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OT Pocket watch cleaning.

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  • #16
    I'm with Mcgyver. It's an heirloom. Unless you are bent on using it regularly, it doesn't have to run. As of now, it can always be put right fairly easily by a competent horologist. Your ultrasonic treatment and whatever follows leave no such guarantee.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by AWS View Post

      I only dabble, but found these worthwhile:

      Click image for larger version

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      Thanks. I wasn't sure if there is a definitive text for this type of work of if there are just generally some good resources out there.
      Cayuga, Ontario, Canada

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Tom S View Post

        Thanks. I wasn't sure if there is a definitive text for this type of work
        You kind of end up with a collection of them over time, there's not one that is exceptional at everything. de Carle's Practical Watch Repairing is probably a good starting place. The nicest and most complete book is George Daniel's "Watchmaking". Just brilliant. Arguably the greatest watchmaker ever, he was also a great writer and illustrator....horology is blessed by that combo and it covers so many technical things around making complicated but perfect small parts I think it would be of general interest. A couple of young guys here in town worked in his shop for his successor and protege Roger Smith. Fascinating hearing how they go about making watches that sell for 100,000's of thousands. I can sing praises for Daniel's book quite loudly, however its focus is on making parts and watches not at all on repairs and service, which with irony is what 99.999% of watchmakers activity is
        in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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        • #19
          Just a suggestion, but you might want to contact a local watch and clock club. They might be able to point you to someone who could clean it. I had always wanted to learn how to clean a pocket watch as that is all I have worn since the early 70's. My go to watch cleaning person retired permanently about a year ago. So at 72 last year I took two of the courses at NAWCC in PA. I learned how much I needed to learn and how to go about it ie practice practice practice, and some really good tools. I was going to take the next two classes this year but will pass for a bit.
          The watch learning is encroaching on my model engine building time, but is really enjoyable.

          I think anyone who has been building model engines or models in general should be able to learn watch work with a bit of time and patience. Quality tools are worth the investment, which should be nothing new to model builders.

          Do not just put it in an ultrasonic, you may destroy some of it. You still must lubricate it. You do not just lub the pinions, there are levers, pallets, etc or it will just come to a halt again. It really must be disassembled as was mentioned above. I vote for getting a watch display dome, hang the watch in it and enjoy looking at it and remembering your dad. My wife has her dad's pocket watch he used on the railroad in a dome, looks nice.

          Bob

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post

            You kind of end up with a collection of them over time, there's not one that is exceptional at everything. de Carle's Practical Watch Repairing is probably a good starting place. The nicest and most complete book is George Daniel's "Watchmaking". Just brilliant. Arguably the greatest watchmaker ever, he was also a great writer and illustrator....horology is blessed by that combo and it covers so many technical things around making complicated but perfect small parts I think it would be of general interest. A couple of young guys here in town worked in his shop for his successor and protege Roger Smith. Fascinating hearing how they go about making watches that sell for 100,000's of thousands. I can sing praises for Daniel's book quite loudly, however its focus is on making parts and watches not at all on repairs and service, which with irony is what 99.999% of watchmakers activity is
            Thanks. I'll keep my eye open for a copy. I'm not interested as much in making timepieces but in the techniques used that I might be able to apply to other small parts. Sounds like it would be a good book for that sort of information.
            Cayuga, Ontario, Canada

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            • #21
              I once worked for Tried and True Tools in Fridley MN. Many of the customers were quite interesting. One fellow was an amateur horologist. I told him that as an ETR-2 in the USN I was an amateur whorologist in the '60s. He was NOT amused. I'll look for a club in the Twin Cities(Murderapolis).
              That same customer did a beautiful restoration on a Gack? shaper. Look for it online.
              Larry on Lake Superior

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Tom S View Post
                Any recommendations for resources if someone wanted to look into what's involved with this type of work? Books, websites?
                Oddly enough I started watching a few videos on YT on clock and watch servicing in the last month or so. It started further back with videos on watchmaker's lathes being used and about a year back into occasional videos on pocket and wrist watch restorations.

                I'd say that watching a dozen or so by a few of the video makers will quickly give you a good idea of the tools and techniques. As well as some of the specialized equipment such as parts cleaners, buffers for the cases, and others. One item that would not be all that practical is the calibration pickup that measures the "ticks" and says how fast or slow it is.

                A couple of things not seen in the actual work which I'm sure is there are the high power optical visors, good work lighting and working up on a taller watchmaker's bench.

                From what I can see in these videos removing a movement from a case and ultrasonic cleaning it isn't really a good option. And in fact might cause as much issues as it fixed. And lubing the parts correctly involves oil in some spots and grease in others and often these spots are only accessible if some of the parts are removed.
                Chilliwack BC, Canada

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