Vintage watch cleaner

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  • #48390
    watchthebear
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    • Topics Started: 21
    • Total Posts: 77

    Good morning Folks (Pacific Coast time), I came by a vintage, or antique, Boggs Watch Cleaner. It is cast iron, top and bottom, 4 quart jars in a row, and threaded rods w/ tightening bolts at each end. there is a small electric motor w/ a paddle that goes about 1/3 of the way down into the jars (it is moved from jar to jar). below the jars, i assume in working order, is stamped, 1st jar, “soak 5 mins”, 2nd jar, “rinse 10 secs., 3rd jar, “rinse 10 secs, and 4th “Jar”, “dry 10 mins. the late watchmaker who had it had substituted the last jar for an old auto transmission can which he had punched full of holes. I am such a rookie I might as well try this out; but how? Does one fill the first jar full of cleaner, the second 2 full of fresh water, and leave the fourth as a “drying chamber”? Is one supposed to use the paddle at each station? even w/ the drying? I read the thread on cleaning down in the “hints” section a month or so ago, but think this is a different case. What would be the cleaning solution? should there be concern for the temps of the solution and rinse? would I use the paddle for the drying? maybe adding a hair dryer to the mix. Or, should I throw the whole thing in the scrap pile and learn to hand clean ’til I can afford an electrosonic (sp) cleaner. Would really like to hear all opinions. take care all……………..b

    #52290
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    If it is the type I think it is it could be perfect! First though please check the wiring, some of it is so old now the casing on the wire will almost crumble. Without seeing a picture it is a little hard to see what you mean but usualy there are four jars, 3 glass or steel to hold cleaner / rinse solution and the final one for drying. You put enough cleaning solution in the first jar so that it just covers the wire basket the watch mech would be in, too much solution and you could have it splashing out of the jar. The next jar has 1st rinse in it at the same level as the cleaning solution, the 3rd jar has a final rinse, level as before and the drying jar/tin does usualy have a heating element in it. If there is no heating element I can only assume he would have used a hair dryer as you suggested, not too forceful as this could damage parts and not too hot as this could melt shellac. Ultrasonic is good but remember people were servicing watches for years before ultrasonics were invented. A watch cleaning machine like yours if it works ok and has the correct solutions will do a perfectly adequate job. I have searched on the internet but can find nothing on this machine, would be great if you could get a photo up. Please have a look under the drying tin just to see if there is a heating element, it should look like a circle of coiled spring. Have a look at the paddle too to see if there are slots or some way of fixing a small wire basket to it, this is what takes the watch parts and it does normaly attach to the bottom of the paddle. One more quick thing, when you lift the paddle, make sure the basket is just clear of each solution and give it a good spin to get off as much solution as possible otherwise you will contaminate the rinses quite quickly.
    Good luck and let us know how you get on :)
    Paul.

    #52289
    watchthebear
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 21
    • Total Posts: 77

    Hello folks, thanks Paul for the detailed response to my question. The first thing I am going to do is go over all the points you made w/ the machine in hand (so to speak; it is cast iron–heavy). If i can get pix up, I will–not too sure about this. One thing: the late watch repairman had rewired it, and put a new handle (copper) on the top of the paddle unit. I’ll post again when i have done my homework. thanks again…………take care all………..stay well………..b

    #52291
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Getting pictures up is quite easy as long as you can get them from the camera to your computer, just under the box where you type in your response to a post you will see two tabs “Options” and “Upload attachment”. Click on the upload attachment and where it says “Filename” there is a box next to it that says “Browse”. Click on the box (browse) and point it in the direction of the picture you want to upload. Any problems please dont hesitate to ask.
    Paul :)

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watchthebearVintage watch cleaner