Introduction: Boiling a Casio G-Shock Mudman

Picture of Boiling a Casio G-Shock Mudman

The buttons on the Casio G-Shock Mudman series are notoriously stiff to depress, mine appear to be no exception. Several people online have said that by boiling the bezel for 20-30 minutes you can soften them up. Well I have some spare time and a digital camera handy so I'm going to see if this crazy idea works.

Note: If you do not have the correct tools for doing this I suggest you stop right here. The screws on the Mudman are very small (little buggers) and without the correct screwdrivers you stand the chance of badly stripping the heads. Also, I take *no* responsibility for you doing this at home and ruining your watch.

Step 1: Getting Started

Picture of Getting Started

Getting started: This is optional. I am going to remove the straps on my Mudman to make things a little easier. I'm also going to throw them into the boiling water to see if the straps get softer after boiling.

Once the straps have been removed it makes it a little easier to handle the main body of the watch.

Step 2: Removing the Caseback

Picture of Removing the Caseback

The next step is to remove the four screws holding the back on. These are very small Phillips head screws so as I mentioned before make sure you have the right sized screwdriver to avoid burring the heads up. Edit: It's been pointed out that I did *NOT* have to remove the caseback in order to get the bezel off. If you do not want to remove it, keep reading through until you get to the point where I remove the two tiny screws on the side of the bezel at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions - Step #3

Remove all four screws carefully and put them somewhere safe. The back cover will not come off yet, there are two even smaller screws on either side-edge of the case that need to be taken out.

Remove the two tiny screws that are on opposite sides of the case body. These can be found at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions. Keep these two screw separate from the others as they are a different size.

Once the final two screws have been removed you can start dismantling the case. The first thing to do is to remove the back case cover. This should already be loose and will lift right off.

Next, lift off the metal case back. Be sure to keep the watch body in the upside down position as shown otherwise the module could easily fall out. Sounds obvious but trust me.

You should now be able to see the full internal workings of the watch. The module is slightly hidden by a soft rubber protective cover - there is no need to remove this.

Step 3: Removing the Bezel and Inner Module

Picture of Removing the Bezel and Inner Module

Next up, removing the outer bezel from the internal workings. I found this to be more tricky than I had expected. Take your time and slowly pry open the outer bezel. I found that by opening up the bezel on the square button side and then quickly opening up the bezel on the opposite large button side I was able to slip the workings out from the bezel.

Once you get that first edge out the whole inner module should pop right out. Be very careful not to disturb the small spring sticking out of the back of the module at the top (11 o'clock position in the picture below).

Here is the shot that many Mudman owners, myself included, have been waiting to see. A "naked" Mudman! It's funny, during this entire process I began to really appreciate the quality and craftsmanship (albeit it fully automated) of this watch. No blemishes or flaws even on the pieces you would never normally see.

Step 4: Get the Water Boiling!

Picture of Get the Water Boiling!

Ok, so the Mudman is now full disassembled and ready for the real science experiment. Begin boiling the water.

As I mentioned earlier, I am going to boil both pieces of the strap at the same time as I boil the outer bezel. I've got the water up to a rolling boil and I'm ready to take the plunge. In they go.

I've heard varying times provided for doing this, so I opted for somewhere in the middle - 20 minutes ought to be long enough to discern a difference. What better way to time this than with my atomic, solar Mudman!

While I'm waiting I go back to take a closer look at the "naked" Mudman. It looks pretty cool with its clothes off, but it's a little too vulnerable to be messing around with it. Interestingly I had it set to beep on the hourly intervals and one came and went while it was out of the case - there was no sound because that tiny little spring sticking out of the back of the module was not making contact with the metal case back.

Step 5: Reassembly and Testing

Picture of Reassembly and Testing

Here is the boiled and reassembled Mudman. The burning questions is: "Are the buttons softer after boiling the bezel?" The answer: "You bet they are!" I'd guess that they are anywhere between 40 - 50% softer than before being boiled. I noticed that the strap was much softer too and incredibly comfortable, not that it was bad to start with.

I'd say this was a great success. I had my doubts but it looks like this really works - I feel just like the Mythbusters. I will definitely being doing this for my atomic solar Muddy.

Well I hope you find this useful and somewhat entertaining. I enjoyed doing this and can attest that the difference is so noticeable that you won't regret taking the time to go through these steps.


