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February 21, 2014 at 10:37 am #48879
Just got back from a work trip, when I arrived last night I had a nice little surprise waiting.. LULU came through with the Chicago School of Watchmaking book
I’m really pleased with it and as usual, I started at the end and worked my way forward, left handers
Anyway, I’m going to be really bitchy here so please fire back with your comments regarding this bitch, well, not bitch, just a…. nitpick 😆
As I was backward skimming I read the section on changing the balance staff. It states the two procedures, cut with a lathe, or “punch” it out with a stake. The connotations of “punch” bring to mind excessive, ham handed force.
The latter, although accepted, was equally damned, not in so many words, but as a cautionary tale of balance wheel destruction and warpage 👿
OK, once again, I must say that I am not attempting to convince anyone to change their ways, I’m simply explaining my reasoning of why I do it the way I do and offering an alternate explanation, hopefully fairly factual, in comparison to the tried, true and highly accepted method.
I may be burned at the Rolex school of watchmaking stake, but at least it’s warm 😆
On one hand in the Chicago manual, it warns of damaging the highly fragile balance wheel by “pounding” out the staff before removing the rivet, thus altering its physical characteristics, then in the same section, they recommend de-tempering the balance staff with heat prior to cutting the rivet.
In my world, an energy of force, in this case a hammer or series of hammer blows, is more controllable than heat energy, which, like water, flows where it wishes if one is not careful and quick, as heat draws cold, there is more of a likelihood that warpage or lite tempering would occur to the wheel, whilst drawing out the temper from the staff in order to cut the rivet. Even though none direct heat is recommended, once that increase in temp starts to flow, you ain’t gonna stop it, unless you quench it.
I’m sure, like myself, that you’ve all experienced the joy of melting shellack and how sometimes, the heat runs away and your part, roller table/pallet fork starts to turn blue 🙄 Ooops
This always happens as I’m close with the loupe, trying not to burn my forehead, and attempting to watch everything at once, hold the tweezers, ready to pounce on the jewel etc, so a very complicated, uncontrollable act.
I’ve also seen many damaged balance wheels that had cuts taken out of the arms, from cutting the rivet I assume.
Personally, I’ve never (touch wood) damaged or enlarged a hole, because I am careful and gentle and, the amount of rivet material is ten times thinner than the thickness of the hole. Hardened or not, it’s gonna give first, long before we ham handedly drive the whole thing, including the punch tip, through the balance arm hole 😆
As David mentioned in another thread, on the NAWCC site, when I mentioned this, I was almost banned 😆 not really but you know what I mean..
So anyway, I wonder why they would suggest, in the CSOW manual, to subject the fragile, important and easily damaged critical part like the balance wheel, to heat, not once, but twice, as it also shows changing a roller jewel with it still attached to the staff. Albeit being held with the universal tool.
Stay tuned for more bitches and nitpicking about this fantastic book, and I do mean that seriously, it is a great publication, regardless of my nitpicking fun, I will be sleeping with this bible under my pillow for the next few weeks and seeking guidance within its dusty pages Although I will question its content and formulate my own methods, doesn’t take away its valuableness (is that a word)
I look forward to your comments and ruminations AND any further nitpicks 😮
ChrisFebruary 21, 2014 at 1:59 pm #55844randyParticipant
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- Total Posts: 594
As to removing a damaged staff from the balance, I go with the method of undercutting the hub prior to driving it out.
Just makes sense to cut away as much harder material before pushing the staff through the balance arms, which are softer.
I have a good K&D tool for locking the balance tightly, but still feel better once I’ve cut away as much of the hub as possible.
I’m going to guess that the damage you’ve seen is due to someone not using the correct sized graver, along with adequate light and magnification to do a clean job Chris
It, like all other things we do, takes practice to do it well.
Remember that these are the types of things that you would spend hours doing in a classroom, until you had it right.
Take care,..I’m enjoying my copy of this book as well
RandyFebruary 21, 2014 at 7:32 pm #55845sgoodstalParticipant
- Topics Started: 6
- Total Posts: 13
Chris, I think as in all technical books you pick and choose what helps you and what may be different then the way you do things. In my case I started working on wrist watches with no experience I was just fascinated by them. Over several years I ruined countless very good watches. Then I bought de Carle’s practical watch repair and read it many times and used it as a reference. I learned a lot but I still needed more help so I bought Bobs course and for me watching a professional actually doing it was a tremendous help. My hobby of watch repair took off. Many watches that I couldn’t have ever got running now run great. But my urge for information was in full throttle. So after reading this and other forums I bought the Chicago school of watch making and Fried’s books which I can say for me Frieds “The watch repairer’s manual” is at my bench at all times.
But in my case never having anyone to help me along as im sure is the case with many on this site, All the mentioned technical manuals including The Chicago school of watchmaking have all helped me. I have question some techniques used at times but I have changed several balance staffs using a staff remover and once I learned how to do it it works great for me.
