Boxwood

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  • #48005
    misean
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 1
    • Total Posts: 2

    Hi all, I’m new to this crazy addiction and trying to collect all the tools and materials for my bench. I love the videos – such a great reference!

    This one is for Bob – or anyone else I guess- in the video you mentioned that the traditional way to dry parts was with heated boxwood shavings. Do you have a source for these? Or do you just buy boxwood and shave it down?

    thanks!
    Dave

    #50405
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1559

    Hi Dave,
    I used to buy boxwood sawdust from S.LaRose when they were in business. I did a search just now and found two companies that carry it (links below) and I’m sure there are many others. I think jewelers use it quite often (I’m not a jeweler) so you’ll find it at jewelry supply houses.
    It’s pretty fine sawdust so it would take a lot of whittling!
    Here are the companies:
    http://www.bernieslapidary.com (a little better price here)
    http:’www.esslinger.com

    Enjoy,
    Bob

    #50406
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1559

    Sorry Dave,
    I hit the send button too fast on that last reply.
    I meant to say that I’m happy that the videos are working for you.

    Thanks!

    #50407
    misean
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 1
    • Total Posts: 2

    Wow! Thanks for the quick response Bob. I’ll look at those sites.

    #50408
    clam71
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 8
    • Total Posts: 83

    I’m also a new guy. The idea of putting a hairspring into sawdust makes my hair stand up.
    Go figure though !

    I’de be brushing it with a fine artist’s paint brush dipped into acetone.
    But…what do I know ????

    Thanks Bob for your help and support.
    Havn’t yet replaced my stolen car.
    Guess you know who I am…

    #50409
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1559

    Sure do…that was definitely a bad day for you. Sorry to hear it’s still dragging on.
    Yep, I guess covering a hairspring with sawdust does sound kind of crazy doesn’t it? It really does work great though. Boxwood sawdust is used because of its lack of resins. It blows off of the hairspring very easily with a tiny stream of air.
    You may know more than you think …I’ve actually had some success soaking hairsprings in acetone that were really gunky when watch cleaning solutions and one dip wouldn’t cut through it. I haven’t tried a fine paint brush yet though.

    Sure hope you get some new wheels soon Clam71,
    Bob

    #50410
    samspade
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 4
    • Total Posts: 15

    Hi all. Just to rekindle this post as a bit of help to those like myself who have been looking for some boxwood sawdust in the UK. If Bob says ok I’ll repost the names but until then you will have to email me.

    Been looking for a while and although I did find one material house that stocked BW sawdust but they don’t sell to Jo public. So I off I went again and came across another material house called ????. They don’t have boxwood but…..they do have…’Grit-O-Kobs 😮

    ‘An excellent alternative to sawdust. A clean absorbent drying media.’ so thye say and I kid you not :)

    I bought 1k for £ 2.93 or $4.57 which seems okay though no idea how it will fair compared to the real Macoy? Will post my thoughts when I dunk my first hairspring in it though the company ??????’ were a real pleasure to buy from and even sent me an email informing me of a slight refund due to their system jumping the gun as to the rise in VAT. Nice one!

    And another good bit of new is that I managed (at last) to get hold of a copy of The Joseph Bulova School of Watchmaking – Training Manual. £48.00 $75.00. from ??????? So all in all a good day……….even if the mother inlaw is coming to dinner 😥

    Keep on ticking folks!

    Scott.

    #50411
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1559

    Hi Scott,
    Yes by all means post any link any time you feel it will be helpful up here.
    Also the J. Bulova Course is EXCELLENT so please post the link when you have a chance. Well worth the money.
    Have you tried that Grit-O-Kobs (now there’s a name to ponder) yet?
    Thanks Scott!

    Bob

    #50412
    clam71
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 8
    • Total Posts: 83

    Thanks, Bob, for the reply. The tip that boxwood lacks resins explains why it is used.
    I just took a size 18 watch apart and cleaned the parts with acetone in my cheap ebay
    ultrasonic cleaner. Results less than optimal. Still needed to brush them with a very fine
    camel hair artist’s paint brush. I bought a 20X stereo microscope. VERY happy with it !
    Indespensible ! There was still goop and bits of rust on the gears. Still gunk in the pivot
    holes. I have it back together now and am watching it run. The balance swings effortlessly now !
    This movement is 115 years old ! # 7510586. It took HOURS to manipulate the gears to fit
    back into the pivot holes in the top plate !!!! Have any tips about that ? Or is it just part of
    the experience ? Gotta get a case for it now. The dial is perfect !
    Got it for 99 cents on ebay ($15 shipping). More tinkering needed maybe to calibrate.

    Got new wheels, a truck.

    Thanks for everything you’ve done to help novices like me !
    Tip for polishing old crystals: Bought cerium powder. Patiens and lots of rubbing !

    Oh, a warning about cheap ultra sonic cleaners.. Mine has a stainless steel pan but otherwise is
    made out of plastic. Rubbing alcohol has partially deformed the lid. Acetone melts plastic FAST.
    These aren’t meant for serious cleaning agents ! But I knew this and accepted the risks.
    Please, novices out there, post your successes and failures ! Be well, all ….

    #50413
    samspade
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 4
    • Total Posts: 15

    @Bob Tascione wrote:

    Hi Scott,
    Yes by all means post any link any time you feel it will be helpful up here.
    Also the J. Bulova Course is EXCELLENT so please post the link when you have a chance. Well worth the money.
    Have you tried that Grit-O-Kobs (now there’s a name to ponder) yet?
    Thanks Scott!

    Bob

    The UK company for Grit-O-Kobs the is called ‘Walsh’ and they are a real helpful bunch. Even sent me a refund for a glitch on the VAT charge :D

    As to the Kitty litter :) it works fine. Did a quick test last night on a hair spring from a 60’s Marvin ladies watch (real small) and yes, I can live with it. Guess it’s one of those things where you’re so use to using brand X the brand Y takes a bit of getting use to. Just a shame I live out in the sticks and I don’t have a pro watchmaker near by who I could let try it out just to get a more knowledgeable view. Maybe I’ll send Bob some 8-)

    I bought the J Bulova book from Jeffrey Formby Antiques. Loads of Horological books. Quick service too.

    Scott.

    #50414
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1559

    reply to Clam71 and Samspade

    First…good to hear you’ve got wheels again clam71!
    In answer to your question about assembly tips on a full plate 18 size pw I’ve copied a post I made on a previous thread and will paste it here.

    “The full plate watch can be a little tricky when it comes to assembly as compared with 3/4 plate and finger bridged movements. It can be tough getting the pallet fork situated during assembly. One tip on assembling them that works great for me is to assemble the movement “upside down”. There probably isn’t really an upside down so I guess I mean the opposite way that you would assemble a 3/4 plate. By placing the watch on the holder with the balance cock side down (leave the balance cock and balance off at this point) towards the bench surface I find it much easier to build the wheel train and install the pallet in place. You can then place the dial side plate on and line up the arbors by viewing between the plates. Just a tip but it does seem to work well for me.”
    Hope it works well for you.

    Good tips on the ultra sonic stuff too! Thanks clam71!

    Samspade,
    Hi Scott,
    Thanks for the follow up on the sawdust and the J. Bulova book.
    Great book!
    I’d love to try that sawdust but afraid it would never get here if you sent it. Mail service down here in Mexico where we are located (sitting in a boat yard for another week) is really iffy at best as is my internet connection right now! We should be back in the water and sailing to a new location soon where internet is much better…I’ll be more active up here on the forum when the connection improves.

    Enjoy all and thanks for being here!
    Bob

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