Dirt left by intact cleaning, case 1

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by kinsler33, Jan 14, 2018.

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  1. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    I wasn't completely happy with the performance of this old Seth Thomas mantel clock whose movement I was testing yesterday. It had had an intense cleaning, but without disassembly. I'd just let down the mainsprings and cooked it for 30 minutes immersed in hot Zep Fast 505 degreaser in an ultrasonic cleaning machine. I took it out, let it cool enough to handle, rinsed it, doused it with alcohol, and applied the hair dryer. Then I gave each pivot a bit of oil and each mainspring a shot of PB Blaster brand all-purpose lubricant, which I'm finding is an effective mainspring lube.

    Restored to comparative health, the movement took off running with moderate enthusiasm, though I would have liked a bit more recoil in the escapement. So keeping in mind my current research on intact cleaning, I decided to disassemble the movement and in the process of bushing and polishing see how much black caked abrasive dirt remained impacted in the pivot holes. Answer later.

    This is a funny old movement, for it seems to be quite old-style but is assembled with nice blued screws instead of pins or weird brass nuts. The fast/slow is adjusted from the dial but isn't the standard ST mechanism: this one used a worm gear arrangement underneath the external escape wheel. There's also a weird pivoted weight of stamped brass riveted to the inside of the back plate that I'd never seen before. This, it turns out, is sort of a primitive helper spring for the warning lever. You can see it in one photograph.

    Other items of interest: each mainspring bore a Seth Thomas logo, which I don't recall seeing before and, presumably because this movement was initially designed for a kitchen clock, only the front plate sported the bogus oil sink/bushings/or whatever they are. Except what you see on this black-cased mantel clock is the plain back plate, so go figure.

    So how much dirt was gumming the pivots into their holes?

    Essentially none. The clock was somewhat oily due to the fact that with my hand tremor I often wind up over-oiling movements, and there was some overspray from the mainspring lube stuff. The pivots were shiny, all of them, and the holes were clean as well. There was a bit of slightly brownish oil inside the back plate near the rear escape wheel pivot, but it wasn't at all sticky. I got faint traces of the same when I pegged out the holes-=there was nothing vaguely solid or semi-solid therein.

    The center portions of the mainspring arbors, however, were coated with old black grease where the springs wrapped around them, though the arbor pivots were shining. I don't consider this to be a big deal because there's no relative motion between the spring arbors and the inner ends of the springs. The grease was soft enough to rub off completely on a paper towel, leaving the entire arbor shiny.

    I was able to polish each steel pivot surface to what they call a 'black polish,' with 2/0 through 6/0 crocus buffs. Precisely why this was necessary on a pivot that's already shiny isn't clear, but I always do it as long as a clock's apart, mostly because I like to polish things. The rear escape wheel pivot was clean but not quite as shiny as the others--there might once have been corrosion--but its hole in the plate was not worn and the hole itself left nothing but the usual faint oil stain on my toothpick.

    I installed bushings on T2 front, T3 front, T4 rear. S2 front, and as an afterthought on the front escape wheel pivot. None of these were terribly worn and the tooth depth on this clock is rather generous. I've re-assembled and started the movement, and it is somewhat livelier than before. (My guess is that all it really wanted was that escape wheel bushing.)

    I was hoping to show more of the condition of the clock, but I'm having some difficulty learning to use the USB microscope I purchased for this sort of thing. The next test of intact cleaning vs. dirt will be on a smallish Hermle grandfather movement that's branded Black Forest or some such. This one won't be oiled after it's cleaned: I'll just pull it apart after rinsing and drying and show the condition of the pivots with photos taken through the microscope, I hope.

    M Kinsler

    IMG_5024.JPG IMG_5025.JPG
     
  2. glenhead

    glenhead Registered User
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    Be sure to have your asbestos underwear handy after spreading this sort of heresy. I bet this experiment will bring out the flames in forest-fire proportion. Overhaul without complete disassembly?!? I see the pitchforks and torches on the horizon already...

    Looks like a good test to me! There are few things I enjoy more than goring a sacred ox. I got your back, Mark.

    I look forward to seeing the next installment.

