Saturday, September 26, 2009

This Is Not a Metallic Centipede!!!

This may look like a metallic centipede, but never fear, it's harmless. (Eeewww, centipedes. Makes me shudder!)

I brought this Timex watch home from a yard sale. I knew it needed a problem... easy fix.

It was the expandable band that I liked. So I took this $1 purchase home.

I decided to clean the band before replacing the battery. The pins holding the band in place are spring loaded. Think of a toilet paper holder. Same principle. Only instead of a finger, you use something tiny, such as a small knife blade to pull the pin back and remove the band from the watch.

I mixed up my usual "jewelry cleaner" (half a cup of water plus a tablespoon of ammonia). Do not use this on pearls or opals. And don't shoot me if you dip in some $100,000 piece of jewelry and find that this solution damages your investment. I use it on my wedding ring (gold/diamond). And sometimes an expandable watch band. And I don't clean pearls or opals. If you need advice beyond that, ask your jeweler.

After a good soak look at the filth! After I had stretched the band (four hands work better here, so ask your hubby) I used a small artists brush to clean the inner pieces. The water became even more filthy. The amount of dirt was incredible! (The lady I bought it from is a happy gardener and all I can think is that she wore this watch while digging in the dirt. And bulldozing her driveway. And digging a basement. And traveling 60 miles afoot in a dust storm. What else could it be?)

To replace the battery I had to remove the back. I used a magnifying glass to find the small notch where a thin knife blade could be used to pry. Popped right off. Replaced the battery. Couldn't get the back on again. Tried numerous times. Pliers. Two pair of pliers. Getting ready to use the hammer. Getting ready to smash my investment (which had grown to $3 with the purchase of the battery) to smithereens.

Decided to google. I found that I needed to place the back in a level position and not with one edge set in while trying to pop in the opposite edge. The entire back has to be popped in from a level position.

So....laid the watch upside down on a wood cutting board. Then used a small piece of wood and (you guessed it) the hammer. With everything in position, a light tap on the top piece of wood popped that back right in place.

I still can't believe the amount of dirt that was inside the band. Hmmmm! Maybe it really was a centipede after all...don't they live in the dirt under rocks and bricks? Ughhhh! Makes me shiver!


Elle Bee said...

Great bargain, and it cleaned up beautifully!

Laurie M. said...

Nice work I must say!

Daria said...

Good job with the watch ...

Sandy said...

I just love a good bargain.

Glynis said...

I feel a nice biblical analogy coming on. All that dirt that is hidden in the crevices of our life is still evident to God. But through the precious blood of Christ represented by the ammonia, we are washed clean!
Beautiful bargain by the look of the watch later...come to think of costs nothing to get cleansed by the blood even better bargain! Okay...I'll stop. :) x