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  1. Now I'm lost in the maze. I understand, to some degree, the issues involved but let me reiterate what I'm thinking here. I have lots and lots of interesting but in the main not very valuable watches and movements - hundreds. I am encountering missing screws on a daily basis. Trying to fit screws chosen from a box of many hundreds of unsorted screws is an exercise in frustration (although occasionally successful.) Being able to prod a sequence of wires into the 'oles until I find a reasonable fit seems to me like a distinct improvement over fiddling with tweezers (someone will now tell me why this is not so, I expect...) Depth is slightly less of a problem to estimate. Or isn't. As for variations in thread pitch etc, all accepted. The fact remains that I'm an amateur, working not wholly unsuccessfully, on not very valuable pieces. I'm learning and I know where the limits of my ability currently lie - or at least I'm regularly reminded of the limits. When something's worth more than the risk of attempting it myself I get someone competent to sort it out. I've had an interest and a small collection of watches for decades and In the relatively short time I've been attempting this demanding work I've had some reasonable results - dozens of minor repairs and part swaps. I don't overestimate my abilities but in a long life this isn't the first time I've attempted something new and difficult. It helps that, frustrating though this work can be, I enjoy it. Nobody has yet convinced me that it's pointless using pin gauges, limitations notwithstanding. I've found a supplier that can make up sets to order at a reasonable price. I'd like to think that a couple of dozen would probably cover at least 80% of my requirements - but maybe not. If someone would give me a list comprising min/max sizes and the intervals between for a couple of dozen pins, I'll order a sample set and report back. If it proves successful and there's a demand I can buy some more adding only a small amount for the handling, and offer them to anyone who would like a set. By way of complete contrast a beautiful little silver travel clock a mate and I bought jointly made my day yesterday. I'd requested information about the movement from the very high end watchmaker who owns the brand. They came back to me wanting to buy it for their museum... Roy
  2. At another part of the spectrum, how about this one? I've silver-dipped it for about 10 minutes which has helped a bit. Anyone like to hazard a guess whether there's anything else that might work? Roy
  3. I must be exceptionally dense today - maybe it's the heat? The set you list above are all imperial, are they not? But the parts I'm dealing with all seem to be metric, ignoring the USA made stuff which I have yet to do much with, although there must be a hundred pieces of that origin here. The shipped prices of pin sets (ignoring the imperial/metric conundrum) here in UK is pretty fierce, particularly shipping from USA (again, ignoring...) There's the sterling exchange rate to consider these days too. Quandry... Roy
  4. Ah, nothing horological is simple. First, I was thinking metric only as I haven't got many American movements.Secondly, the issue of thread inner and outer measurements had occurred to me (no experience of machining at all) but I figure that the lesser dimension, outer female thread, will be close enough to establish what is presumably(?) a relatively consistent set of sizes. Or I could be entirely wrong about all of this.. Where does this leave us? Roy
  5. I've lost the original information but as I recall VERY small and "Diameter tolerance: ±0.001mm". I'll mail him now and ask. What I really need is an estimate of the range and spread of useful sizes. Most seem to be sub-1mm but they will assemble a set to spec and box it. Suggestions of sizes please. I'd be happy to re-order once I've checked it out and maybe buy a few for resale (not a commercially motivated idea!!!) Roy
  6. I have a lot of very elderly Swiss watches and a lesser number of US brands. At present, as a novice, I'm sticking to those that are relatively easy to fix or else have such low value that the outcome doesn't matter. However I just located a supplier who is prepared to make up a boxed set of pins in whatever sizes I need. All the sets I see on the bay contain a vast range of sizes, the majority of which don't have much relevance to watch movements. I'm going to order a sample set, which may be of interest to people here. What would be very useful would be a suggestion about the most generally useful range. Someone here has already posted a suggestion about screw sizes but I may as well order a set containing a representative selection. I'd appreciate a suggestion as to a modest set of useful metric (for the moment) sizes. If I get it made up it will be an easy matter to repeat or anyone who needs it. Roy
  7. I've just located what looks like an interesting supplier in, wait for it, Guangdong. Requesting a sample set now. Roy
  8. Thanks! I have the Bergeon and WIT hand sizing tools, calipers and a micrometer so I obviously need something in addition! Measuring sub-1mm holes with calipers looks like an exercise in frustration to me. The pin gauge (I was thinking "mandrel" as in ring sizing) sounds invaluable when dealing with lots of wounded and cannibalised movements. Odd that these tools don't seem made any longer. There are a couple of USA based horological tool specialists who may well have this tool. Roy
  9. I have a large, unsorted, quantity of potentially useful watch screws of all sizes and types. Unsorted... I also encounter many missing screws. How to reconcile this problem? Is there any kind of mandrel (similar to the Bergeon hand hole sizing tool) which can be used to identify the size of screw holes? - case screws are the most common culprits it seems. I realise this begs the question of thread pitch but it would be nice to have somewhere to start. Then I might one day attempt the sysyphus-ian task of sizing some of the screw pile. How do others deal with this? Roy
