Removing and Setting Glue During Crystal Replacement
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Thread: Removing and Setting Glue During Crystal Replacement

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  1. #1
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    Question Removing and Setting Glue During Crystal Replacement

    Hello! I recently purchased a vintage piece that has a plastic crystal and a metal body. The previous owner seemed to have used Crazy glue in attempt to stick the crystal back on. Unfortunately this did not hold long seeing how the crystal fell back off.

    I would like to set the plastic crystal back on myself but I ran into a few things.

    1) I know acetone will remove the old glue residue but I heard that acetone will melt plastic, the last thing I would like is a melted plastic crystal. Is this true and if so, what other means should I take to remove the old glue residue off of the crystal and metal case?

    2) I read that G-S Hypo cement should be good to use for plastic crystals. Would this adhesive be recommended to use for the plastic to metal contact?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Re: Removing and Setting Glue During Crystal Replacement

    Hey there. It's quite possible your watch does not require any cement if the correct crystal is used. Most likely the person who previously fitted the crystal didn't bother to find the correct one.
    Can you share some photos of the watch (with and without the crystal in place) so we can get an idea what sort of crystal you might need.


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  3. #3
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    Re: Removing and Setting Glue During Crystal Replacement

    Hello! If the glue that's on the crystal really is cyanoacrylate, you're in a bit of trouble...to my mind, anything that will dissolve the adhesive, probably (?!) will also dissolve the crystal! If what's on the crystal is a proper crystal cement, than you're in luck...I use a simple, home-made solution of tap water / 'off-the-shelf ' department store ammonia, and a little dish washing fluid...50% water / 50% ammonia, & several drops of your favorite dish washing solution. After just soaking for, say, 15 minutes, the old crystal cement will soften, and may be gently removed with a finger nail and/or a toothpick ( whatever will not scratch the plastic). The same technique is applicable to removing crystal cement from the case.

    If you're attempting to remove 'super glue' from the crystal, I reckon there's a decent chance a 'nail buffing stick' will work...I use several, with differing grades of abrasive...I'd use a rather coarse stick to begin, and move to a less-abrasive if it would work...these sticks usually are available with a very-fine surface, that actually will give a nice shine to precious metals--not especially 'professional'-- but, for small surfaces, not all that bad.

    Finally, if there's super glue on a case, I've used commercially available epoxy dissolver...just put the case in a glass container, and use a small brush to lather on the dissolver...give it a half-hour or so, and carefully use a toothpick to remove the softened glue...do be careful around this stuff: there are chemicals in it, you do not want in you! I use disposable gloves...not Latex!

    Let us know how things are going. Michael.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Removing and Setting Glue During Crystal Replacement

    I had the same situation on a pocket a while back. I actually removed the plastic crystal, acetoned the case and then put in a new glass crystal. Then uv glued it. Turned out great and I think a glass crystal gives more character to a vintage watch.
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