Historic Timekeepers Concentrate for only around $9.00 from Timesavers.com parts house. This solution if very safe to use in your ultrasonic cleaner and does a very good job. After cleaning the parts , rinse in hot tap water then give them a quick dip in denatured alcohol. Use a blow dryer to dry them off or a drying box and there you have it. I would have to say that something in the brass cleaner is causing the discoloration. Good luck Hope this helped.
JimJanuary 27, 2012 at 6:28 pm #50962
Thanks guys i’ll try the ultra sonic cleaner and your suggestions in a couple weeks just got out of heart surgury again for the fourth time in two years. Dam i hope this is the last for a while its tiring me out lol. I’m ok again just need ta rest a while.
Thanks again DonJanuary 27, 2012 at 6:59 pm #50963
Hey Don welcome back!
I sure hope you have a speedy recovery and that this surgery did the trick for you. Please keep us posted on your progress and try to play and have fun with as many clocks as possible.
All the best Don,
BobJune 16, 2012 at 8:34 am #50964willofiamModerator
Hi guys, thought I would post on this thread, I have been mixing my own solution as Bob has in his videos, works good, I have recently been baffled about some brass parts turning color, darkish, and not cleaning as well. I thought I was heating up the solution too much or something. It has been a mystery. JUST this mourning it dawned on me, I had bought some cheap wire strainer baskets and would put smaller parts in them and hang them into the ultrasonic cleaner. today I did not use them and everything cleaned up real nice and brighter than usual. I believe, but could be wrong, that the type of metal used to make these strainer baskets has been causing the problem. Any thoughts on this or has anyone else dealt with this??????? if I buy new strainers I will find stainless steel one and I think that will be better . WilliamJune 16, 2012 at 11:07 am #50965aruthaParticipant
Sorry William I cant help on this one, I have a plastic basket in my ultrasonic but today I have made the descision not to go for the “new brass look anymore” I am just going to get the movements clean unless a customer specificaly wants it to look like new. I have had nothing but trouble with different solutions, none of which get things how I want plus I dont like having loads of nasty chemicals in the house so from now on it will be a good clean in brake cleaner (very nasty and you must wear gloves and have good ventilation) and then just hot soapy water. There is something about the old brass patina I love and it seems strange to me looking at a nice 100 year old clock with the wood all aged etc and then having a bright shiny mech in the back, plus it dulls down quite quickly anyway. To me it seems like far too much trouble and expense for something you dont even see most of the time. I would spend more time on the face, hands and case where people are going to be more critical. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion but even if there is the slightest chance we are damaging clocks by using ammonia, I for one wont go near it again.
Just my 2 centsJune 16, 2012 at 3:52 pm #50966kybill2011Participant
Hey guys, the Historic Timekeepers Concentrate, is it for just for clocks or can it be used on watches also? Bill.June 17, 2012 at 11:38 am #50967
As far as I know Dewey only makes the clock cleaning concentrate.
BobJune 17, 2012 at 11:39 am #50968kybill2011Participant
Thanks Bob.June 20, 2012 at 6:17 am #50969willofiamModerator
Hey everyone, here is a question I have for all you wonderful intelligent horological experts what is the difference between isopropal alcohol and denatured alcohol ??????? is one better than the other for final rinse or dry off for clock works???? Thank you, William
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