Thinking about giving up!

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  • #48257
    speedmaster
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 3
    • Total Posts: 11

    I have good eyes, i’m 37 years old but how do you people work with such small things? I took my swiss pocket watch apart using the great videos on this site but of course my watch is a little different and i have to install the pallet etc before putting the first bridge on, i thought i’d documented everything well but not the way the pallet mechanism goes together, it looked simple when i took it apart. 😳 on top of that everything keeps getting magnetised, i try to keep it apart from other stuff but it just magnetises itself! There is a tiny screw in the pallet mechanism that will not de magnetise, i only have a cheap little magnetiser/ de magnetiser and i’m scared of losing the screw because it just shoots off to the magnetising bit, sorry to go on and i may sound confusing but i’m at my wits end! 😥 Any ideas? Dave.

    #51613
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    Hey Dave, Good job on asking for advice someone here will be able to help you out!!!!take a look at my pics in my shop, a good drawing on my wall for you!!!!(I look at it all the time) 🙄 It can be a challenge, I work on clocks only, maybe someday pocket watches, but from my experience in clocks and even anything else in life things can get real frustrating!!! 😥 but with a little time and going thru the process many times things do get easier. I sometimes tell myself that by doing it over and over and over and over and………………………………………..is going to make me better at it. I do many times take a walk to think and calm down 8-) THEN come back to it. I am amazed at how taking the short break will jar loose a new thought on what to do next, sometime many breaks throughout the problem. Sooooooo dont giveup and keep on keeping on and soon you will be the best at it. William

    #51614
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Hi Dave,
    dont worry, we all have moments like this. I have done exactly the same as you, I took and old alarm clock apart and then couldnt remember how to get it back together. Over the space of two years I must have got that clock out 5 times and tried again but each time I just didnt have an idea and would just put it away again. Then a month ago I got it out and it almost fell back together on its own. Its experience! No matter how much money you spend, books you read, videos you watch there will be times when you jut cant get your head around something. Take my advice, put it away and try again in a couple of months. If you are desperate to get it back together then take some pictures and post them up, someone here will be able to help you.
    As for demagnetising that screw, have you tried putting it into one of those small zip bags and passing it through the demagnetizer? Also the end of your screwdriver.
    Watches can be very frustrating because of the small parts involoved. First of all make sure you have a good eyepiece or loupe, I use a 3x loupe for my clock work but find I start to struggle with watch stuff, I need a stronger one. Then it is just down to pratice. If you ever feel you are getting frustrated with the watch just put it down and walk away, take a breather. We all go through it, dont for a second think that we dont.
    Dont give up Dave, you will get there and we are here to help whenever you need it.
    Paul :)

    #51615
    speedmaster
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 3
    • Total Posts: 11

    Great ideas guys! I need to set myself out a workspace just for watch repair, at the moment I’m cramped up in the corner of my bedroom on a bedside table! Great idea about the zip bag! Why didn’t I think of that! If I have no luck soon I will post some pics up. It’s good to have some support thank you, I just want to feel that sense of achievement when I make a beautiful thing work again! :P

    #51616
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Thats the spirit Dave! :)
    If things start to get you down just pop in and tell us, there is always a way through it. I do it all the time :)
    Some of the clocks I have done I have had to take apart 4 or 5 times, its the same as anything, it can get real frustrating, but like I said, walk away and come back to it with a calm mind, it can help loads.
    Please let us know how you get on.
    Paul.

    #51617
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    Remember it takes time for the roses to bloom :D Sorry, sometimes I get philosophical ;) Yes, a nice work space is crucial also good lighting and magnification will work wonders. Cant wait to hear how well you get it runnin. William

    #51618
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1559

    Hi All!
    Great advise by both Bill and Paul! We all experience that feeling at times.
    Magnetism is a watchmakers “enemy” and can drive you nuts! You mentioned that you have one of those inexpensive magnetizing/demagnetising units. These tend to work okay for larger tools like screwdrivers but not well for small parts such as screws. My guess is that they reduce the magnetism to a certain point but not quite enough. If you have a soldering gun you can try inserting the screw held in a tweezers into the coiled part just before the tip and then pull the trigger and slowly pull the screw away from the gun. This works well!
    If the parts keep becoming magnetized then there is something on or near your work area causing the problem. One thing I would suspect is your magnetizing unit. Any chance it’s near your work area? You can check to see if there’s a problem by bringing a compass near it. Also can use the compass near and around your work area to see if there is some sneaky little magnetic field nearby like a radio or speaker etc.

    Well hang in there Dave and remember that we are all up here rooting for you and we can ALL relate to the problem you’re having and are here to help!

    Let us know how things unfold,

    Bob

    #51619
    speedmaster
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 3
    • Total Posts: 11

    Aha i made sure i kept the magnetizer away but just noticed a surround sound speaker right near the parts, I think we’ve found the culprit! I’ll put it down to beginners error 😳 I’ll try again tomorrow and see how i get on. Thanks again! Dave. :)

    #51620
    digitaltripper
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 17
    • Total Posts: 102

    @Arutha wrote:

    Thats the spirit Dave! :)
    If things start to get you down just pop in and tell us, there is always a way through it. I do it all the time :)
    Some of the clocks I have done I have had to take apart 4 or 5 times, its the same as anything, it can get real frustrating, but like I said, walk away and come back to it with a calm mind, it can help loads.
    Please let us know how you get on.
    Paul.