PalzorN (author)2015-03-05

Nice ... Great to hear they work.....I put mine I the boiling water without dissembling ...and guess what...poof! It's gone.... Man your hands are hairy!

darksideofyourmum (author)2013-06-19

Would this help with scratches on the straps?

darksideofyourmum (author)2013-06-19

Would this help with scratches on the straps?

the_mad_man (author)2009-01-29

i have an analog watch so no buttons :P, but the other 2 (i have 3) are VERY hard to pull the little knob thing out to change the time, and i font think boiling them would be a good idea.

grt57 (author)the_mad_man2009-05-25

LOL... I gave up wearing one altogether years ago ;-P~ ~

Diabloscope (author)grt572011-11-29

NEVER !!!! lol mine is almost fused to my wrist , funny how its water resistant 20 Bar=200 meters i dont wear in the shower , and goes right back on after .

GreyGhost2 (author)grt572009-09-26

Surely Cell Phones are phasing wristwatches out...or will they be combined?...but that is another Instructable.

ihsuf (author)2009-12-26

 just got finished doing it it worked perfect at 20 minutes

GZNG (author)2008-12-20

this probably occurs as the heat canses the rubber to expand and enlarging the pores. the gas bubbles enter the pores making it springy, thus more comfortable... this is just a hypothesis

ecky the third (author)2008-11-22

You say, 'you take no responsibility for ruining the watch' what about the wife's new saucepan.?? lol. ecky 3.

bfgreen (author)ecky the third2008-11-25

Ssssshhhh! Don't tell my wife I used her good Calphalon pan.

biospot (author)2008-11-24

This is a truly unusual idea. Whoever thought to boil the rubber / plastic parts? I wonder though.. I used to have a rubber/plastic watch and after about 2 years, the plastic strap broke. Just like that. I had to have it replaced. What a pain. Do you think the boiling process would lessen the lifespan? Also.. the pictures look like it has changed color from Black to Gray after boiling.... is that right? Perhaps the same thing could be accomplished by leaving it in the sun for a few hours on a very hot day? Just curious.. and impressed....

bfgreen (author)biospot2008-11-25

The watch bezel and strap didn't change color at all. The watch that was boiled is dark green. However, I used my other G-Shock Mudman (the black atomic one also shown in one of the pictures) which might be what is confusing things. I wouldn't recommend leaving it in the sun and doubt that will bleach it much. Interestingly, a common trick to modifying G-Shocks is to strip them down and boil the plastic parts in water with Rit dye added. Since doing this instructable, I have boiled the parts again and dyed them jet black, I've also stealthed the bezel to remove the paint - so it looks amazingly black :)

csmiler (author)biospot2008-11-25

Leaving it in the sun will most likely create cracks in the plastic....same thing happened when i left a rubber band in my pocket for a few days.

roosta (author)2008-11-20

so why do they make the watches with stiff buttons to start then?

ElJefeUno (author)roosta2008-11-23

Since it's water resistant to 660 feet, most likely they make the buttons stiff so that they won't depress at depth if you scuba dive with the watch. When you dive with a watch the inside of the watch stays at surface pressure while the external pressure increases drastically. Soft-touch buttons could be pressed in by water pressure alone, or even break and let water into the watch. If you're a scuba diver, I don't suggest this mod!

evad (author)ElJefeUno2008-11-25

I use my g-shock for diving, and I wouldn't suggest this mod either. I agree with EljfeUno. I believe WW 2 depth charges were rigged to go off at certain depths by varying the spring rate on the detonator switch. Interesting instructable, though... even if it is for the digitally (as in fingers) weak.

bfgreen (author)ElJefeUno2008-11-24

Agreed 100% - I would think that would be common sense, but like those crazy disclaimers we see on the sides of all our products it's good to state out loud :)

bfgreen (author)roosta2008-11-21

Well I don't think they sit around a table and plan to make buttons that are hard to push. My guess is that G-Shock have an extremely long life span and tend to get used a lot and treated very roughly - unless you're a sissy and try to keep them immaculate :) So I imagine that the designers used materials that would be highly durable for a long time. That might make the plastics used a little stiff to begin with but soften up in time and with use. The purpose of this instrucatbe is to cheat time and soften them up quickly. Over time they will get softer but this just speeds the process up!

