Clean Movement?

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by wow, Feb 11, 2019.

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  1. wow

    wow Registered User
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    This is a typical Ingraham kichhen clock movement that came to me with a black coat of dried something all over it.I soaked it in naphtha and ran it in a heated ultrasonic with fresh cleaning solution. It came out looking about like the photos. I washed each in mild detergent with a brush, rinsed, and ran it through the US one more time. It is clean. The dark sections are in the brass. What causes this? Can the brass parts be shined? It came out of a smoker’s house. Could that be it? What do you think?

    179AA998-203B-4A1E-AD42-8EE9DC4CDCC4.jpeg F0F91ECC-0B7E-4678-ACD5-633F34C77887.jpeg E3A08860-1A1A-4244-9668-322FF21F4485.jpeg 6ABCCB95-BFE7-42FD-B4D0-B3A348785227.jpeg
     
  2. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    do you have a brass wire brush or wheel on a buffer/grinder?

    you could also just try some 400-600 grit sandpaper and see what happens...
     
  3. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
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    Tar from tobacco smoke wouldn't survive the kind of cleaning you've given it. Have you tried Simichrome (or Brasso) to see if the plates will clean up? I'd try that before moving on to a more abrasive approach.
     
  4. dickstorer

    dickstorer Registered User

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    I believe steel wool would be better than a buffing wheel. It will polish up rather well. Shiny is nice but not necessary, clean is mandatory. I wonder if WD 40 caused the blotching.
     
  5. D.th.munroe

    D.th.munroe Registered User

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    WD-40 can sure do that. Working on a 2 weight gustav becker right now the owner admitted to spraying and most of the brass is red and brown like that. I've been using a washout brush and toothbrushes with simichrome and alot of elbow grease.
     
  6. wow

    wow Registered User
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    The movement was very dry. Perhaps old WD40 dried up.
     
  7. mauleg

    mauleg Registered User

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    In order of application until it's brassy again:
    1. Simichrome or Maas
    2. #0000 steel wool
    3. 1500 grit
     
  8. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
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    Don't ignore Brasso!
     
  9. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User

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    You can also use a vibrator polisher, with a medium walnut grit. You can get one at Harbor Freight rather cheap. I have the 18lb model and use it to remove rust and other crud besides polishing the brass as well as the steel parts. It's also a lot easier than all the rubbing and scrubbing with chemical abrasives. Put the parts in the hopper turn it on and go do something else.
     
  10. wow

    wow Registered User
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    #10 wow, Feb 12, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
    Joe, my wife has one. Where do you buy the walnut grit? Also, do you use dry grit, or do you use water with it?
     
  11. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User

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    The walnut grit can be found at Harbor Freight and on line. The grit is used dry. Depending no on the amount of polishing needed you can run it for 24 hrs.
     
  12. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    Why worry about it? It's clean. It will run. No one is going to see it behind the dial and concealed in a box.
     
  13. wow

    wow Registered User
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    I know, Shutt. It will just bother me. Guess I’m too picky.
     
  14. Old Rivers

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    Curious if you used an ammoniated cleaner?
    I have had excellent results cleaning similar stains using a string-wrapped Fiberglas brush. But it's tedious work.
    Make sure you wear disposable gloves, because the broken bristles are as pernicious as fine cactus thorns.

    Bill

    stringbrush.jpg
     
  15. Kevin W.

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    I would be happy with just clean, movement is in a case.
     
  16. Time After Time

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    #16 Time After Time, Feb 12, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
    Also look over this link for some more background info: http://www.fsptime.com/tumbling/ Some of the links are dated, but not all. The basic info is pretty helpful.

    In my experience, and with the burnishing media that I use, it is a very gentle process. What you're looking at might best be addressed with more direct means as suggested by others above. If I were going after this staining, that's what I would do. I might finish up with Tumbling though. Joseph's media is probably more aggressive than mine.
     
