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February 12, 2014 at 5:42 pm #48870
I have had pretty good luck buying old movements off of the popular auction site to work on. The other day I got a 16s Elgin in the mail. I bought it as (non working) and it had a nice 20 year case, good dial, nice hands and cost me $30 so not a big loss either way. So I decided to pop it open to have a look. I took it out of the case and laid it on the bench and removed the first screw…..wd40 literally pours out of the hole onto my bench. The individual also sprayed it hard enough to tangle the hairspring in the process. I don’t even know what to do with it at this point. I put it back in the case because there was no way I was going to start diving into that at 9pm. Do you guys run into this very often? Will it ruin your solution? Thanks, Michael.February 12, 2014 at 6:20 pm #55763
If you do not have a watch cleaning machine now would be a good time to get one. Hair springs can be untangled as long as the spring is not kinked. You can make some hairspring untangling tools out of fine sewing needles and cut off pieces of bamboo shishkabob skewers to use as handles.
davidFebruary 12, 2014 at 6:29 pm #55764
I do have a nice ultrasonic cleaner that I use the heck out of. I just wonder if it will destroy the solution. I have also read that some guys can’t get all of the wd40 out even after cleaning. I know when I do firearm finishes I run into this same issue. I was working on one guys lever action and every time I baked it oil would roll out and destroy the finish. It took me three times and I finally made it look good but it could have looked a lot better if I wouldn’t have had to refinish it 3 times.February 12, 2014 at 7:09 pm #55765
You might be able to contact the company that makes WD 40 and ask them to recomend a proper solvent. Sometimes these companies are very helpful.
davidFebruary 12, 2014 at 7:16 pm #55766randyParticipant
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It’s tough to get off, and yes it will mess up your solution.
You might try soaking it in lighter fluid to start, and then washing it in dishsoap, and a hot rinse..or a jar of one dip.If you are going to use one-dip…make sure you don’t let the roller or pallet for sit it in very long, as it will loosen shellac.February 12, 2014 at 9:53 pm #55767
Thanks Randy, I will give the lighter fluid and one dip a try. Have you guys come across this often where someone just blasts a full coat of wd40 like that?
David, it is possible that they would suggest something but I would be afraid that they wouldn’t know what would screw up a watch movement in the process. I like to ask questions to the guys that already screwed up for me.February 13, 2014 at 6:16 am #55768tmac1956Participant
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I’ve used Naptha to get that out, but it takes awhile.
TomFebruary 13, 2014 at 6:49 am #55769mahlonParticipant
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Hey Michael, I don’t work on watches, but when I wind a clock and dw40 runs out, I rinse in a solution 1 part naptha, and 4 parts paint thinner. It takes all the wd40 out. MahlonFebruary 13, 2014 at 10:41 am #55770aruthaParticipant
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I have come across more than my fair share of clocks soaked in wd40 but as yet not a watch. Engine degreaser is good for removing wd40 and so is brake and clutch cleaner but just be a bit careful with shellac, I dont think it does any harm but I won’t guarantee it.
Paul.February 13, 2014 at 10:50 am #55771
I appreciate all of you guys input. Sounds like either way you cut it that’s it’s a bear to get out. On the plus side at least I will know what to do when I see it again.February 13, 2014 at 10:25 pm #55772
The metals in the watch are probably brass, steel, maybe silver, maybe gold. As long as the solvent won’t attack the metals in the watch and removes the WD40 it should be fine. Lighter fluid is naptha which can be purchased by the gallon at Home Depot. That is what I use in my ultrasonic cleaner. Check the MSDS for the L & R cleaner.
davidFebruary 14, 2014 at 4:54 am #55773tmac1956Participant
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Did you ever get the L & R cleaning machine in? Just curious if you like it and how well it works…
TomFebruary 14, 2014 at 6:39 am #55774
Yes, but I do not have any jars for it and have not had the time to find a solution to the jar issue.
davidFebruary 14, 2014 at 7:03 am #55775c.kellyParticipant
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I haven’t ran into the wd-40 however have found lots of dried heavy grease which just eventually gums up the works. That as one of issues I ran up on dealing with the Longines I just finished. There was so much dried gummy grease that the date changing mech was completely frozen. Was even hard to actually remove some of the parts from the plate for cleaning. Have ran into this situation several times.
Charles KFebruary 14, 2014 at 7:21 am #55776
Thanks again guys and nice thread on the Longines Charles.
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