Cryptonat (author)2008-11-20

Great instructable but, as a person in the Jewelry/Watch profession, I would not recommend anyone opening their watch without a trained professional. :P Most people just screw it up inside. That is a very delicate piece of equipment on your wrist.

T3h_Muffinator (author)Cryptonat2008-11-20

Although this may be true for mechanical watches, digital watches aren't nearly as delicate - they're solid state (no moving parts). Trained professionals (at some point) had to open a watch for the first time - i'd think you should be encouraging people to explore their time-keeping devices, rather than telling them to just go to a 'trained professional'. Anyhow, sorry for ranting - I didn't mean to dishearten you if I did.

Its hard to believe that trained professionals hang out around here. This is the place of improvising and inventiveness. Training get in the way of all that. Myself, I had to take my G-shock anniversary gift to a trained professional to get it ruined.

Cryptonat (author)cougarmandan2008-11-21

I assure you, I am not Wal-Mart employee. :P

I do see a very large number of persons who bring in their watches saying (or trying to avoid saying, and yes I do mean solid state electronic watches) that they were trying to just change their battery and messed it up. Agreed, this community is a maybe a little *wink* more skilled than the average population, but it is still sound advice for anyways to see someone who has been trained and has a living from working on watches.

Again. NOT WAL-MART. That place is pure evil. Oh, and go shop your local Mom and Pop stores. :P

billz260 (author)Cryptonat2008-11-20

This is instructables, ruining stuff is how you learn.

jridley (author)billz2602008-11-21

Well said! Nothing that's already broken anyway makes it out of my house unless I take it apart, unless I've already taken one like it apart. People ask me how I know how to fix stuff, but when I ask, they've never taken anything apart to see what's inside. They have as much curiosity as a slug.

Davvik (author)billz2602008-11-20

One of the truest statements I've heard in a while.

bfgreen (author)Cryptonat2008-11-21

I posted this here for the numerous people like me who like to tinker and are fairly good with their hands. If you're NOT good with you hands and tend to break things then go to a "professional" (BTW the ones in the superstores tend not to be trained at all) and get whatever you need done by them. In my personal experience, the professionals have botched, scratched, or just completely buggered up my watches (even high end ones) with apparently no responsibility to make it right again. So please take this instructable for what it is. If you are handy and willing to take minimal risk then you might find it useful - if you're a clutz (doubt that applies to this audience in general) then DON'T DO THIS :) Me, I learn a lot from just doing and I like to figure things out for myself. My success rate is high but we're all human and have brain farts so I too have had screw ups - that's life. Just a side not - G-Shocks are VERY tough and forgiving, spare parts are also extremely cheap and easy to purchase online - so it's not a biggy in this case. Have fun and try it if you want to.

osgeld (author)Cryptonat2008-11-20

i tend to agree with the muffinator its not a delicate machine, and its not a sonic welded 1$ gas station watch, which if you did get apart the screen would fall out, never to be realigned again its a fairly well biult digital watch, that seems to be in a module, theres not much that could go wrong, besides loosing the spring, that we are so well informed of i understand your concern, and i agree with it, im not taking apart my Bolova any time soon, but you have to keep it in prospective with the instructable :)

puffyfluff (author)2008-11-20

That's a clever way to soften them up!

amarquez (author)2008-11-20

Boiling the "Nylon" propellers that were very common many years ago in the model airplane arena, usually provided better behaviour, preventing brittle fracture in most of the "crashes" on grass, and some on hard pavement also. Maybe the wristwatch material is also nylon? amarquez in Mexico City.

comodore (author)2008-11-18

Great project! I really like it! I think I am going to buy one of these watches... In the final step you saied you feel like a Mythbuster... If you like Mythbusters and watch Mythbusters, join the Mythbusters group and discus their shows, episodes and their ideas whit other fans... rate:***** +I added it to my mythbusters group

jessyratfink (author)2008-11-18

Such a good idea! I used to do watch repair and people always complained about the buttons and straps on those types of sport watches. I wish I would have known this back then!

About This Instructable




Bio: Brian Green is an avid lightweight backpacker and author of the popular Brian's Backpacking Blog. Originally from Southampton, England, Brian has lived in the ... More »
More by bfgreen:Plastic Soda Bottle Lid CapsuleDIY - Single Use Antibiotic Ointment Blister PacksBoiling a Casio G-Shock Mudman
Add instructable to: