Before Aerosols...

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Bruce Alexander, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    5,946
    348
    83
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #1 Bruce Alexander, Jul 3, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
    I've run across threads from time to time which mention the discovery of a tin of kerosene and a feather in the bottom of a clock case. So many jokes were made of this that I didn't take it seriously or I thought that it must not have been a wide practice.

    After about 9 years collecting and working on clocks I've finally run across one. The pictured Seth Thomas No. 89 had the tip of a feather stuck to the inside surface of the front plate. I must say that I'm not overly impressed with the end results. Perhaps the person who lost part of their applicator feather just had not quite mastered the technique. :)

    From the looks of the badly scored pivots, gunk and stains throughout the movement it looks like the service tech got the kerosene everywhere except where it might do some temporary good. Fortunately fresh kerosene on an old toothbrush helps to remove the tenacious dirt, residual kerosene (?) and debris. My Ultrasonic Clock Cleaning Solution left a lot behind.

    I'll be placing a lot of bushings (and at least one on the Time Side Great Wheel shielded by the cup bell), once I refinish all of the deeply scored pivots.

    So, before there were aerosol "lubricants" like WD-40 et al.,there was kerosene and chicken feathers. :emoji_fuelpump: :emoji_chicken:

    Feather.JPG ScoredPivot.JPG Gunk.JPG
     
  2. R&A

    R&A Registered User

    Oct 21, 2008
    4,168
    97
    48
    Country Flag:
    I have found small glass containers smaller than a shot gall before. And inside compressed felt. They would pour kerosene into the glass and the felt would soak it up. While it evaporated the concept was to keep the movement lubricated. Also have found ink wells in clocks for the same purpose. Always found them in mantel clocks.
     
  3. Tim Orr

    Tim Orr National Membership Chair
    Director NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    Sep 27, 2008
    979
    79
    28
    Male
    95% retired from the ad business.
    Boulder CO
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Good evening, everyone!

    I feel it's important to remember that if you were on an isolated farm in the middle of nowhere, with little in the way of resources or small tools or knowledge or money, you often improvised. It was not the custom to throw away expensive items, but to find ways to make them stretch out their useful lives just a little bit longer.

    Best regards!

    Tim Orr
     
  4. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    5,946
    348
    83
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #4 Bruce Alexander, Jul 3, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
    No doubt Tim. This movement is out of a Seth Thomas "Tyne" from circa 1904. I kind of doubt that I got it from the original owner. Bad habits can be passed down from one generation to the next along with possessions. I can't really speculate on the circumstances. I try not to since it is usually impossible to know. This technique, properly applied, may have had merit. I can observe the end results, however. I doubt that the goal was to leave feathers stuck to the movement plates. :D

    In any case, I offer the thread in the same spirit as the thread I linked to. The one that talked about periodically letting a live chicken soaked in kerosene loose in your clock. to clean and lubricate it.

    Someone may have tried that with this small mantel clock (maybe with just a chick) and didn't quite get all of the feathers out. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    11,948
    673
    113
    If someone took off the dial and swabbed off the movement once each year that was probably a very effective maintance. It didn't matter about the smell and messiness, that was there already from the two kerosene lamps likely on each side of the mantle being refuled several times per week.

    The kink in the story came a generation or two after the clocks fell out of use. The part about taking off the dial and swabing out the movement was lost but a new story about the little snuff can half full of kerosene having the magical power to keep the clock clean just by its presence was born. Oh well, guess that's how myths are started.

    Willie X
     
  6. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    5,946
    348
    83
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    That's a good point Willie. Sometimes things get lost in the "translation" from one generation to the next. Unfortunately some things each generation must learn for themselves.

    Now, are you supposed to pluck the chicken first?

    No...the chicken would have to be dead, and therefore couldn't clean the movement...plus, no feathers!

    Duh! :chuckling:
     
  7. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
    3,472
    209
    63
    watchmaker
    Western NSW or just this side of the black stump.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Don't want to seem picky but WD-40 isn't a lubricant.
     
  8. Tim Orr

    Tim Orr National Membership Chair
    Director NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    Sep 27, 2008
    979
    79
    28
    Male
    95% retired from the ad business.
    Boulder CO
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Good evening again!

