Proper Cleaning and Polishing techniques for restoring old movement plates and parts

Skutt50

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Mar 14, 2008
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Do you take it to the buffer wheel with some kind of abrasives
I have had more than one nickel plated movement that were polished to the point where the brass in the plate shows through. The nickel seems very thin.......

I leave them as is not to risk the brass showing..... but love to hear about any alternative solution.
 

gmorse

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Jan 7, 2011
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Hi Bill,

A moderator has now split the threads, (thanks, darrahg).

Buffing wheels and abrasives don't come high on the list of restoration tools in my opinion, although they have their place in limited cases. Any removal of the surface is non-reversible; total removal as a precursor to re-plating is a special case, and for any older movements that were originally mercury gilt, its replacement will rarely look the same, (or as good).

The other problem with machine buffing is that it can easily round and soften the original crisp edges of parts.

Regards,

Graham
 

John Matthews

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Sep 22, 2015
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The usual bear count for Swiss 0.935 silver is two large and one tiny one
Graham - this applies to items exported to UK - I believe the American market reacted against the three bears and it was discontinued, reverting to just the large bear, which in this example has been punched twice.

John
 

Bohemian Bill

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Nov 5, 2010
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Hi Bill,

A moderator has now split the threads, (thanks, darrahg).

Buffing wheels and abrasives don't come high on the list of restoration tools in my opinion, although they have their place in limited cases. Any removal of the surface is non-reversible; total removal as a precursor to re-plating is a special case, and for any older movements that were originally mercury gilt, its replacement will rarely look the same, (or as good).

The other problem with machine buffing is that it can easily round and soften the original crisp edges of parts.

Regards,

Graham
Hi Graham..Thanks to Darrahg for splitting this post. I just notice that there was not much mention about this subject in the similar threads at the bottom of page. I tried googling this subject in the past for info and found no information that I could use. I hope a few more experienced folks will chime in and share their techniques with us about their experiences and successes. Maybe Darrahg will share his experiences with previously abused movesments. I am sorry about hijacking this post. It was not my intention but it related to beginners starting out to do proper cleaning and restoring movements without damaging the movement and parts in the process. This is what NAWCC is all about. Thanks to all....Bill
 

Bob Weit

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Dec 30, 2020
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Graham, the L&R is taking its sweet time to arrive. I used Masterstages clean 2020, which is water based. I am in the desert though with 2% humidity, everything here dries in minutes. Other parts doe not show corrosion, same cleaning method.
Others may have mentioned this, but I got two wide mouth jars; filled one half full of the cleaner, the other half full of the rinse. I set these jars in the US cleaner with the water level matching the level of the cleaner/rinse in the jars. My parts go into the jar and I use tweezers to transfer from cleaner to rinse. When finished, I just screw the lids on till the next use. Much more efficient use of that expensive L&R cleaner - but it sure works well!
Good luck - I have found it to be a challenging and addicting hobby.
Bob
 

gmorse

NAWCC Member
Jan 7, 2011
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Hi Bob,

Please see my posts #40 and #42 in this thread . . .

Regards,

Graham
 

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