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Thread: A Seiko service and clean up.

  1. #1
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    A Seiko service and clean up.

    I'm quite into my servicing the past 8 months. Thought some might like to see a quick clean up and service on a nice little 7009 Seiko I did today, came in the post this morning looking a bit sorry for itself...

    Dirty and scratched crystaland running about +60sec



    Yummy



    Action








    Calendar side




    Day wheel off




    What lies beneath..




    All calendar, keyless work and balance jewel removed




    Train side






    Bridge off showing train wheels






    Naked




    And here's what we're left with



    Mainspring out




    My method is in lighter fluid in a small tub and placed into my ultrasonic surrounded in water and weighted down..




    All clean



    Mainspring cleaned and refitted




    Mainplate clean and ready for it's parts.



    On the way, oiling as I go



    Bridge back and train running smooth




    Calender side on the way back, balance jewel cleaned and lined.




    Once I've refitted the date and day wheels and finished the calender side (except dial) I go back to the train side and fit the balance ass. Shown here after fitting and the jewel removed for cleaning




    Jewel cleaned, oiled and back in




    Dial back on, hands installed




    Case, crstal and bracelet all out the ultrasonic and shines



    Bit nicer




    Crystal before



    Sanded



    Polished






    Cased back up






    These 7009 movements run so well. So much nicer than the newer 7s26 and the like. Did a quick initial regulation and running 0 sec dial up and +2 sec dial down. Will run it a week and check it on the timegrapher again.

    Hope someone found that interesting as it took me longer to take pics and post this than the service and clean up.

  2. #2
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    Fantastic post James. I know who I'm sending in my Seikos to get a proper spa treatment.

  3. #3
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    Great turnaround!
    Hopefully one day I'll know enough to have a go myself!

  4. #4
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    Looks good,you' re doing all the right things , but why piss about using lighter fluid?

    Buy the correct cleaning and rinsing fluids and do the job properly. OK, it's not cheap, but it's the right way to do the job.

    The investment in cleaning fluids/oils etc is significant, but it's the only way to do the job properly. Balance end jewels, pallet lever and escape wheel need treating with Fixadrop to get the lubrication right, Personally I'd never try to skimp on this. Trust me, this is good advice based on experience.

    Paul

  5. #5
    Master itsgotournameonit's Avatar
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    Fair play to you.Something that I would not attempt.Great result.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by jameswrx View Post
    Hope someone found that interesting as it took me longer to take pics and post this than the service and clean up.
    Excellent post and yes interesting! Thanks for spending the time to take the photos.

  7. #7
    Craftsman Geralt's Avatar
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    Excellent post. Enjoyed that. Just wondering whether it might have been a good idea to fit a new mainspring. The old one must be a bit knackered I'd have thought (but then what do I know?).

  8. #8
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    Thanks chaps.

    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Looks good,you' re doing all the right things , but why piss about using lighter fluid?

    Buy the correct cleaning and rinsing fluids and do the job properly. OK, it's not cheap, but it's the right way to do the job.

    The investment in cleaning fluids/oils etc is significant, but it's the only way to do the job properly. Balance end jewels, pallet lever and escape wheel need treating with Fixadrop to get the lubrication right, Personally I'd never try to skimp on this. Trust me, this is good advice based on experience.

    Paul


    Thanks Paul. it's just advice I'd been given and haven't seen anything with my own eyes that's put me off using it. It just seems to get rid of old oils and grease very well. I put the parts in the fluid in that little pot, place it into my ultrasonice (stood in water) and weight the pot down with a little glass pot on top and run the US cleaner. Then Rinse in alchohol after and inspect the jewels with a loupe and looks good? I've seen it posted a few times from watch repairers I bought some environmentally friendly cleaner and it was absolute rubbish but granted I know that's not the same as you mean.

    But what's the difference between the cleaner I could buy from cousins and lighter fluid, i.e. What benefit will I see as it seems very good at cleaning. I'm happy to invest if it's going to benefit things but I'm not inspecting stuff and thinking it looks dirty or residue covered?. I spend enough at cousins anyway so a bit more won't hurt. Proper Oils and grease I bought when I started. Now that's expensive.

  9. #9
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    I use L & R Extra Fine ultrasonics cleaning fluid. It's solvent-based and contains ammonia, it's excellent at dissolving dried up oil or grease. I don`t have a proper cleaning machine, I rely on small jars of cleaner and an ultrasonic bath, but I`ve never had a problem getting parts clean this way. I follow this with L & R no 3 watch rinsing solution, that's solvent-based and it's compatible with the cleaning solution. I work with two rinsing jars and I use the ultrasonic bath, giving a few minutes for each stage. The rinse solution flashes off easily under a heat lamp to leave the parts fully clean and free of stains.

