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  • #49083
    bobpat
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    • Topics Started: 14
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    I used my ulta sonic cleaner to clean 2 watches.. I use the same cleaner that I use on my clocks and it works great, no ammonia smell. It’s called Poly-chem, just bought it a few months ago to try it out on clocks, worked great. Now the problem. All the silver parts on the watches turned black, WHY? it looks kinda cool but not sure it should stay like that,, I had the heater warmer than usual . Also cooked the roller jewel out, so that needs to be replaced. should I polish all the pivots? What do you guys use to clean your watches?? I don’t think I had all these problems when I started working with clocks..just seems everything is a problem.
    One more question,, I promise,. Does the roller jewel have to be shellaced into place.? don’t they make another adhesive as I don’t have anything for shellacing

    #58118
    chris mabbott
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    • Topics Started: 119
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    Bob it sounds like you had a reaction with the chemical you used. The other thing could be dirty or contaminated solution.
    Did you change the solution after you cleaned the clock parts?
    How hot did you get it?

    Yes, shellac is the method for fixing the roller/pallet stones.
    I’ve tried other methods without success. So definitely you’ll be entering that phase LOL
    A tip… That roller jewel IS GONNA FLY, so take every precaution to isolate the area where you’ll be working. So WHEN it does go PING you’ll be able to find it.

    I would strongly advise you to clean all the parts to remove the black, and definitely polish the pivots because they will probably be effected too.

    Personally I’m not a fan of sonic cleaners, they have their place… But.
    For cleaning jewelry, chains rings etc, they’re great. A proper sonic machine, especially designed for watches, using the cleaning agents developed for that particular machine will cost you a lot of money, at least 2k minimum. But there is a reason, because the frequency of these models will not, supposedly, cause damage.

    Those cheap do all models found on ebay are just that, good for chains, rings etc, I’m not implying that you have one of these models Im just adding this as most people don’t want to spend the big bucks for a hobby/small business.
    This is why you see many people scrambling to buy the old watch cleaners on eBay.

    Cleaning brass clock parts is another thing, there are no jewels, nickel finish, black/gold engraving nor demaskeening etc to worry about.

    You can see many watches where the black engraving highlight is gone, this is due to cleaning as these parts are not subjected to abrasive wear. This is especially noticeable when you see odd letters missing their fill color, aggressive cleaning!

    Bob, it’s alway good to use the electric/gas companies rule…
    Call before you dig haha
    Also there are some tips on roller jewels on the forum and William has just done a couple so he’s fresh to offer good advice…

    #58119
    bobpat
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 14
    • Total Posts: 97

    thanks chris, The sonic cleaner I have was bought for clocks in mind. I had no idea that I shouldn’t use it. So. how do I clean all those blackened parts?. And.how do you or most on here clean their watches and with what? I noticed you threw in a “LOL” for the shellac method. Is that payback for the hair jokes? 🙄 LOL.. Thanks chris for your reply, as always, they are very helpful

    #58120
    chris mabbott
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    • Topics Started: 119
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    Haha not at all payback buddy, the LOL is because these bloody roller jewels are always a pain, almost everyone I know, who has changed more than a few in their time, still curse, cry and end up on their knees looking for the jewel..

    Mainly because we’re not doing them frequently, maybe twice a year, so getting the technique down pat is not possible, only on a as needed basis. So everyone is, in effect, the first one haha

    You’ll get lots of different answers regarding cleaning, too many, which can confuse you, to me it’s a personal choice, as long as you follow the guidelines, don’t use any thing that will destroy the parts and you ;-)

    With this black finish you have, you might have to…..

    1. Run it through your sonic again at a lower temp with proper, clean fluid.

    2. Use a mild metal polish, by hand, to remove the black, then rinse with soapy water, put it some naphtha etc..
    Then put it back on a mild cycle in the sonic..

    Cleaning a movement manually can take 8 or more hours, at least that’s what it takes me, but I’m not in a rush either.
    But I completely disassemble everything, hairspring, roller is removed always for cleaning the balance.
    Capped jewels are removed and the settings cleaned and polished. All recesses are polished and lightly burnished by hand. Winding stems are removed, polished and greased etc etc. that doesn’t include the case interior, redoing the bezel threads.. Lol
    But that’s just my way because I enjoy it :-)

    #58121
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    Bob:

    The Chicago School of Watchmaking describes a really good manual cleaning system. I use it in conjunction with my ultrasonic cleaner. You can still get the green soap online and I use Naptha as the degreaser.

    Later
    Tom

    #58122
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    What page is that on Tom?

    Thx

    #58123
    tmac1956
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    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    @Chris Mabbott wrote:

    What page is that on Tom?

    Thx

    Chris:

    Lesson 10, section 239 – Cleaning by hand.

    Later,
    Tom

    #58124
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    Thanks Buuudddyy, I’ll have a boo :)

    #58125
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Bob,
    It looks like the chemical you used anodized the silver. I know that BRASSO makes a brass polish and I believe they also make a silver polish. I use naptha for the watch parts in my ultrasonic cleaner and lacquer thinner for the hairsprings. The naptha (lighter fluid) is used in the ultrasonic cleaner and have had no problems with it so far. For lacquer thinner I just dip the balance into a small jar, but a shot glass would work. I do not use the laquer in the ultrasonic cleaner.
    Shellac is the original hot glue and is strong enough to hold the jewels in place. Super glue would certainly hold the jewel in place but would create a problem if you wanted to replace it or make an adjustment. I would not recomend using anything except shellac on these parts. If you turn to the Watch Repair Channel on Youtube you can see a video shellacking a roller jewel. Mark Lovick uses a standard watchmaker alcohol burner but almost any source of heat should work as long as it is controlled properly.
    david

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