    The fact that there's part of a feather stuck to the movement suggests to me that the owner did not take the dial off, but instead reached up inside with the feather. Part of it broke off and not knowing how to get it out, the owner just left it there. Even the most ignorant person wouldn't have left the feather there if they could see it and easily remove it. Gotta be luck that the feather didn't jam up the strike train.

    The free-ranging chicken is a joke, I'm sure. It would never work – and it would probably kill the chicken! Might ruin the taste too. Could cause a flash fire in the oven!

    I wonder about the idea of fumes from the kerosene in the shot glass. I wonder if an atmosphere saturated with volatile organic hydrocarbons might keep the oil from gumming up so quickly. Might be something to that, I suppose. Kerosene is chemically similar to other petroleum-based oils.

    Best regards!

    Tim
     
  9. mauleg

    mauleg Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 26, 2012
    848
    138
    43
    Country Flag:
    So, donning my flameproof suit...

    Now, I don't use WD-40 on clocks, but I do use it to preserve tools (including some clock tools) and outdoor stuff, like tables and BBQs from rust. It's crazy effective at that. One other place I use it exclusively, to the shock and amazement of my friends, is my bicycle chain. Now, I ride a Giant Anthem X 29er at high speeds on really rough coral roads next to the ocean several times a week and am picky about fast and accurate drive train performance. I have no mercy, and the original drive train, including chain, is typically still on the bike and working well when I trade it in for newer tech, usually after 5 years. This equates to ~7500 miles of hard riding in a harsh environment on the original chain. Friends using teflon and other "high tech lubricants" often end up replacing chains once of twice in the same period.

    So, maybe it's not a lubricant, but it's a darn good bike drive train wear and rust preventer and performance optimizer.
     
  10. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    5,946
    348
    83
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #10 Bruce Alexander, Jul 4, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
    You're right. That's why I put it in quotes. :)

    Tim, the feather was quite hard. I don't know what's left behind when all of the volatile compounds are gone but it doesn't clean up readily. Fresh Kerosene does nicely though.

    mauleg: There are a lot of good uses for WD-40. Clocks aren't one of them. I don't care what the manufacturer claims. o_O
     
  11. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    11,948
    673
    113
    It is a lubricant. Nothing fancy, something like 10W machine oil, maybe a little thinner. I've had a few cans that didn't hold their propellant very long, so I punched them and used the can like a ketchup bottle to use it up. I've also purchased it in gallon cans. Willie X
     
  12. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    5,946
    348
    83
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #12 Bruce Alexander, Jul 4, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
    FWIW, this is what I found online:

    WD-40 isn't actually a true lubricant. WD stands for "water displacing" and its main use is as a solvent or rust dissolver. The lubricant-like properties of WD-40 come not from the substance itself, but from dissolving components. ... WD-40can be a good substance to start with — it can help clean up rust or other grime.

    The WD-40 website describes it as a penetrating oil but there are so many variants just saying "WD-40" doesn't necessarily mean the original formula and, yes, they still claim it can be used on Cuckoo Clock Pendulums, Grandfather Clock Cables, Grandfather Clocks and for "rejuvenating gears on old clocks". :eek:
     
  13. R&A

    R&A Registered User

    Oct 21, 2008
    4,168
    97
    48
    Country Flag:
    If you want a test. Spray a sheet of metal with WD40 and let it sit for 6 months, the outcome will tell you why you shouldn't use it on clocks. It will be sticky and gummy.
     
  14. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    11,948
    673
    113
    It's good for what it's good for, mainly a 'penetrating oil' and it's an excelent cleaner for many things. Willie X
     
  15. David S

    David S Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    7,144
    220
    63
    Male
    Professional Engineer - Retired
    Brockville, On Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    And great for machining aluminum.

    David
     
  16. Chris Radek

    Chris Radek Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 13, 2014
    457
    141
    43
    Male
    Watchmaker (now accepting new customers)
    Lincoln, NE, USA
    Country Flag:
    My friend who's played the banjo for about 75 years swears by a yearly dousing of the fretboard with WD40 to keep it from drying out and cracking. I haven't taken his advice.
     
  17. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
    3,472
    209
    63
    watchmaker
    Western NSW or just this side of the black stump.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Indeed. It does have its uses.
     
  18. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    5,946
    348
    83
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #18 Bruce Alexander, Jul 5, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
    "Uses" vs. "Applications". Someone who had just painted this movement with Kerosene using a feather was kind of my point in mentioning aerosol lubricants. Kerosene is probably better for clock movements than is WD-40's original penetrating oil and water-displacement formula. Kerosene does slowly evaporate. If it didn't, you couldn't smell it, but what is left behind after all the VOC's are gone forms a hard shell that's not easy to remove. I'm still going after it here and there a couple of days into the overhaul. As I've tried to show in the photos, whoever painted this movement really did nothing to lubricate the bearings. Any technique can be performed poorly. I just saw the hard, dried up feather tip stuck to the movement and immediately remembered the thread I had read here on the Message Board. If not for that, I probably would have been very puzzled by it all.

    A "cloud" of WD-40 would probably have penetrated into the bearings better, but it's a short-term, messy, shot-gun approach with the wrong type of lubricant. I've seen "water" discoloration on paper dials which may (or may not) have been due to some type of spray into the back of the case.

    Hopefully the thread is educational to folks who are new to antique clock repair/maintenance and good for couple of chuckles too. :)
     
  19. bangster

    bangster Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    19,238
    326
    83
    utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Wouldn't a bantam chicken work better than a full size one?
     
  20. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    5,946
    348
    83
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    It would if you cut holes in the case for the head, feet and tail feathers. The Tyne isn't very big. Roughly about a foot wide and tall and a half-foot deep. I suppose you could just leave the back door open....
    Buck, Buck, Bukaak :emoji_chicken:


    Edit: And remove the movement...
     
  21. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
    2,868
    246
    63
    Male
    Science teacher, writer
    Lancaster, Ohio, USA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Lately I've been trying an experimental flash-rust prevention method that ought to work as well with WD-40 (or my favorite, Walmart 'Super Tech" spray lubricant) as with any other spray lube. After I've cleaned parts in the ultrasonic machine and taken them out of the rinse water I give them a very light spray with PB Blaster's general-purpose lubricant prior to drying them. After a session with the hair dryer the water is gone, as is most of the lubricant, but enough remains to (apparently, at least) prevent flash rust. The film of lube is very thin, the parts stay bright, and the lube film doesn't seem to interfere with the Mobil1 0w-20 with which I oil the clock.

    Apparently German manufacturers began plating their pivots for the purpose of preventing rust in humid climates. WD-40, or kerosene, or perhaps cosmolene would have been a better solution.

    M Kinsler

    with cosmolene the tick would have been rather quiet. The Army packed rifles in the stuff.
     
    bangster likes this.
  22. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
    2,868
    246
    63
    Male
    Science teacher, writer
    Lancaster, Ohio, USA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Another clockwork-preservation method involves placing oily nut meats in the clock case. I've found a few, along with cotton balls wrapped in aluminum foil.
     
  23. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    5,946
    348
    83
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I haven't seen that one yet Mark. Thanks for sharing. That would have been another puzzle if I had come across it.

    Guess that may explain just why the mouse ran up the clock, :emoji_peanuts::emoji_mouse2::chuckling:
     
  24. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
    2,868
    246
    63
    Male
    Science teacher, writer
    Lancaster, Ohio, USA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    One non-horological technological tip suggests that an assortment of lead sinkers placed in your home's fusebox (presumably laying on the bottom) will protect your home if lightning strikes your power lines.

    It seems rather unlikely and is probably based on the belief that the energy from the lightning stroke will expend itself in melting the lead sinkers instead of destroying the rest of your home. But it turns out that no lightning-related rules, suggestions, beliefs, or myths have any solid scientific basis, for lightning is a truly random phenomenon that has thus far defied every effort to run a controlled experiment on it. (This includes the NOAA 'lightning safety rules,' which have no basis in science at all.)
     
  25. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    5,946
    348
    83
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    If anyone runs across a movement with dried up Kerosene residue, my advice to you would be to soak it in Kerosene, maybe for 30 minutes or so, and then really go after it with a stiff brush.