    Glen
     
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  3. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Keep up the good work. I am interested.

    Regarding the mainspring and the response from a previous question. Do you think it would help to clean the outer coils of the mainsprings, but starting with the coils as open as possible and then part way through wind them up, contain them and release the forces on the pivots.

    I think I answered my own question...sounds too messy.

    David
     
  4. David S

    David S Registered User
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    This is good. If somewhere along the line people didn't try different things we would be discussing cleaning sun dials here.

    David
     
  5. Vernon

    Vernon Registered User
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    Dunk and Swish HAS been discussed and found that it produces inferior results as found out here.
     
  6. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    Yep, this has been hashed around for many years. I had a book from the 50s that recommended rinse only as standard procedure.
    That little floppy lever allows you to turn the minute hand backwards and then foward to sync the strike. Just don't turn it back past about 25 minutes till.
    Willie X
     
  7. Bohemian Bill

    Bohemian Bill Registered User
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    Hi Mike...I like your experimentation since many of antique small cheap time only movement may need to be cleaned in this fashion since disassembly may be difficult at best with throw away movements. I clean all typical clock movements by disassembly and polish all pivots and bush all worn pivot holes.
    What I find in about half of my repair jobs is less than acceptable recoil pendulum swing. I have fix some by polishing and readjusting the strip verge per instructions in Conover's Basic Book and some by replacing with both escape wheel and strip verge set from clock supply house when all else fail. These escapement issues especially the between the plate models are really time consuming. Usually these overpowered American movement will run but past repairs by inexperience repair persons may have change parts and adjustments that may not be proper to get a decent pendulum swing. I do like to try your cleaning method on some between the plate escapements to determine if there are issues before disassembly and cleaning to maybe save some time on disassembly and assembly during troubleshooting. Thanks Bill
     
  8. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    I have a clock repair book from around 1920 that says keep a bucket of gasoline (dangerous) in the back room to clean cheap clocks and when the customer doesn't want to pay for proper cleaning. There have always been quickie methods that remove some dirt, and with an ultrasonic cleaner considerable more can be removed.

    There are a however a few problems with intact cleaning:
    * It is more difficult to remove 100% of the cleaning solution from pivot holes and other nooks and crannies.
    * A quick rinse in alcohol will not
    guarantee that all water is removed fron tight places. Alcohol molecules are much larger than water molecules.
    * Perhaps the most important problem with intact cleaning is that it prevents one from being able to inspect the pivots and polish as needed.

    RC
     
  9. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    Wow! Sounds like you didn't even have to polish the pivots. You just did it because you like polishing things, right? Looking forward to you microscopic exam results. Tid-Bit 19 - Restoring Clock Pivots - SNClocks So, what was the history of this clock before you came upon it?
     
  10. shutterbug

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    #10 shutterbug, Jan 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
    I have been working on a clock that was “serviced” by another repairman. The customer thought the mainspring was broken, and the original repairman told him he was too old to replace mainsprings any more. When I got the clock, it was instantly apparent that it had been dunk and swished, with no other work being done. It needed several bushings, two lantern pinions needed new trundles, and the escape wheel was barely catching the teeth points without skipping. It is finally running correctly again, and the customer is going to be surprised with a similar bill as what he paid before. But this time he’ll have a reliable repair that will last. The only thing wrong with the spring was a terrible attempt to bend the click springs without taking the wheels out. That’s why I’m against dunk and swish cleaning. If it is done, the charge should be less than $50.00, so the poor customer is not cheated.
     
  11. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
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    Interesting...but I don't think I'd try it on a customer clock.
     
  12. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Yah I don't think I would even use an ultra sonic cleaner. They didn't use those 100 years ago. Don't think I would trust them for a customer's clock.

