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Escapement - safe to put in the ultrasonic cleaner?

Ramsey Badawi

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Oct 4, 2021
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Hello
I am about to disassemble and clean this Waterbury miniature carriage clock - is it safe to put the escapement components into the ultrasonic bath?
Also any advice regarding how and whether to separate the balance spring from the back plate prior to cleaning would be gratefully received!
Many thanks!
- Ramsey 20211121_085106.jpg 20211120_163517.jpg 20211120_163510.jpg
 

roughbarked

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Dec 2, 2016
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Remove the balance wheel from the clock prior to putting it in the ultrasonic. The hairspring is pinned. The tapered pin simply pushes out backwards. The complete balance should now basically fall out so take care to turn it slightly to remove the hairspring from between the regulator pins.
It should be safe in the ultrasonic, depending on what solutions you are using.
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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No ... most solutions contain an acid that will etch the steel hairspring. A good working US machine will put holes in aluminum foil.

If you limit the 'cleaning' to about 5 minutes, in room temp solution, little to no etching will take place.

A good rinse in your favorite solvent and skiping the US is probably best.

Willie X
 
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Willie X

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Several people on this list use a commercial product called 'one dip'. I have never used it though. Willie X
 

Ramsey Badawi

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I am using Magic Cast Ultrasonic soap

1637800358785.png

I have some acetone I could rinse the spring in as an alternative.

After cleaning, is any oil or rust-protectant applied to the hairspring?

Also, how bothered should I be about removing existing rust? It looks like removing such deposits could be a tricky job ...
 

JimmyOz

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Before you pull the hairspring mark it where the taper pin is, it will save you time trying to get it back into time.
 

Ramsey Badawi

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Yeah. Too late for me this time, but I will remember for next time! I also realized i have an inadequate photo of how the hairspring connected with the anchor. Putting it together again is going to be a biotch.

I guess you can't learn without making mistakes!
 

shutterbug

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I don't put hair springs into the US for the reasons Willie enumerated above. They are too fragile. Clean that part separately in Coleman camping fuel. Just a gentle rinse and an air dry should do it. The rest of the movement can go into the US. The movement should be disassembled and cleaned in parts. If you don't feel confident enough to do that, I'd recommend turning it over to a pro.
 

Ramsey Badawi

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The chap whose clock it is knows I am a beginner and set me up with this project as a sort of friendly dare - so I am going to do my level best not to turn it over to a pro! I haven't told him about this forum though - I hope he won't think this is cheating!
 
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shutterbug

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You have to learn somewhere. A book, a video course or this forum .... they all have a place. And it's not cheating! ;)
 

dad1891

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Feb 28, 2014
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T
Shuterbug, what components is Coleman camping fuel made? I have not used it before. I have used One Dip before, and it takes more than one dip to get good results.
Thomas, Coleman camping fuel is heavy naphtha. Painters VM&P naphtha that you get at the hardware store, charcoal lighter fluid and Ronsonal lighter fluid are the same thing.
 

shutterbug

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And One Dip works well too. If you have it, use it ;)
 

Ramsey Badawi

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I don't have either on hand right now, although I could get some. I do have acetone - do you think that will be OK?
 

shutterbug

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Acetone would be fine. It has a very fast evaporation rate. Keep it away from any plastic and be especially mindful of it's extremely high combustion properties. Even its vapor will ignite if there's any high heat or open flame nearby.
 

Willie X

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Acetone and CLF/Naphtha are close enough to Gasoline to be treated as the same thing. Willie X
 

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