    I suppose it's similar to WD-40 in that regard. It seems the best thing to remove old Kerosene is fresh Kerosene. Supposedly, the best thing to remove old WD-40 is fresh WD-40, followed by something like Odorless Mineral Spirits.

    Maybe I should have saved that feather for a Souvenir but I tossed it after I took the pic. :)

    Regards,

    Bruce
     
  26. lpbp

    lpbp Registered User
    NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Life Member

    Aug 25, 2000
    2,839
    28
    48
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    In my years of clock collecting and repair, I have found several containers with dried out kerosene in the bottom of cases, and a couple of feathers.
     
  27. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
    2,868
    246
    63
    Male
    Science teacher, writer
    Lancaster, Ohio, USA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Unless there are dissolved compounds therein, kerosene doesn't have any residue. This is the case for other petroleum distillates as well. If you find sticky residue from WD-40, it's because something like varnish was dissolved by the solvents in WD-40 and remained after the WD-40 ultimately evaporated.

    I once tried making some light oil I could spray onto a clock movement as it came out of the rinse. So I put some light non-detergent motor oil into a pump-spray bottle and made an instant mess, for the stuff was too thick to spray. I experimented with one or another solvent that I thought might evaporate after it was done keeping the oil thin enough to spray, and thus developed a keen appreciation of the people who developed all those spray lubricants.

    I don't believe WD-40 harms clocks, or anything else, much.

    Mark Kinsler
     
  28. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    5,946
    348
    83
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hello Mark,
    Something very tenacious was left behind. It reminded me of some kind of dark varnish. Whatever it was, it required a lot of manual cleaning to remove. Perhaps it was something already present that was picked up by the Kerosene and deposited when the Kerosene eventually evaporated. I don't know. I'm just reporting what I found. The feather, which was stuck to the brass plate, was pretty hard too.

    As far as WD-40, it definitely evaporates leaving behind a "corrosion and rust preventive" film or residue.

    It's not a good clock lubricant. Inadequate, or improper lubrication results in accelerated wear, yes?

    Plus, it can ruin your clock cleaning solution. Some report that application and removal of fresh WD-40 is a good way to remove old WD-40.
    Sounds tedious and time consuming but you have to get rid of it someway and clock cleaner isn't priced for single use.

    Regards,

    Bruce
     
  29. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
    2,868
    246
    63
    Male
    Science teacher, writer
    Lancaster, Ohio, USA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Thin films of oil will typically evaporate over time, and WD-40 and its friends contain a light petroleum-based oil--the sort that's okay for light lubrication. This is thinned by one or another carriers, and these are what the odor comes from. CRC's penetrating lubricant contains a synthetic peppermint oil which, when mixed with the other ingredients smells just awful. But it makes for a very aggressive penetrant, and CRC is prized in industry (as is WD-40, for that matter.)

    It's worth noting that WD-40 was recommended by Chrysler and I think GM as a lock lubricant. And it's also worth noting that a fellow I worked with on a maintenance crew swore that WD=40 would rot the insides out of a lock cylinder.
     
  30. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    5,946
    348
    83
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Any shotgun approach to clock lubrication is going to be counter-productive regardless of the formula. It will probably either not get into the bearings or it will get drawn out and not stay. It will get over everything and attract airborne abrasives.

    I read a long while back about a street racer who would, after he was done working on his motor, pour motor oil over it and drive down dirt roads. When folks wanted to peek under the hood before racing him, they would come away with a false sense of security/superiority. Supposedly, he made a lot of money "hustling" other street racers this way. Good for him. Not so good for clocks whether you peek under the hood or not! :chuckling:

    WD-40s formula does not meet the desired standards for clock oil, namely:

    § Provide separating film (eg, don’t break down)
    § Stay put, not run off (proper viscosity)
    § 5-10 years without sludging, thickening or varnishing
    § Don’t discolor brass (green, brown)
    § No evaporation
    § Safe with lacquers
    Source: http://www.kensclockclinic.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Clock-Oils.pdf

    I would add that a good clock oil should "play nice" with most other lubricants commonly used for clocks. In my opinion anyway. Chances are pretty good that a clock movement will be simply re-oiled before it get's taken apart for a thorough cleaning and overhaul. Ideally, that will be the case *if* the movement is still in good condition.
     