    I`ve also found this regime suitable for cleaning hairsprings, I never use the degreasing solvents sold specifically for this (chlorinated hydrocarbons) because I don`t need them, I`ve yet to have problems getting a hairspring clean this way.

    The solutions I use cost around 40/ US gallon so they're not cheap. However, the cost per watch works out at well under 1 if the fluids are used carefully so I`ve no issues with the cost. These fluids are formulated correctly for the task and on that basis I wouldn`t chose anything else. As for the water-based cleaners, forget them. Organic-based solvents evaporate off easier because the heat of vapourisation is much lower than for water, that's v. important when drying the parts off. I wouldn`t use an alcohol-based final rinse either because it's hydroscopic and may leave residual water behind.

    Horses for courses, I`m a great believer in using the right materials. If I was still working in the Chemical Industry I would've analysed the fluids and made my own up, I`d also be redistilling the rinse solutions to keep the cost down, but unfortunately I can`t do this so I have to pay like everyone else.

    Fixadrop is another expensive but essential item. However, my 100ml bottle, bought 5 years ago, still has around 20mls left and I`ve serviced well over 200 mechanical watches. That works out at around 33p/watch so I`ve no complaints. The trick with this stuff is to put approx. 1 ml in a small vial with a tight screw cap, and NEVER leaver the top off for more than a few seconds. This stuff is extremely volatile so it'll evaporate away rapidly if you're not careful with it. I put the parts being treated in the vial and give them approx. 10 seconds blast with the ultrasonic bath; this probably isn`t necessary but I like to be sure the surface has been coated and any trace of contamination has been displaced. I would never attempt to service a watch without using this treatment on the escape wheel, pallet lever and balance end jewels. Epilame treatment prevents the oil from spreading where you don`t want it to, that's essential for the watch to run well for a few years following service. Some might say this isn`t necessary, I disagree. I`m also a firm believer in using the specific lubricant (941/2) for lubricating pallet stones, even on older watches that pre-date this type of lubricant.

    The cost of oils and fluids is a problem if you're only doing the odd one or two watches, there's no easy way around that. Using white spirit, lighter fluid or isopropanol is a cheaper alternative if you're learning or experimenting, but once you've got to the stage of being able to do the job it's worth making the investment to set yourself up with the right materials in my view.

    Generally I follow the edicts I was taught at the BHI, with a few tricks I`ve learned. No two repairers will ever agree on every type of lubricant for every situation, but in many applications it isn`t critical. However, I`m firmly convinced that all lubricants used should be fully synthetic; I won`t use any mineral-oil based lubricants because I believe the longevity of synthetics to be superior.

    Paul

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geralt View Post
    Excellent post. Enjoyed that. Just wondering whether it might have been a good idea to fit a new mainspring. The old one must be a bit knackered I'd have thought (but then what do I know?).
    Sourcing new Seiko mainsprings and barrels can be a challenge to say the least. I rarely work on Seikos but if anyone knows a good supplier of Seiko parts I`m keen to learn!

    Paul

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the comprehensive reply Paul, very good of you. Funnily enough had a leaflet with my cousins delivery today about cleaning solutions and free postage!

  12. #12
    Master Thewatchbloke's Avatar
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    That offer's only until the end of this month and only if you buy over 4 gallons of cleaner/rinse fluid, you'll save 7.40 on postage

    As Paul said cleaning shouldn't be skimped on and it will be relatively expensive stocking up at first but it should last you a long, long time if it's just a hobby. I generally stock up once a year when Cousins have their free delivery offer, I've just spent close to 700 on cleaning/rinse fluid and fixodrop but that total price includes a dozen ETA2824 mainsprings (running low) and a new dryer box to replace my old one that finally conked out last week. Hopefully the fluids should last me until this time next year!

  13. #13
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    What a great post. Thank you for that!

    Quote Originally Posted by jameswrx View Post
    Is that cling film and is it over the hands? Do you find that it provides adequate protection to both the dial and hands that way? (Well, I guess you do find that it gives adequate protection otherwise you wouldn't be using it but I'm nevertheless curious about the technique).

  14. #14
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    It is cling film BUT...

    When I'm doing it normally I'll fold over the cling film as many times as I can to still get the levers under the hour hand.

    The picture is a 'staged' action shot so you can see what's going on.

    I prefer using cling film to other methods I've tried just because it seems so soft and when folded over a few times it's thick enough and I've never damaged a dial. Just feels safer to me as I worry about using the paper ones or a baggy being as they're relatively hard.

