Home Forums General Discussion Forum Hello from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

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  • #49538
    gary drainville
    Participant

      I registered today and looking forward to getting started. There certainly is alot of great information here on everything I need to know to get started. However, I have to decide which area I want to get started in – clocks or watches. Any suggestions on which would be better?

      Gary Drainville

      #62370
      david pierce
      Participant

        Gary,
        Clocks take up a lot of room (like an entire room) but can be worked on with general tools like pliers and screwdrivers. Clock parts are larger and you can see them. Watches are smaller and the work area can be much smaller; like a small watchmaker bench. The tools to work on watches tend to be more specialized and expensive and the smaller the watch, the more specialized and expensive the tools become. Either path is a good choice so it narrows down to what you feel suites you the most.
        david

        #62371
        gary drainville
        Participant

          Hi David and thanks for the response. Since my post I’ve done a bit of research and I have to agree that although clocks are just as interesting I’m going to start off with watches. However, I do have an old and working cuckoo clock in our living that one day I can work on. So, using what I’ve read in this forum, watchuseek, and elsewhere – I’m going to start the purchase of tools, search for pieces to work on, and make a space in my house as a work area. Very excited to get started.

          Gary

          #62372
          tmac1956
          Participant

            Gary:

            Welcome to the forum and to a field where learning never ends! The folks here have a pool of knowledge that will cover most aspects of Horology so don’t be shy about asking questions.

            Enjoy the ride!
            Tom

            #62373
            gary drainville
            Participant

              Thanks for the welcome Tom. The truth is I’m a learning junkie, I’m just finishing a degree now and I know I’ll need to fill my new free time. This is something that I’ve been reading about but never had the time to dive into. So eventually I’m going to have to decide on what my first piece to work on will be, I’m thinking of a pocket watch and I know there is so much information in this forum when the time comes it’ll be a piece of cake selecting what I’ll buy.

              Gary

              #62374
              willofiam
              Moderator

                Welcome Gary, I started with clocks and then moved into pocket-watches. I found moving from one to the other is a nice change-up. @david pierce wrote:

                but can be worked on with general tools like pliers and screwdrivers

                Not entirely true for clock work, tooling will depend on how far you want to go, the general tools for both clocks and watches do not have to be expensive tools. There are clocks that are very similar to watches. If you are thinking of doing both in the future it is always a good idea to start with something simple, looking on my display shelf there are several vintage alarm clocks, the kind that you fold up into a small case. you can find them at garage sales for a couple of dollars, they could be a great learning piece for both watches and clocks. Well, I think, most importantly is to have fun with it and keep it simple to start with. William

                #62375
                bernie weishapl
                Participant

                  Welcome Gary. I have did watches and clocks for over 30 yrs now. I like William like to do both. Kinda gives you a break. I do probably 80% clocks and 20% watches. I work on antique pocket watches. Plus I have about 80 clocks and pocket watches in my personal collection.

                  #62376
                  gary drainville
                  Participant

                    Thank you Bernie and William. Using the information I gathered from this forum and forum that were recommended to refer to, I have my list of tools I’ll be ordering today. I’m trying to find a Canadian distributor as I want to avoid any Duties when ordering from the States. What I have on my list, mostly from Watchuseek is the following:

                    1. Movement holder, Bergeon 4040 Large
                    2. Covered part and movement tray
                    3. Bausch & Lomb 4x Loupe or Horotec 10x
                    4. Bergeon 5461 Headband for in the eye loupes
                    5. Style #2 and #5 original Dumont Dumoxel tweezers (anti-mag and stainless)
                    6. AF Switzerland screw driver set, 9 assorted sizes
                    7. New ecomony case wrench for small and large watches
                    8. Swiss case knife
                    9. Bergeon dial protector
                    10. Presto – type hand remover
                    11. Hand setting tool
                    12. Economy crystal lift

                    Not to beat this subject to death, I haven’t done my search yet, where is the best online site to buy a working inexpensive pocket watch to getting me started?

                    Gary

                    #62377
                    bernie weishapl
                    Participant

                      😆 I do a lot of looking, watching and buy quite a few off ebay. If you are careful you can get some decent deals. I buy mostly 16S and 18S as at my age that is about as small as I want to go but like I say if you watch you can find some. I buy a few here and there when I can find deals. Fix them up to as good as new and polish them up. I sell a lot of them that I don’t keep and make some pretty decent money on them. I bought this 992 for $121 a year ago and after repairs sold it for $575. I have bought some decent Elgins for $20 to $40 and sold them after repairs for $225 to $275.

                      #62378
                      gary drainville
                      Participant

                        Nice job Bernie – a hobby that can generate a bit money for the hobby is awesome! I’ve noted the 16S and 18S and pursue the bay for some potential projects. For the tools I’m going to check out what the duty is to Canada from the USA – I’d like to use Oftto Frei as they seem to have a fairly comprehensive inventory. Now you have me thinking about refurbishing and selling . . .

                        Gary

                        #62379
                        bernie weishapl
                        Participant

                          Hey all I can say is most all of my tools are paid for from restoring either clocks or watches. I bought a Taig lathe with every accessory for it for $875 last fall from 400 day clocks I bought at garage sales for from $.50 to $5. Restore them and sell them for $130 to $150.

                          Otto Frei I use a lot for parts, tools, etc. I know the shipping from Canada to here can be a little high. I am about to order ham radio antenna from a Canadian dealer. Box is 8″ X 8″ square, 74″ long and only weighs 14 lbs is going to cost $59.

                          #62380
                          gary drainville
                          Participant

                            Hey Bernie;

                            Just placed my order for all the items listed in my previous post through Otto Frei – $57.69 by EMS, I’ll wait to see the Duty on it. Ham Radio? Awesome. I had an old TenTec Omni D for a few years – I’m a Naval Communicator in the Canadian Navy (Submarines).

                            Gary

                            #62381
                            bernie weishapl
                            Participant

                              Yep been a ham since 1967. I was a old signal operator and communication analyst in the army from 67 to 72. Since I knew morse code it was just natural for me. The last 5 1/2 months I ran the ham shack for the troops in Okinawa. I enjoy it a lot and do talk with a lot of Canadians. Had a 30 min chat yesterday with a VE3 up there. Bob T. is a ham also.

                              #62382
                              david pierce
                              Participant

                                I have purchased from COUSINS UK but it is a strange place to deal with. They will not accept any emails nor phone calls so the buyer has no idea where their purchase is until it arrives. The up side is they sell items that are difficult to find anywhere else. There are certain hard to find Bergeon tools that they will backorder but you have to pay up front and will have no communication for up to 6 months. Their system works but it leaves you in the dark for awhile. The other alternative is to purchase the item from Otto Frei but they typically charge about twice the amount for the same item.
                                david

                                #62383
                                gary drainville
                                Participant

                                  Hi Bernie, my callsign was VE1EBY and haven’t been active for some years now. VE0OJI is what I used on the submarine HMCS Ojibwa – had a great time at sea on the OJI’s transit from Halifax to Vancouver a few years ago, lots of pileups to get a QSL card from a submarine that was for sure. I don’t think my wife is ready for me to take on another hobby now . . .

                                  I placed my order from Otto Frei, the staff there are very friendly – now I’m doing a little research on what the most common pocket watch is to work on. Very excited.

                                  Gary

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