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Cleaning a 400-day clock

doug sinclair

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Aug 27, 2000
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I have serviced these clocks now for about 45 years, and I have done thousands of them. I have used
L & R 677 over all those years, followed by mineral spirits rinse and compressed air dry. That is, until one that I did, recently. I have long been dissatisfied with the effect the 677 has on the lacquered finish on the plates. With this last one I did, I decided to use mild soap and water on the plates after pegging all the bearing holes from both sides, rinsing in warm water, and compressed air drying. All the other parts were cleaned in 677, as usual. I quite liked the result. The finish on the plates was untouched, yet they were as clean as if they had been cleaned in 677! I have been converted! Oh, and by the way. I hope nobody will try to convince me to use water based cleaning concentrates! THAT is not going to happen!
 

shutterbug

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I also use your method, Doug. The coated plates are not subjected to anything but water and Dawn dish washing detergent. I peg the holes after the bath. I do still use an Isopropyl Alcohol rinse, which does not bother the coating.
 

MartinM

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Jun 24, 2011
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I could only use that method on a small amount of clocks that I do. Maybe you guys are getting better clocks than I am. If a clock has oil stains or other major irregularities, I feel like I have to strip the plates, polish them if necessary and re-coat them.
 

shutterbug

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I could only use that method on a small amount of clocks that I do. Maybe you guys are getting better clocks than I am. If a clock has oil stains or other major irregularities, I feel like I have to strip the plates, polish them if necessary and re-coat them.
If the stains are on the outside of the plates and won't come off with soap and water, it's likely that the coating has been compromised anyway. In that case, stripping and re-doing is the best option.
 
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