What do I need?

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  • #50158
    jhargrove77
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    • Topics Started: 6
    • Total Posts: 19

    Hey to everyone. New to the forum. Just started Bob’s online course. I’ve been tinkering with clocks for a couple of years but would like to tackle some pocket watches my wife has. I’m hoping the group will advise me on what tools I should acquire to get started and make my adventure a little less stressful. Is a watchmaker’s lathe absolutely needed? How often would I use it? What about a balance wheel caliper and poising tool? What is the smallest size screwdriver I’ll need? What about a mainspring winder? I’ve picked up a few tools for working on clocks but not these. I can see where they would come in handy for both. Any advise to a newbie would be greatly appreciated.

    #65106
    randy
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 39
    • Total Posts: 594

    Welcome to the group !

    For pocket watches I can suggest a decent ( mid priced) set of screwdrivers that have replaceable blades.
    You should be able to find some with a rotating base for around $40-50

    For a winder, I really like the Marshall’s
    They are usually in a purple colored plastic box.
    They aren’t really cheap,..but they are robust and work well.

    A balance poising tool is helpful once you get to the point that you are re-staffing a balance, changing a hairspring and / or timing one out.
    Calipers for measuring are useful. Digital calipers are better IMO
    Calipers for truing balances, are good tools especially for the older split balances that have seen lots of use.
    Good for truing in the flat as well as in the round

    A lathe is helpful as you progress in your talents. but not necessary for simple repair.

    Good oils / greases are paramount. The Moebius line is not cheap..but it goes a long way
    Shelf life is now around 5 years..you will not regret buying them.
    Lubricants from cheap sources will only reverse all your hard work cleaning. They will gum up the jewels, etc., and will cause issues with timing, adjusting, etc.

    You don’t need anything as expensive as the Bergeon tools, but some are worth the money if you ever want to spring for them.

    Hope this helps..keep the questions coming !

    Randy

    #65107
    jhargrove77
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 6
    • Total Posts: 19

    Thanks so much Randy. If you think of anything else you can remember wishing you had when you started out, please let me know.

    #65108
    randy
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 39
    • Total Posts: 594

    Will do !

    #65109
    randy
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 39
    • Total Posts: 594

    Was just thinking…do you have a staking set ?

    If not..try to get a K&D or Moseley..they seem to be the most available of the older sets.

    I have the K&D 18R..it’s been a great set to have.

    Also..what are you using for cleaning…and ultrasonic, or older more traditional machine ?
    I’ve used the L&R watch cleaning solvents and rinses with good results. The “key” for me ( and I got the ideas from other blogs ) is to rinse 2-3 times.
    Then use finger cots to keep all the “stuff” from your skin off the clean parts….

    Randy

    #65110
    jhargrove77
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 6
    • Total Posts: 19

    Thanks Randy. Just picked up a K&D staking set. Fairly complete but am missing some stakes. I do have a small ultrasonic cleaner. I’ll look into the L&R cleaner. Right now I’m working on an 1860 Seth Thomas shelf clock. Weight driven. Movement is in pretty good shape although it’s had a few heavy handed repairs over the years that I’m going to have to work around. Wish me luck. I’ve also gotten my hands on a Marshall Peerless lathe but no motor. Any suggestions?

    #65111
    randy
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 39
    • Total Posts: 594

    That’s great to hear. You should be able to find some places that sell stakes you need as single items. Maybe start with Dave’s Watch Parts. ??.send him a note with what you need.
    As for motors..L&R, Marshall, Watchcraft, Hamilton Beach all made decent ones that you can pick up on Ebay. I would get one with the reverse switch option, and then find a pedal in good shape to go with it.

    Good luck with the clock !!!!

    Randy

    #65112
    jhargrove77
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 6
    • Total Posts: 19

    As I mentioned earlier, I’ve acquired a Peerless lathe without a motor. I’m finding that vintage lathe motors are more expensive than the lathes. I have a 1/3 hp motor in my garage that turns 1725 rpm. Can the group give me some pros and cons on using a full size motor and maybe some alternatives that they’ve seen out there in the world.

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jhargrove77What do I need?