WS 4: How to clean Watch Parts using a ultra-sonic Cleaning Machine: Elma Transsonic T310


You will need the following items

I had really tried very hard to find one of those inexpensive approx. THB 2'500 (USD 60) LEO jeweler's ultra-sonic washing machines, but I had no luck. I checked about everywhere in Bangkok and I am sure they are for sale here. But the problem often is finding the shop. There are no such things as reliable shop directories. We even went to China town with Thai friends and asked around and all the directions we got turned out to be bogus... well, so one day I gave up and went ahead and bought this more luxurious ca. USD 300 machine (THB 12'500) in the larger and more expensive of Bangkok's watch parts shops, RTB, Ruang Thai Basar opposite the World Trade Shopping Center.

Since the shop had only a water based cleaning liquid called PROZYM, from A&F, a popular watch tools and accessories manufacturer from Switzerland (THB 390/USD 9.00 for a 250 ml bottle),  we went ahead and bought a bottle of that one. You will have to mix it 1:50 with water. The results however were not really satisfying since the patina or oxidation films of some of the wheels of the AS 1130 (see the WS 3 article) did not go away. I will change to a non-water based cleaning liquid as soon as I can get my hands on one. Rob, my tutor, had also concerns, that a water based cleaning liquid bears the implicit risk of parts being exposed to rust.

Here is the machine with the two baskets being actually nothing more then two ordinary tea filters with the handles clipped off and the sides filed flat to make them sit stable just above the tank bottom. Baskets in ultra-sonic cleaning machines should always be hung inside the tank but not rest on the tank's surface because the vibrations could cause abrasions.

This was the first "victim" for our ultra-sonic cleaning machine. A Frankenwatch, brand Tugaris, with 21 Jewels printed on the dial (probably an original Tugaris dial from an Automatic) containing a hand wind 15 Jewels movement. The reason why I convinced my friend to buy it, is that the solid 14 K rose gold bezel and the lugs covered with the same thick layer of gold is already worth the USD 40 he paid for it. And if you read ahead until the last page, you will see, that it is actually a great looking vintage watch.

And here is the first movement we cleaned in the T310: A Franken 15 Jewel hand wind movement which sure had its share of unsuspecting watchmakers using questionable tools :-) That is at least what the slots of some screws suggested ...

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