Pocket Watch Bezel Problem…

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  • #48490
    tmac1956
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    • Topics Started: 171
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    All:
    I recently purchased a very clean old Elgin 16s pocket watch for repair. Unfortunately, it appears that the bezel is cross threaded onto the case – and it is tight. I sprayed some penetrating oil on the joint, but I just can’t seem to get it to budge. Any thoughts?
    Thanks!
    tmac

    #52911
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
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    I know this may sound a bit crazy but use your thumbs each side of the bezel applying as much pressure with them as you can while trying to turn it, then turn it 180 degrees and try again, and then 180 degrees and try again. If that doesnt work the only other thing I can think of is trying to use some from of clamp on it but with some soft chamois leather between the jaws and the bezel, it will be tricky trying to get a hold but once it starts to move you should be ok. Are there any slight dents around the bezel that would indicate it has been dropped? even a small dent to the outside of the threaded area would act like a locking mechanism :(
    Good luck

    #52912
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
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    @Arutha wrote:

    I know this may sound a bit crazy but use your thumbs each side of the bezel applying as much pressure with them as you can while trying to turn it, then turn it 180 degrees and try again, and then 180 degrees and try again. If that doesnt work the only other thing I can think of is trying to use some from of clamp on it but with some soft chamois leather between the jaws and the bezel, it will be tricky trying to get a hold but once it starts to move you should be ok. Are there any slight dents around the bezel that would indicate it has been dropped? even a small dent to the outside of the threaded area would act like a locking mechanism :(
    Good luck

    No dents and almost no wear. However, when I look at the bezel/case joint, I can see a uneven gap in the joint. I’m just guessing that its cross threaded. I got a couple of Elgins like that and its easy to do, but I would think one would have to really force it to get it that tight.

    I give your technique a try right now.

    Thanks!
    tmac

    #52913
    tmac1956
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    Nope… it’s on there tight.
    tmac

    #52914
    steadypin
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    • Topics Started: 1
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    Hi Tmac, I have had this problem a few times and was able to loosen the bezel by wearing a thick rubber glove on my right hand (being right handed) and gripping the bezel with a pushing and turning (with effort). It has also worked for me on bezels that were so tight that were not cross threaded. The rubber glove gives you a much grip. Good luck, SteadyPin.

    #52915
    tmac1956
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    @SteadyPin wrote:

    Hi Tmac, I have had this problem a few times and was able to loosen the bezel by wearing a thick rubber glove on my right hand (being right handed) and gripping the bezel with a pushing and turning (with effort). It has also worked for me on bezels that were so tight that were not cross threaded. The rubber glove gives you a much grip. Good luck, SteadyPin.

    I tried the rubber glove tactic, but I just can’t seem to get enough power up to budge it – even with the extra grip from the rubber glove. My next approach was to use a light gage diabetic syringe and needle to inject thin gun oil into the threads working my way all around the seam at the perimeter. I’ll let it sit overnight and try it again in the morning. However, I’m beginning to get a little frantic. Is there some sort of tool I can use on this thing?

    I suppose I might try a temperature differential by heating the bezel and simultaneously cooling the case. Maybe the expansion of the bezel coupled with the contraction of the case will be enough to loosen it up. I’m grasping now. :(

    Thank you to everyone for your help.
    tmac

    #52916
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
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    It makes you wonder how it was ever done up that tight when it was being cross threaded, there are some animals out there!
    I will be interested to see if you manage to get this un-done.
    Good luck.
    Paul.

    #52917
    jim1228
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 6
    • Total Posts: 75

    Hello Tmac,
    I use one of these to unscrew those stubborn pocket watch cases. http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Rubber-Vacuum-Pocket-Watch-Hand-Held-Case-Opener-/310544016336?pt=Pocket_Watches&hash=item484ddda3d0. It’s inexpensive but effective. Good luck :)

    I wish you well
    Jim

    #52918
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
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    @jim1228 wrote:

    Hello Tmac,
    I use one of these to unscrew those stubborn pocket watch cases. http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Rubber-Vacuum-Pocket-Watch-Hand-Held-Case-Opener-/310544016336?pt=Pocket_Watches&hash=item484ddda3d0. It’s inexpensive but effective. Good luck :)

    I wish you well
    Jim

    Jim:

    I ordered the tool. I’m beginning to think that someone stripped the threads to the point that the bezel wouldn’t stay on and just glued in it in place. I hope that’s not the case and I hope your recommended tool works. Otherwise, I’m looking at possibly cutting the bezel off. Is there anyway to get the stem out so that I can drop the movement out of the back? Anyone?

    Thanks!
    tmac

    #52919
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
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    Tmac,
    If the works are pressing against the inside of the bezel it will make it difficult to turn and screw it off. Make sure that the movement is at least loose and not putting pressure on the bezel.
    david

    #52920
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1552

    Hi Tmac,
    I’ve had great success using a plastic paint stirring stick as a handle. I put crazy glue on the bezel and lay the stick on it. Wait a minute and unscrew. You can probably use a wood stick or whatever you want. You then use acetone to remove the glue. I think some nail polish removers have acetone in them too. If the glass is still in the bezel then you may need to bend the stick over it or rig something a little different up. It works well though.

    Good luck,
    Bob

    #52921
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
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    @Bob Tascione wrote:

    Hi Tmac,
    I’ve had great success using a plastic paint stirring stick as a handle. I put crazy glue on the bezel and lay the stick on it. Wait a minute and unscrew. You can probably use a wood stick or whatever you want. You then use acetone to remove the glue. I think some nail polish removers have acetone in them too. If the glass is still in the bezel then you may need to bend the stick over it or rig something a little different up. It works well though.

    Good luck,
    Bob

    Bob:

    Sounds good – I’ll give it a try.

    Thanks for the advise!
    tmac

    #52922
    tmac1956
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    • Topics Started: 171
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    @david pierce wrote:

    Tmac,
    If the works are pressing against the inside of the bezel it will make it difficult to turn and screw it off. Make sure that the movement is at least loose and not putting pressure on the bezel.
    david

    That’s a good idea – I just backed off the case screws.

    Thnaks,
    tmac

    #52924
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
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    All:

    I bought the crazy glue and paint sticks to try Bob’s method, but before I had a chance to try that, the little rubber cup tool came in the mail so I gave it a shot.It worked like a charm! Several days ago, I injected pentrating oil into the threads so I’m thinking that helped as well. Anyway, my thanks to everyone for your advise.

    tmac

    #52923
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Well done for getting it off Tmac and well done to Jim for suggesting the tool, I had not seen one of these before!
    So what was the problem with the bezel, just tight?

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tmac1956Pocket Watch Bezel Problem…