  17. Hudson

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    I like shiny. (Full disclosure, I only work on my clocks and not other peoples.) I would spend the time and the materials to make it look nicer. I would save the semi-chrome for last, even though it works great it is the most expensive. I have used Brasso (much less costly) with #0000 steel wool on stuff like this, then follow up with semi chrome, another good cleaning then carnauba wax. Than, of course, spend more time cleaning out the pivot holes.

    I have also seen excellent results obtained by other people using the tumbling methods other posters mention. There was a great demo of this at one of the Texas regionals.
     
  18. wow

    wow Registered User
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    Well here it is so far. I polished with King Midas metal polish. Worked on really bad spots with a dremel polishing buff using red rouge, got walnut grit and ran it in vibrator for an hour. Still not like new, but much better.

    F15CFF50-6E0C-42C2-B2E4-6E1B302DD7A8.jpeg 2A04CA34-22A3-42B1-822B-82270AD14FE5.jpeg E2A9D6DB-A638-482C-B03E-A34F0DA95444.jpeg 69A77C01-A9AE-4DC3-9940-7DDA0D837FED.jpeg
     
  19. Time After Time

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    That's quite an improvement Will.
    When I tumble, (rotating drum) I'll normally let it run for 24 hours.
    The source I linked to reports they tumble for 8 hours.
    It takes a fairly long time, especially since I run the plates and the gears separately, but it gets fine detail very clean and polished. It even cleans out Lantern Pinions well and of course you can do other things while your running your Tumbler. Most often I'll just go over the brass with 4-0 steel wool and then run the movement through the Tumbler. In my experience, it won't do much to deeply embedded stains. Steel Wool is more effective (and one heck of a lot faster) on them.
     
  20. wow

    wow Registered User
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    Thanks, TAT. I needed that info. Think I’ll put them in again for several hours and see if the rest comes off.
     
  21. dad1891

    dad1891 Registered User

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    Will,

    Is it possible that the owners house has the infamous Chinese Drywall? Copper and brass will react with sulfur compounds in the air and cause severe corrosion. Florida has been the poster child for chinese drywall, but my understanding is that all of the drywall went through the Port of New Orleans.
     
  22. wow

    wow Registered User
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    I believe it is the infamous WD-40. I know the clock has not run in many years. I think somebody sprayed it liberally about 40 or more years ago and then it stopped and has been left to dry. Whatever it was, was caked on when I got it. I have spent way too much time on this project, but I have learned much. Perhaps somebody else will have also. I’ll report back after about 8 hours in the vibrator/walnut grit.
     
  23. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
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    What's this business about a vibrator? With walnut grit? Pliz explain.
     
  24. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User

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    I don't think eight hours in the vibrator with the walnut grit will do the job. Walnut grit is not highly aggressive and it will probable take up to twenty four to reach the maximum polishing effect.
     
  25. wow

    wow Registered User
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    Look at post # 9 and 10, Bang.
     
  26. wow

    wow Registered User
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    Ok. I quit. Here’s the final look after 6 hours in the vibrator and another short run in the US. Don’t know if it’s worth it but I learned a lot. The thing I like most about the walnut shell grit in the vibrator is the rust removal. Works great for that.

    A30A2285-ECC9-4A70-B4DE-8615BABECDA0.jpeg
     
  27. Old Rivers

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    Is it a PITA picking all the tiny parts out of the pile? Do you use some sort of sifter?
    I've never used one of these machines, but it seems like you would have to be very careful not to lose small pieces.

    Bill
     
  28. wow

    wow Registered User
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    Bill, in both runs in the vibrator, all the parts shifted around to one side. It was easy to find them all. I think very small parts would need to be placed in a smaller mesh container that will lock closed and grit added to that container. It should still get the vibrator effect.
     
  29. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User

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    It’sbigger PITA to sit there with wire brishes and chemicals trying to get a polish. I use a piece oh nylon window screen tied over a Home Depot bucket and sive the grit through. Small parts stay on the screen. And never lost one.
     
