Mechanical WW Elgin 18/0

rleegabe

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I just cleaned an Elgin 18/0 ladies movement in my ultrasonic cleaner and both pallet jewels came out. I left it in for 15 minutes. Am I leaving it in for to long:???: I've cleaned about twelve men's watches the same way and not one lost pallet jewels. I have the heat set at 140 degree.
 

rleegabe

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I just cleaned an Elgin 18/0 ladies movement in my ultrasonic cleaner and both pallet jewels came out. I left it in for 15 minutes. Am I leaving it in for to long:???: I've cleaned about twelve men's watches the same way and not one lost pallet jewels. I have the heat set at 140 degree.
Was getting ready to put balance in and discovered balance jewel is missing as well, What heck:???:?
 

richiec

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I hesitate to put pallets and roller tables in ultrasonic, not trusting in the adheisves, shellac, on the jewels. the vibration may knock them loose. Just my thing. Others will chime in.
 

rleegabe

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I hesitate to put pallets and roller tables in ultrasonic, not trusting in the adheisves, shellac, on the jewels. the vibration may knock them loose. Just my thing. Others will chime in.
You maybe right, I think it was the heat function on the ultrasonic I have. Think it got to hot and melted the shellac and they dropped out. Haven't had troubles before today but to be on the safe side I'll do away with the heat.
 

Skutt50

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Been there, done that.......(many years ago)

Since then I never put a balance or pallet fork in the utrasonic again!

Also gold plated parts, including bridges, plates, wheels, may loose some of the gold in an ultrasonic. I let them soak for some minutes and then run them for seconds, not to loose any gold.

We had a discussion a while back and one test was to run some aluminium foil in clear water and it actually ate holes in the aluminium........
 

viclip

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It's called Purple Power, it's a concentrated soapy cleaning solution. Very soapy so I cut it in half but it really cleans good. You wouldn't know there were any jewels in the watch to begin with.
If Purple Power contains any alcohol &/or ammonia, both of those chemicals will dissolve shellac, shellac commonly being used to affix the pallet & roller jewels in watchs.

I see some indication via Google that this product contains a Diethylene Glycol compound, which is suggestive of an alcohol-type chemical.

Anyways you might want to carefully look into the ingredient list of Purple Power in order to ensure that it is safe for use with shellac.
 

rleegabe

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If Purple Power contains any alcohol &/or ammonia, both of those chemicals will dissolve shellac, shellac commonly being used to affix the pallet & roller jewels in watchs.

I see some indication via Google that this product contains a Diethylene Glycol compound, which is suggestive of an alcohol-type chemical.

Anyways you might want to carefully look into the ingredient list of Purple Power in order to ensure that it is safe for use with shellac.
Ok thank you
 

Chris Radek

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I have put approximately one zillion balances and pallets through my ultrasonic automatic cleaner and have never had jewels fall off. I use solutions made for cleaning watches (L&R). If you would use proper solutions (wash and rinse both) your problems would go away. My machine instructions recommend starting with 3 minutes each on wash and (multiple) rinse cycles.
 

Skutt50

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I use solutions made for cleaning watches (L&R
Interesting.... I use ELMA 9:1 which has done a good job so far.

I use the same ELMA 9:1 for balances and pallet fork but without the ultra sonic and there are no problems with shellac being dissolved even if left for hours.
However when I used the ELMA 9:1 with the ultrasonic for only a minute or so the jewels came loose.

I have to see if I can find L&R here in Sweden!
 

viclip

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Another thing to bear in mind is the 140 degree heat which the OP was using.

While shellac will not liquefy at that temperature, it will begin to soften at 140. In fact, restorers of vintage fountain pens shoot for that temp when applying dry heat to disassemble the pens; as soon as the shellac softens its seal can be broken by applying non-destructive force to the parts in question.

Anyways 15 minutes at 140 degrees will soften the shellac, add a cleaner that dissolves shellac plus a few sonic waves & voila ... out come the pallet jewels.
 
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rleegabe

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Another thing to bear in mind is the 140 degree heat which the OP was using.

While shellac will not liquefy at that temperature, it will begin to soften at 140. In fact, restorers of vintage fountain pens shoot for that temp when applying dry heat to disassemble the pens; as soon as the shellac softens its seal can be broken by applying non-destructive force to the parts in question.

Anyways 15 minutes at 140 degrees will soften the shellac, add a cleaner that dissolves shellac plus a few sonic waves & voila ... out come the pallet jewels.
I did another watch without the heat and jewels still intact, so I agree I had the solution to hot. And for safety sake I will pick up some L&R cleaner. One more thing, I bought some L&R cleaner a few years back and left it out in the carport through the winter and in the spring I went to use it and it had turned to jell. Does it have to be stored at a certain temp:???:
 

viclip

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I'd also suggest that at 140 degrees the ingredient in Purple Power that is known to at least slightly dissolve shellac, would have become more active in that regard. It's the old rule of chemical thumb that reactions become more intense as the temp increases.
 

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