Cleaning Parts–Solutions

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  • #48906
    peggy332014
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    • Topics Started: 20
    • Total Posts: 206

    Hi Everyone!

    I was reading some posts about how you clean dirty watches such as Chris’s Hamilton 926, and I’m offering a suggestion!

    My husband is a gunsmith, and he uses Simple Green. He used it on his new lathe to clean the cosmoline coating that comes on it from the factory. They put cosmoline on to preserve it from rusting when they ship the machine.

    Simple Green is not toxic to parts, and it degreases too! It smells nice! It can be purchased at any store that carries household cleaners.

    A suggestion would be is put some Simple Green in a small jar such as a bullion jar which is about 2″ in dia by 2″ tall. Then get either a small paint brush or toothbrush and dip the brush in the Simple Green and then gently scrub your watch or clock parts. A small plastic parts tray works wonders to lay your parts into. You can even just spray Simple Green directly on the parts and let them sit a few minutes and then use the toothbrush or paintbrush to clean the parts. Then rinse the parts in water and dry them good.

    I know there’s part washers now a days, but like for me, I’m not able to purchase one yet, so the Simple Green is a nice alternative. :D

    #56205
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    Hi Peggy, personally I would avoid simple green for two reasons, one is because it’s green, and the other is the smell, the added scent they put in which actually makes it dry sticky, ish.
    I’ve tried varsol which is an industrial degreaser and also agent orange which is another slightly acidic, bio cleaner that smells like…. You guessed it, oranges. Neither gave me the results I sought, but zippo does, and I can also use it in my lighter LOL

    For watches, at least, something that evaporates quickly and leaves no residual effects, as in trace or aroma, is usually the best bet, but that is strong enough to remove greasy residue. Naphtha is used by many people, including moi, because it fulfills all of the above requirements, and it’s cheap LOL at least for now.

    At the end of the day though it’s what suits each individual.

    #56206
    peggy332014
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    • Topics Started: 20
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    Okie Dokie! I can agree to that! :D

    #56207
    ewinrow
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    • Topics Started: 26
    • Total Posts: 185

    Hey Peg, Chris. Have either of you ever used this cheep dollar store cleaner degreaser called Awesome? I sometimes soak my smaller parts in it before I place them in my parts cleaning machine or my sonic unit. after I remove them from that I then dry, polish and clean. Then I re-clean them, rinse them and then dry.

    I like it does assist me when I am working with a over oiled/greased unit. Also by using this I save on my other more expensive cleaners. Just takes a little hand work which I don’t mind doing because I get the chance to inspect parts as much as I need to. Now Peg, if I may, I also have done gun smith work and I have used dabs of gun grease on main springs in my clocks and to this day they still wind and run very good.

    Now I may be off the chain and totally going against the grain but whatever works best for you is what you do right? Also I have very little discoloration on plates/parts etc. :)



    #56208
    bernie weishapl
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    • Topics Started: 58
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    I have used Zep Citrus Heavy Duty Degreaser. I use 1 cup to 1 gallon of water in my ultrasonic. Been using it for several years and it works well.

    ewinrow I will see if I can find some of that out here at our dollar store.

    #56209
    ewinrow
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    • Topics Started: 26
    • Total Posts: 185

    @Bernie Weishapl wrote:

    I have used Zep Citrus Heavy Duty Degreaser. I use 1 cup to 1 gallon of water in my ultrasonic. Been using it for several years and it works well.

    ewinrow I will see if I can find some of that out here at our dollar store.

    Try it Bernie and best wish’s to ya. I don’t mind the little bit more work that may be needed. But I’m satisfied with the end result. Also I don’t get much discoloration on my plates/parts. Oh and Peg, if I may, DRIVE ON, their are many good people on here to help you along if needed.

