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Metal Polish on Pinions

David M.

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Jun 12, 2019
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Hi All
Is there a problem using a bit of metal polish as part of pinion "grooming". I find that if I have a pinion that does not clean up well with a file or stone or burnisher that a bit of metal polishing will leave a mirror finish. I then soap and water clean that pinion followed by a burnishing. I'm using "Wizards Metal Renew"
Thanks in advance. I lurk in the shadows here daily.
David
 

John MacArthur

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Feb 13, 2007
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Nothing wrong with metal polish. On some of the British grandfathers it might be a little overdo, but the fine French ones , chronometers, regulators, etc.can easily use it. Not sure why you'd burnish after polish.
Johnny
 

Uhralt

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Sep 4, 2008
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To use polish is fine. The important thing is to remove all traces of the polish so that it doesn't become a grinding paste over time.

Uhralt
 

David M.

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Jun 12, 2019
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Nothing wrong with metal polish. On some of the British grandfathers it might be a little overdo, but the fine French ones , chronometers, regulators, etc.can easily use it. Not sure why you'd burnish after polish.
Johnny
John
Why? Just thought it would not hurt. This is a hobby----So I make every project last. I'll stop re-burnishing.
You guys are a lifeline
Thank you!
David
 

wow

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Jun 24, 2008
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Are we talking about polishing pinions or pivots. I would think getting metal polish out of cut pinions would be tough and lantern pinions terrible. Am I missing something?
 

David M.

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Jun 12, 2019
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Will
Wrong "P" word. Mt bad. Yep. I meant pivots.
Is that still okay then?
David
 

Mike Phelan

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Dec 17, 2003
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Only thing I use metal polish for on a clock is for brass parts, and then only on clocks which were polished originally.
Than I wash and brush it all off afterwards.
 

Dick Feldman

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Sep 1, 2000
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It would be helpful to think of this microscopically. Polishing compounds universally contain abrasive particles. In precision machine work it is normal to grind metals only if the metals are extremely hard. Softer metals are cut. Think about axles in trucks with metals as hard or harder than normal cutting tools. I assume the reason is that microscopic particles from polishing compounds/grinding wheels are embedded in softer metals, causing an abrasive surface. That would negate any smoothing done by the abrasives and will accelerate wear. I do not believe that simply washing with soap and water or cleaning with an ultrasonic cleaner will remove all of the residual abrasive trapped in the pores of relatively soft metals.
Therefore, I feel using abrasives on pivots or pinions or any other sliding parts in a clock movement is certainly not beneficial.
Polish your silverware, your old car bumper, etc. if you feel you need to see it shine. A proper preparation for the soft metal in pivots is burnishing.
You asked,
Dick
 
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R. Croswell

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Don't be too quick to jump to conclusions about to polish or not to polish. Lots of people do polish pivots and have consistently good outcomes. The key is to remove all the polish and the trick is how to know when it is all removed. We are talking about particles too small to see even with a normal microscope. We have seen here electron microscope images of polished and or burnished pivots with essentially identical smooth surfaces. There was not evidence of imbedded abrasives..... and no detailed explanation of how the parts were cleaned. We hear a lot of theories and speculation of what might or might not happen but personally, I have never seen any proof that abrasive particles become imbedded in steel pivots or that "normal" clock cleaning methods are inadequate to remove them. Of course if you can master the art of burnishing there is no need to polish.

RC
 

Mike Phelan

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Don't be too quick to jump to conclusions about to polish or not to polish.

RC
I wasn't really saying not to polish, but that it was really a pointless exercise! We could come back in a hundred years with two identical clocks where one was polished, and the other one not to find the actual outcome ...
 

R. Croswell

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We could come back in a hundred years with two identical clocks where one was polished, and the other one not to find the actual outcome ...
......if both clocks received maintenance at the same interval, were oiled with the same oil, subjected to the same environment and so on. Of course if both clocks ran for a hundred years the question of whether abrasive polishing is harmful would be irrelevant and we would all be dead anyway. Just like this or that kind of oil, takes years to demonstrate what works and what does not.

RC
 

Uhralt

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Sep 4, 2008
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......if both clocks received maintenance at the same interval, were oiled with the same oil, subjected to the same environment and so on. Of course if both clocks ran for a hundred years the question of whether abrasive polishing is harmful would be irrelevant and we would all be dead anyway. Just like this or that kind of oil, takes years to demonstrate what works and what does not.

RC
If one wanted to do an experiment like this, comparing just two clocks wouldn't do it. One would have to have two representative groups of clocks, one group polished, one burnished with all other parameters kept equal. Maybe a hundred clocks in each group, or so. This number needs to be large enough to show a statistically significant difference. The magnitude of this difference need to be defined upfront, for example the number of clocks still running after a running time without intervention of 20 years or so, with a difference of 10 clocks considered relevant.

Alas, I'm too old to run this experiment....

Uhralt
 
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JimmyOz

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You better add a 100 with nothing done to the pivots as a control, wonder if the placebo affect would kick in?
 
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