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    chris mabbott

      Ah, happy days, I finally got around to working on this South Bend 18s,17j Sidewinder. I must say that I’m not particularly impressed by the build quality on this watch, rough edges and rough finish on the underside, the gears feel lightweight and kinda alloy’ish cheap almost.
      Anyway, as I always do… what was happening when this watch was born in 1904…

      <span style=”color: #4000FF”>Feb 5th – American occupation of Cuba ends
      Feb 6th – Russian-Japanese war began
      Feb 7th – Baltimore catches fire (1500 buildings destroyed in 80 blocks)
      Feb 10th – Russia declares war on Japan after surprise attack on Russian fleet at Port Arthur disabled 7 Russian warships THIS SOUNDS FAMILIAR..
      Feb 23rd – US acquired control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million
      Apr 19th – Much of Toronto destroyed by fire
      Apr 30th – Ice cream cone makes its debut
      Jun 14th – Dutch troops occupies Kuto Reh, Sumatra, killing all inhabitants
      Jun 15th – Side-wheeler “General Slocum” burns in NY’s East River (1,031 die)
      Jul 21st – Camille Jenatzy sets world auto speed record at 65.79 MPH… I SET IT DAILY
      Sep 20th – Orville & Wilbur Wright fly a circle in their Flyer II
      Dec 31st – The first New Year’s Eve celebration is held in Times Square, then known as Longacre Square, in New York, New York.

      I received it and as usual it was very dirty, not running and completely unloved, how very sad 😥 But a happy ending as it is now home.

      chris mabbott

        Here is the lovely demaskeened movement whose beauty is not fully realized due to a coating of grime, oil and something that smelled like sulphur? This was more apparent as I began to clean it.. Who peeled an egg :?:

        For anyone interested, I took all of the photos with an iPhone cam, main reasons… convenience and laziness :)

        chris mabbott

          Ach zo, ze disassembly begins ja 😆

          The patient is on the operating table and has been prepped and anesthetized. Although you cant see the dirt, it is as always with these things, grimy and dried oil/grease, which for me, is pure gravy as my condition/curse is to see things clean 🙄

          As is with the full plate models, we have to take extra care in removing the plate as the pallet fork ALWAYS sticks in the jewel chamber. The first time I took one of these apart, a long time ago, I heard that sickening, dreadful noise…. BREAK, as I accidently snapped off one of the stones :?

          This is an interesting design as the cannon pinion and the gear/wheel are integrated, one part.

          chris mabbott

            Die erster kleine problem… A broken tooth on the winding gear, golly, what a bummer. This really destroys my enthusiasm as I’m now trying to figure out where in the name of Hades am I going to find a replacement for this 114 year old watch :|

            WILLIAM…… 😆

            chris mabbott

              Anyway, not to be disheartened, on further inspection there are three teeth in mesh with the mating gear, so although not perfect, it will suffice for now until I can find a replacement part, I don’t need yet another “pending” thing in my growing pile..

              Down to the heart of the matter and the ever increasing stench of rotten eggs :mrgreen: The only thing I can think of is that someone has used an organic type lube that has gone rotten?? Maybe whale oil?

              I also see signs of damage to the arbor pivot hole as the small spacer bushing is worn Hmm, where are those bits of metal?
              Look at those nice dirty wheels/gears begging me to bring out their best side.

              I know that in watch terminology that the correct denominator is “wheel” BUT my background is industrial maintenance and frankly, I have a very hard time calling these gears, wheels. Wheels do not have teeth and are not part of a gear train. After all, if these were wheels, they would simply turn and nothing would happen 😆

              chris mabbott

                No wonder the bloody thing wouldn’t wind, dried grease and some form of gritty substance, the smell gets worse, I mean really, never have I had this before. Have you ever been on a drinking weekend, back in the good old days, with your buddies, you drink loads of beer and order like ten pepperoni & sausage pizzas and a bunch of Doritos, the next morning there is this horrible smell permeating the place that you’re all staying, this watch is like that 😆

                chris mabbott

                  A quick positional reference shot of the balance wheel before I pull the spring, yes, this is actually a wheel. 💡

                  The pivots are completely encrusted with a dried cement type substance, you can see it on the balance, not a bit of shiny material on her, amazingly the HS looks new and blue, i say, pity, not for long though chaps. How’s my British accent Paul 😆

                  I didn’t take a pic but in the upper balance jewel I found jammed inside, a tiny piece of brass, a sliver you might say, I figured the pivot and jewel were toast, but heavens NO, they were fine. The gods of time have smiled. But where did that come from, the MS arbor?

                  chris mabbott

                    After the first initial soak I found only one broken plate jewel, which I had a replacement for. It’s the lower pallet jewel.. lucky sod 😆

                    chris mabbott

                      In my over enthusiasm I apparently neglected my photographic duties and missed a series of pics detailing the new jewel rub in and cleaning of the gunk covered balance jewels, Hmm, Bob, I hope this will not effect my score :D

                      Anyway, all the jewels, bar one, were good, albeit badly caked in gunk. On this watch I’ve used my newly purchased Mobius synthetic oil, I thought this watch would be a perfect candidate.

                      Also, the small sliver found in the upper, of all places, balance jewel, was from #2 gear wheel! I noticed the slight damage whilst cleaning it. Gawd knows how it migrated from hither to tither, but it did.

                      chris mabbott

                        All pivots were cleaned burnished and polished and gears polished. The teeth on the escape wheel had to be lightly polished up as they were scored by something. The lever had rust and had to be filed and sanded, then mirror polished, best I could with pitting.
                        I also filed down the damaged part where the MS arbor fits, this acts as a spacer to prevent rubbing on the plate, a wear surface I guess. The mesh with the main gear was not significant so I wasn’t overly concerned as some material remains. I also had to smooth ream out that pivot hole and the hairspring stud hole in the cock, polish all the screws, straighten the bent minute/second hand and re-blue the ends.

                        The winding stem was so rusted that it wouldn’t act. This had to be removed, filed and sanded down and then re-polished.
                        Parts of the case had brassing, these spots were sanded smooth to match the non worn parts, then re-polished. The old mainspring was dry but still had loads of tension to it, this was cleaned, greased and replaced and works fine.

                        Finally I de-magged the whole thing and it started on the first wind.
                        A problem that I had overlooked was some debris between the regulator forks ( I can’t think of the word right now as it’s 3 am)
                        A little trick that I use for cleaning between them is one of those dental floss bows, has a pick on one end. They are ideal for cleaning between the forks 💡

                        I allowed the uncased movement to run for 24 hours then I cased it, attached the hardware and It has been running now for 6 hours and is keeping perfect time, really 😆 I love it when this happens..
                        Now it looks great, the demaskeening is truly amazing, beautiful, I call it Harlequin, due to the pattern. As you move it in the light it gives a 3D effect and seems to move, it has depth, very cool and pretty..

                        The following are pure vanity shots 😆

                        chris mabbott



                            Nice (night?) work Chris. Thanks for posting.


                            michael weaver

                              Great job Chris. That is a beautiful pattern and your hard work really brought it back to life.

                              P.S. Your comment about Feb 10th….it may sound familiar but the ending was different the second time. :)

                              chris mabbott

                                Thanks guys, I appreciate your nice comments.

                                Michael, yep, it surely was, they opened up a can of whoop-ass the second time 😮


                                  Beautiful…great job, where did you find the winding gear? I was getting all excited to use my dividing head and make one.
                                  P.s. do you ever sleep?

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