Home Forums General Discussion Forum Double Roller 4992B removal question

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      New member here. Hi everyone. Very excited to use the forum and glad to introduce myself. I’ve been watching the videos on staffs and am having trouble understanding the proper way to remove a 4992B double roller. It seems different than the ones on the videos and I’ve having trouble reading it.

      Does anyone have experience with these and can give me the proper way to remove the safety and jewel covers, then the staff from
      the balance arm? Is the staff set into the arm and does it need to be cut on a lathe?

      would appreciate your advice.


      chris mabbott

        Hey Nic, welcome to the forum.

        Firstly, to answer your questions, what I use is a rex roller remover, it is a set of special stumps that fit into your staking set, they are especially designed for removing the rollers in a controlled way. There is one shown in this link http://www.execulink.com/~lfoord/101871a.jpg

        Changing the staff is pretty straightforward but if this is your first time, be very careful, check twice what you’re about to do, and study some techniques on Youtube, there are loads. Try searching for Bunnspecials set of videos. He is a hobbyist who shows his own techniques for other hobbyist, and his own enjoyment. I like his vids because he’s a normal guy, no aires or graces ;)

        Personally I’ve only used the lathe once to cut the rivet out prior to punching. I carefully use the staking set and punch out the old staff, it’s the way that works for me, some use the lathe method and swear by it.

        Could you tell us a bit more about yourself please, are you brand new to watch repair/collecting, what tools do you have and are you proficient with your hands. Just curious because it helps us to explain things in a more tailored way if we know a little bit more about your experience.. You’ll find the members on this forum are not condescending and more than willing to offer their technical knowledge.


        david pierce

          Before going ahead go to Youtube and bring up the WATCH REPAIR CHANNEL. Mark Lovick removes a roller assembly to replace a broken balance staff. Make sure you mark the position of the rollers before removing anything so you can put them back with the same orientation. The tool he uses to remove the parts is called a Platax Tool. It is one of the better ways to do this but certainly not the only way.


            Thanks Chris and David. That’s exactly the information I was looking for. I had been wanting to see more repair videos and was
            hoping YouTube would have some. I’ll check them out, and thanks for the name of the tool and links.

            Chris, I’ve done the Timezone 1 course and have done basic cleaning disassembling, re-assembling, oiling on vintage pocket watch movements for about four or five years as a hobby. I’m interested in learning how to be proficient in staffing and jeweling and I’d like to learn to make and cut gears and pinons at some point.

            I have a basic set up, and am just now getting in to the next level. Jewel Press set is on the way, still looking for the right staking set, and Peerless Lathe is coming. So you could say, I’m a rookie.

            chris mabbott

              Hey Nic, sounds like you’re well on your way and have passed the first year “rookie” stage :)

              The video David recommends is probably your best bet as it’s more professional, that guy is very good although he has a lot of special tools that normal humans would suffer to purchase, even used 😮

              I suggested the Bunn because personally, I found him inspiring, which is what I needed at the time, I was banging my head constantly while F**ing up a lot. I was ready a few times to just huff everything in the garbage. One evening I stumbled on to Bunns channel, he made me laugh because like me, he was making a lot of mistakes, and saying things like Damn, god damn it etc. .. I could see the mistakes he was making, the same ones that I was committing, I noticed how he rectified his errors and got the job done, with very basic tools.
              Through this, I found my own inspiration to keep at it, I formulated my own methods from his mistakes. You know how it is, if you’re doing something blindly, you have no guru or zero guidance, you get frustrated, BUT if you watch someone else, who is either the same level, or slightly higher, you think, and watch, and eventually you say, Hmm, he’s doing that wrong, I would do it this way…. and there you go, you’ve formulated your very own first technique.

              Anyway, that was the inspiration I found in watching Bunns vids, and for the rookie, or novice, that inspiration is needed, a lot.

              I used to work with a guy years ago, I was his apprentice, this guy had 35 yrs experience in maintenance, engineering, construction, name it.
              He used to just let me go, and I would say….. what if I F..ck something up or make a poor decision ? He said that’s how you learn, by doing it the wrong way, you learn the right way, because there is no light without dark, Is that star wars 😆

              One thing I will strongly recommend is that you purchase the Chicago school of watchmaking text book, you can get it from a publisher called Lulu, online. If you search the forum for Lulu, I think there is a link from Tom..


                Thanks again Chris. Talk about inspiring. What you just wrote there was really inspiring. Thanks again. :)

                Into this hobby, my biggest frustrations have been bending over on the ground looking for the part that just fell out of my tweezers or flew across my desk. 😆

                Frustrating because they don’t make the part anymore and they are difficult to locate. 😡


                    Welcome to the insanity !
                    Crawling around on your hands and knees for hours is what someone else called “assuming the Swiss position”( I think it was a Timezone instructor ! ).and I use it every chance I get ( the saying ).
                    Buy yourself a 2-row magnet about 12+ inches long. You can find them cheap. Put it on an old broom handle and you will find all sorts of items much easier !

                    Like those before me said here,really read / watch a lot of material on staff removal. I advocate buying old messed up balances to play with on your lathe and staking set prior to actually removing one that you want to still use when you are finished !!!
                    Chris is right about being able to remove them with the proper setup on a staking set,.but there are some staffs that have such a hard hub that you do risk tearing the hole in the balance arm. Those are more safely removed by cutting the hub on your lathe first, then punching them out.
                    Watch and read about them, and you’ll see what I talking about



                    david pierce

                      I went through the three Time Zone Watch Courses before coming here. The first two were written by Walt Odets and were excellant. The third was written by one of the heirs to the Otto Frei Company and I felt it was not as good as the first two; but still worth the time and money to go through it. The prevaling wisdom with watch repair was always to start with the larger pocket watches and once mastered, work down to the smaller sizes. The Time Zone Courses start with an automatic wrist watch and step you through the mechanisms. It doesn’t really cover repairing watches but does a great job explaining watches and how they work. While not absolutely necessary for a beginner, I felt it was a good first exposure to watches and helped me to understand Bob’s course which in my view is more advanced.


                        Thanks Tom! Just got it, and thanks to everyone for your help and advice. Now, just need to get at it.

                        @tmac1956 wrote:


                        You can find the hardcopy version here…

                        – OR –

                        If you prefer the digital version…

                        Good Luck!

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