Hair spring , stud,and a wedge

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  • #48493
    watchdogg
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    • Topics Started: 17
    • Total Posts: 41

    Ok..So Bob got me interested in watch repair and I am now working in a shop that wanted me to do their pocket watches…. But.. a ladies wrist watch came into the store and the boss ask me to do a cleaning,oil and adjust. Well, the problem with the watch was it was runnimg too fast. Well I had had this problem earlier on with a pocket watch. With all of you out their you helped me figure it out and now that watch is nearly perfect..THANK YOU ALL!! But…for some reason I can’t get this one right. I first adjusted the reagulator all the way down as far as it would go. I then put it on the demagatizer, then used “1 dip” and it still ran fast. So, I decided to see if I could make the hair spring longer by pulling it out of the stud just a little. Well, then I have pulled the spring all the way out and the little bitty wedge that held it in place …. OH CRAP!!!!! 😥 Now what?????
    I’m afraid to pull the stud out because it too is so small. But thinking that may be the only way to get the hair spring back in the stud,then that tinny wedge..??
    Is that what I got to do?? I’m so afarid I’m going to loose something..
    What do ya’ll advice??
    Thank you for your time. Phil

    #52935
    david pierce
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    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Watchdog,
    As far as the timing problem with the goes, someone probably turned the MEAN TIME SCREWS in thinking they were loose. These screws should look different than the other (balance) screws and will affect the timing of the watch by about 2 to 4 seconds per hour per 1/2 turn. If they have been tampered with they will have to be balanced back in using a poising tool. The other problems you have now have some good news and a lot of bad news. The good news is most watchmakers do not like to work on ladies watches because the parts are so tiny that a microscope is almost a requirement to work on them. This also means that there are bags and bags of broken ladies watches that can be had for a very small amount of money. Uncle larry’s Watch Shop can send you a bag of them for about $10.00. There are also a few really good books on watch repair that are available on Ebay such as: THE WATCH REPAIRER’S MANUAL, PRACTICAL WATCH REPAIR, WATCH REPAIR FOR BEGINNERS, WATCH REPAIR. These should be purchased and studied. The bad news is you did not take some broken cheap ladies watches apart first, to see what you are going to be up against with a customers watch. Getting the spring back into the stud and repinning it is a tough challange; even with a microscope. The spring length was initially set with a SPRING VIBRATING TOOL and was probably the correct length before removal. If you can get it back into the stud and get the pin back in, try and get it back to its original position. Also check the spring for any debris, pits or rust (preferably with a microscope) as these will affect the timing. Ladies watches have parts that are so small I feel that ordinary watch repair tools are not up to the task of working on them. I know that this statement is going to draw a barage of GOTCHA statements but that is my opinion. If you do not already have a digital watch timing machine you will need to get one. This will give you the beat and amplitude before taking the watch apart. If you can get your hands on a cheap throw away watch practice removing the outer hairspring and puting it back before returning to the cusomers watch.
    david

    #52936
    watchdogg
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    • Topics Started: 17
    • Total Posts: 41

    Thank you for the reply David. Some of the best lessons I have learn in life was the mistakes I have made. This lesson will stick with me for a long time ..
    So, I guess I need to take the stud out of the the balance cock in order to replace the spring and the pin?
    Thank you, Phil

    #52937
    david pierce
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    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Watchbear,
    It depends on the watch. Modern watches have switched to glue to hold the spring in. This is going to be a challanging task no matter which way it is done due to the size of the parts. You can get the spring back in but you will have to remove the pin in order to do so. Use your Dumont #5 tweezers for this and make sure the tips are in good shape. If the tweezers are in bad shape hone them back in or replace them. The pin should come right out. Remember which side of the hole the spring was on. If you are going to remove the collet to poise the balance make sure you mark its position so you will be able to replace it in the same location. Practice all of this on a junk watch first and make your mistakes on it. I like to make sketches as I go because it forces me to think about why the parts are located in their particular positions. Most people use digital photographs today which provide more photographic accuracy with less thinking.
    Good microscopes are not expensive. Mine is a 20x and 40x via a rotating turret and I paid about $150.00 for it. Sometimes you can find them for around $60.00. Ladies watches move watch repair into a whole different realm.
    david