    David
     
  13. bikerclockguy

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    For getting in and loosening dirt as a prequel to your dunk and swish, there is a rust dissolver/penetrating oil called "Rusty", that gets into nooks and crannies like nothing you've ever seen. Finding it may be a challenge, though. It's manufactured by Kent Industries, which is a relatively small manufacturer of high-end solvents and specialty lubricants that caters to new car dealers. All of their products are top quality stuff, but priced accordingly, and many dealers don't want to pony up for their products. The thing that really sets Rusty apart from other penetrants is the way it "travels", for lack of a better way to put it. You can spray a little puddle of it on a metal workbench and stand a bolt on end in it, and that stuff will climb the threads of the bolt all the way to the top in just a couple of minutes. Aside from being a cool little trick, that works wonders in practical applications. You can spray some exhaust manifold to pipe studs and nuts down with it, and it loosens them up like nothing else. I'm thinking it would work its way around the pivots and give you some extra crud-loosening power that might be a neat addition to your improved D & S.
     
  14. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    #14 Time After Time, Jan 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
    "Sacred Ox" aside, if your example's pivots weren't in need of servicing then there probably wasn't much dirt or deposits to remove in the first place. Either that, or the movement hadn't been run much before you happened upon it. In the millions of antique clocks still in existence, most of the time we have no way of knowing what was done throughout the history of a clock or how much it has been operated between servicing. One case tells us next to nothing. I've had cases where I did take the movement apart and run it through a heated Ultrasonic Cleaner only to have to manually remove gunk from various nooks and crannies I just didn't bother to take photos.

    In case anyone is wondering, depending upon how dirty the parts are I usually pre-soak my disassembled clocks in Zep Fast 505 (as per the OP's many recommendations) at room temperature before putting them in my heated US bath of properly diluted Historic Timekeepers Clock Cleaning solution. I periodically test my US by subjecting aluminum foil to a suspended bath for 5 minutes or so. Thus far, the foil has always come out perforated so I know I'm getting good sonic cleaning action...and still after all of that, I occasionally have to manually remove gunk.
     
  15. THTanner

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    Rusty is great stuff - I have never used it on a clock, but I have on guns and it does an amazing job, but it is almost impossible to get and have none of it now. This link discusses others which may be of interest. I have never heard of "Mouse Milk Oil"

    TOP 5 Best Penetrating Oil On The Market | 2018 REVIEWS
     
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  16. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    Nobody knows anything about this particular clock. I replaced the missing dial glass (hooray for my glass circle cutter, for I can never seem to get mail-order glass that's precisely the right size) and got the corroded bezel to shine a bit. I think it's an 'adamantine' case.

    The usual parts--a key, pendulum bob, pendulum rod (also hooray) and the gong were loose in the case when the lady brought it in. The square nut, threads unknown, that holds the gong in place is apparently lost to history, so that'll be fun. The movement doesn't seem to have all that much wear on it, but there was a bit of scuffing on the lantern pinion trundles and some wear on the aforementioned holes.

    Thanks for revealing the true purpose of the pivoted mystery weight. In an attempt to salvage some credibility I should mention that I initially thought that it might have had something to do with backwards/forwards strike synchronization, but I abandoned the idea.

    As to intact cleaning: I found no evidence of left-over cleaning solution anywhere in this movement, but in subsequent tests I'll take that into consideration. I should perhaps mention that while all of the pivots were initially shiny upon disassembly, some of them gained an additional shine far more readily than others. I've seen similar polish-resistant pivots in other clocks and have never understood why some will polish readily and others will fight it out to the last.

    I should also observe that from a spiritual standpoint I found the operations of pivot polishing, burnishing, bushing, and re-assembling this movement to be vastly satisfying (even after finding that I'd reversed the mainsprings, growl) and that this is typically the case with all clocks I work on. But spiritual doesn't really equal scientific, and I still haven't seen convincing evidence that the ultrasonic cleaner's results are, in the absence of other wear, inferior to methods involving disassembly.

    There are few absolutes in the analog world.

    M Kinsler
     
  17. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Mark,

    Often I hear of repair folks that make a house visit for a long case clock, inspect and if there are no obvious large problems, simply lubricate, set in beat and move on. No cleaning.

    What I think your experimentation shows is that if a clock comes in that is obviously old, and perhaps hasn't been serviced in quite a while, AND you don't see any indication that pivot holes are worn badly, or other obvious defects...the clock working or not, when it is received...then your method could be a viable option that is better than just add some lube. Your method could remove old dried out stuff and allow the new lube to work its magic.