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU !! I have a clock I am working on and I felt TOTALLY defeated !! It is keeping time but the strike at twelve is only two and sometimes not on the half of 10 or 11 or 1. Sometimes the gathering pin gathers twice on the rack, resulting in half the strike it should be. It is a rack and snail setup, should be real easy to figure out but alias it is giving me fits. I was ready to give up. Your post, for that matter, this entire thread, has helped me to refocus my efforts!! I will solve this trouble. I will walk away and come back refreshed. If I get frustrated, I will walk away again. I will not give up, nor give in!!

    Jim

    #51621
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Jim,
    the times I have had to walk away from a clock but when you do get the problem sorted doesnt it make you feel good? :)
    Keep at it and if you do get stuck for the answer we are always here to help.
    Paul.

    #51622
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Speedmaster,
    First you must change your paradigm from Speedmaster to Slowmaster. To gain inspiration go to Youtube and watch as many Steffen Pahlow videos as possible. He works at a very constant and methodical pace. His watch restoration work is as good as anybody in the world can do. Next, do what works within the framework of you. I had trouble working with a loupe so instead I use powerful drugstore reading glasses for general work and a bionocular microscope for extreme close up work such as replacing the pilar plates and bridiges over the delicate pinions. Select tools that work well for you and use the skills and talents that you already posess to your advantage. If you have patience and stay with it you will succeed.
    David Pierce

    #51623
    edwardny
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 3
    • Total Posts: 12

    Bob, I went through your videos and other articles and books, etc.
    This must be the dumbest question of all but it’s really bothering me. Why don’t I put the entire watch movement or large part of a movement onto the demagnetizer and press the button. It’ll demagnetize many parts or a whole movement at once or there are side effects? Why do I HAVE TO take the hairspring off and demagnitize it separately?

    @Bob Tascione wrote:

    Hi All!
    Great advise by both Bill and Paul! We all experience that feeling at times.
    Magnetism is a watchmakers “enemy” and can drive you nuts! You mentioned that you have one of those inexpensive magnetizing/demagnetising units. These tend to work okay for larger tools like screwdrivers but not well for small parts such as screws. My guess is that they reduce the magnetism to a certain point but not quite enough. If you have a soldering gun you can try inserting the screw held in a tweezers into the coiled part just before the tip and then pull the trigger and slowly pull the screw away from the gun. This works well!
    If the parts keep becoming magnetized then there is something on or near your work area causing the problem. One thing I would suspect is your magnetizing unit. Any chance it’s near your work area? You can check to see if there’s a problem by bringing a compass near it. Also can use the compass near and around your work area to see if there is some sneaky little magnetic field nearby like a radio or speaker etc.

    Well hang in there Dave and remember that we are all up here rooting for you and we can ALL relate to the problem you’re having and are here to help!

    Let us know how things unfold,

    Bob

    #51624
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1559

    That’s actually an Excellent question Ed!
    Yes you can demagnetize the watch when it’s together. When the balance is out of the movement I like to wrap it with tissue paper because the spring can ‘jump’ and become tangled when being demagnetized. When in the watch the spring is attached at both ends and is much less likely to become tangled.
    You’ll find that I probably over emphasize caution in some cases when going through the videos. Better safe when starting out as you don’t need any unnecessary surprises right from the onset. It’s tough enough at times! :)

    Hope this helps Ed,
    Enjoy,
    Bob

    #51625
    edwardny
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 3
    • Total Posts: 12

    So bottomline, there is no downside to demagnetizing the whole movement alltogether.
    I see some video on youtube of a guy putting the whole watch on the demagnetizer.
    I read description of different demagnetizers say “Put the watch or part of movement on top of the ……”.
    Are the any side effects of demagnetizing the entire watch?

    #51626
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1559

    Hi Ed,
    Well yes and no. I did say “much less likely” not impossible. Many people demagnetize a watch while in the case as do I quite often. I don’t usually have a problem but normally only do larger watches. I have had problems in the past with smaller caliber watches with smaller delicate hairsprings. Another problem is that a very magnetized hairspring may not respond to the demagnetizing cycle without taking it out of the case. There are times I even need to remove it completely from the balance.
    Also some demagnetizers are more powerful than others. Some work well while others hardly work at all. Best thing to do is find a good one and experiment with it to see what effect it has on different hairsprings in and outside the watch case.
    Take a look at the following link of a discussion we had up here on the forum. Also if you put “demagnetizer” or other descriptions with this word into the search field some interesting stuff may come up.
    Here’s the link:
    http://www.clockrepairtips.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=361&p=1784&hilit=demagnetizer#p1784

    Enjoy,
    Bob

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speedmasterThinking about giving up!