New Person – Camera instead of a loupe and…Screwdrivers

Home Forums General Discussion Forum New Person – Camera instead of a loupe and…Screwdrivers

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #48152
    watchfixer
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 2
    • Total Posts: 13

    Hello. My name is Fred (my middle name). I’ve always wanted to learn how to do watch and clock repair. So over the holiday I signed up for the course. I should do pretty good at it. I also have experience fixing mechanical typewriters, including the Selectric. I am also a band instrument repairman, and violin and harp maker. I’m in the process of getting tools together, some of the tools I already have from other hobbies. I also bought about 5 books on clock/watch repair for the iPad. I can’t see anyone being any good, or much less, being able to learn this type of repair without something additional to this course. Maybe I am wrong, but in my full time job, which is teaching electronics repair, anywhere from radios to satellite systems, nothing can beat good overall general principles. Principles must be learned before repair can be done. So between here, my books, and youtube, I will learn watch repair one way or another. I also dug out, so far, 9 old watches that have been sitting in my junk drawer. None of them work, and I can wait to get them going again. My friends also have a collection of old watches that they want to give to me to fix. I will fix them later for them!

    One of the first things that I am going to put together is a macro video system. Instead of squinting through a loupe, I plan on setting up a digital camera fed to a 47 inch LED TV. I use an endoscope a lot to do instrument repair so I’m already use to not directly looking at the object. I am surprised that I haven’t seen anyone using such a setup. With the camera mounted on a stand, but moveable, I’ll be able to magnify the watch so it is huge on my big TV. In fact I may use a switcher with multiple cameras so I can easily switch views of the watch by flipping a switch. Even a web cam connected to a computer will work. If the magnification or focal length is not correct one can try different lenses until you find just the right one. Then mount the lens in a cardboard tube, and hot glue it to the web cam. Once I get all of this set up, I will post pics/video somewhere for everyone to see. I just can’t see using only a single eyeball to do repair work, seems very annoying, and very impractical, especially with the technologies available nowdays. Tell me what you think about my idea!

    -JFM

    #50937
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1553

    Hi Fred and Welcome to the forum!
    The camera/monitor approach is a good one. I think Clam71 and a few other members here use this method as well as microscopes rather than an eye loupe. There are some posts up here covering different methods. I prefer a loupe because it’s what I’m accustom to using and it feels natural to me now but with the advent of all these high tech, high quality optical goodies to choose from I have to wonder if the loupe is on its way out. That 47′ TV should do the job! I would like to see those pics when you have them. You might need a wide angle lens to take that pic! LOL
    Enjoy and happy holidays Fred,
    Bob

    #50938
    watchfixer
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 2
    • Total Posts: 13

    I’m getting old so I need something! I think the camera and big tv is perfect for this kind of work!

    #50939
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1553

    Hi Fred,
    There are some real advantages to the camera / monitor approach. I also feel there are some disadvantages which in time may be overcome but at this time are very real hindrances when doing actual repair work.
    One advantage is the ability to use very high magnification. It’s difficult when using a loupe to magnify beyond 20x and in fact for me even 20x is a challenge much of the time. The slightest head movement throws things in and out of focus. So for inspection purposes you just cant beat the stability of a mounted camera or sturdy microscope. Also for classroom training purposes it’s definitely the cats meow, and….there’s the problem of holding the loupe in place. Of course this can be overcome by using a loupe head band and in many cases clip on magnifiers for glasses. I use a microscope when close inspection is needed. Fortunately most repair work requires magnification of 10x or less so keeping focus isn’t too much of a problem.
    In my opinion a loupe is far better than a microscope or camera when doing actual repair work. The advantage of changing viewing angles in an instant when using a loupe by tilting, raising or lowering your head is powerful. You can change from a top view to edge view or any angle in between in less than a second without having to move your hands to make a camera adjustment or worse yet having to tilt the movement risking leaning or falling over of parts. If a tweezers or any other tool obstructs the view a simple and fast head adjustment usually can correct the problem without having to interfere with the operation by having to lay down a tool or part. Multiple cameras might be helpful but not sure how much bench surface you would need to occupy. For me my bench top space is valuable real estate. If you could rig something up that is clear of the bench or possibly hanging overhead and could switch cameras with a foot switch or better yet some type of voice recognition device that would be pretty cool. Also maybe in the near future there might be some affordable robotic type camera stand that can change angles and height quickly by syncing with head movement. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that something like that or better hits the market before much longer. That might be a fun Arduano/servo project for some of our electro mechanical buffs up here!
    Happy Holidays!
    Bob

    #50940
    watchfixer
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 2
    • Total Posts: 13

    I went out shopping yesterday for screwdrivers, what a disappointment! The smallest that I could find was only 1 mm. I need to find a place that sells the smaller ones individually. I’m amazed how small the screws are in the watch that I want to repair first. How in the world does someone actually make something that small? I bought some loupes also, the most powerful is 10x. I have an impossible time trying to make it stay on. I guess I will have to modify the set to having a headband to keep them stay on at my eye. Repairing on such a small scale is harder than it looks! Just trying to get any screw to turn has been a challenge, and so far, none will. Is it normal to sharpen the blades of the screwdrivers? It seems like none of them fit at all.

    #50941
    watchfixer
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 2
    • Total Posts: 13

    Will anyone suggest screwdriver sets that will be suitable for me to purchase. So far it seems like the ones made by Bergeon or Starrett seems like the top two brands. Tell me what you use! What is the smallest size should I have. It seems like the smallest size is 0.6 mm (0.025 Inch), is this correct?

    #50942
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1553

    Hi Fred,
    If you don’t wear glasses that can be fitted with clip on lenses or you like the idea of a loupe more than a clip on then you can purchase a wire headband that fits over a loupe. Ofrei has them for around $6.00 usd.
    Good quality screwdrivers as well as tweezers and loupes are very important. Quality here makes all the difference in the world! These are the tools that I recommend spending as much as the budget allows.
    A very popular screwdriver set is Bergeon no. 5970. It has 9 screwdrivers with rotating stand with sizes ranging from .5mm to 2.5 mm which will cover everything from small ladies size movements to large Pocket Watch. Horotec also produces very high quality screwdrivers. You’ll see some sets ranging in size from .6 to 3.0mm. There are high quality, lower priced Bergeon and Horotec sets that come in boxes rather than a stand and also some with fewer drivers. These sets are great also. Although there are better, more expensive sets than these and obviously much worse and cheaper sets the above Bergeon set is very high quality, popular and fits the needs of most watchmakers.
    Hope this helps Fred,
    Happy New Year,
    Bob

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
watchfixerNew Person – Camera instead of a loupe and…Screwdrivers