    My feeling is that if there is no appreciable wear on the pivot holes after years of operation or just existing, then there is no necessity to inspect pivots that aren't causing any excessive wear.

    I concentrate on customer value. Taking a movement all apart, cleaning , inspecting and finding nothing and putting it all back together, hasn't added any value to the customer, but has added to his cost.

    So as stated I am interested in the results of your experiment if it can enhance customer value.

    David
     
  18. bikerclockguy

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    I finished my last can about a year ago, and that was before I had an interest in clocks. Kent will sell single cases(12 cans), but you have to go through a dealer that has an account, or do a convincing job of pretending to own a shop when you buy from their website. I got my last case that way to get the discount by combining with their order.
     
  19. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    David, There are widely accepted indications for simply re-oiling a clock. There's certainly nothing new about that. http://www.awci.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/AWCIClockmakingSandPOctober2010.pdf

    Mark, While I enjoy puzzles and being able to disassemble, service and reassemble a relatively simple machine like a clock, personally there's nothing spiritual about it for me. I do recall glancing through a book titled "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" years ago. It had something to do with the Metaphysics of Quality, so perhaps there is something "spiritual" about doing a job as well as you can. There's nothing "mystical" or magical about clock repair and maintenance though. It's technical with a twist of art.

    Regards and have fun

    Bruce
     
  20. THTanner

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    I really enjoyed that book - along with "A Garlic Testament" about the spirituality of figuring out how to grow garlic and make a profit at it.

    I don't consider clock repair particularly spiritual, but there is a certain deep satisfaction when you take a clock that has not been cared for and bring it back to life, and then find out from the fine historians on this MB what you actually are working on.
     
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  21. Time After Time

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    I have also had the experience of disassembling a clock for maintenance even though I thought I could get away with doing much less. Then I found significant deposits of rust on a few pivots. None of the rust was visible upon initial inspection. Had I simply oiled the movement and sent it on it's way I would have done a serious disservice to the clock and the clock's new owner. Now I pay more attention to the visible steel in a movement for some clue as to what kind of humidity it has been exposed to, but without actually inspecting the pivots, at best I'm taking an "educated" guess at what I will find if I take the movement apart.
     
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  22. Vernon

    Vernon Registered User
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    When do you do a visual inspection for wear? After the customer brings their clock back because it stopped again? I've seen clocks run with scored pivots and in need of bushings just like the OP's. Is this the time to do a dunk and swish?
    I believe that Kinsler experienced what he did and that is interesting information, but you can't get the whole picture without disassembly IMO.
     
  23. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    The relationship between spiritual enlightenment and everyday work--including repair work--has been only occasionally explored in literature. Moby Dick is one prime example, as is my obscure favorite Round the Bend, by Nevil Shute. (Miniature-machining fans should also check Shute's Trustee from the Toolroom.) And there's the Studs Terkel book Working (also made into a Broadway musical, of all things.)

    M Kinsler
     
  24. Time After Time

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    An interesting reading list assignment there. Getting back to the point, you state:

    Given your background, perhaps scientific does equal spiritual. In my relatively limited experience, I can state that I have seen evidence, however, I don't "cook" movements in caustic cleaning solutions for much more than a total of 20-30 minutes. Also, I don't (or haven't) performed an "intact cleaning" and then subsequently disassembled it for inspection. As previously mentioned, I have disassembled movements, subjected them to "standard" cleaning methods and observed surface contamination stubbornly clinging to various areas on various parts of the movement. As I recall, these areas required manual cleaning which would not have been possible if the movement had still been assembled. Assuming that, using my same general cleaning solutions and equipment, an intact cleaning would have also failed to remove that same surface contamination I think it logically follows that I ended up with a cleaner movement than I could have gotten through a dunk and swish method. Then there are all the other aspects of servicing a movement that simply can not be done when it is fully assembled. In my view there's nothing magical, spiritual nor heretical about it. For me, Horology is not a livelihood although it is work and I do find some necessary aspects of it to be drudgery. Perhaps therein lies a spiritual aspect? I don't know. I just try to do the job well.

