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October 12, 2011 at 3:21 pm #48107chaplin37Participant
Is there any alternatives to one dip? can you use something like rubbing alcohol?October 12, 2011 at 7:01 pm #50841Bob TascioneModerator
Alcohol doesn’t do a very good job of removing grime from hairsprings. Also if cleaning the hairspring while still attached to the balance assembly the alcohol will soften the shellac used to hold the roller jewel in place. For this reason alcohol, when used as a watch rinse should be used as a quick rinse only and pallets and balance should be dried immediately. Some people soak hairsprings in Naptha (Ronson lighter fluid) to clean them. Naptha won’t soften shellac at all. Also soaking dirty hairsprings in regular watch cleaning solution and then rinsing thoroughly works well.
Remember though that Naptha must always be used with caution as it’s extremely flammable.
Hope this is helpful Chaplin37,
BobOctober 14, 2011 at 2:17 pm #50842chaplin37Participant
Thanks Bob for the information. The other question I had is I have been seeing on other sites not to ultrasonic the mainspring, if you decided not to replace the mainspring, how would you go about cleaning it? Thanks again BobOctober 15, 2011 at 11:24 am #50843Bob TascioneModerator
I’ve come across discussions on this topic too and in theory it does make sense that the ultra sonic may be problematic for older mainsprings that have crystallized a bit. It would be interesting to see the results of a controlled test on this if one has been done. My feeling though is if the spring has deteriorated this much then it would possibly reveal this weakness as a set spring. That’s just my guess though so please don’t take that as fact as I can’t support it with any facts. I would be interested in learning more about this topic too.
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