    #52938
    watchdogg
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    • Topics Started: 17
    • Total Posts: 41

    Thank you Watchbear…
    Gosh,It seems like I have gotten myself in a barrel …
    Ok, so two of ya’ll have talked about a microscope, is there one particular to the watch industry ? And if not, and its like the ones I see in the jewelry stores, i wonder how you lay these small parts there in a stable surface of the microscope??
    Thank you very much for your time!
    watchdogg

    #52939
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Good advice from David there Watchbear but what I would say is after having a service and the watch is running fast, you will probably find that someone before you shortened the effective length of the spring to get it to keep time without breaking down the watch and servicing it, either that or one of the pallet jewels is loose and the escape wheel is tripping through the jewels where the depthing is wrong?
    Dont worry about poising tools and timing screws just yet. If the watch was running that fast you were heading down the correct road, the hairspring needed to be lengthened. When this is done you then need to adjust the collet on the balance staff to get the watch back in beat. I have been messing about with hairsprings all day today on a pocket watch and a wrist watch and they can be a pain but as David suggests get a bit of practice on an old movement. Those tiny brass pins or wedges that hold the spring in place can be made if you lose one.
    When you have worked out where the spring needs to be pinned you then need to make sure the roller jewel is in the correct position otherwise as you know the watch will run out of beat. Once the spring is pinned the roller jewel should be in a line with the setting lever and the centre of the escape wheel. On some watches the hairspring has to be taken off of the cock as you cant get to the collet to adjust it. Get it all where you think it should be and try it. Be patient, walk away when it gets too much and make sure you have a good fine pair of tweezers to work with. I lost 3 small brass pins today where they just flew off, I dont bother looking for them any longer, it is quicker to make a new one.
    One last thing, you dont have to remove the stud to re-pin the hairspring, if anything it should help to make it easier as if you leave the stud in place as it gives the hole you need to get the spring through a steady platform. Think about how you would hold that tiny stud while trying to get the spring back through it.
    Good luck and let us know how it turns out :)
    Paul.

    #52940
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Do you have a 10x loupe? I can cope very well just with one of those.

    #52941
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    I have just been reminded by an expert watchmaker that the coils of the hairspring sticking together or touching will also make the watch run faster!
    How could I forget that!
    Paul.

    #52942
    watchdogg
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 17
    • Total Posts: 41

    Y’all have been big help!! Thank you .
    Yes, the 10 power loupe is what I’m using but after a while I have to stop and then go back to it.
    I’m glad To hear I don’t have to take the stud out of the balance cock. I have had the hair spring in the stud twice just to accidently knock it out… And yes I figured I could make another wedge , but feel better now that someone said it.
    I’ll be back in the watch repair shop Thursday and Friday, I’ll let all of you know how it goes.
    Thank you very much for your time!!!
    It seems here locally no one knows , or is willing to share any advice
    So.. THANK YOU!!
    Phil (watchdogg$

    #52943
    watchdogg
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 17
    • Total Posts: 41

    Y’all have been big help!! Thank you .
    Yes, the 10 power loupe is what I’m using but after a while I have to stop and then go back to it.
    I’m glad To hear I don’t have to take the stud out of the balance cock. I have had the hair spring in the stud twice just to accidently knock it out… And yes I figured I could make another wedge , but feel better now that someone said it.
    I’ll be back in the watch repair shop Thursday and Friday, I’ll let all of you know how it goes.
    Thank you very much for your time!!!
    It seems here locally no one knows , or is willing to share any advice
    So.. THANK YOU!!
    Phil (watchdogg$

    #52944
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Its pretty much the same here, it is like some old boys club where if your face dont fit you aint welcome. I have been very fortunate finding someone my own age who is an expert in the field of horology and buying Bobs videos has been priceless, not just for the videos but also for the information I have been given through this forum.
    Good luck with getting the hairspring pinned back in, just try and line everything up with regard to the roller jewel before you pin it, if you are lucky it will be in beat when it goes back together.
    Paul.

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watchdoggHair spring , stud,and a wedge