    In the vast, infinite sea of time, I bid you fare well Captain Kinsler. :)
     
  25. harold bain

    harold bain Forums Administrator
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    I suppose the spiritual aspect comes from inhaling too many nasty chemicals in the cleaning mix.....:whistle:
     
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  26. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    I really can't add much to what "Time After.." said so well but there are a couple points that I' don't believe have been mentioned yet. First, for those who insist on using intact cleaning never dunk a movement with barreled springs. The picture below shows the result. Second, it is nearly impossible to properly and completely rinse and dry a dunked movement. The problem isn't the cleaning solution that one sees immediately after cleaning, its the corrosive effect of residual film or droplets of cleaning solution that one cannot see until some time later. Now I can't be sure just what caused the "spots" all over this movement (not the same as movement as with the rusted spring), but I have serviced several that were previously done by the same shop and I suspect they use "intact cleaning" and a quick blow dry. The spots are not just residual cleaner or contaminated cleaner and cannot be removed by solvents. Under magnification one can see that the metal is actually etched.

    Finally, why would one not want to disassemble the movement and clean it properly? Never enough time to do it right but always time to do it over comes to mind. Or perhaps one does not have the skills, tools or self-confidence to disassemble the movement and put it back together, in which case one needs to work on those skills before repairing clocks, especially other's clocks. Finally there is the notion that "if it ticks its fixed". It isn't fixed until its fixed right and it isn't clean until its cleaned right.

    Now I have to admit that I have dunked four or five movements. These were open spring American and that was decades ago and I found that while they all ran OK immediately "cleaning", but they all failed after a few months and I finally had to take them apart and do the job right. The last was a small Japanese alarm clock that wasn't worth the trouble to throw away, so I wound it and dropped it in the Ultrasonic - hair spring and all in place - just to see what would happen and the fool thing started running while it was still in the cleaner, so I rinsed it and dried it and it kept running. So I put it back in the case and it kept running, and running, and running, month after month (except when I forgot to wind it). Don't remember what happened to it but someone got it and I wouldn't be surprised if its still running. There no absolutes but the odds that the clock will fail prematurely after service and/or have a shortened life expectancy are much greater when an intact cleaning is done than compared to when the clock is disassembled, inspected, and minor pivot issues (or other issues) corrected before they become big issues and the movement is thoroughly cleaned. In my opinion one should not accept payment for "fixing" someone else's clock based on an intact cleaning and shot of oil and out the door.

    RC

    dunk-1.jpg dunk-2.jpg dunk-3.jpg
     
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  27. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Looks like Glen nailed it in post #2.

    Perhaps Mark can tell us why he is experimenting and where he sees the advantages. I can see some, but ain't going to mention them, my flack jacket is in for repair.

    David
     
  28. Time After Time

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    Really? I don't see that at all David ... "asbestos underwear" "heresy" "flames in forest-fire proportion." "pitchforks and torches" ...
    Dare I say that sounds like a bunch of LYAHF hypebole to me. All I've seen is an exchange of ideas based upon differing experiences and understandings. Flack jackets are not required so don't be afraid. Go right ahead and weigh in. Everyone may not agree with you, but isn't that par for the course, generally speaking, for just about any topic discussed here? Wear safety glasses and perhaps leather gloves if you need to, but I'm pretty sure our moderators keep everything civil. The thread hasn't been locked down yet.
     
  29. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    I'm experimenting because I'm curious. There seems to be a remarkable variance of opinion in almost every phase of this business, and many if not most of those opinions are expressed with a certain degree of zeal.

    But zeal and belief do not quite do the job, and so it is worth experimenting and measuring to learn what's really happening. Some things we might never fully understand, but it's worthwhile to know that as well.

    Most of the formal research work I've done has to do with lightning protection. Given that some theorize that the Abrahamic religions were founded on the basis of lightning activity in the Sinai region of the middle east, it would be tough to find a more controversial area in which to hoist the flag of Science, though clock-cleaning methodologies seem comparable. My research advisor, an old Polish guy, at least warned me about lightning, but I went ahead anyway. Suffice it to say that research in lightning protection engineering is exceptionally interesting but also encompasses feuds dating back centuries.