    Ive seen people use and re-use a small baggy with dents and nicks on it. It's only a matter of time before one of those dented spots or nicks wears through or you catch it wrong.

    Other thing I do is get a fresh bit as I'm paranoid of it having sat around and picking up dirt, oil or grease and getting it on the dial.

    I'm sure it's no doubt not the 'done thing' but I reckon I've done well over a hundred levering's with my method in the past few months and never had the slightest issue.

  15. #15
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    ^^^ Very interesting, thanks.

    I must say that I had not thought of protecting the hands, only the dial. In future I shall consider using cling film in the same as you in order to protect the hands.
    Last edited by markrlondon; 10th September 2017 at 00:45.

  16. #16
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    Interesting to see what goes into a full service on one of these.

    thanks for taking the time to share.

  17. #17
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    loved reading this, i could pull you an engine apart and rebuild it for you no problem but looking at that watch and all its components stripped genuinely worried me lol, great job i'd love to be able to do that


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  18. #18
    Master mindforge's Avatar
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    Must be incredibly satisfying to reassemble the now cleaned pieces. At least it is in the photos, so I imagine more so in real life!

  19. #19
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    Bloody hell, I have no idea how you put that lot back together, but I really enjoyed following along. Thanks for taking the time to share.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for all the comments guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveScFc View Post
    loved reading this, i could pull you an engine apart and rebuild it for you no problem but looking at that watch and all its components stripped genuinely worried me lol, great job i'd love to be able to do that


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    No reason why you couldn't do it, I'm in the motor trade. I'd never even opened a watch until Jan this year. Steep learning curve and quite costly to set yourself up (I used to think some new engine oils were expensive, they've got nothing on watch oils!)

    Quote Originally Posted by mindforge View Post
    Must be incredibly satisfying to reassemble the now cleaned pieces. At least it is in the photos, so I imagine more so in real life!
    I never tire of refitting the balance and watching the movement spring to life, it's very satisfying indeed.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jameswrx View Post
    Thanks for all the comments guys.



    No reason why you couldn't do it, I'm in the motor trade. I'd never even opened a watch until Jan this year. Steep learning curve and quite costly to set yourself up (I used to think some new engine oils were expensive, they've got nothing on watch oils!)



    I never tire of refitting the balance and watching the movement spring to life, it's very satisfying indeed.
    wow, only a few months? that gives me some hope lol. look forward to having a tinker with a few cheap ones soon


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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveScFc View Post
    wow, only a few months? that gives me some hope lol. look forward to having a tinker with a few cheap ones soon


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    Best way to learn is to do the BHI Basic Mechanical Watch 5 day residential course. It costs a few bob but if you treat it as a holiday it loks reasonable. You won't be disappointed and you'll learn a lot.......how many holidays fall into that category?

    The Donald De Carle books are worth acquiring too, they're a bit dated but the principles still apply.

    Definitely worth doing some learning/homework before plunging in blindly. Also worth setting a reasonable work area up too, with good lighting and (ideally) a desk or bench at the right height. All this becomes obvious on the BHI course.

    I learned from scratch in 2010, I did 3 courses then spent a few weeks teaching myself by practicing on old watch movements. I was surprised how quickly I learned, and that was at the age of 52-53. Having retired I had plenty of time to spend and nothing else to distract me (such as work etc).

    If I was learning again I`d spend time training myself to use tweezers and pick parts up, those are the basic skills. Taking the same movement apart a few times also helps.

    The only way to learn is by doing it, and be sure to chose a fairly easy watch (with nil value) top start on. However, I'd certainly try too learn a bit first, I'm not a fan of the 'tinkering' approach but I guess it works for some. The advantage of doing a proper training course is that you learn the correct techniques, and once learned they stay with you.

    Paul

  23. #23
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    i may look into the course but to be honest i'd just like to be able to clean and minor service my own watches, thanks for the insight, really appreciate it.


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  24. #24
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    wow that BHI is expensive... my holidays are in a caravan that's 3 holidays lol the mrs would murder me, youtube here i come lol


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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveScFc View Post
    i may look into the course but to be honest i'd just like to be able to clean and minor service my own watches, thanks for the insight, really appreciate it.


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    That's the position I started from, but it's not really feasible. It's not like cars, where you may be happy doing servicing but wouldn't strip an engine down . With watches there's no halfway house, you either become proficient to totally strip and reassemble a watch , correcting all faults, or you don't do anything. If a watch needs attention you invariably have to go the whole hog and strip the thing completely.

    The BHI course isn't cheap, that's why I suggested you treat as a holiday and budget accordingly. To me there's no substitute for proper tuition to get you to a point where you can develop further by teaching yourself, I think the basic training's invaluable.

    Paul

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