Hamilton 926 Tear Down

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  • #48821
    chris mabbott
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    Someone mentioned that they were stuck on their Hamilton, I think it was Ed, so I thought I would post a progress report, just for fun ;)

    I was busting at the seams to get started on this one, but I had to rough it because my area is a bit of a disaster right now..

    I love em all but I’m partial to the big, chunky, heavy 18s models, to quote Austin Powers….. That’s a MAANS watch baby 😆
    Or to quote an ex colleague…. You got something there mister..

    Here’s the new baby… A Hamilton 926 18s 17j

    #55360
    chris mabbott
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    I got it out the case and I was pleasantly surprised to find all the dust covers in place, as you all know, many of them are missing, not sure why.
    As I took it out the case, a whole bunch of dirt fell out, like black coal dust and sand, I could feel the gritty feel as I turned the screws :?
    Here you can see some of the crud around the winding stem..

    #55361
    chris mabbott
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    The dial was a pain to get off as one of the screw slots was damaged, which will have to be repaired.

    Here we can see the dirt on the face side, this thing was filthy and my hands are already black from it..

    #55362
    chris mabbott
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    Balance off and ready to pop the lid, time for the show, I love this part.. :D

    #55363
    chris mabbott
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    A quick look at the balance wheel, two broken pivots and a broken roller jewel…. Oh dear 😥

    #55364
    chris mabbott
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    The beautiful Hamilton breguet overcoiled, blued HS, sends a chill down my spine, yes, I need a life 😆

    This all seems original and probably hasn’t been touched since the last service date inscription of 1932 LOL

    Just something I like to do with my watches, I check the production dates and then do a little search to see what was going on in, lets say, for this watch, 1907…
    1907
    Jan 1st – Pres Theodore Roosevelt shakes a record 8,513 hands in 1 day

    Feb 11th – Passenger ship Larchmont sinks by Block Island, 322 die

    Feb 13th – English suffragettes storm British Parliament & 60 women are arrested

    Mar 5th – 1st radio broadcast of a musical composition aired

    May 31st – Taxis 1st began running in NYC

    Jul 1st – World’s 1st air force established (US Army)

    Jul 29th – Sir Robert Baden-Powell forms Boy Scouts in England

    Nov 16th – Oklahoma becomes the United States 46th state

    Kinda puts the watch era in to perspective, and it’s interesting :ugeek:

    #55365
    chris mabbott
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    Hmm, the MS barrel top was not in place, naughty, naughty…

    This is a handy reference, these memory shots are in my files in case days turn into weeks before I find parts. Taken with a mobile phone..

    #55366
    chris mabbott
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    Here’s the inside, as usually happens with these full platers, at least to me, the escape & pallet fork always stick to the top cover, this is why they are absent.

    You can’t tell from the photos but everything is covered with black…something & grit. I actually like this because I enjoy hand cleaning all the parts and then polishing them, I think that is a condition actually 8-)

    #55367
    chris mabbott
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    Time to strip down the rest and plop them into my cleaning solution which is……. dare I reveal it, as most watch tinkerers really frown on its use….. Zippo lighter fluid 😆 It doesn’t melt the shellac, it de-greases and cleans perfectly, dries rapidly and it has a great smell, plus it’s cheap and readily available 🙄

    #55368
    chris mabbott
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    You’ll notice how most of the crud in the watch is from the mainspring barrel that has migrated into the movement and then dried. Also the grease used behind the winding gears/stem, it has also dried to a powdery substance and found its way everywhere as can be seen here.

    I know we all have our favorite types of lubrication, and that is fine, I’m all for individuals using what they prefer, freedom of choice. Most professional watch/clock makers swear by the products specifically made for this application. My query has always been that we never see a data sheet for these watch lubricants, we don’t know what the oil/grease contains. Most industrial/automotive lubes are obliged to provide a material safety data sheet, so not only do we know what the lubricants contain, we know if it will kill us if we heat it up, or eat it 😆

    So with this in mind, and past experience with many various lubricants, I select my own grease, not watch grease.
    Firstly, we want something that will provide a good anti friction surface, that will not dry up over time and contaminate the parts, that will retain its viscosity during use and not turn into a liquid under higher temps and run all over the place. We also don’t want a grease that contain conductive abrasives, like graphite or lithium. Also, we don’t want a waxy grease, these always separate over time.
    I use a medium duty industrial synthetic grease, you can buy them in small tubes in an automotive store.
    This is my personal choice and it doesn’t necessarily make it right nor wrong as we all have our ways 🙄

    #55369
    chris mabbott
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    There isn’t a trace of the former lube inside the MSB, completely dry, where did it go :?:
    Many people use oil for the MS, I like to use the same synthetic grease that I use for the other high pressure, high torque parts, we need that lube to stay put and do its job, not dry up or be squeezed out. The MS is a high torque application, it is an expanding/contracting part under pressure at all times, even at rest. Grease has a tendency to bond better and maintain a lubricating film, whereas oil, regardless of viscosity, will wear down and run away. This is why in most industrial applications where torque and pressure are involved, a high viscosity gear/chain lube is used. Basically a watch is a mini gear box.

    The other important factor to consider is the quantity, for this purpose, we need only to wipe the spring with grease, and a little drop on the barrel. I usually grease the barrel lightly before I replace the spring.

    So i also need a new spring 👿

    #55370
    chris mabbott
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    I was happy to see the watch part number marked inside the MSB, so it is original to this movement as the same number is also on the balance. I’ll also scribe the date inside for the next person to have an idea when the MS was replaced.

    Here’s the type of staff that I need, It looks like one of the early types as the newer models were thicker and also started using a double roller. I’ll have to check my little stock of Hamilton 18s staffs to see if I have the correct replacement.. 🙄

    #55371
    chris mabbott
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    Typical, I don’t have the correct staff, the ones I thought were close… aren’t 🙄 So now the hunt.. I need a # 127 small collet type.

    #55372
    chris mabbott
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    So now for a bit of polishing, the parts have had a soak and I’ve cleaned the top cover of the mainspring barrel with…. a brass cleaner 😆 It has a tarnish inhibitor so the finish will last longer, everything MUST be like a mirror 8-) My thang.

    You can’t really see because of a bad shot, but the cover is now a gleaming, deep gold color mirror, as opposed to the barrel.
    I like to clean by hand, I’ve used an ultra sonic but I prefer my own method, plus I can do a thorough visual inspection.

    I made a few cleaning jigs out of wood, so I can accommodate most parts and clean them securely, keep them flat, and not worry about bending them.

    #55373
    chris mabbott
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    Here I’m going to clean one of the gears, I don’t have my wooden jig because I have everything covered up because of the construction and I was too lazy to go and search

    I use a little fine diamanteen powder with a drop of olive oil, I apply it with a toothpick, give it a quick dunk in the zippo to remove the debris, brush it off and then buff it with the leather stick..

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chris mabbottHamilton 926 Tear Down