    M Kinsler
     
  30. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    My guess is that if you do your investigating scientifically you will conclude, as others before you have, that the best wheels are round.

    RC
     
  31. Time After Time

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    Speaking of Archives, simply examining the steel pivots (which may be shiny but...) misses half of the bearing surface. There's also the matter of the brass bushing or pivot hole wall. Here's an "old" thread in which various experiences were discussed: https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/when-pegging-is-not-good-enough.113501/ Since we seem to be focused solely on the cleaning efficacy of Intact cleaning, I think that this aspect really should be considered in any experimental comparison as well. Using the Google Search Engine's site:mb.nawcc.org directive is pretty darn good! The message board's Search Engine returns pretty good results as well. Like so many aspects of clock work, I suppose it comes down to the matter of which tool works best in your hands. Here's another old thread which was returned by the MB Search Engine: https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/chemical-removel-of-pivot-hole-abrasives.143830/#post-1121707.

    Kudos to the Admin's restoration/recovery of the Archives. It seems to be getting better all the time. :thumb:
     
  32. THTanner

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    and that those who have the most birthdays tend to live the longest :)
     
  33. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    As long as you are scientifically looking for the best method, and not trying to justify the easiest method, I'm good with the research :)
     
  34. David S

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    #34 David S, Jan 16, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2018 at 11:03 AM
    Ok Bruce let me try again.

    First it is very clear that a number of participants here don't like "in tact cleaning". I think Mark's experiment using an ultra sonic cleaner and selected cleaning fluid and rinse solutions is an improvement of the historic "Dunk and swish" method that some associate this with.

    So for me it is not about peoples opinions or preferences, we all have those. And of course opinions are not necessarily factual.

    What I see here is Mark doing an experiment that as far as I am concerned could be lower cost option for my customers IF his experiment yields positive results for some types of movements.

    I tried to explain this in my post #17, but only got a response to the last paragraph or so taken out of context. Then in you post #19 you confirmed my observation that there are times when a simple in tact cleaning and oiling is consider acceptable practice according to AWCI which I am familiar with.

    So we have a situation where all pivot holes look to not have excessive wear, there may be a bit of old oil or other debris around the pivots which can be removed with a tooth pick and new oil applied. Ok according to AWCI. Let's call this a GOOD service.

    And we have the situation where a number of folks here are referring to where they feel that the pivots should be inspected and perhaps bushing work done. Hence a complete tear down. Let's call this the BEST service

    So here is why I think Mark's results could provide another option that I will call a BETTER service.

    If it is ok to simply take a tooth pick or whatever and remove any visible debris and then add new oil, and perhaps get another two years of service for the movement. Then I would think the same movement could benefit considerably by using Mark's method which even if it removes only 80% of the hidden debris and old oil, would be better than simply adding new oil to the old stuff that may be present. And if the results are that 95% of the debris can be removed, perhaps this would extend the time to service from two years to perhaps five.

    So we have three levels of service with three price points we can explain to our customers. GOOD, BETTER, BEST.

    Let me clear, I am not jumping ahead to predict the out come of Mark's experiment.

    If my logic doesn't hold water, bring me some more facts.

    David
     
  35. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    David,

    According to the AWCI "It is important that careful consideration be given to the need for 'benching' (standard movement servicing) of this movement if the debris is hard or difficult to remove." Bear in mind that this is advice given to an in home servicing of a client's clock. At least that is what I was referring to (page 27). Perhaps there is guidance given elsewhere that I've missed?

    If you wish to market your "benching" services as good, better and best that's totally up to you and your clients.

    The more experience one has, the better his or her decision will be on what service to recommend. Some professionals refuse to do an intact cleaning under any circumstances. That's totally up to them as well. You can't assess what you can't see. If you choose to put some type of warranty on the unknown, good luck with that.

    I still maintain that there has been no need for flack jackets, asbestos underwear and the like. Scientists will absolutely, positively try to tear apart and totally destroy another scientist's theories/conclusions. Horology encompasses many areas of human endeavors. Science is among them as is Engineering, Materials and Art just to pop off a few.