  10. Added to which the last n% of every job always takes 100-n% of the time required...
  11. It's comforting (well, almost) to see that this is inherently difficult and not that I'm struggling with something others find relatively straightforward. It doesn't stop me imagining some kind of micro-jig though... I've generally found that with processes like this - in software as well as hardware - there usually comes a breakthrough where the subconscious "knows" how to do tricky stuff. At my age though, that doesn't come as quickly as it once did. Luckily I've got a lot of similar dead movements to practice on. I'd thought of starting on pocket watches, of which I also have lots of movements, on account of their larger size but something tells me that's just avoiding some of the problems and familiarising me with movements that are too dissimilar. And yes, there are definitely times when I need to walk away and do something else. Roy
  12. Noted, thanks! Roy
  13. Thanks to both of the above contributors. To clarify, the balance is actually free and with a couple of puffs of air oscillates in a very healthy looking manner but the escape wheel is reluctant to budge despite the pallet looking OK too. I think that the problem is in the train where numerous jewels are at the very least cracked and after US cleaning have started to disintegrate. I reassembled the movement despite this just in order to get a feel for the process. Overall I'm moderately happy for a first attempt - to date I've only successfully replaced mainsprings and sorted out a number of keyless work problems. With the low value items I have - which describes most of them - the problem is usually a sticky hairspring; de-magnetising the whole movement and cleaning the spring with lighter fuel will often revive them. I'm seeing numerous movements which are otherwise pretty clean racing beyond correction by the regulator on account of this hairspring problem. Or that's what I assume. I'll have another go at a similar movement. I probably have over 100 "trench" watches with some duplication of movements so I may be able to cobble up a few FrankenTrenchWatches. Better than scrapping them. I bought some Elma(?) cleaning fluid from Cousins and also some Isopropyl. Overall, despite a non-working movement, I'm reasonably happy with the first attempt. But expect some further irritating questions... Thanks again for the valuable tips, much appreciated. I wish I could reciprocate. Roy
  14. Just finished assembling my test having cleaned it all yesterday. Many of the jewels were in bad shape and I suspect I haven't exactly improved them. It doesn't run of course... Still, I thought that the balance would be the biggest problem as the sight of a hairspring gives me a nasty feeling, but that's fine. It's just the entire train that seems locked solid. Many hours spent and I hope not wasted. It'll be a while before I attempt to clean something of value. I have at least a hundred of these in variously bad condition so it'll be a while before I run out of cadavers to dissect. Roy
  15. It's about as difficult as I anticipated. An hour's randomised fiddling enabled me to refit the pallet/bridge But I'm having even more difficulty with the next longer pinion. How on earth you fit a bridge with more than one pinion I can't even imagine. I'm working on an AS "Trench Watch" with separate bridges - which I also anticipated would minimise this problem. But it still seems extraordinarily difficult, particularly with monocular vision. I only have stereo capability at about x3.5. I guess the answer is "practice for about 10 years" however as that's probably about my total remaining life expectancy - if I'm lucky - so I'd like to accelerate the process a bit. I'd appreciate any tricks of the trade that might be offered - and apologise for the cascade of beginner's questions. Roy