jacot vs pivot polisher

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  • #48471
    tmac1956
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    Getting started question…

    What’s the main difference between a manual Jacot tool (not for the lathe) and a manual Pivot Polisher. These old tools are about the same price, but I’m not sure if I need both to get started or just one. I’ll be starting with pocket/wrist watches to begin with, then on to clocks.

    Thanks!

    #52719
    david pierce
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    Tmac,
    The pivot polisher has a runner and pulley on one end and a flag on the other. The flag has a small hole that the pivot rides in and the pivot is reduced with a cutting action usually with a jasper stone. If the stone is not held perfectly level, the finished pivot will reflect the angle at which the stone was held. The Jacot tool also has a runner and pulley but on the tail end there is a grooved fixture that holds the pivot and a guide system that keeps the tool level. The pivot reduction takes place with more of a burnishing action which occures in the groove. The pivot polisher is a simpler tool but it is more difficult to end up with a true cylinder. The Jacot tool is more complex and it is difficult to find one with the proper runners at a low price. There are a lot of Jacot tools for sale at what looks like a bargin but they always seem to be missing the tooling to make it a working tool. A good pivot polisher can be had for about $59.00 but a Jacot tool that you can actually use will be around $400.00.
    david

    #52720
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    Hey guys, David, I want to tell you I really appreciate your insight and knowledge on the lathes and such ;) , thank you!!!! it helps us out ssssooooo much. you are a great asset to us all….. a couple of questions I have is what kind of tooling are you thinking that is usually missing on these Jacot pivot polishers, and are there things that can be made to accomplish the task if one finds a cheaper one, also is the tooling generally interchangeable from one jacot to another….. I did find one for $100.00 and had to make a bow and the little fork thingy that spins the wheel, it has a good assortment of runners and appears to be true, one of the plates with holes one had a chip out of it. otherwise seems to be alright….and one more question 🙄 , if you have a proper lathe set up I am assuming you can accomplish the tasks that the jacot does BUT what do you think the cost for setting up a lathe in that fashion would be???? William

    #52721
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    @david pierce wrote:

    Tmac,
    The pivot polisher has a runner and pulley on one end and a flag on the other. The flag has a small hole that the pivot rides in and the pivot is reduced with a cutting action usually with a jasper stone. If the stone is not held perfectly level, the finished pivot will reflect the angle at which the stone was held. The Jacot tool also has a runner and pulley but on the tail end there is a grooved fixture that holds the pivot and a guide system that keeps the tool level. The pivot reduction takes place with more of a burnishing action which occures in the groove. The pivot polisher is a simpler tool but it is more difficult to end up with a true cylinder. The Jacot tool is more complex and it is difficult to find one with the proper runners at a low price. There are a lot of Jacot tools for sale at what looks like a bargin but they always seem to be missing the tooling to make it a working tool. A good pivot polisher can be had for about $59.00 but a Jacot tool that you can actually use will be around $400.00.
    david

    David:
    Thanks again (as usual) for some really good info. I’m glad I asked. I won’t be wasting my money on a pivot polisher – just save up for a complete Jacot tool. One follow -up…

    Are there differect Jacot tool sizes – one for clocks versus watches?

    Thanks!
    tmac

    #52722
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Tmac,
    Although some Jacot lathes are physically larger than others, to the best of my knowledge they are all for watch pivots. For clocks a tool can easily be made by drilling a pivot size hole into a piece of round rod and milling 1/2 of the rod away. The pivoting procedure is then essentially the same once the tool is made.
    david

    #52723
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
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    Tmac,
    By the way, don’t sell the Dorington design pivot polisher short. It is a fine tool and is capable of producing fine pivots as well.
    david

    #52724
    mahlon
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 28
    • Total Posts: 215

    I am sooo glad you ask this question. I have been looking at a pivot polisher on e-bay, and was not sure just how it worked. I am just getting started in this facinating field. I have watched Bob’s videos, and amazed at what can be done on the lathe.
    I want to work on clocks. After watching Bob work on a pocket watch, I don’t think that part is for me. It made me so nerviuos watching him work on such small pieces. At least with clock parts, If I drop one I should be able to feel it if I step on it. In the clock video it is my understanding that you can polish pivits on the lathe without any other attchments. I would like to see more lathe videos, such as the use of a gear or wheel cutter. I have read about the prossess, but I would not know if I ran across one.
    Thanks
    Mahlon
    Enid Okla.