    The take away for me is that this whole argument is very old ground that has been well covered many, many times before. As far as I can tell, the only thing that hasn't been explicitly tested before is the Zep Fast 505 Degreaser that our OP is so fond of. Regardless, the limits and short-comings of an intact cleaning will remain. If you're looking for some type of reproducible method/materials to follow, well....you have one test result so far.

    Regards
     
  36. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Ok Bruce,
    \
    As usual we haven't discussed what I have presented.

    Good night.

    David
     
  37. Time After Time

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    Wow, that seems rather rude David. I thought I was being pretty clear.
    Perhaps I'm the one who should wear a flack jacket? :chuckling:
    See you around
     
  38. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User
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    Here's one... what do you 'pros' do when you unwrap a brand new movement (that some frequently recommend) that looks like it has been 'dunkd n swished in oil' do?
     
  39. Time After Time

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    I'm no 'pro' Chris and I haven't laid hands on a factory fresh movement yet but if I received one as described I'm thinking I would send it back. If you can't send it back, then I suppose you have to clean it up as best you can as quickly as you can. Have you run across this situation? If so, what did you do about it?
     
  40. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    David - one issue I have with your reasoning here has nothing to do with the process, but instead the idea of offering different levels of service. While you are saying "good, better or best" the customer is hearing "bad, better, good."
    I do admit asking my car mechanic if he can get a rebuilt part, or maybe a salvaged engine, things like that. But his work should remain at the same level regardless of the part source.
    I don't believe mentioning different levels of service will promote trust, which fuels return business.
    I have no issues with the rest of the ideas you mention.
     
  41. Time After Time

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    #41 Time After Time, Jan 17, 2018 at 12:00 PM
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018 at 12:16 PM
    In most cases that I'm familiar with, the "Good, Better, Best" marketing approach is a way to up-sell a customer on a commodity.
    In the context of "benching" a clock movement, as I understand what has been written, it's more like there is "standard". Anything which doesn't at least meet the standard is by definition called something else. My guess is that you won't be selling many "sub-standard" goods or services.

    David recounted instances of in-home re-oiling as a possible justification for intact cleaning.

    Instances and circumstances in which such a service is considered to meet AWCI standards was cited and was subsequently manually quoted since I couldn't simply copy and paste from the source document.

    Then he goes on to talk about his thoughts and feelings on the matter and concludes with the following:

    (*bold emphasis mine)

    My contention is that thoughts, feelings and a short-term favorable outcome from a few dunk and swish services isn't enough to change or define a Standard. If you want to provide a sub-standard service and call it "good", tell yourself whatever you need to but such actions are not based on the collective knowledge and experience of recognized authorities in the field of Horology. Perhaps I'm missing something? If so, please provide a reference. Here's an idea, "Good Enough", "Better", and "The Best I Can Do".
     
  42. harold bain

    harold bain Forums Administrator
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    It has never happened to me, but my first phone call would be to my supplier, who must have mixed a returned movement with the new ones. If they are coming like that from the factory, we are in trouble going forward.
     
  43. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
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    We've moved a long ways from where this here thread started. Mark has presented us the results of his own Intact Cleaning procedure, which is a far cry from Duncan Swysshe. His results indicate a way to get a movement Pretty Darn Clean without taking it apart. It looks good to me. The question is when, if ever, to use it. Right now we have just one bold adventurer willing to do the expiriments and give us the outcomes. If several of us decided to give it a try, and got similar results, that would give it some more bona fides.

    But if I were to decided to give it a try, it would not be on customer clocks. And even if I became convinced that I consistently get results similar to his, I'd be reluctant to offer it to a customer as a cheap alternative to strip-down cleaning. For one thing, I wouldn't know how to warrant my work. For another, I wouldn't like the customer thinking, "Hmm. If there's a good way to clean a clock cheaply, why would I go for the high priced model just to enrich this clocksmith?"

    I wouldn't feel bad about using it on my own clocks; even clocks I intend to sell. But if someone brings me his clock to service, I'll want to give him the best service I can, not one that's easier and cheaper.

    Is what I think.
     
  44. Time After Time

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    Right there is where I would tend to disagree with you and would probably do things a little differently.
     
