Pocket watch "T" end mainspring installation issue…

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  • #48661
    tmac1956
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    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    All:

    I’ve done probably a dozen or so mainspring replacements with the “T” end and everytime that I wind one up in the winder, line up the “T” tab, and push it into the barrel the blasted “T” end always slips out of the hole. It usually takes me three to five times to get one seated properly. A few times, I had to either ream out the hole or file down the end tang (makes the tang a little longer) to get it in – and I don’t like doing that because I have to clean both the mainspring and the barrel again and re-grease the spring to get rid of any filings. Anyway, I don’t like rigging things like this unless I have no choice as it probably has a negative impact on performance.

    Anyway, I have both a K & D vice held winder and a K & D hand held (this one actually works better) and I have the same problem either way. Do I need to spend a bunch of money to get a Swiss made winder? I can see other tools that I would like to buy more, but this has become a dread for me. ;)

    As usual, I thank you all in advance!

    Tom

    #53836
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Tom,
    Go to Youtube and pull up HOW I INSTALL A MAINSPRING ON A HAMILTON 974 POCKET WATCH Parts 1 & 2. There are a couple of things that I do differently than Bunn that work for me. One is now that I have an engraving vice I can lock the entire holder and watch in the vice jaws. With this setup I can instantly move the watch to any position and it stays there. This not only frees up my other hand but it also raises the height of the watch off of the bench top. The other is I install the mainspring case lid with a Harbor Freight (inexpensive) crystal press and a flat nylon plate. This worked better for me because I bent a few lids trying to snap them back together with my fingers. Bob’s method for removing the cover is better than prying it off, as in the Bunn video, as it also reduces the chance of bending the mainspring barrel cover cap.
    david

    #53837
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    David:

    I’ve actually seen many of Bunn’s videos and he’s pretty entertaining and informative. I think my problem is that the biggest insert that came with both of my K&D sets is just a little too small. I went back and looked at Bob’s video and his seems to just fit inside the mainspring barrel, whereas mine has more play around the diameter. That allows just enough play for the “T” slot to jump out of the hole – even though I have it firmly on an anvil over a hole when pressing it out.

    Thanks!
    Tom

    #53838
    randy
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 39
    • Total Posts: 594

    This is one that I also struggled with for awhile.
    You’re right Tom, in that they don’t stay lined up as you shoot them into the barrel, and it’s frustrating to say the least.
    I but the barrel into a “right sized” hole in my round staking anvil,..and my trick is to use some KT22 grease on this inside walls.
    Then I shoot the spring in, and use a nylon stick move the spring as necessary. The light amount of grease allows the spring to slide, and I can rotate the barrel wih my fingers to assist.
    I then put on the cap, turn it over, give a little push and the cap snaps in place. The anvil give a nice hard, flat surface for this.

    I like David’s method using the crystal press. I have one of those,..and think I should try that out !!

    Take care,

    Randy

    #53839
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    Randy:

    When you say that you put the barrel into the right sizes hole in your staking anvil… do you mean the arbor or the “T” slot hole? Just curious… I’ll try anything to get better results!

    Oh… what is KT22 grease? I’ve got some Mobeus grease that I use on the mainspring if that will work.

    Thanks!
    Tom

    #53840
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    @david pierce wrote:

    Tom,
    Go to Youtube and pull up HOW I INSTALL A MAINSPRING ON A HAMILTON 974 POCKET WATCH Parts 1 & 2. There are a couple of things that I do differently than Bunn that work for me. One is now that I have an engraving vice I can lock the entire holder and watch in the vice jaws. With this setup I can instantly move the watch to any position and it stays there. This not only frees up my other hand but it also raises the height of the watch off of the bench top. The other is I install the mainspring case lid with a Harbor Freight (inexpensive) crystal press and a flat nylon plate. This worked better for me because I bent a few lids trying to snap them back together with my fingers. Bob’s method for removing the cover is better than prying it off, as in the Bunn video, as it also reduces the chance of bending the mainspring barrel cover cap.
    david

    David:

    I went back and looked at those two of Bunn’s videos and it turns out that I watched those way back when I was looking at getting a winder – I actually have that exact winder that he uses in that video. The only thing that I do differently, is that I don’t hanadle the mainspring with my hands (he probably doesn’t either when he’s doing it off camera) and I put grease on it like Bob shows. I wonder if I’m actually using too much grease and if that might be part of the slippage problem. I mean it really doesn’t apprear to be that complicated… but then, if I’m doing it then the Gremlin is most likely sitting on my shoulder when I do!

    Later,
    Tom

    #53841
    randy
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 39
    • Total Posts: 594

    Sorry Tom,
    Yes, I meant to say to put the spring into the barrel, and if you put in the arbor before you push the T-end into place, just make sure you find he right size hole to match…….somedays I do well,..and others ???? 😯
    KT-22 grease is a micro-lubricant. I just take a small amount on a toothpick and “paint” the inside walls of the barrel,.not unlike you might do with Chronogrease on an automatic.
    You can find it at most parts houses,…Otto Frei, Jules Borel, etc
    http://www.ofrei.com/page245.html
    Best,
    Randy

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tmac1956Pocket watch "T" end mainspring installation issue…