    #56210
    david pierce
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    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    I have used naptha in my ultrasonic for awhile and it does a pretty good job. I buy it by the gallon from Home Depot and it is a lot less expensive than the well known designer label watch cleaner. The problem I have had with watches is some watches that have been sitting around for awhile form white waxy globs that are difficult to dissolve. Sometimes I will pull a part out of the ultrasonic cleaner and it looks spotless but when I put it under a microscope I see them, especially around the balance jewel. This should not present a problem for a clock because a clock has so much power compared to a watch. The globs will probably prove beneficial and help lubricate the moving parts. They look like tiny white grease balls. For hairsprings I run them in the ultrasonic with naptha and then rinse them in laquer thinner. I lay them on a piece of paper towel to dry. I do not put the laquer thinner in the ultrasonic cleaner. I did finally get an L & R spin cleaner and had a tough time finding jars that would take the basket. I ended up getting Ball Pint Jars (with lids) and had to twist off the three little knobs on the basket. I will have to make some plastic inserts to align the jars in the holes in the base of the L&R cleaner.
    david

    #56211
    peggy332014
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    • Topics Started: 20
    • Total Posts: 206

    :D Thanks Guys! I’ll give your suggestions a try! Thanks ewinrow! I haven’t tried that, but I can see how it does! :D

    #56212
    peggy332014
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 20
    • Total Posts: 206

    Here’s a link to the “La’s Totally Awesome” cleaner that ewinrow mentioned if anyone is interested or haven’t been able to find it in the stores! :D

    http://www.lastotallyawesome.com/

    #56213
    bernie weishapl
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 58
    • Total Posts: 1218

    ewinrow I got some of the totally awesome. I will use it as a pre-wash before the ultrasonic. Will report later.

    #56214
    ewinrow
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 26
    • Total Posts: 185

    Hey Bernie, best wish’s to you with it. Works well for me along with a couple of other cleaning procedures. I have found that a lot of the for mentioned products seem to produce a white film on the parts or remove the lacquer finish on them. Both a pain in the neck to deal with. I use Windex in my ultra sonic unit along with a hint of Ammonia and after everything is dry, some hand polishing. Maybe a little extra but I love the end result. I also use Never dull to assist me with polishing. Good luck, ladies and gents.

    #56215
    mahlon
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 28
    • Total Posts: 215

    I still use toilet bowl cleaner on old movements. I dilute it with water and soak for about 10 min., rinse, dry and polish. It really get all the crap off brass 😆 I have used it for years to clean antique brass bladed fans. If I do end up removing lacquer from plates by mistake, I just plug the pivot holes and reshoot them. I use lacquer everday, so it really is not much of a problem 🙄 Mahlon

    #56216
    peggy332014
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    • Topics Started: 20
    • Total Posts: 206

    😆 😆 🙄 😆 😆

    #56217
    bernie weishapl
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    • Topics Started: 58
    • Total Posts: 1218

    ewinrow here is a movement that came in a couple of weeks ago. Her husband had sprayed it with WD 40 several times over the last few years to make it work. As you can imagine it had grime and dirt bad. It looked terrible. Should have taken a before but forgot. Here is a after picture of the plates. I soaked them in Awesome from Dollar General for 30 minutes, brushed, rinsed and then stuck it in the ultrasonic with Zep Citrus cleaner for 25 minutes. Here it is rinsed in hot water, rinsed in denatured alcohol and then dried. Looks pretty darn good. Just wanted you to know. It does work pretty good.

    #56218
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    If you want to get a movement looking like new you can always buy a small cheap bench grinder, fit some pigtails on it and some polishing wheels and polish and this will allow you to get the brass looking like new. There has been a lot of discussion on the net about whether this is a good or bad thing for the clock but I read about a test done by a horologist who weighed his movement before and after cleaning. It turns out such a minimal amount of brass is removed in the polishing process it wont do any noticeable harm. I have found with some customers they want the brass very clean and others dont want it polished. The tarnish becomes a protective layer so at the end of the day it is all down to personal choice. [attachment=0:1ro1dka3]<!– ia0 –>IMG_0137.JPG<!– ia0 –>[/attachment:1ro1dka3]Here is a German movement after polishing, I have yet to do the steel work but it does look so much better if you take the time to polish marks out of screws and re-blue them. The steel work has yet to be done, I got a bit impatient and wanted to test it :)

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peggy332014Cleaning Parts–Solutions