But I love learning new techniques so keep on questioning ill be reading and maybe i’ll pick up some great tips you normally have some. ScottFebruary 21, 2014 at 10:43 pm #55846
Like many things some techniques work better for some people and not for others. I never heard of a PLATAX tool until I saw the video of Mark Lovick (Watch Repair Channel) replacing a staff using this tool. The Chicago School of Watchmaking certainly has some techniques, procedures and tools that have been updated over the years but it is still a great source of information.
davidFebruary 25, 2014 at 6:35 pm #55847
Every time I look at the CHICAGO SCHOOL SCHOOL OF WATCHMAKING, I find something I never noticed before. It has become one of my favorite sources of information for my personal understanding of mechanical watches.
davidFebruary 26, 2014 at 8:55 am #55848
I agree David, I find myself going through it (in no particular order) a lot since it arrived. This morning while gulping down a good pre-breakfast of coffee & cigs, I went through the ads at the back of the book, not sure which copy you have, but the one from Lulu contains ads/descriptions for various models of lathes/tools etc, I was actually thinking about you while I read them 😆 Wouldn’t it be nice to go back and order one of each Mmm
I wonder why there isn’t an index nor table of contents, kinda odd, so I’ve resorted to sticky tabs..February 26, 2014 at 9:31 am #55849
In the past I have put in Ebay bids on a watchmaker tool lot. When I started pulling stuff out of the box I started noticing strange looking tools and had no idea what they were. The strangest tool looked like the type of scale you weigh fish with. It was about 1/2 the size of a pencil (perhaps for guppies and minows) with a spring loaded pointer on the side and a skinny wire comming out of the end. Looking through the CHICAGO SCHOOL OF WATCHMAKING book one day I saw it. It was a tool to measure the ID of watch jewel holes. I never saw a picture of this thing in any other watch repair book. Their section on DRAWING WATCH ESCAPEMENTS offers the best way to understand the escape wheel and pallet action I ever saw. I had an incomplete copy I bought elsewhere but the one from LULU seems to have it all.
davidFebruary 26, 2014 at 11:37 pm #55850
Now that is something I could use, for sure, what page is that on David ?
This morning I’m NOT reading about current affairs, the world financial or political mess, nor about the wars raging in faraway lands, no, my concentration is focused on how to set up a new hairspring and the little wooden jig for sharpening a brass wire to a fine point to secure the HS to the collet wonderful stuff that has left me craving a hard boiled egg on toast 😆
I don’t really know why I bother because when it comes to practicing, I have to pull the book out again anyway as a memory upgrade is sorely needed lolFebruary 27, 2014 at 9:08 am #55851
A tapered pin can be made by cutting a tapered groove into a block. If you do not have a milling machine to put the tapered groove into the block, you may be able to rig someting up with a Dremel tool or set a cutter into the headstock of your lathe and run the block across the cutter at a small angle while fixed in the cross slide. When the groove is cut the wire (brass rod) can be laid in the groove and filed to the taper angle you cut into the block.
davidFebruary 27, 2014 at 10:04 am #55852willofiamModerator
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- Total Posts: 1437
David, thats a great idea, if I am understanding correctly you would start the cut of the groove at your maximum size, taper the block at whatever determined taper and length, starting at the outer edge with the full depth? by just laying the rod in the groove and spinning? as you file it, it will just fall into the groove with the desired size. FANTASTIC. I wonder if you could even use a stone, emery on the table or a fine grit sandpaper on a orbital sander? When can I come over and learn all the tricks??? WilliamFebruary 27, 2014 at 11:21 am #55853
Yes, shim it up or use an angle plate for the block and cut the groove. You may come over immediately after you ship that grandfather clock to me.
davidFebruary 28, 2014 at 2:12 pm #55854
David, I’m working on the mill as I type this, lets see if they’ll play let’s make a dealFebruary 28, 2014 at 2:35 pm #55855
Both Tom and I have Harbor Freight Mini Mills. They are very similar to the mill in the link you provided but the mill in your link looks like a larger heavier machine than ours. It is the same design and is almost certainly manufactured by the same company (CENTRAL MACHINERY). I am not familar with the availabilty of European machine accessories but I would personally not buy a mill that did not have an R-8 spindle. The mill in the link has an MT-2 spindle. Other than that it appears to be a larger version of my Mini Mill and should be a good solid high precision machine. Make sure it is of cast steel construction, I am not a fan of aluminum metal working machinery.
davidFebruary 28, 2014 at 6:54 pm #55856
Is Central Machinery a Chinese company David?
On the Quantum website it says that these Optimum products are manufactured in China ( no news there) and then refinished in Germany, sounds somewhat familiar, a catchy German trend, possibly.
Most of the ones on the Tube are equipped with the available CNC package, an extra 600 euro clams, but they seem very solid and you can see them cutting a wide variety of materials, they appear not to complain in regards to handling it.
They also offer a good selection of accessories, which should give me what I need for most small jobs, for a decent price if the place I’m trying to deal with cooperates:-)
The R8 would be nice to get but I haven’t seen many here, although I’m sure I could find one somewhere, but then the damn shipping is a big stop.
A work in progress LOLFebruary 28, 2014 at 7:15 pm #55857
The standards may be very different in your part of the world. Visit some machine shops and talk to the employees in their shops. They will know what is available and standard for your area. I know that some really fine equipment is made in Europe and this stuff shows up in the Youtube videos of the Swiss and German watch factories. Star, Traub, Dixie, Schaublin, Deckel, Hauser, Haas etc. are excellant. I am not sure but I thought KONDIA was made in Spain. Go to the Harbor Freight, Enco, and Grizzly Tools website and check the fesability of having one of these companies ship to Spain. It may not be as expensive as you think. I have many machines that were made in China and non of them were reworked in Germany. They all work fine and it sounds like marketing arrogance to create an impression that if something is done correctly it must come from Germany.
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