  31. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
    2,868
    246
    63
    Male
    Science teacher, writer
    Lancaster, Ohio, USA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    All true. I don't advocate WD-40 or other spray lubricants as anything but penetrating oils or emergency lubricants for inaccessible mechanisms, which clocks generally are not. I do occasionally use PB Blaster Multi-Max Premium Synthetic Multi-Use Lubricant (with PTFE) on clock parts still wet from the rinse procedure--just a quick spray--and then drying them immediately. The purpose is to prevent flash rust on steel parts, which I've had difficulties with forever. I use this particular stuff primarily because the odor is quite low. It leaves a slight oily film on the parts that I don't like, but it seems to be quite compatible with my Mobil 1 0W-20 synthetic (as clock oil) or the Nye watch oil I use for the upper time train in floating balance clocks.

    But it's generally very difficult to judge the performance of any clock oil over a long period of time. Nobody has done a scientific study of oil for clocks since the days of whaling, and thus our assessments of the synthetics we use now are based on somewhat-irrelevant industrial research (which doesn't deal with our particular variety of no-maintenance, plain-bearing, low-energy, very slow mechanical systems.) And the anecdotal evidence we deal with in this forum is ineffective because old clocks don't have detailed maintenance logs, so you really don't know the conditions or what the thing was oiled with. And few clock repairmen live long enough to judge the performance of a clock oil that they applied thirty years ago.

    I've had clocks with green bearings, but I don't know what they were oiled with. I've had clocks with sticky bearings: same thing. I get lots of clocks in which some bearings are badly worn but others, perhaps on the same wheel but on the other plate, are just fine. I don't know why that happens, either. Sometimes the brass wears but sometimes it's the steel. Dunno why.

    That is why clock oil discussions are often very long, but convince almost nobody. But I did learn to use my Mobil 1 here, and for that I'm grateful.

    Mark Kinsler
     
  32. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    5,946
    348
    83
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I find that often the end with the pinion shows the more wear. Just depends on how the power transitions through the gear train, but as you say, there's no control to compare countless variables against. You can only assess what you see, when you see it and go from there. If you're lucky, you know what was done the last time around.

    Regards,

    Bruce
     
  33. mauleg

    mauleg Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 26, 2012
    848
    138
    43
    Country Flag:
    WD-40 keeps high-ferous chime rods nice and shiny in the salt air and does not affect their sound. My crystal ball shows me someone on this board getting some of my clocks after I kick it and lamenting the lame a$$ who used WD-40 on such a nice clock, even though the chime rods are the only place is was used.
     
  34. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    5,946
    348
    83
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Sounds like your Crystal Ball is a little rusty, or perhaps just smudged up a bit. Wipe a little WD-40 on that bad boy and you'll be seeing more clearly in no time. :emoji_eye_in_speech_bubble: :chuckling:
     
  35. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    11,948
    673
    113
    It's an excelent glass cleaner when siickers or tape have left their mark. When the residue is really bad, use 4x steel wool (lightly) with plenty of good ole WD-40.
    Willie X
     
  36. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
    2,868
    246
    63
    Male
    Science teacher, writer
    Lancaster, Ohio, USA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Did you know that three minutes in the ultrasonic bath does an amazing job of cleaning your eyeglasses, frames, hinges, crevices and all? I learned that from the nice lady at Lenscrafters.

    M Kinsler

    I once was blind but now I see...
     
  37. Tim Orr

    Tim Orr National Membership Chair
    Director NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    Sep 27, 2008
    979
    79
    28
    Male
    95% retired from the ad business.
    Boulder CO
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Good evening, all!

    Bruce's post about the racer reminded me of a guy who had a little business near the rubber shops in Akron, Ohio at least half a century ago. He dissolved Cosmolene in kerosene (at least, that's what everyone said) and would spray this all over the underside of your car and engine and undercarriage, etc. Then, he recommended you drive up and down a dusty road a few times.