  45. David S

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    Well back from a day of building an airplane and I see there is some feedback.
    Well just back from a day building an airplane, and see that there have been some more discussion.

    Bruce first and foremost I was not being rude, but rather more frustrated at my inability to ask questions and get responses based on same, and it was late..for me.. so best to just sign off.

    If Mark is going to spend time performing experiments and give us results good or bad, I think this is great. IF and I say IF his results prove to provide very good cleaning, then I am trying to ascertain if and where his method could be useful.

    I mentioned the industry standard "in home" oiling service simply as a starting point. If there are situations where servicing a clock in a customers home by simply oiling and being comfortable doing that, then it seems that if the exact same clock came into the shop then oiling only would be necessary.
    So in one respect the fact whether it is in the home or not is a red herring.

    Now I don't do house calls if I can absolutely avoid them. So my question is.. when folks that do perform in home oil / service do they charge the same as a full in shop disassembly and cleaning? I am assuming no, but I am guessing.

    So the punch line here is simply if a professional will do an in home oiling and be comfortable with his service and value for the customer, why would we not consider another option on the same movement that would remove dirt and debris BEFORE adding nice new fresh oil. And as a follow up would it not seem reasonable that if a professional would be happy with an oil only service , then a Mark's clean before oiling should perform even better.

    I am trying to build on what Mark is doing. We don't know the results so I haven't made up my mind.

    I ask everyone to please read what I have typed carefully. If something is not clear please ask. If you don't like any thought of intact cleaning under any circumstances, I understand please stick to your paradigms.

    David
     
  46. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
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    Depends on how you describe the clock. If I give it an intact cleaning, of the sort in question, I wouldn't say it has been cleaned and serviced. I say it has been inspected and oiled. It's a used clock, after all. I give a 90 day warranty.

    On customer clocks I give a 1-year warranty.

    PS: All of the clocks I have for sale have been strip-down cleaned and serviced. The above is hypothetical.
     
  47. Time After Time

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    Sounds fair
     
  48. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    Okay, I'll accept that you didn't intend to be rude.

    That's not quite the way I recall the subject being broached, but rather than re-hash what you now label as a red herring, I'll just cut to the chase and point out that there are Standards detailing the "frequency" of oiling which will perhaps better suit your argument/purpose.

    In some circumstance re-application of oil to parts of a movement is acceptable. Dry
    pivot holes should not be re-oiled since abrasive particles will be present but oil can
    be added to those for which oil is visibly present. Application of fresh oil to a pivot
    hole can be allowed after drawing out the used oil. However, if the used oil is black
    this is evidence of wear occurring and dismantling, inspection and cleaning are
    necessary before re-oiling. Oil tends to migrate from the pallets of a clock
    escapement and application of additional oil after a period of running will help with
    performance. Platform escapements should not be re-oiled but stripped and cleaned
    before oiling.


    Source: Page 19 "The Practical Lubrication of Clocks and Watches" Version 2008.0 As published by the British Horological Institute.


    Fair enough. I'll ask you to do the same
     
  49. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    David, I think I could accept most of what you described above with the exception of spring wound clocks of either type. A weight driven movement could probably be cleaned as described before routine oiling, but I would expect the price to be at the level of service provided. Personally, I don't do "routine" oiling, and have had several customers tell me that the local guy who does do it charges $100.00 a year for the service. Sounds like price gouging, but that's another subject :)
     
  50. Time After Time

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    SB,
    If you're basically talking about an "oil change", I could see some type of approach like this being used. In essence, you would be "drawing out" the used oil prior to placing fresh oil. I have used Bill Stuntz's "Solder Sucker" Intact Cleaning process to do just that. I charged to re-oil the movement, not to clean it. It can be time consuming and on that basis, I'm probably losing money compared to a Standard Service but I'll perform it if I think it is indicated. If the pivot is dry or if the existing oil is black, that procedure is not indicated. If there's a bunch of abrasive crud oozing out of, or crusting around the bearing...give me a break. "Either do the job right or go do something else with your time" is what I would say to myself.
    Regards,
    Bruce
     
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