    #52725
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
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    Willofiam,
    It looks like you hit the jackpot. As far as getting your lathe to do the same task, additional tooling is required and it is virtually impossible to find. Bob showed some of this tooling in his learn to turn video. I was lucky to buy some about a year ago when a Wolf Jahn set of turns came up for sale on Ebay. It came in a wooden case as a set with the Wolf Jahn turns, a whole bunch of runners and all of the tail stock tools. The really neat thing about the set is all of the tools will also fit a Wolf Jahn lathe. This was one of those things that seems to come up for sale about once every 20 years. It was expensive.

    #52726
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
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    Mahlon,
    We all would. Perhaps if we all asked Bob to put some more videos together he would finally cave in to popular demand and produce some more training films.
    david

    #52727
    mahlon
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 28
    • Total Posts: 215

    I have’nt found too much of these tools to be cheap. I am supposed to go pick up a Pearless lathe this weekend. I probable gave to much for it, but the guy I am buying it from is a retired machinest. He goes through them, cleans and oils them.
    I plan on starting out making all of the things Bob has in the videos. It may take awhile, but I think this will give me a little better feal for the machine. I have run a wood lathe some (self taught), but from watching the videos, I have not been doing that right.
    Mahlon

    #52728
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    I am suprised nobody has mentioned the old method of polishing pivots on a block of hardwood with the arbor held in a pin vice! Obviously this is for clocks only as watch pivots are far too small. Jacot tools come up on e-bay quite frequently although the majority of them all seem to have something missing. There are various plans knocking about to make your own jacot attachments for lathes, the only problem with that is you need to have quite accurate machinery in the first place to be able to make a useable tool. It is quite frustrating when you are first starting out as you start to understand the importance of certain tools and then you see how much some of them cost 😯 but in most cases there are other methods of doing things. The problem with watch pivots being so small is as far as I am aware you either need a jacot tool or the lathe attachments. The only upside is you only need to buy the tool once, for if it is looked after it will remain with you for the rest of your life.
    Good luck and let us know what you get :)
    Paul.

    #52729
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Arutha,
    Lately I have been examining a lot of ladies watches. The parts in these watches are extrimely tiny compared to the parts in clocks. The pivots in these watches are typically .004 inches or .1mm. If you end up with a .002 inch or .05mm taper on one of these things you have tapered the pivot by 1/2 of its diameter. If you are off .002 inches on a clock pivot it probably won’t be noticed. I have some equipment that allows me to examine these things that would not be part of a normal watch or clock repair shop. The Jacot tool takes the “eyeball” method out of the process. In a tool and die environment this tool would be known as a jig.
    david

    #52730
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1559

    Another great thread guys! Just read it… interesting and lot’s of helpful info.

    Also, got the hint David! Soon I hope 8-)

    Thanks all!
    Bob

    #52731
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Hi David,
    I know what you mean, I have been looking at a tiny ladies watch movement for my wife. I was fortunate enough to pick up a complete jacot tool at an auction for £17.50. I couldnt belive my luck. Without this tool I dont know how it would be possible to polish the pivots.
    Paul.

    #52732
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Arutha,
    It seems lately that there has been a glut of fine watchmaker tools coming out of England. Tools are becoming available like screw polishing kits, Lorch and Wolf Jahn lathes, watchmaker turns and other tools that were difficult to find over here. I am sure that many of these tools were treasures that the owners kept throughout their lives. Finding a Jacot lathe with the runners, bow and burnishing tools at the price you paid would indeed be a rare find.
    david

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tmac1956jacot vs pivot polisher