Tip & How-To about Watches
ANTIQUE CLOCK CLEANING TIPS
* The question of how to clean your clock is quite a controversial one, as many Master Clock Smith experts have used many different techniques, which can also may be unique to your geographical location.
* Many cleaning solutions and chemicals are suitable. However, We use a water-based formula.
* In deciding the proper solution to use, you will want to observe all hazardous material and EPA regulations in your area. For example, after the cleaning solution or chemical is polluted beyond use how do you get rid of it?
* In years past, it appears that the water-mix formula was the most popular choice. In more recent years, highly active commercial products seem to have taken preference. Currently, we have disposal problems, as many cleaners have been defined as toxic waste. I believe that as the Clock repair business evolves, we should seek and use a less hazardous cleaning solution.
* Always protect eyes and nose when handling cleaning solutions.
* Do not allow movements to remain in the cleaning solution for extended periods of time.
* Use gloves when handling cleaning solutions.
· Special care must be taken with "Bright" movements since these are protected with a "vellum" or thin coat of lacquer. The cleaning solution can loosen and peel this protective coating if the movement is immersed very long. If the lacquer is loosened when cleaning, small bits and pieces of the vellum can clog wheel teeth, pivots and pinions and will require a great deal of unnecessary hand cleaning and effort to remove.
CLEANING THE "AVERAGE" CLOCK
1. Pay very close attention to the type of "clear coat" used on the clock, many clocks use a clear coat that is applied to keep the brass shiny and acid free. If your cleaning solution is too strong, it will remove it unnecessarily. If this happens, it is best to completely remove it and in the end re-apply the clear coat.
2. REMOVE all plastic gear levers and sensitive parts such as a floating balance, as it will tend to trap the solution in the tube. "It will however require a different procedure."
3. I use a 3-step cleaning method:
Step 1. Dip the clock in the cleaning solution mixture. Then brush all large deposits of grease and dirt from the clock, drench the clock in warm water and shake dry.
Step 2. You must [COMPLETELY DISASSEMBLE THE CLOCK as it can not be cleaned properly otherwise] and let soak in a weaker cleaning solution (20 minutes or so will work fine). With a tooth or gun cleaning brush thoroughly clean all wheels, pinions and pivots and un-coil the spring with a Main spring UN-winder.
Step 3. Let it soak in warm water only for 20 minutes, this will neutralize and/or dilute the cleaning solution that is still present in the pores of the metal.
4. Drying: It is very important to thoroughly dry the clock, the theory being that metal is somewhat porous in nature and will tend to hold moisture like a sponge.
DRYING THE CLOCK MOVEMENT
Step 1. Dry with a hair dryer until totally dry.
Step 2. Put in a pre-heated oven at about 180 degrees for about 20 to 30 minutes, this will dry out all moisture from the clock. NOTE: Don't get it too hot, just to the point that you can't handle it is fine.
Hope this tip Helps
Posted by David... on
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