  30. Time After Time

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    Hi Bill,

    It does take time and care. Also, you have to be careful to make certain all the fine media is removed from the various nooks and crannies to be found in a movement's assemblies. Some folks "charge" their media with grated wax of one type or another to apply a layer of wax while cleaning/burnishing parts. Overlook a little piece of wax in a Lantern Pinion and you have a Gremlin just waiting to ruin your day. Some parts I don't place in my Tumbler. I use a toothbrush and Dental Explorer to remove media before blasting assemblies with compressed air. It's also not a bad idea to run the parts through another U.S. Cleaning Cycle just to be sure, but that's usually not necessary. I use a Rotating Drum which has much slower action than a vibrator.

    It's a nice option to have but I certainly don't run all movements I'm working on through the process.

    That looks pretty good to me Will. With that type of staining, I think you would probably have to resort to the methods outlined by Mauleg in post #7 to remove all of it.

    Regards,

    Bruce
     
  31. Fitzclan

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    I was a little shy about making a suggestion about how I have dealt with similar staining because it seems so simple and I was interested to see what alternatives would be suggested by others.
    I have used SOS steel wool pads which are inexpensive and have built in polish and cleaning agents which remove such stains in pretty short order.
    You have to remember that plates such as these were not originally polished and no amount of cleaning will bring them up to a high sheen without going through a series of steps to that end.
    Using a polishing compound such as Simichrome is probably a waste of money because the original metal was not highly polished to begin with.
    Don’t get me wrong, Simichrome is a great product when used on previously polished metals after cleaning, but it will never produce the desired result on basic brass plates.
    Unless the movement is visible, as in a crystal regulator or other expensive clock where the plates were originally polished, it’s probably not worth getting crazy about.
    Whatever you do to the brass won’t matter in a few months anyway.
    In this case, clean is good, the “bling” is usually the case itself.
     
  32. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
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    "Never accept a simple solution, when a complicated one will do." --Occam's Rogaine
     
  33. Time After Time

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    I like to apply a nice coat or two of wax. That should last a few years anyway. By the time the brass starts to tarnish significantly, I figure that it's probably going to be time for another cleaning anyway. On occasion I will apply lacquer If the movement was previously lacquered or if the owner requests it. Otherwise, I think wax is fine. It also helps me to prevent leaving those dreaded fingerprint etchings behind.

    Pretty well put. Some collectors like the movement to bling too, even if they are completely hidden from sight. It's a matter of personal preference.

    :chuckling: Funny!

    Seriously though, Tumbling (as I practice it) is not so much polishing as it is cleaning and burnishing. It results in kind of a nice bright satin finish that I don't seem to get using any other method. It can also reveal nice details like maker's marks which might otherwise be diminished or completely removed with aggressive polishing. It depends on what you want to do. It's neither simple or complicated. It's different, but it is an added expense. If you're busy equipping your shop, you may wish to spend your money on more important tools or equipment. On the other hand, if you already have a tumbler, why not give it a try? It's just another tool in your tool box.
     
  34. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    Those wheels still don't shine, wow! Better give them another shot of elbow grease! :D
    You know I'm kidding, of course! ;)
     
  35. wow

    wow Registered User
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    Like I said, Shutt, I learned a lot. Lot of time for very little change. My elbows are shot. It’s clean!! That’s what matters most.
     
  36. Time After Time

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    I don't know Will. I see a big difference. Some stains are pretty deeply embedded. The only way to remove them is to remove brass. Functionally, you probably could have stopped after the initial cleaning, but I don't think you wasted time or effort. You know what tumbling can, and can not do.

    Before.jpeg After.jpeg
     
  37. wow

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  38. AWG-9

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    Like every sailor ever will tell ya; Nev-R Dull & patience (or Mother’s Mag Polish & patience). A touch of OCD never hurts, either.

    They look great!
     

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