    For my first car, a '60 Chevy, which already had a bunch of bad rust spots, this effectively stopped the spread of rust for years. I was amazed at how well it worked. He sprayed right over the existing rust, into the rocker panels, and just saturated the vehicle. He called his Cosmolene/kerosene mix "Pentyrol." He worked outdoors – had no garage – and was in business for years. He wouldn't last a day in today's world.

    We could buy 5-gallon buckets of Cosmolene at war surplus stores. The floor was gone in the back seat area of that Chevy, and I made replacement panels out of sheet metal that I hammered into shape and coated with Cosmolene, then fastened in with self-tapping screws. Probably scarily unsafe, but it seemed to work.

    Best regards!

    Tim Orr
     
  38. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
    2,868
    246
    63
    Male
    Science teacher, writer
    Lancaster, Ohio, USA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Everyone who lives in northern Ohio (which includes both Akron and my native Cleveland) knows the ancient lore of rust combat. I'd never heard of the Cosmolene, but it could well have worked. Rust-fighting was serious business: every cruiser of the Cleveland Police Department was missing its rocker panels, and the city hoped to sponsor research in ice-melting compounds that wouldn't eat up steel within a week. Long afterwards it was found that one of the waste products of corn and/or sugar-beet processing could be made into an ice-melting liquid, but even so the great salt mines that (ironically) underlie Cleveland and much of Lake Erie are still selling an awful lot of salt.

    M Kinsler
     
  39. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    40,662
    707
    113
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    You can put your eyeglasses in a Ziplock bag with water and Dawn dish washing soap, then stick it in your US cleaner with your clock chemicals. The bag will keep the clock cleaner segregated, and your glasses will come out nice and clean. Works for Jewelry too.
     
  40. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
    2,868
    246
    63
    Male
    Science teacher, writer
    Lancaster, Ohio, USA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I just throw everything in with the clock chemicals. Jewelry, too. Zep Fast 505. Haven't dissolved anything yet. The environmentally-safe cleaners leave a film on everything, but the Zep rinses away clean.

    I have, however, put more vulnerable parts and assemblies in a sealed plastic container with charcoal-lighter fluid and weighted it down for a spell while the ultrasonic worked on it. Seems to work well.

    M Kinsler

    do not use acetone in a plastic ultrasonic machine.
     
  41. mauleg

    mauleg Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 26, 2012
    848
    138
    43
    Country Flag:
    Howzabout, "do not use acetone in an ultrasonic machine", like, at all. Even in a container, that's just asking for an unintentional pyrotechnics exhibition. For jewellery & eyeglasses, Blitz does a splendid job. It's also my main go to for clocks as well; just be careful about leaving mild steel in the solution too long, as it can discolor it.
     
  42. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    40,662
    707
    113
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Many commercial cleaners for clocks use Acetone as an ingredient.
     
  43. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Sep 4, 2008
    3,803
    370
    83
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Yes, but the acetone is diluted in water and the other components of the cleaner. As long as the concentration of the acetone is low, it is not flammable. You can compare this to alcohol, which is flammable by itself but a 5% beer or a 12% wine are not flammable. A 40% rum is flammable when heated and a 54% tequila is flammable even if its cold.

    Uhralt
     
  44. Bruce Alexander

    Bruce Alexander Registered User
    Sponsor NAWCC Brass Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    5,946
    348
    83
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Ahem...you seem to be well versed on flammables there Uhrait. ;)

    I like SB's suggestion of a bag of Dawn detergent floated in your Ultrasonic. I'm going to give that a try. I may suspend my watch band into the clock cleaning solution too (keeping the watch itself above the fray).
     
  45. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Sep 4, 2008
    3,803
    370
    83
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I thought that my alcoholic examples are a bit more amusing than citing different concentrations of acetone....:rolleyes:
     
  46. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    40,662
    707
    113
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    And the reason they put 15% gasoline in gasohol is to keep people from drinking it. Some still do!
     
  47. bangster

    bangster Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    19,238
    326
    83
    utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    There's ethanol and methanol and denatured ethanol. Know the difference before you sip. :yoda:
    There's also isopropanol and a bunch of others. Same advice.
     

Share This Page